Do coffee cup sizes matter?

By Lasantha David

I’m sure a lot of people can relate to having that one coffee mug since the dawn of time; a ceramic friend who has given you warmth, helped kick-start you on the grumpiest of mornings – especially Mondays – and watched your forehead typing a 1000-page document after you fell asleep on the keyboard.

The mug might be all-purpose, but if you’re more coffee connoisseur than ‘eyes.shutting.down.must.have.coffee.damn.assignments’; then you’ll know that the container changes the experience, even the taste. We’re currently at a time where you could have a mug designed to your choosing and 3D-printed instantly. But, there was a time when mankind sipped brew out of carved out bones. Sorry, hipsters, in case the thought had crossed your to-do lists.

Coffee cups vary in size, composition and purpose. The aforementioned mug laughing at you sleep-typing, is usually made of porcelain or glazed ceramic. Other variants include glass, polystyrene and paper cups. The latter have played a silent yet significant part in the past 50 years; many building designs, world-changing computer programmes, scientific breakthroughs and business mergers have come under the influence of coffee consumed from on-the-go coffee cups. Of course, that’s an assumption, but not a very far-fledged one.

If you regularly haunt coffee shops and the baristas punch in the usual cappuccino even before you’ve decided what cake to eat; then the cup you’re using is a cappuccino cup which usually holds 6ozs. In case you didn’t know, the perfect cappuccino is based on a simple, 1:1:1 ratio, meaning the cup’s capacity has to be exact to hold 2oz espresso, 2oz steamed milk and 2oz foam. For those who find this inadequate, the large cup is exactly double the size at 12oz.

The smaller relative of sorts to this is the Demitasse which is designed especially for espresso. This cup is also used serve the traditional macchiato. While the cappuccino and the demitasse cups are great for latte art, for those without the time to sip and enjoy, there is the Gibraltar which is specially designed for downing warm espresso. In all, sometimes it’s not about the cup; it’s about the brew. It’s about the warm, happy sensation your taste-buds feel at first contact.

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