Demitasse Cup - What Is It [Detailed]

Demitasse Cup – What Is It? [Detailed]

I get a lot of questions about the famous demitasse cup that is used for espresso shots. This article is in dedication to the questions that I have received via our contact form and as comments on our social media pages.

Keep reading as we detail these rather cute diminutive coffee cups and answer all your questions about them!

What Is A Demitasse Cup?

A demitasse cup is the tiny cute coffee cup that coffee shops and coffee houses use to serve a shot of espresso. They usually come in a cup and saucer set and are only around two inches tall and hold 2 or 3 ounces (60 ml to 90 ml) capacity.

The reason behind their smaller size and narrow brim is to help maintain the presence of the crema on top. If the cup was larger and wider brimmed the crema would dissipate quicker and be lost.

Most are of a modern design and made using white porcelain or ceramic. The best more stand out modern demitasse cups have transparent double walls with an insulating vacuum between the two glass walls. These look great as you can see the whole shot.

What Is A Demitasse Cup
A Demitasse Cup

Read: Vintage espresso cups

Demitasse Cup Size And Dimensions

The standard size of demitasse espresso cups saucers is from 2 to 2.5 inches tall with the saucer having a diameter of 4 to 4.5 inches in diameter.

The standard capacity which is most commonly seen in your local coffee shop is 2 ounces or 3 ounces in capacity (60 ml to 90 ml) but it is not uncommon to see as much as 4 ounces.

The tiny spoons that you see with me are demitasse spoons. A regular teaspoon is too big, a smaller more appropriate sized spoon is needed.

Demitasse Cup Size And Dimensions
A Demitasse Cup, Saucer and teaspoon

What Coffee Can You Make In A Demitasse Cup?

No matter where you are in this world the most commonly served coffee in a demitasse cup is an espresso. Perhaps in Turkey, Turkish coffee is more popular. I have seen Demitasse cups used in Belgium and Switzerland to serve hot chocolate.

Predominantly you will see this type of cup used to serve highly concentrated coffee drinks like Greek coffee, doppio, ristretto and lungo. The typical coffee bean used to make the coffee that goes in a demitasse cup is a French roast.

Where Can You Buy A Demitasse Cup?

You can buy demitasse cups everywhere. It is much easier to buy them online as you have a much better range of options and choices and with high resolution images you can see exactly what you are getting. Remember to look for the details regarding dimensions and size, so you are not surprised if they look too small when they arrive.

Amazon, Walmart, Target, eBay are all great outlets where you can and will find them, as is Bed, Bath and Beyond. You can of course find them in your regular brick and mortar stores but your choice is limited to what that particular store has available.

Frequently Asked Questions About Demitasse Cup

A demitasse cup is the standard coffee cup that you see shots of espresso poured into. Usually they only hold 2 ounces (60 ml) some hold as much as 3 and 4 ounces. They can be used to make espresso shots, ristretto, lungo, and Turkish coffee and other such small drinks including mochas, macchiatos and cortados.

What Does Demitasse Mean In English?

Demitasse is a French word that means half-cup in English. Demi (half) Tasse – cup. It is used to serve the world’s most famous small black coffee – a shot of espresso.

Why Are Espresso Cups So Small?

Espresso cups are so small because the drink itself is very small at only 1 ounce (30 ml) for a single shot and 60 ml (2 ounces) for a double shot. The size is very intentionally narrow to help maintain and hold the rich thick crema on top. If an espresso cup was wide brimmed the creama would spread over a greater area and be lost.

What’s The Point Of A Saucer?

The point of a saucer is to protect table and counter surfaces from damage caused by the heat transfer of a hot cup of coffee or tea. It also serves to protect table clothes from the stains from the drinks that are in the cups. I’ll also add that if you hold your cup and saucer properly, while sitting you will save your trousers, dress, skirt or other clothing from stains.

Predominantly speaking a shot or double shot of espresso is served in a demitasse cup. They can also be used for similar coffee drinks like a ristretto, double ristretto, and a lungo. Larger 4 ounce demitasse cups can be used to serve cortados, Turkish coffee and other such drinks but this is uncommon and are usually served in different coffee cups.

 Final Thoughts, Frappé-Ing It All Up – Demitasse Cup

If you have read this far you know all you need to about demitasse cups, where to get them, why they are the size they are and what drinks they are best suited for.

If you have any more questions – please do ask as we are very delighted to answer them!

Coffee is love, it's more than love — it's a passion of mine. I've had the luck to have travelled and enjoyed the most exotic of coffee's and unique flavors, brewing methods and techniques of making the perfect coffee from Thai hill tribe coffee to Indonesian volcanic coffee, Malaysian coffee that comes in a tea bag and the array of flavors in Vietnam, from Vanilla to Orange to Coconut to Avocado to even salt coffee and the famous egg coffee. The best part of my coffee adventures is getting to mix with the locals over a nice brew and learning how they make it! I'm cited and referenced on Google Scholar for the topic of coffee.

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