The Italian coffee tradition over the centuries has become a system of rituals and behaviors about coffee and its most famous preparations: moka coffee, espresso and cappuccino.
THE PERFECT CUP FOR THE PERFECT ESPRESSO
A perfect authentic Italian espresso is served in a quality espresso cup with signature characteristics.
The espresso cup must be selected with care in order to fully enjoy a quality coffee experience.
The art of tasting involves all of one’s senses. While taste and smell are certainly the most important, attention must also be paid to sight and touch. To prevent them from playing their part would be a detriment to the espresso’s flavor and crema.
The shape of the cup and saucer must be elegant but not overly elaborate thus distracting and drawing attention away from the contents. Moreover, they must meet the technical requirements needed to ensure high performance in terms of coffee resistance and yield.
A more technical aspect: the shape of the cup must be designed to exalt the flavor, aroma and appearance of the espresso. The best shape is the truncated-conical one which helps achieve a more compact and long-lasting foam allowing a better release of the aromas. To keep the crema intact and preserve its compactness and color longer, the bottom of the cup must have the classic “egg-shape”.
Absolutely avoid cups with a rim diameter too large and cups squared on the inside.
The most suitable color for the inside of the cup is the bright and glossy white of the hard feldspathic porcelain since it easily facilitates visual assessment of the strong color contrast of the espresso crema.
It’s essential to avoid cups that are dark on the inside.
The handle must be easy to grip with two fingers thus preventing the middle finger from coming into direct contact with the body of the cup which could feel uncomfortably hot at a temperature of 40-50°C.
The edge of the cup must be free of any chips and signs of wear since it has to impart a sensation of perfect cleanliness and offer a comfortable point of contact for the lips.
The thickness of the cup regulates the temperature of the espresso by lowering it slightly at the outset and then maintaining it throughout the degustation. The lower part of the cup must be thick to better preserve heat while the upper part should be slightly thinner in order to make sipping comfortable for the lips.
The cup must be dry and hot, at a temperature of around 40°C before the coffee is poured, to maintain the espresso’s cohesion, temperature, and crema color.
The ideal cup capacity is 65-70cc to contain 20-25cc of espresso coffee.
The best material for a professional cup is hard, feldspathic porcelain fired at a temperature of around 1400°C. Given its characteristics, this material can guarantee remarkable resistance to wear including thermal shock, impact and scratches while maintaining its long lasting brilliance. Additionally, superb conduction and conservation of heat, as well as being hygienically friendly are a few more qualities of this idea vessel.
Hey barista, don’t forget the ease of use!
The essential qualities of the espresso cup for the professional market are ease-of-use for the barista and sturdiness through frequent washings.
Besides the high quality material like hard feldspathic porcelain, there are some important details to consider regarding the shape of both cup and saucer (which is an integral part).
- The handle must be easy to grip and hold.
- Thickness and shape must be consistent and compact to ensure sturdiness and durability.
- The cup must fit firmly into the indentation of the saucer, facilitating preparation and serving of the espresso.
- The upper edge of the cup and the outer rim of the saucer must be slightly rounded to increase resistance and limit chipping and flaking.
- The structure must be able to be correctly stacked.
The eco-sustainability of the cup
Porcelain production requires a firing temperature of 1400°C and it’s destined to remain, in the near future, based on an extensive use of fossil fuels.
Due to continuous use, professionals choose this top quality product which limits pollution and environmental impact thanks to its increased strength and long-lasting qualities therefore decreasing replacement rate.