Demitasse Cup - What Is It [Detailed]

Demitasse Cup – What Is It? [Detailed]

Last updated on October 26th, 2023 at 15:25

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 and most 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) and 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.

Is Demitasse Cup Same As Espresso Cup?

Yes, a demitasse cup, which the name is derived from Demi meaning half and tasse meaning cup in the French language is the same as an espresso cup. It’s the name given for an espresso cup.

What Is The Difference Between A Teacup And A Demitasse Cup?

A demitasse cup is half the size of a standard regular cup, which is why and where the name came from with the meaning demitasse literally meaning half cup in French. The difference between a demitasse cup and a tea cup is the size; it is much smaller. 

What Is The Difference Between Espresso And Demitasse?

There is no difference between an espresso and demitasse because they are the one and same thing. 

Frappé-Ing It All Up – Demitasse Cup

If you have read this far you know all you need to about the demitasse cup, 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!

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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