This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which espresso cups are best?

You’ve spent money on an espresso machine to help you make top-notch coffee, but you need the right espresso cups to enjoy it. These compact cups are the perfect size for one or two shots of espresso, while large cups would spread the crema too widely and cause your espresso to cool too quickly. 

If you want sleek glass espresso cups from a well-known coffee machines and accessories manufacturer, De’Longhi Double Walled Thermo Espresso Glasses are the top choice. 

What to know before you buy an espresso cup

Cup volume

A standard shot of espresso is 1 to 1/25 ounces, while a double espresso is 2-2.25 ounces, so choose your cup size accordingly. Most espresso cups hold between 2-3 ounces, though occasionally, they’re slightly smaller or larger. A 2-ounce espresso cup will hold a single shot of espresso with room to spare or a double espresso that’s on the smaller end of the spectrum. If you routinely drink double espressos, it’s best to opt for a 2.5 to 3-ounce espresso cup, as this will comfortably fit a double shot of espresso, even if you pull it on the long side. 

Single cup vs. set

While it’s possible to buy espresso cups individually, they’re more commonly sold in sets. You’ll most often find them in sets of two to four cups, but you can also find larger sets that are ideal if you often serve coffee for a crown. The biggest sets are usually reserved for commercial enterprises, however. When you buy espresso cups in a set, this usually brings down the cost per cup, so unless you’re set on a mismatched look or you’re certain you don’t want more than one espresso cup, it makes sense to buy a set. 


Espresso cups are glass or ceramic, but metal is also an option. Picking the right material is key to choosing the best espresso mugs.

Glass and ceramic espresso cups are non-porous and non-reactive, so they won’t react with the coffee to change the flavor or hold into flavors or aromas from previous cups of espresso. On the other hand, metal can be reactive and impart a slight flavor into your espresso unless you’re sure to choose a non-reactive metal. 

Despite this potential flaw, metal espresso cups are extremely durable and won’t chip or break if dropped.  

If you’re still unsure which material to choose, pick whichever option you like the look of best. 

What to look for in a quality espresso cup

Color or pattern

You can find espresso cups in a wide range of solid colors, as well as prints or patterns, such as stripes or polka dots. It’s entirely down to the buyer to decide which colors they’d prefer. 


Most espresso cups have handles, but you can find some without. As long as the material is thick or insulated with a double-wall design, you won’t scald your hand on a handleless espresso cup. 


Some espresso cups come with saucers and, while they aren’t essential, they will catch any drips or spills. 

How much you can expect to spend on espresso cups

Inexpensive espresso cups cost less than $5 each, while high-end offerings from designer homeware brands can cost as much as $50 apiece. 

Espresso cup FAQ

Is there another name for an espresso cup? 

A. An espresso cup is sometimes called a demitasse. This means “half cup” in French, referring to the compact size of the vessel. Some people also call espresso cups “espresso mugs.”  

Can you use a regular shot glass for espresso? 

A. A standard shot glass holds 1.5 ounces, so you could, theoretically, use it for a single shot of espresso, but it isn’t necessarily recommended. Shot glasses hold cold or tepid liquids rather than hot ones, so they can experience thermal shock when filled with a hot liquid, causing them to crack or shatter. This potential danger aside, if you regularly drink espresso and have invested in an espresso machine, the relatively low cost of a set of espresso mugs is very much worth it to appreciate espresso at its best. 

What are the best espresso cups to buy?

Top espresso cup

De'Longhi Double Walled Thermo Espresso Glasses

De’Longhi Double Walled Thermo Espresso Glasses

What you need to know: These double-walled glass espresso cups hold exactly 2 fluid ounces. 

What you’ll love: Glass is totally non-porous and non-reactive, so you’ll get a pure hit of espresso. The double-walled design insulates espresso and makes these glasses condensation-free. Cleaning them is easy, as they’re dishwasher safe.  

What you should consider: If your double espressos are on the large side, they won’t fit in these cups. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top espresso cup for the money

Farnsworth & Lloyd Black Stainless Steel Double Wall Espresso Cups

Farnsworth & Lloyd Black Stainless Steel Double Wall Espresso Cups

What you need to know: These espresso cups offer excellent value for money, considering their size and durability.

What you’ll love: Made from non-reactive stainless steel, you don’t need to worry about them imparting flavor into your espresso. They have an extra-large 3.25-ounce capacity, so they can fit large double espressos with room to spare and even small triple espressos. 

What you should consider: Some espresso purists prefer to avoid metal cups. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Aozita Espresso Cups and Saucers

Aozita Espresso Cups and Saucers

What you need to know: These simple yet functional espresso cups have a 2.5-ounce capacity, ideal for double shots. 

What you’ll love: These espresso cups have a clean, classic look and come in a 12-piece set with four cups plus four saucers and espresso spoons. They’re dishwasher safe, microwave safe and even oven safe. 

What you should consider: They’re somewhat fragile, so be careful not to drop them in the sink if washing by hand. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.