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Coffee Tastes Better In A Certain Kind of Cup

Updated on August 2, 2012
It makes a difference where you shop, where you live and what kind of cup you drink your coffee from.
It makes a difference where you shop, where you live and what kind of cup you drink your coffee from.

What Kind of Cup You Have Does Matter

You can say that it makes no difference what kind of cup you drink your coffee from in the same way you can say that the Eiffel tower is just a tower or that the Venus de Milo is just another broken statue. There is a difference in what kind of cup you use for your coffee. It does make a difference what kind of coffee you drink and it also makes a difference what kind of cup you use.

In my thinking, coffee definitely tastes better in a certain kind of cup. I have cups that I prefer over others. Amid the array of cups at home, there are some cups that I prefer my coffee in over the others. I not only prefer certain cups for my coffee, I often reserve those cups for myself. When others use ‘my’ cup, there is a slight feeling of violation. Even though I tell myself that a cup is just a cup, when a visitor chooses my preferred cup for their coffee, I experience a cringing. It is not a matter that my cup was blessed or anointed, it just feels special to me. When others use my cup, they do not have the same regard for the specialness of my cup.

There are some coffee drinkers that do not seem to care what kind of cup they use for their beverage. To me, it matters. I prefer ceramic above all the others. When I am served coffee in a cup made of glass, paper or some other substance, it does not taste the same. When given a preference of which cup to use, the ceramic ones call my name.

Although I have not researched it, I suspect that the shape of the cup may have some bearing on the taste as well. I know with beer and wine, the shape of the glass influences the taste. In Belgium, great importance is placed on which glass the beer is served in along with how it is presented to person who ordered it. I know coffee is a different beverage, yet I suspect that there are differences in the aroma, ability to retain heat and presentation as well. I know that when Illy ships their coffee beans, they take great care in how they are shipped so as not to lessen their flavor or freshness. When it makes a great difference as to how there are shipped, it only seems natural to me that it makes a difference as to the cup the beverage is served in. Whether or not there are scientific reasons behind remains to be found. I also like how the Italian baristas use the tops of the espresso machines to warm the cups. Why warm the cups if the cup makes no difference? If warming the cups makes a difference, then surely the shape, size and material with which the cup is made make a difference as well.

The shapes I avoid are the tall thin cups, along with oversize ones that look like miniature swimming pools. Since I prefer the ceramic cups, I had to search for a long time in order to find a ceramic travel cup. Although it is taller than I prefer, the ceramic construction makes it my #1 choice in travel coffee cups. The aluminum always left a metallic taste in the coffee, which turned me off. I ended up turning down many cups of coffee due to not having a decent travel cup.

Observing the pros can teach you a lot about what works and what are the best performing products. That is true with sports along with coffee. When I visit nice coffee houses I notice what machines they use, along with the cups they serve their coffee in. I have not seen many coffee houses that serve their product in glass cups. Neither have I seen many that serve coffee in cheap ceramic, porcelain covered tin or aluminum. They use quality ceramic cups. That tells me something. It tells me that coffee does taste better in certain cups. They could use cheaper cups, but people would not enjoy the coffee as much. Cups do matter when it comes to coffee.

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    • Sue St. Clair profile imageAUTHOR

      Sue St. Clair 

      6 years ago from I would rather be in Paris

      Baklava! That sounds splendid. I often enjoy sweets with coffee. I can only imagine how it pairs with strong Turkish coffee. Great idea.

    • Rod Marsden profile image

      Rod Marsden 

      6 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

      When you are working behind a computer and you go for a coffee you tend to drag out the drinking of the coffee as you are working on your computer. So I can understand where the French are coming from. Maybe the huge cups are also a way of advertising the cafe. Plenty of room for an ad on one of those cups.

      Turkish coffee is very strong. Maybe someone else could gulp it down in a hurry and get a huge rush of energy but not I. Personally, I like it with baklava. This is a dessert made with either sugar syrup or honey syrup. I prefer it made with honey syrup.

    • Sue St. Clair profile imageAUTHOR

      Sue St. Clair 

      6 years ago from I would rather be in Paris

      Rod,

      Thank you for your comments. Perhaps my comment about the French was too broad. I know from my time in Paris, that the Parisians who want to sit at the sidewalk cafe's often linger over their coffee and stretch that one cup out as long as they can. When you purchase a coffee, it is akin to paying rent for the chair. Since they want to sit and either talk or people watch, they drag it out.

      Likewise when I went to Italy, I frequented the espresso bars. With routine regularity, the Italian locals preferred drinking (or should I say, gulping) their espresso standing up. I have yet to experience Turkey, so I can not comment on that.

    • Rod Marsden profile image

      Rod Marsden 

      6 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

      Maybe you are right but I don't feel that explains breakfast. I don't know of anyone, including the French, who lingers over any part of breakfast including the coffee. I can understand the Turkish coffee cup being really small because Turkish coffee is really powerful. If French coffee is very weak then I don't see the point of drinking it. Me? I meet the Turks half way and mostly drink espresso but not standing up.

    • Sue St. Clair profile imageAUTHOR

      Sue St. Clair 

      6 years ago from I would rather be in Paris

      Rod,

      Thank you for the intriguing question. I do not know the reason for this. My best guess is that the French enjoy their coffee. While the Italians like the quickly served espresso, which they often drink standing up, the French often prefer to take their time lingering over their coffee.

    • Rod Marsden profile image

      Rod Marsden 

      6 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

      In French films you see French people drinking out of these HUGE coffee cups the size of cereal bowls. What's that all about? Wouldn't your coffee get colder faster in such a large container? I really don't understand. I know you don't have a preference for these HUGE coffee cups but do you know anything about how they came about and why?

    • Sue St. Clair profile imageAUTHOR

      Sue St. Clair 

      6 years ago from I would rather be in Paris

      rutley,

      I am glad to hear from you. It is not your imagination. Coffee tastes better in your own cup. :)

    • rutley profile image

      rutley 

      6 years ago from South Jersey

      I agree....and now I know it's not my imagination. Voted up and thanks!

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