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Coffee Cup size

A friend and I have been discussing the size of coffee cups we had at cafes in France. (Yes, conversations during Covid times are strange.) We both realized they were much smaller in France than in the U.S.

Does anyone know the exact size (ounces or millileters) that seem to be standard? (Don't just guess.) (I'm not talking the bowls you might get for breakfast.)

Posted by
33310 posts

yes, you are right. No I don't know the ml. I could guess but you don't want guesses.

Posted by
6652 posts

I don't know about France, but 125 ml and 150 ml are common coffee cup sizes in many European countries. So I presume the French cups are similar.

Posted by
5837 posts

The Hotel Alpina Klosters in Switzerland's breakfast room had a high tech espresso machine. It ground the coffee beans, heated the water and dispensed the brew into the cup appropriate to the coffee drink selected. The appropriate cups were sized from small espresso cups to tall coffee drink cups. The machine could detect the cup size and would brew the drink inappropriate to the cup size.

Here are a few of the most commonly used coffee serving vessels.

Demitasse- This small cup ranges from 70ml to 90ml (2-3 ounces) and is
used for serving single and double shots of espresso as well as
macchiatos. There are countless different demitasses for sale but some
of my favorites are from Acme & Co.

Small tumbler glass- These small glasses range from 90ml to 150ml (3-5
ounces). According to Cortado Glass 4.5 ounces is the perfect size.

Cappuccino cup- The cappuccino cup is around 200ml (7 ounces) though
it can vary some. It is the utility player of the coffee drinkware
world. There are lots of great cap cups but I am kind of partial to
the Lino ones by notNeutral.

The Mug- Mugs range in size so much it is difficult to put a hard
number on them. Luckily we all know what a mug is (if you need some
inspiration, check out the Mugshots page).

Latte cup- A latte cup ranges from 240ml up to 360ml (8-12 ounces).
There are also notNeutral latte cups (small and large).

Coffee Shop Espresso Drinks ....drinks from a general United States
coffee shop perspective. Every country, region and even shop has a
different way of doing things.

Latte (8-12 ounces)

Americano (6 ounces), Flat White(6 ounces), Cappuccino (6 ounces),
Flat White(6 ounces), Mocha (6 ounces)

Affogato (4-5 ounces), Breve(4 ounces)

Cortado (2 ounces). Doppio (2 ounces)

Single Espresso (1 ounce)

Posted by
7626 posts

So it seems that perhaps the only thing that’s standard is the vast range of French cups being smaller than the vast range of American cup sizes?

Posted by
33310 posts

yes, but no. The vast list above from that fancy place in Switzerland is mostly Italian coffees, and modifications to them.

Until the Italian machine invasion worldwide, my memory of French coffee is quite simple - a bowl at breakfast, then a small cup for afternoon and evening and demi-tasse after evening dinner. No other choices.

I say this as an owner of an all singing all dancing Melitta fully automatic bean-to-cup machine (my third such in 20 years, each more technically advanced than the previous) and my attitude is that the cup must fit the brew. To achieve that I have a variety of glass and ceramic cups of various sizes and shapes. I serve all of the coffees on the long list (not the alcoholic ones) (or did before the plague, now it is just my wife and me, but that too shall pass) and try to do it properly.

But traditionally that wouldn't have been the case in France. Now with the machines you can have whatever you are willing to pay for...

Posted by
427 posts

Comptoirs Richard is a common restaurant coffee supplier and their cup sizes are about the same as noted above by Edgar.

Espresso/expresso : generally 8 cL (though one "slim" one was 6 cL) -- these would be the standard "café" after lunch or dinner

Cappuccino : 15 or 20 cL

Moka : 9 cL

Larger cups for various purposes might be 22 to 35 cL

Another common coffee you'll come across in France is Italian: Segafredo. Their standard espresso cup is 6 cL, the same as Richard's slim model.

Posted by
31 posts

Standard cups would be the ones on Comptoir Richard (very widespread in Paris, one of the main providers for cups, sugar etc...)
I would say the expresso size, and the cappuccino size (used for café au lait, or hot chocolate too) are the too basic ones you will find.