Best espresso cups 2024 – chic sets selected by a barista

A good espresso cup is a coffee station essential.

Two espresso cups being filled with shots of espresso
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best espresso cups complete your coffee ritual. These miniature mugs are often overlooked, but if you like to drink your coffees in intense, rich shots, you'll want to make the investment.

When you order an espresso in a café, they will always serve you an espresso in an espresso cup. This is because the crema can sit higher up, filling up your cup, rather than sitting sadly at the bottom of a latte mug. The same should apply at home.

If you already own one of the best espresso machines on the market and you're designing your own coffee station in your kitchen, you'll want to invest in some of these useful little mugs (as well as some good cappuccino cups too). Depending on your décor, you might opt for a stainless steel set, a stackable design, or a well-insulated glass cup.

As a barista, I've handled a range of espresso cups, full of thousands of espressos. For me, it's important to see the espresso and to keep it warm, but it's always helpful if the espresso cup looks good too.

Best Espresso Cups


What is the best material for an espresso cup?

I would recommend looking for cups which will insulate your espresso, so that it doesn't cool too quickly. For that reason, ceramic and glass are two of the best materials, especially if the glass is double-walled. However, porcelain, bamboo, and stainless steel all have their own merits.

What size cup is best for espresso?

An espresso is typically 1 oz, whilst a double shot is 2 oz. If you'll want to add sugar or a splash of milk to your espresso shot, you will want a cup which is at least 2 oz, ideally 3 oz.

What is the best color for espresso cups?

It doesn't matter about the exterior, but white or clear cups tend to be best suited to coffee connoisseurs. This is because the bright, glossy white or clear walls allow you to check the color of your coffee in contrast to the crema. This tends to be the best indicator of how flavorful your coffee will be.

Are glass espresso cups good?

If they are double-walled, glass cups are an excellent option. They'll allow you to check the color of your espresso as well as keeping your coffee warm too. However, you'll have to work hard to keep them clean, and if they aren't double-walled they'll quickly lose temperature. 

Final Thoughts

An espresso cup on a wooden table

(Image credit: Getty Images)

You can't underestimate how pleasing espresso cups are to drink from. Making espressos in one of the best coffee makers and serving up your morning shot of coffee in one of these luxury cups is the final flourish you need if you're designing your own home coffee station.

I use the De'Longhi cups, because they're excellent insulators and easy to clean. However, seeing the style statements offered by some of these bamboo and porcelain cups, I might need to start creating a new collection. Whether you're sipping alone or sharing with a crowd, these cups will add the final flourish to your coffee mornings.

How We Test

Normally, at Homes & Gardens we test everything before we recommend them to you. However, in this instance, I wasn't able to test every single cup. In an absence of hands-on experience, I researched a range of customer and expert reviews to find out how easy these cups are to hold, how well they keep your coffee warm, and how nice they are to look at. I also use the De'Longhi cups already, so I can personally vouch for them. If you would like to know more about how we test you can visit our dedicated page.

Laura Honey
eCommerce Editor

Laura is our eCommerce editor. As a fully qualified barista, she's our expert in all things coffee and has tested over thirty of the best coffee makers on the market. She has also interviewed Q-Graders and world-leading experts in the coffee industry, so has an intimate knowledge of all things coffee. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she studied English at Oxford University. Whilst studying, she trained as a master perfumer and worked in the luxury fragrance industry for five years. Her collection of home fragrance is extensive and she's met and interviewed five of the world's finest perfumers (also known as 'noses'). As a result of this expansive fragrance knowledge, she always puts quality and style over quantity and fads. Laura looks for products which have been designed simply and with thoughtful finishes.