Investment in homemade espresso doesn’t stop at the machine. Once you’ve forked over that pretty penny on premium steel, you still need to think about a grinder and the running cost of fresh, quality beans. This isn’t a ploy to deter you from the good life — just a reminder: if you go in on kitchen espresso, you better go all the way. Still here? Well then you owe it to yourself to finish strong with a vessel worthy of the effort. From a Kiwi mainstay to a Brooklyn-based discovery, here are the five cups to consider for your perfect morning shot.
Acme & Co. Demitasse Cup
Best Everyday: New Zealand’s ubiquitous mug maker, Acme & Co., got its start in 2011 after Jeff Kennedy and Bridget Dunn (formerly of Wellington’s Caffe L’affare) decided to try their hands at coffee ware. These classic, heavy-duty china cups (also available in number of different sizes) resemble those by the now-defunct Italian brand A.C.F. They’re straightforward, elegant and available in a range of colors, including green, gray or off-white eggshell.
notNeutral MENO Espresso Cup
Best Design: Founded by design firm Rios Clementi Hale Studios in Los Angeles, California, notNeutral reimagines everyday objects that are often taken for granted. These fine porcelain espresso cups share the same silhouette of the brand’s understated LINO line, but shed the handle for a more refined effect. Designed with a thick base to help retain the liquid’s heat, the cup is available in white or matte black; the latter is finished with a non-reflective glaze that adds grip.
Yuko Nishikawa Pear Espresso Cup
Best Artisanal: Self-taught potter Yuko Nishikawa throws these pear-shaped espresso cups by hand in her Brooklyn-based studio. Individually made from domestic stoneware clay and uniquely spotted with brown manganese specks, each set comes coated in a food-safe glaze for an extra layer of texture and elegance.
Duralex Picardie Tumbler
Most Versatile: Duralex tumblers come in all shapes and sizes, but none is more iconic than the Picardie, a symbol of the everyman both in and out of France, where they’ve been manufactured for nearly a century. Made with tempered glass, each cup is tastefully practical, ultra strong and stackable for easy storing. The three-ounce is ideal for espresso, or use them for a small shot of juice or liquor.
Kinto Cast Espresso Cup
Editor’s Choice: Founded in Shiga, Japan, Kinto have delivered Japanese-minded housewares to the world at large since 1972. The brand’s cast line reflects the brand’s modern sensibility: thoughtful, functional and clean. This cup, made with heat-resistant glass, features an ergonomic curved lip and long handle for easy handling.