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Does it make any diference to you what you drink espresso out of? Thin wall, thick wall cup? Material? Are these aesthetic differences that don't effect the taste of the coffee?

I tend to prefer plain white, but I found some Tognana cups -- porcelein, colorful designs. Anyone familiar with them? Good, bad, indifferent?

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It absolutely does make a difference, but there is room for quite a bit of variability. You want a cup that is right around 2 ounces, assuming a one ounce shot but leaving room for a double ristretto at around 1.5 ounces if you prefer. The cup should have thick walls that will retain heat when the cup is preheated (a cold cup can substantially lower the temperature of a shot).

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It absolutely does make a difference, but there is room for quite a bit of variability.  You want a cup that is right around 2 ounces, assuming a one ounce shot but leaving room for a double ristretto at around 1.5 ounces if you prefer.  The cup should have thick walls that will retain heat when the cup is preheated (a cold cup can substantially lower the temperature of a shot).

As usual... Sam is right on the money. When I was new to espresso and capuccino in the home setting, I zipped right over to Ikea and picked up some of their 365 series espresso cups w/saucers and also some 8 oz cappa cups to match. These are beautifully shaped cups from an aesthetic standpoint but a thin-walled construction. There simlpy isn't enough thermal mass to retain much heat even when one preheats them with hot water. The espresso shots immediately lose some heat that is drawn off by the thin walls of the cup. The situation is compounded, when consuming cappa's, as they are sipped (usually) and take longer to consume.

Awhile back I bought a pair each of some pricey Inox cappa and latte cups - the double walled 18/10 stainless steel type. They're also available for espresso in a 2 oz size. They do a great job of retaining the heat but more recently, having moved into a house from a small apartment, I snagged a deal on a dozen Illy bar cups of the 6 oz cappa variety, figuring I'd need them for entertaining.

i4379.jpg

These things are great - thick walled, hold the heat really well, have an ideal shape and the saucer sort of swoops up toward the center in pedestal fashion, where a circular indentation holds the cup My stainless steel cups are gathering dust now - I use the Illy cups every day.

The exact same cup is available in espresso size for about $55 per dozen cup/saucer sets.

Illy Cups at Chris Coffee

Scroll down to se the "Illy logo" cups - the other cups on the page are the "art" collection and command a huge premium because they are numbered editions that have a collectible value. Apparently the finish on the "art" cups is typically a higher grade of porcelain finish than the bar cups (aka "logo" cups) but my bar cups are great - good glossy finish and no flaws that I've ever seen.

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Thanks. The Tognana two ounce espresspo cups are 1/8" think and a plain white one is 3/16 (+ a hair)". How do those compare to what you consider to be thick enough? I have seen some Jura cups much thinner.

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