How Big are Espresso Cups? A Quick Answer

I’ve been a fan of espresso for a long time, and one of the most common questions I’m asked is “how big are espresso cups?” It’s an easy question to answer, but it’s also important to understand why the right cup size matters in the world of espresso.

When it comes to coffee culture, size really does matter. Knowing what size cup to use when brewing or serving coffee can have a huge impact on the flavour and aroma of your espresso. After all, choosing the right cup ensures you’ll get the best experience out of every sip.

How big are espresso cups?

Espresso cups come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 2 to 4 ounces. The most common size for espresso cups is 2 ounces, although many espresso drinkers prefer larger cups, such as 3 or 4 ounces. The size of the cup can affect the flavour of the espresso, as larger cups allow for more espresso to be brewed, which can provide a stronger, more intense flavour.

As an espresso enthusiast, I’m often asked how big are espresso cups. The size of an espresso cup can vary based on the brewing method you’re using, the beans you’re grinding, and the equipment at your disposal.

For instance, when I make espresso in an Italian Moka pot (or “stovetop espresso maker”) each serving comes out to roughly 2 ounces. That’s about the same as two shots of liquor or one shot glass full of coffee. Of course, if you were to order a single shot of espresso from your local coffee shop, it would come out to be an ounce or even less — depending on how they measure their shots.

When I have an espresso using my lever machine with ground coffee and a pressurized portafilter basket at home, I usually get 3 – 4 fluid ounces per shot.

The Basics of Espresso Cup Sizes

When it comes to espresso cups, size matters! Brewing the perfect espresso is all about the grind of the beans, the amount of water and, yes, the size of your cup.

In general, espresso cups are much smaller than your traditional coffee mug. Since espresso is known for its intense flavour and condensed form, a 3-ounce cup may be just the right size for your perfect shot.

Depending on where you get your espresso from or if you’re brewing it at home, you may find that espresso cups come in a variety of sizes. The standard size is typically 2 – ounces or 60 millilitres but some can range from 2 ounces to 4 ounces and more.

So whether you’re in a coffee shop or making it at home, don’t forget to take into account how much liquid your espresso cup can contain! Knowing this important detail will help guide your brew ritual and help you make sure that each shot of espresso is just right.

What are the Various Espresso Cup Sizes?

Given how popular and widely available espresso is, it’s not surprising that there are lots of different types of cups to choose from. Each size has its own advantages, so let’s break down the most common ones.

Standard Espresso Cups:

These little cups typically hold between 2 to 4 ounces (60 – 120 ml) of liquid. This is smaller than the coffee cups you’re probably used to, but it’s actually the ideal size for most espresso drinks because they’re concentrated and intense.

Drinking espresso out of a standard cup allows you to enjoy all the delicate flavours, aromas and textures they have to offer.

Cappuccino Cups:

Cappuccino cups are a bit larger than standard espresso cups — usually 5 to 6 ounces (150-180 ml). That difference in size doesn’t make all that much of a difference flavour-wise, but it does give you more room for milk foam and other toppings.

Plus, it gives you more time to savour your drink and appreciate its flavour nuances as it cools off.

Demitasse Cups:

Demitasse literally translates to “half cup,” since this size falls in between standard espresso and cappuccino cups. They usually hold about 2 or 3 ounces (60 – 90 ml) of liquid.

Plus, their handleless design gives them a classic aesthetic that adds a certain charm to any coffee experience.

How to Choose the Right Size Espresso Cup?

When it comes to choosing the right espresso cup for you, there are a few things to consider. Here, I’ll quickly break down what size you should be looking at and why.

The Bigger the Better:

As a general rule of thumb, go with the largest option available. The more volume you have in your cup, the more espresso you can enjoy — and that’s the goal! Additionally, many coffee shops have ceramic and glass mugs that allow you to show off the beautiful colours of your espresso while still having enough space for milk or foam if desired.

How Much Can I Fit?

Espresso cups come in all shapes and sizes, with most standard varieties ranging from 2-4 ounces in capacity. If you’re stuck with something smaller like a demitasse, you may want to consider getting two shots since these cups usually hold 1-2 ounces of liquid at best.

What Do I Need?

At the end of the day, it all depends on how much espresso you drink and your personal preference. If everyday caffeine consumption is on your agenda then opt for something bigger and possibly even mix and match several sizes until you find one that works best for you!


So, to answer the question, “how big are espresso cups?”, they vary widely in size.

Some can hold up to 12 ounces, while others can be as small as three ounces. They come in all shapes and sizes which can be confusing, but the right cup can help to enhance the flavour of your espresso and make it the perfect pick-me-up.

With so many choices out there, it’s easy to find the perfect size espresso cup for your needs. So, grab your favourite cup and enjoy the perfect espresso experience!