How to Pick the Right Coffee Cup

How to pick the right coffee cup
When it comes to coffee drinks, one cup does not fit all.

The coffee cup size and shape you choose to drink your coffee from can have a real impact on its flavor. And as a coffee aficionado, I believe that your favorite brew deserves the right coffee cup. Let me put it this way, you wouldn’t buy a Picasso painting just to hang it in your shed, would you?

I can’t imagine putting all my effort into selecting the perfect coffee roast, brewing it to perfection, and then drinking it from a cup that doesn’t maximize its flavor.

Coffee cups come in different sizes and shapes

How to pick the right espresso cup

As you can see from our mugs and cups collection, coffee cups come in different sizes and shapes. From 17 oz. bowl-shaped latte cups to cone-shaped double wall glass espresso cups that can merely hold 2.7 ounces of liquid. And let me tell you, the best espresso macchiato would taste dull in a standard 17oz. bowl-shaped coffee cup.

Considering the sheer variety of options, it’s safe to say that choosing the right coffee cup for your beverage isn’t as easy as it seems. But still, a task that should be done if you want the best possible drinking experience, that is.

Although there are more things to consider when it comes to choosing the right coffee cup for your brew, in this blog post, I’m going to cover only the size and shape of it.

The Right Coffee Cup Size

The right espresso cup size

Let me start off by saying this.

Whatever type of coffee drink you’re going to pour, you would want your cup to be filled to the brim (although leaving some space for wiggles and jostles doesn’t hurt).

Why? Because filling your coffee cup to the brim will help keep you coffee hot longer since it will minimize the exposure of the brew to air. And why would you want it hot? Because coffee is at its peak flavor when served hot. Filling your cup to the brim is also aesthetically pleasing to the eye.


Now, coffee drinks mostly come in different sizes because of each coffee’s different ratios of espresso to (commonly) steamed milk, foamed milk and/or chocolate as explained in this article. This means that the type of coffee drink you’re going to brew will greatly affect the coffee cup size you need.

Cappuccino ratio to espresso


For example, a cappuccino’s ratio of espresso to steamed milk, foamed milk and chocolate, is 1 (espresso) to 1 (steamed milk) to 1 (foamed milk) to 0 (chocolate), with 1 being about 2 ounces of liquid. That’s a total of 6 liquid ounces. This means that a coffee cup size that can hold 7 liquid ounces is all you need for a cappuccino, assuming you would want to leave room for some wiggles and jostles.


Latte to espresso
A Latte’s ratio of espresso to steamed milk, foamed milk and chocolate is 1 - 5 - 0.5 - 0. That’s a total of more or less 12.6 liquid ounces. A coffee cup size of 14 oz. would be perfect for your Latte.



A flat white’s ratio of esp……,I think you get the idea.

When it comes to classic/standard coffee mug sizes and “regular coffee”, the one main thing that may affect your decision is the amount of coffee you really drink in one sitting.

Some people consume entire pots of coffee while others feel satisfied with just one serving. If you tend to feel satisfied with just one serving of “regular coffee”, then a classic/standard coffee mug size of 8oz. to 10 oz. would suffice. However, if you’re a regular two or even three cup drinker, you should opt for a jumbo coffee mug.


Choosing the Right Coffee Cup Shape

There a lot of different types of coffee drink these days. And to keep this post from being a super long one, I’m going to cover only 3 of the top 15 most popular coffee drinks according to this bean poet article. (Keep in mind that some shapes may be suitable for more than one type of coffee type).


Cappuccino cups

Cappuccino Cups

Let me make a case for a cappuccino cup first.

When it comes to a cappuccino cup shape you would definitely want a cup with an elliptical bottom that has thicker walls, and a wider top that has thinner walls. The thick, narrower bottom allows for the milk and espresso to properly incorporate while the wider, thinner top allows the cream to be displayed.  


Espresso cups

Espresso Cups

For an espresso cup you would want a semi cone-shaped cup that lets the coffee flow-in on its slopped edge. This type of coffee cup shape is perfect for concentrating the flavor of the shot. On top of that it will also help to enhance the crema presentation.

Want to learn more about how to pick the right espresso cup? Read our blog post about 7 things you should consider before buying an espresso cup.



latte cups

Latte Cups

When it comes to latte cup shapes, the opinions vary a lot. Some aficionado prefer to drink their latte in a cup with a bowl-shaped bottom, others prefer a cylindrical shaped cup, while the popular opinion goes to the “anything as long as there is enough room for me to craft my latte art without spilling the coffee” latte cup shape.


Here’s a suggestion. Rather than spending hours trying to pick the one perfect coffee cup size and coffee cup shape for your brew, you should browse our coffee cup collection and treat yourself two or three, of different sizes and shapes.

So hopefully we’ve cleared a few things up for you. But if you have any more questions about which type of coffee mug to choose, feel free to contact us.

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