The 7 Best Cappuccino Cups

A great cup of joe comes from two things: an informed and experienced brewer, and good equipment. But while we can purchase the best espresso machines, grinders, and coffee beans for that cappuccino we’re craving, often it’s the little details that get overlooked.

Such is the life and experience of the humble cup.

Believe it or not, the cup is a crucial element to a perfect cuppa. Don’t make the mistake of choosing the wrong cup – this roundup will help ensure you’re using the best cappuccino cups you can! This is one place where the sturdy, workmanlike coffee mug simply will not do.

TOP PICK: notNeutral LINO Cappuccino Cup

notneutral cappuccino cup set

A traditional look with an immaculate design. notNeutral collaborated with award-winning baristas to create the perfect cups for specialty coffee. The interior curvature of each cup is optimized for thermal insulation, and the handle ensures comfort and control. Available in a variety of sizes and colors (white, matte black, and light gray).

Function vs Form: Things to Consider When Buying Cappuccino Cups

At the risk of stating the obvious: if you can't make good cappuccino it doesn't matter how good your cups are. First things first get yourself a decent cappuccino maker and learn how to use it.

When it comes to cups, there are two major factors at play: function and form.

Showing Off

If you want to be authentic, the Certified Italian Espresso and Cappuccino guide (1) defines the official cappuccino cup as “white” in color. But really, you should feel free to pursue any color you want!

"It is a white feldspathic china cup, containing approximately 160 millilitres, the correct measure to contain 25 ml espresso and 100 ml steam-foamed milk (growing to a volume of about 125 ml)."- Certified Italian Espresso and Cappuccino guide (1)

The truth is, the standards set by the Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano (INEI) are much more important when it comes to function than form. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but a well-made cup needs to meet a few qualifiers.

Size, Shape, and Heat Retention

The functional elements you should consider for serving your cappuccino include the size of the cup, its shape, and how well it can retain heat.

The correct size for a “proper” cappuccino is set in the guide at approximately 160 milliliters or 5.4 oz. Now, this doesn't mean that if your cappuccino is 5 or even 6 oz it’s going to be ruined (just make sure you keep that espresso/milk ratio on point!).

Here’s a video that breaks down the average size of several different espresso drinks:

While the size of your cappuccino can vary, you typically want to stay under 8 oz in order to keep things from getting too milky. Otherwise, you might as well be making a latte.

Getting the right cup size also allows you to top off the drink in the most classic, aesthetically pleasing way – with the cup full to the brim and slightly domed on the top.

The shape of the cup is also important. It should have 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 crema to be displayed. This is different from the classic teacup in which the walls are the same thickness from base to rim.

3 cups of cappuccino

Next, we have the heat factor. A simple glass cup, for example, may look cute and all, but it’s just not going to keep that heat in. A double-wall glass cup, on the other hand, can be the perfect solution.

Some of the typical materials used include feldspathic china (the official material as stated in the INEI guide), bone china, porcelain, double-walled glass, ceramic, and even stoneware.

"Chinese porcelain is composed of two materials: kaolin (a white china clay) and petuntse (pulverized feldspathic rock, also known as china stone)." - "Chinese and Japanese Ceramics" - Gardiner Museum (2)

As a final consideration: is the cup dishwasher safe? It's not that hard to wash a single cup if you're brewing for yourself, but if you entertain or live in a house full of caffeinistas, being able to set them all in the dishwasher, add soap, and have them magically clean a short while later is a nice perk. (We'll leave the question of whether your porcelain cups are microwave safe to you.)

Do You Really Need a Saucer?

A saucer serves to hold things like a cookie, biscotti, sugar cubes, or other treats. It is also helpful to hold a used spoon.

Really, the best use of a saucer is to catch those drops of coffee that spill over the side.

With a proper cappuccino filled to the brim and with a domed top, spillage is normal, making a well-placed saucer a game changer. Cappuccino cups and saucers are a natural pairing.


The 7 Best Cappuccino Cup Sets

Now that we’re clear on the basics, let’s dive in and see some of the best options.

IMAGEPRODUCTWHY?
hg-table__imagenotNeutral LINO Cappuccino Cups
    A traditional look with an immaculate design.
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hg-table__imageLavazza Cappuccino Cup Set
    Dependable, well made, and sporting the Lavazza logo.
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hg-table__imageLe Creuset Stoneware Cappuccino Cups
    Colorful cup options made of durable stoneware.
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hg-table__imageDeLonghi Double Walled Cappuccino Glasses
    Transparent, double-walled glass cups from a dependable company.
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hg-table__imageStone & Mill Glass Espresso Coffee Cups
    Affordable double-walled cups with handles.
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hg-table__imageSweese 4306 Porcelain Cappuccino Cups
    Extremely affordable larger set of cappuccino cups.
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hg-table__imageArte Italica Tuscan Cappuccino Cups
    Handmade Italian cappuccino cups made with ceramic and pewter.
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notNeutral Cappuccino cup set

The notNeutral LINO cappuccino set is designed with careful consideration for both appearance and function (3). It is so beautifully thought out and crafted that it has received accolades from a host of reviewers, including Forbes (4)!

