Like many coffee lovers, you probably have a favorite cup, in which you drink espresso, cappuccino, latte or hot chocolate without asking yourself too many questions.
But did you know that the choice of coffee cup can have a significant impact on your drinking experience?
It’s not for nothing that there are different kinds of coffee mugs. Each of them has a specific function that optimizes the aromas and flavors of the coffee.
So how do you choose the perfect coffee mug based on the drink you’re enjoying?
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Which size and type of cup for which coffee?
Did you know that there is a type of cup suitable for each type of coffee ?
Yes, over time, different cups have been developed to enhance each coffee to its fullest. Thus, a cup that is ideal for a cappuccino will not necessarily be recommended for enjoying a filter coffee.
What Determines the Height of a Coffee Cup?
The height of a coffee cup is defined by the cup’s diameter, width, and height (including the rim), or by an estimate of these dimensions. The specific gravity of the water and a quantity that takes into consideration the volume of air in the cup are two constants that apply to cups of all sizes and define the volume and weight of the cup.
When air is present, it can absorb heat from foods like coffee or chocolate but not from liquids like water. The strength of the material used to make the cup determines how much it weighs. Because some materials are stronger than others, a cup’s weight will vary depending on the material it was made of.
Volume of a Standard Coffee Cup
A normal coffee cup holds between 6.5 and 8.5 ounces. The greater the height of the cup, the smaller the diameter, and vice versa. This varies from other non-tapered cups (such as mugs), where the greater the constriction in diameter, the greater the volume capacity.
Here are some tips to help you select the ideal cup according to your favorite caffeinated drink.
Which cup for an espresso?
If you like to taste black espresso coffee, it is certainly worth getting the appropriate cups for this type of coffee.
Espresso cups are quite small, with a capacity that can vary between 50 and 100 ml. The choice of cup size depends mainly on the quantity of espresso to drink, either a ristretto (25 ml), a single espresso (30 ml) or a double espresso (60 ml).
The shape of the cup is also important to consider for an espresso. Professional baristas agree that to optimize the extraction of an espresso, an “eggshell” type cup is ideal. This cup shape homogenizes the oils in the coffee and makes it possible to obtain a thick and creamy crema .
Finally, espresso cups are often accompanied by a saucer to place a teaspoon on without dirtying the table.
Choosing the right cappuccino cup
Of course, the format of a cappuccino cup is larger than for an espresso. Normally, these cups have a volume that varies between 150 and 200 ml to better contain the milk froth.
There are several shapes of cappuccino cups. On the market, there are cups that are more rounded, straighter or even conical. However, cappuccino cups follow the same general rule: they are made narrower at the base and widen at the rim.
Café au lait, or café latte, cups are more shaped like a small bowl. This shape is preferred by baristas, as it is more suitable for latte art . These cups are also larger and must be able to contain between 200 and 300 ml of liquid at least.
The right cup for filter coffee
The criteria for defining the ideal cup for a filter coffee are much less specific than for espresso-based coffees.
In general, filter coffee cups have a rather cylindrical shape and have a large handle. Their capacity can vary greatly depending on how much coffee a person likes to drink. Indeed, their volume can vary between 200 ml and 1 l!
Coffee cup materials to choose and avoid
Another point to consider when choosing a coffee mug is the material of the mug. Different materials have different properties and can affect how the coffee tastes.
So here is more information on the main materials for making coffee cups.
Ceramic is one of the most used materials for coffee mugs. It is an inexpensive material that can be used to create beautiful, colorful designs.
Ceramic mugs are also dishwasher and microwave safe. In addition, they do not give a particular taste to the coffee.
However, ceramic does not retain heat particularly well.
Good quality, thick porcelain is arguably one of the best materials for making mugs. This material retains heat very well. Plus, the thick porcelain mugs are virtually unbreakable. So you can keep them for several years.
Glass coffee cups
If you choose to opt for glass coffee mugs, make sure they have a double wall. This type of cup retains the heat of the coffee well while avoiding overheating the exterior. It thus becomes almost impossible to burn your fingers or end up with a cup burst into a thousand pieces because of the heat.
In addition, the glass does not alter the taste of the coffee. These mugs also have a design that adds a little touch of class to your morning routine.
Materials to avoid for coffee cups
Certain materials can greatly affect the taste of your coffee and are best avoided. For example, low-end metal cups, plastic cups, and paper cups can alter coffee flavors. In addition, they do not retain heat well and may burn your fingers.
Styrofoam (styrofoam) cups are also absolutely to be avoided. Not only do they give the coffee a plastic taste, but this material has been recognized as carcinogenic and harmful to the environment.
Does the color of the cup affect the taste of the coffee?
You might think that the color of a coffee mug merely serves an aesthetic function. However, the color of a cup could well have an influence on the perception of the taste of coffee !
Obviously, the color does not directly affect the taste of a coffee. However, a study conducted in Australia showed that the aromas perceived by coffee drinkers changed depending on the color of their cup.
According to the study, people who drank from a white cup found the coffee more intense and less sweet, while it was perceived as sweeter from a transparent cup. The taste of the coffee that was in blue cups was in between the other two.
It can therefore be interesting to get different colors of cups and see if you notice a change in perception when you drink your coffee!
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In summary, there are several criteria to consider when choosing a coffee mug.
First, the cup can vary depending on the type of coffee you want to drink. For example, an espresso requires a smaller cup, while large coffee cups are reserved for lattes or filter coffee. The shape of the cup can also differ depending on the type of coffee.
The material is another criterion that can influence your choice of mug. The best materials for mugs are porcelain, ceramic, and double-walled glass. Your choice will depend mainly on the style you prefer and the budget you want to allow for this purchase.