While there is a lot of information out there about coffee and the different coffee accessories and products that you can use to get an even better experience when consuming this popular daily beverage, we often forget about the one crucially important object that you’ll need to hold this drink – the coffee cup. Compared to the rest of the world, the US is known for having cup sizes that are larger than life. One of the main things that tourists will talk about when visiting the US is the cup sizes that are bigger than anything that they have ever seen before. But, when it comes to coffee, is there more of a global standard in terms of what is a standard cup size?
What Size is a Standard Coffee Cup?
It’s important to bear in mind that the cup isn’t recognized globally as a standard unit of measurement in all countries, which can make it challenging to make a simple cup of coffee. And there’s even more of a test when you consider the different coffee sizes, mug sizes, cup sizes, and travel mugs that are now available.
Imperial vs. Metric
One of the main things that makes it so difficult to just have a standard cup of coffee is that the US is just one of only three countries in the world that use the imperial system, such as tablespoons, ounces, and cups. The other two countries that use the imperial system are Liberia and Myanmar. While the UK does use the imperial system for certain things, the measurements there tend to be a combination of both imperial and metric, depending on what’s being measured, which can get confusing for anybody who isn’t used to it. For example, while a bottle of soda might be measured in liters, fresh milk is measured in pints. However, the rest of the world uses the metric system, such as milliliters, kilometers, etc. This matters because the countries that use the metric system argue that the standard cup size for coffee is around 250ml, or 8.45oz. But in the US, 8oz is considered to be a standard cup of coffee. And if that wasn’t complicated enough, Japan decided to come up with its own standard size for a cup of coffee, at just 200ml or 6.78oz. So, when it comes to the standard cup of coffee, it will depend on the country that you are in when you order it.
How Big is a Standard Coffee Mug?
A coffee mug is very different from a coffee cup. They are thicker, will usually have a handle, and are larger, holding more liquid compared to other cup types. In general, cups are smaller and tend to be used for tea more than coffee, while mugs are the go-to choice for coffee or hot chocolate. In the US, coffee mug sizes vary, and a coffee mug will typically hold around 8-12oz of liquid, but there is a huge variety of shapes and sizes to choose from. You can even get extra-large mugs of around 20-25oz, which tend to be used for soup, but there’s nothing wrong with using one if you just need a really big cup of coffee on a cold morning.
Finding the Perfect Cup Size for Coffee
Size definitely matters when it comes to choosing types of coffee cups or mugs for your coffee, and not all cups are created equally. There are several coffee cup sizes to choose from, and the type of coffee that you enjoy the most is likely going to have an impact on the size of the cup or mug that you choose. For example, if you like cappuccinos, then this popular Italian coffee beverage is best drunk out of a cup that is between 5-5.5oz. On the other hand, a latte works better in a larger coffee mug due to all the milk included. If you like lattes, get a mug that holds between 11-15oz for the best experience. A much smaller coffee mug or cup is best for a simple espresso, which can be drunk out of a shot cup or a smaller mug. How many ounces in an espresso cup? They will usually have a size of between two and three ounces.
Choosing the right cup is particularly important when drinking espresso, since pouring the espresso into a larger mug or cup rather than using a smaller espresso cup will cause the crema to spread out, thin, and quickly disappear. Along with this, your espresso is also likely to get cold much faster when you’re drinking it out of a larger cup, as it does not offer the same level of heat protection compared to a smaller cup.
Ounces in a Standard Coffee Mug
An 8oz cup or mug tends to be the best choice for a standard coffee mug size and will work great for your favorite filter coffee or latte. Most of the time, you will get standard coffee cups that hold around 8-10oz, which is the best size for enjoying coffee from a pot. However, bear in mind that although the cup itself holds eight ounces, you’ll usually only get around 6oz of coffee from it – this is because the cup needs to be bigger to allow for a small amount of space at the top of the cup so that it doesn’t spill over.
How many ounces in a cup of coffee will also have an impact. On the other hand, larger coffee mugs of 12oz tend to be the best choice for iced coffee. This is because to make this popular cold coffee drink you are going to need to use a lot of ice, which takes up a larger volume. As a result, using a larger cup allows you to get a good quantity of coffee without having to compromise on your ingredients.
Why Coffee Cup Size Matters
The size of the cup or mug that you use for drinking coffee is an important factor to consider since it will dictate the amount of coffee that you will need to brew it. For example, if you use just 15g of coffee grounds to make 12oz of coffee, you’re going to get quite a weak drink, as 15oz is the standard amount for a 6oz coffee. So, if you want to fill up your 12oz brew with coffee, you’re going to need double.
Travel Mug Sizes
Now that you know more about the various cup sizes that are ideal for your everyday coffee, what about cup or mug sizes for when you are drinking coffee on the go? Travel mugs and tumblers have become something that most people own and use today, whether you’re using them to drink coffee, tea, or just water on the go. The right travel drinkware can have a huge impact on how you feel when you’re out and about. If you’ve ever tried to use a flimsy travel mug that leaks everywhere when you’re trying to take a sip out of it, you’ll know just how frustrating it can be to try and use a travel mug that just isn’t doing its job properly. On the other hand, a travel mug that fits the perfect amount of coffee and allows you to drink comfortably without any spillages can make a huge amount of difference. The average size for a travel mug is around 15-20oz, but there are bigger or smaller ones that you can find depending on your needs.
Coffee Cup Sizes at Starbucks
If you drink at a popular coffee shop chain like Starbucks, you might be familiar with the coffee cup sizes that are on offer there. Technically, a large cup of coffee would be around sixteen ounces, but Starbucks has changed the game with their coffee by giving their coffee drinks different cups names depending on the size, rather than naming coffee cup sizes by the number of ounces. If you’re ordering a drink from Starbucks, you will know an 8oz drink as ‘short’, 12oz as ‘tall’, 16oz as ‘grande’, and 20oz as ‘venti’. This has allowed customers to walk into any Starbucks coffee shop no matter where they are in the world and order the coffee drink that they want.
Choosing a Mug for Drinking Coffee at Home
While it’s worth knowing what you are ordering if you ask for coffee at a coffee shop, buying the right mug or cup for drinking coffee at home is often much simpler. A standard 8oz mug tends to be an ideal choice for home coffee since this will allow you to enjoy a wide range of coffee types including filter coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, flat whites and more. However, if you are getting or have got a home espresso machine and like to drink your espresso at it comes, then a demitasse cup or espresso shot cup is an ideal investment to get the most from your espresso experience. The espresso cup size is usually only a couple of ounces. Of course, how big you like your coffee to be will also dictate the cup size that you get for drinking coffee at home. A 12oz or 16oz cup might be perfect for you if you like a large cup of coffee.
When it comes to standard coffee cup sizes, this can vary depending on where you are and where you are ordering your coffee from.