Made of fine porcelain that is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, this cup is perfect for the incorporation of espresso and milk, the presentation, and heat retention. It is also designed to hold 6 oz, which is right on the upper end of that cappuccino sweet spot.

The cup comes with a saucer and is available in matte black, light gray, and traditional white porcelain. In addition to sets of 2, you can also get a set of 6 if you plan on having larger parties of guests and need to stock your pantry or coffee bar.

PROS

  • Immaculate design for the perfect tasting cup of coffee
  • Comes in traditional white porcelain, matching the INEI guide standards

CONS

  • Slightly more expensive per cup
Best suited for: Any serious cappuccino fanatic who wants one of the best designs currently on the market.

This sleek and affordable white Lavazza cup holds precisely 5.5 oz of liquid gold, the specified volume of an authentic Italian-style cappuccino. And no wonder, since it comes from one of the most well-known Italian coffee roasters out there!

But while the cup is designed to deliver an excellent tasting cup of coffee, it’s the Lavazza logo, printed in a streak of blue up the side of the white cup, that really makes the boldest statement here. It brings you back to those teenage years of wearing your favorite band shirt so everyone and their mother knew what kind of a rocker you were.

PROS

  • Suited for authentic Italian cappuccinos
  • The perfect collector's cup for a Lavazza fan
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Logo can be a no go for fans of a cleaner look
Best suited for: Anyone who loves a Lavazza brew, and is looking for an affordable, functional cup.

Le Creuset Stoneware Cappuccino set

If you’re looking for something unique and stylish, yet still functional, a set of Le Creuset Stoneware cups can be just what the doctor ordered.

These colorful cup and saucer sets bring a splash of life to a design that is traditionally plain white. We’re recommending the beautiful deep blue version, but the company has other colors available as well, such as oyster and flame red.

These cups come two in a set with saucers and hold a respectable 7 oz apiece. This allows for larger cappuccinos if desired, although it does not permit a proper domed top if you make them at the traditional 5-6 oz size. (If you make your cappuccino with a double shot, though, these are the perfect size.)

They are not made of porcelain, but rather of high-fired stoneware that has been glazed with a glossy enamel finish. This means they’re not technically in line with the standards, but apart from being inauthentic to the Italian tradition, they should still manage to retain heat well.

These cups are also built to last. Literally, these things aren’t only durable enough to go through the dishwasher – they also come with a lifetime warranty!

The stoneware option is an enduring and fun shift from the gentler porcelain that dominates the cappuccino world, while the blues and reds stand out in bold yet attractive contrast to the more temperate colors available with classic cup models.

PROS

  • Stoneware design with enamel finish creates a tough cup that can take a lifetime of wear and tear
  • Beautiful color options available
  • Good size for less traditional, larger cappuccinos

CONS

  • Slightly on the pricier side
Best suited for: These cups deliver a splash of color that is perfect for the coffee drinker with a bubblier personality.

DeLonghi Cappuccino glass

If you’re a more skilled home barista who can make a delectable cup of coffee look as good as it tastes, you may want to consider moving away from the opaque options like stoneware or porcelain, and aim for a glassy look.

However, remember that you don’t want to go for just any glass cup, as many cannot properly retain the heat. You want to make sure you get a double-walled cup, and there are few options out there that are as popular or renowned as the DeLonghi Double Walled Thermo Cappuccino Glasses.

Made of solid borosilicate glass, these will keep your cappuccino piping hot for as long as possible. They also put that beautiful mixture of espresso and milk on display through their condensation-free, double-wall construction. They are extremely affordable and hold a respectable 6 oz apiece, a great size for a traditional cappuccino.

PROS

  • Double-wall construction for optimal heat retention
  • Condensation-free for a crystal clear view of that swirling espresso-milk mixture
  • Backed by a popular brand name

CONS

  • No handle
    Do not come with saucers
Best suited for: The home barista who has mastered not just the taste, but the presentation of a good cappuccino.

Stone & Mill Coffee Glass

While the advantages of double-wall construction are clear at this point, one thing that the excellent DeLonghi double-wall cups lack is a good handle.

Now, the heat is not a real factor here, since double-wall cups don’t tend to get too hot to the touch.

