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Cappuccino and Espresso Cups

Cappuccino and espresso cups - kitchen cupboard essentials for any coffee lover. If you have strong opinions on single origin vs blended beans or can talk knowledgeably about the ‘first crack’, then it’s definitely worth investing in the best crockery. And if you’re less of a connoisseur and more of a grab-and-go drinker, coffee cups can still make a big difference to the gastronomic experience. Available in a range of styles and materials, it’s easy to find your ideal espresso or cappuccino cup; from practical, dishwasher-safe models to elegant cup and saucer sets. The Houzz UK website offers a variety of different coffee and tea making accessories for that perfect morning cuppa.

How big are cappuccino cups?


According to popular belief, the cappuccino was invented by an order of Franciscan monks in the 16th century. The word means ‘little hood’ in Italian and comes from cappuccini, the nickname given to the friars due to their distinctive hooded habits. Modern cappuccinos are generally composed of equal parts espresso, steamed and frothed milk. The top layer of foam can be used to create ‘latte art’; intricate designs that decorate the top of the coffee. This requires considerable skill on the part of the barista but definitely adds a certain authenticity and aesthetic enjoyment to the coffee drinking experience.

A true cappuccino should only have 150-180 millilitres of liquid, so standard coffee mugs are usually too big. The distinctive bowl-shaped cup with a rounded handle is used instead, although modern designs may vary significantly in size and design.

What size cappuccino cups do I need?


Choosing a set of cappuccino cups depends very much on individual taste. If you’re a firm believer in the traditional 1:1:1 ratio then you should opt for a standard-sized cappuccino cup (150-180 millilitres). Conversely, if you’re a little less puritanical and enjoy a milkier hot drink, you can also find extra-large cappuccino cups. These will allow you to add extra milk for a lighter flavour.

Top tip: wake up and smell the coffee!

If you like to pick up a cappuccino on the way to work, consider purchasing a reusable coffee cup. In the UK alone, we throw away 2.5 billion disposable cups every year, most of which end up in landfill. There are many cappuccino-sized reusable cups available and knowing you’re doing your bit for the planet will make your favourite brew taste even better.

Why are espresso cups so small?


Quite simply, espresso coffee cups are small because the beverage is so highly concentrated. Espresso is made by forcing very hot water through a layer of ground coffee beans. The resulting liquid is deep brown in colour with a layer of silky crema on the top. The flavour will vary significantly between different roasts but should be rich and complex with caramel and fruity notes. Espressos are very strong and designed to be sipped slowly, hence why only a small cup is required.

If you want to make your own espresso at home, check out our range of coffee makers.

What are the best espresso cups?


With so many types of espresso cup available, the choice can be a little overwhelming. If you’re looking to purchase a new set of espresso cups, there are three main factors to consider:

  • Size:


    Espresso is generally served in a demitasse (half-cup). These espresso cups can have anywhere between a 60-120 millilitre capacity, although slightly larger cups are also available. A single shot of coffee is around 30 millilitres, whilst a double or doppio is approximately 60 millilitres. If you prefer a slightly weaker drink or want to make variants such as a cortado (one shot of espresso with an equal amount of frothed milk), it makes sense to purchase a slightly larger cup.

  • Material:


    Material is an important factor to consider, both for its aesthetic and practical attributes. On one end of the spectrum, there are trendy stainless steel espresso cups and on the other, fine bone china varieties. The former have a contemporary look and are easy to clean but may get quite hot. The latter make great collection pieces but are more delicate and not necessarily dishwasher safe. In between, there are the classic ceramic or porcelain cups which are available in a variety of colours and finishes.

  • Style:


    There is a huge range of different espresso cups available so you’re sure to find a set that works with your home decor. Classic white cups have a timeless appeal, whilst funky espresso cups with brightly coloured designs will jazz up any table setting. If you’re short on cupboard space, opt for stacking coffee cups that can be neatly piled on top of each other. Conversely, if you have plenty of room in your kitchen dresser or display cabinet, check out espresso cup and saucer sets.

Where to buy cappuccino cups?


The Houzz UK shop offers an extensive range of espresso and cappuccino cups, with everything from double-walled glass designs to traditional porcelain vessels with intricate floral patterns. Whatever your style, you’re sure to find a cup that will complement and enhance your coffee drinking ritual.
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