Average coffee cup size

Do You Know the Average Cup Size (for Your Favorite Coffee)?

Does a coffee cup come in a standard size? You may think so but what is standard when measurements are different? The better question to ask would be what is the standard coffee cup size.

Coffee cup sizes vary depending on the coffee you’re drinking. Espresso cups are way smaller than a cup of cappuccino. How about your favorite latte served in an oversized cup? And, if you’re living in the United States, you talk in ounces. While the rest of the world (besides Liberia and Myanmar) refers to milliliters.

 

coffee cups on table

 

And, what about your favorite takeout coffee? Takeout cups have different sizes. When you order a large cappuccino, what size cup does it come in?

If you’re wondering what’s the fuss is, let me tell you size matters when you’re drinking your favorite brew. Espresso served in a travel mug would not cut it (and you’ll be jittery for the rest of the day!).

What is The Standard Coffee Cup Size?

The abbreviation for ounces is oz while for milliliters it’s ml. How many oz is a cup depends on where you live.

Americans go with 8 fluid oz with a standard coffee cup being 4 fluid oz (118 ml). In countries falling under the Commonwealth of Nations, a standard cup measures 250 ml. but their coffee cup is 150 ml. If you’re drinking coffee in Japan expect your average cup size to be 200 ml or 6.76 US fluid ozs.

As you can see, standard coffee cup sizes vary. If you’re wondering how many oz in a cup. Well, that depends on the size of the cup or mug. And, yes, coffee mug sizes vary from the standard cup.

And, if you hear mention of imperial units, don’t get confused. Also known as the British Imperial System, all measurements were based on this system from 1824. This changed over when the metric system was introduced in 1965. However, America still refers to the Imperial Measurement System.

I’ll be referring to ounces and milliliters as I take you through the different coffee cup sizes.

1.Espresso

 

espresso coffee

 

Also known as demitasse cups, these small white cups are widely used throughout the world. Demitasse is defined as a small cup of black coffee (or half cup). They hold between 2 oz to 3 oz of coffee or in milliliter terms, 60 ml to 90 ml.

Espresso is a strong, full-bodied brew. Served in demitasse cups, normally after dinner, the average cup size is around 2,5 inches. The accompanying saucer is about 5 inches across.

2.Latte

 

latte

 

A classic latte can be served in a cup holding between 6 to 9 ounces with the most common standard size being 8 oz. But, most baristas prefer to use cups ranging from 12 oz to 15 oz. This gives them the scope to be creative with latte art.

The larger cup is designed to make pouring of the steamed milk easier and designing fancy pictures synonymous with your favorite latte.

3.Cappuccino

 

cappuccino

 

Most baristas will vote for a 6 oz size coffee cup for cappuccinos. The brim should be wide, narrowing down to the bottom, to give you a good cappuccino. A cappuccino cup is larger than the espresso cup but traditionally, smaller than a latte cup.

A true cappuccino differs from the latte based on the milk to foam ratio. It should be heavier than the foam of the latte. Coffee enthusiasts prefer to have cappuccino served in the smaller 6 oz cup to the larger 8 oz cup typical of a classic latte.

4.Turkish

 

Turkish coffee cups

 

These coffee cups are known as “fincan” and are used to serve strongly brewed coffee in small quantities. Another important fact about serving Turkish coffee is keeping it piping hot. So, while often served in an espresso cup, the fincan is designed to keep the coffee at high temperatures.

The average Turkish coffee cup size is 2 oz to 2.5 oz or 60ml to 75 ml. Anything bigger will lose the authenticity of drinking a pure cup of Turkish coffee. The fincan come in 2 styles – one with handles and the other without handles.

Coffee Mugs

A typical coffee mug will hold 3 oz compared to an average size mug holding up to 10 oz. Coffee connoisseurs may turn their noses up to the coffee mug. But if you’re looking to have a regular caffeine fix, a mug works perfectly.

Coffee drinkers will even go up to 15 oz depending on their need for coffee. Drip coffee tastes good as does your French Press brew in a mug.

Coffee mugs don’t only come in all sizes but they vary in shapes and designs. They’re used in informal settings and made from stoneware, porcelain, earthenware, or bone china. Most times they’re thicker than the standard coffee cup.