If you want to see that coffee mixing without covering it with your hand every time you take a sip, you may want to consider an option that comes equipped with a handle.

Enter the Stone & Mill Glass Espresso Cof​​​​fee Cups.

Don’t let the “espresso” part in the name fool you, though. While espresso cups are famously tiny, these are anything but. Coming in at a whopping (for cappuccino, at least) 8.5 oz, if anything these espresso cups are more like super-sized cappuccino mugs! This makes them great for anyone who is more interested in quantity than official metrics (they are a bit big for anyone craving authenticity and that iconic dome).

Oh, and did we mention that they come four in a set? So score for quantity and affordability, too!

PROS

  • Has a handle
  • Double-wall glass for heat retention
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Doesn’t come with saucers
  • Too big?
Best suited for: A clear cup enthusiast who wants to make a large cappuccino (and hold it with a handle)!

Sweese 4306 Porcelain Cappuccino Cup set

The Sweese 4306 Porcelain Cappuccino cup set was made with the avid cappuccino-drinker-on-a-budget in mind, especially if they like to host!

This extremely affordable set comes with six cups and six saucers. Each cup holds a comfortable 6 oz, allowing the home barista to make a slightly larger domed cappuccino. Don’t let their price fool you regarding their qualifications, though. These are still designed in the correct, elliptical shape, with a narrowing bottom and wide rim. They’re made of porcelain and are dishwasher, microwave, and even oven and freezer safe!

They also come in the traditional white, or in a more explosively exciting combination of various colors. If you’re looking for the biggest bang for your buck, these are a great choice to consider.

PROS

  • Very affordable
  • Come in white or color options

CONS

  • Doesn’t hold heat as well as higher-quality models
Best suited for: The cappuccino lover who is looking for a larger set of durable, properly designed cups at an affordable price.

Sweese 4306 Porcelain Cappuccino Cup

The Arte Italica Tuscan Cappuccino set is an exquisitely refined option that is ideal for the most avid and committed home-brewing coffee enthusiast.

This gorgeous cup and saucer set handmade out of ceramic and pewter in the homeland of cappuccino – Italy. This cup will make you feel like royalty. If you’re living life to the fullest (and at whatever the price), this most expensive and elaborate of all the cups on our list is an amazing way to enjoy a cappuccino every morning.

Just promise us that if you get one, you’ll post pictures of it in the comments!

PROS

  • Handmade in Italy, the home of the cappuccino
  • High quality and beautiful design
  • Comes with saucer

CONS

  • Very expensive
Best suited for: The elite, solo cappuccino drinker who wants a single “cup of champions” to pour a perfect domed top in… and then take a hundred pictures of for their social media accounts.

The Intricacies of Choosing a Cup

Size, capacity, shape, and heat: these are the factors that define a perfect cappuccino cup. While there are many good cappuccino cups on the market these days, in our humble opinion, the best cappuccino cup is none other than the LINO from notNeutral

notNeutral Cappuccino cup set

This cup was born out of a passionate desire to respect the contents it holds. The design meets all of our qualifiers, making it one of the best cappuccino cups on the market. You can find it here.


Frequently Asked Questions

What size is a cappuccino cup?

The size of a cappuccino cup, according to the Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano (INEI), is approximately 160 ml, which is sufficient for a 25 ml shot of espresso and 125 ml of foamed milk (1). In U.S. measurements, this is approximately 5.5 fluid ounces, of which approximately one ounce is espresso and the remainder steamed milk.

What size should a latte cup be?

A latte cup should be close to 7 ounces. A latte typically contains more milk than a cappuccino. For information about the relative amounts of coffee to milk in a variety of drinks, check out our article about the cortado.

What is a standard size coffee cup?

A standard size coffee cup ranges between 6 and 12 ounces. Note, however, that some coffee makers rate their capacity in cups of 4 ounces.


References

  1. The Certified Italian Espresso and Cappuccino. Retrieved from http://www.espressoitaliano.org/files/File/istituzionale_inei_hq_en.pdf
  2. Chinese and Japanese Ceramics Archives. (n.d.). Retrieved June 5, 2019, from https://www.gardinermuseum.on.ca/collection_type/chinese-and-japanese-ceramics/
  3. Espresso News and Reviews. (n.d.). Retrieved June 5, 2019, from http://theshot.coffeeratings.com/2014/08/coffee-design-notneutral-cups/
  4. Olmsted, L. (2016, June 30). For Better Coffee, Try A Better Coffee Cup. Retrieved June 5, 2019, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2015/01/15/for-better-coffee-try-a-better-coffee-cup/
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Alex
 

Alex is the Founder and Editor of Homegrounds.co. He is passionate about brewing amazing coffee at home, and teaching others to do the same.