Coffee is more than just a beverage—it’s a craft. Most coffee connoisseurs understand that making a good cup of joe is a culmination of ingredients, tools, and skill, and this includes choosing the right vessel to serve it in. Different types of coffees require a specific type of cup, so if you’re wondering, “are cappuccino and latte cups the same?” —they’re not.
For instance, a cappuccino cup typically comes in five- to six-ounce sizes, while latte cups are sized at eight ounces; furthermore, espresso cups and cortado cups are even smaller at two to three ounces and 4.5 ounces, respectively.
What Is a Cappuccino?
For those who love cappuccinos, using the proper cup is essential to complete the experience. But before we get into the nitty-gritty of choosing cappuccino cups, let’s start by answering the question: What are cappuccinos, anyway?
A cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink that consists of equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk froth. It’s got a balanced flavor, plus a light, fluffy texture.
How to Make a Cappuccino
To make a cappuccino, you typically need an espresso machine with a steam wand and milk frother. First, extract two shots of espresso from your machine.
While waiting, steam three to four ounces of milk using the steam wand, making sure to slowly move your pitcher of milk in linear directions to incorporate air and produce froth.
Once finished, pour your espresso shots into a cappuccino cup, add the steamed milk, then top it with milk foam.
What Size Should a Cappuccino Cup Be?
An appropriate cappuccino cup should be between five to six ounces or around 150ml to 180ml. It’s typically made of white porcelain and may come with a saucer.
What’s great about cappuccinos, though, is that their 1:1:1 ratio makes them flexible enough for you to play around with the sizes—it’ll still be a cappuccino as long as the three components are in equal volumes.
What To Look for When Buying a Cappuccino Cup
There are two main factors to consider when buying cappuccino cups: form and function. Here’s a breakdown of what to look for before purchasing a set.
You can find cappuccino cups in different designs, and you can choose one that fits your personal style. If you want to go the traditional route, though, white china is the way to go–it’s even the standard set by the Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano (INEI).
Size and Shape
The proper size of a cappuccino cup is technically 5.4 ounces (160ml), but generally, you’ll find cups ranging from five to six ounces. This slight difference won’t affect your drink as long as you follow the espresso-to-milk-to-foam ratio.
Aside from the size, you also have to pay attention to the cup’s shape. A good one would have a thick egg-shaped bottom to help the espresso and milk stay blended and a wide, thin top that shows off the crema.
Cups that don’t retain heat well will yield a sub-par coffee experience. Look for double-walled cappuccino cups made with materials like feldspathic china, bone china, porcelain, ceramic, double-walled glass, or even stoneware to keep your drink warm for longer.
Most cappuccino cups come with a saucer, which is used to hold treats like biscotti and cookies. It’s also useful for placing a spoon or for catching spillage, which is inevitable with domed cups. Find the right pair to go with your set.
Finding the Best Cappuccino Cup
The best cappuccino cup is one that reflects your unique taste in design while being the perfect vessel to properly hold your coffee. If you need some ideas about which set to take home, read our best cappuccino cups guide to narrow down your choices!