Coffee mugs are convenient and save the hassle of balancing a cup on a saucer.

Oversized Cups

The oversized cup is often used for serving lattes. And, for coffee drinkers who can’t get enough of their favorite brew! The cup size can range between 20 to 25 ounces (590 ml to 710 ml). The brim is wider, bowl-shaped, and often doesn’t include a saucer.

Travel Mugs

The travel mug is designed for coffee (and other beverages) drinkers on the go. They’re insulated to keep your brew warm – a great way to drink your first cup of coffee on your commute to work. And, they include a lid to prevent coffee from spilling.

The travel mug can take up to 20 oz of beverage and are perfect for pour-over and filtered coffee.

Takeout Coffee

It wouldn’t be right to not include the sizes of takeout cups. Most times when you order your favorite coffee takeout you’ll be asked “Large, medium or small, sir?”. But what exactly do the different sizes equate to? Well, it does depend on the coffee brand you’re buying.

A large takeout normally equates to 20 oz, the medium is 16 oz and the small is 12 oz. You can choose between black coffee, white coffee, or cappuccino (if your local branch serves it). Some takeout brands will give you the 8 oz option.

 

 

Why Coffee Cup Size Matters

Different brews simply taste better in different size cups. Espresso coffee is heavy-bodied, served without milk, and sipped for its concentrated flavor. The smaller cup serves to enhance the espresso-drinking experience.

The milk to coffee ratio determines the cup sizes for cappuccinos and lattes. Baristas prefer to use larger cups for lattes especially when latte art is required. Cappuccinos taste better in a 6 oz or 8 oz coffee cup.

The standard coffee cup sizes range from 8 oz to 10 oz and are ideal for drip coffee.

Another reason why size is important is brewing the correct quantity. You’ll need to balance the ratio of coffee to water to get the best strength for your cup or mug. Use too little coffee and your brew in a mug will be weak and disappointing.

Coffee TypeCup Size - OuncesCup Size - Mililiters
Drip coffee / filter coffee / pour over coffee8 oz – 10 oz240 ml – 300 ml
Espresso2 oz – 3 oz60 ml – 90 ml
Latte -classic 6 oz – 9 oz90 ml – 180 ml
Latte - oversized12 oz – 15 oz360 ml – 450 ml
Cappuccino6 oz180 ml
Turkish2 oz – 2.5 oz60 ml – 75 ml

Plastic vs Ceramic vs Stainless Steel

Picking the right cup for your favorite brew is not only dependent on size. The material used has an impact on the taste. To help you choose, I’ve listed some points to consider:

  • Ceramic keeps flavors neutral by not absorbing flavors or aromas. This means you won’t have other flavors mingling with your brew. They’re also more durable and longer-lasting if not dropped.
  • Stainless steel mugs are insulated and used most often as travel mugs. They don’t affect the flavor and keep your coffee hot for a long time.
  • Plastic cups or mugs are your last resort and not to be used often. They absorb flavors so you’ll eventually end up with a brew tainted with other flavors. Plastic is not eco-friendly so stay away from plastic if you can.

FAQs

How big is a 12 oz coffee cup?

A 12 oz coffee cup is equivalent to approximately 360 ml.

Is a standard cup size 8 oz and how much coffee can it take?

An 8 oz coffee cup is the standard size for most coffees and cappuccinos. What must be noted though, it takes 6 oz of coffee to avoid overfilling the cup.

What’s the difference between a legal cup and a customary cup?

The legal cup and customary cup measurements are used in America to measure volume. So don’t confuse them with the drinking cup measurements. A legal cup measures 240 ml or 8.12 fluid ounces while the customary cup measures 236.5882365 ml (to be precise) is 8 fluid ounces.

A Final Word

Coffee cup sizes make a world of difference to the coffee brew you’re drinking. Standard coffee cup sizes vary and being aware of this helps you to choose the best cup for your favorite coffee drink. Drinking Turkish coffee in a 2 oz fincan tastes a whole lot different to drinking it in a coffee mug of 10 oz. Sizes do matter when you want to enjoy your favorite brew.