Last updated: August 16, 2021

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This time we tell you about cups, those containers designed to hold coffee, tea, and other infusions or drinks that are part of our breakfasts, snacks, after-dinner meals, or work breaks; that is why they are so important for our days.

This accessory, so popular and used in different cultures since ancient times, comes in an infinite number of sizes, formats, materials and designs, adapted to every use and need. Throughout this article we will talk about their most important characteristics, so that you can discover their many varieties.

We will also tell you which are the best valued and best selling models of cups on the internet, their different costs, and the shops where you can buy them, so that you can make the best choice according to your tastes, preferences and budget.




Summary

  • Cups are items designed to hold drinks, especially hot drinks. They have handles to hold them, and can come in different materials, sizes, textures and designs, suitable for every use, style and need.
  • There is a wide variety and assortment of cup materials, including ceramic, porcelain, and borosilicate cups, which differ in their uses, textures, thickness, heating level, and style, among other aspects.
  • Before purchasing one or more cups, it is important that you take into account certain aspects that will help you choose the most suitable product for you, such as their different materials, formats, designs, and containment capacity.

The best Cup: Our Picks

In this selection we will show you which cups are the best rated by users on the internet, and we will tell you what their main features are, so that you can compare them and choose the model you like the most.

Buying Guide: What you need to know about Cups

The main objective of this buying guide is for you to know the most important characteristics of the product you are interested in buying. That's why we'll tell you about the most important aspects of cups, including their advantages and disadvantages.

There are countless models of cups, adapted to different styles. (Photo: Erik Reis / 123rf.com)

What are cups and what are their advantages?

Cups are containers with a handle, designed to hold the liquid of different drinks, usually hot. There are different materials, sizes, formats, and designs of cups, adapted to different uses, needs, and styles.

Cups also have a great ornamental value, as they are very beautiful aesthetically, which is why many people collect them as a decorative object. In the market you can find an infinite number of models made for drinking coffee, chocolate, tea and other infusions.

Among their many advantages, cups are comfortable, practical, beautiful, functional and versatile. Undoubtedly, it is an element that is present in every home and in different cultures, accompanying breakfasts, snacks and after-dinner meals.

Advantages
  • They are beautiful and ornamental
  • They are practical and comfortable
  • You can find many models and designs
  • There are different sizes
Disadvantages
  • They tend to break easily
  • They are not very functional to carry
  • Not all materials keep the heat

Ceramic, porcelain or borosilicate cups - What should you look out for?

Cups come in a wide variety and assortment of materials, including ceramic, porcelain and borosilicate. Below we will mention the characteristics of each raw material, so you can choose the one that best suits your taste, needs and budget.

  • Ceramic cups: Ceramic cups tend to be more rustic and handmade, as they are often hand-painted. On the other hand, they are thicker and heavier than most other models, and do not retain the heat of drinks for as long.
  • Porcelain cups: Porcelain cups are thin and delicate, and although they are expensive, they are ideal for holding hot and cold beverages, as they withstand temperature changes and neutralise flavours and odours.
  • Borosilicate cups: These cups are the ones that best maintain the heat of drinks; in fact, they can contain boiled liquids without any inconvenience, thanks to their special glass, which is more resistant (and fragile). They are also very original, decorative and eye-catching.
Ceramic Porcelain Borosilicate
Heat retention level Medium to low Medium to high Very high
Texture Smooth or porous (depending on the model) Smooth Smooth
Uses Coffee and infusions Coffee and infusions Very hot drinks
Style Rustic Elegant Modern
Comparative cost Medium to low High Medium to high

The cups are comfortable, functional, and very decorative. (Photo: Pexels / pixabay.com)

Buying Criteria

In this last section we will discuss the most important factors that you should take into account when buying one or more cups, because among so much variety and assortment of models, it can be difficult to select the most suitable product for you.

Other materials

In the market you can find a great variety of cup models that are characterised, among other aspects, by their raw material. Below we will tell you which are the most commonly used materials for the manufacture of this accessory, in addition to those mentioned in the table of variables.

  • Glass: Glass cups have a rather ornamental or aesthetic value, as they do not retain heat as well as other materials. Although they are not the most recommended for hot drinks, they can be very good, beautiful and practical for coffees and iced teas.
  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel cups are in demand for their decorative value, as they look really beautiful in modern kitchens. While they keep the heat inside perfectly, the outside usually stays hot as well, so they can be uncomfortable and somewhat dangerous.
  • Enamelled steel: These cups are ideal for maintaining high temperatures, and they are also extremely resistant and durable. On the other hand, they do not retain odours or flavours, making them an excellent choice for constant daily use.

The cups, in addition to being ornamental, create a space of relaxation and harmony. (Photo: stokpic/ pixabay.com)

Designs

There are many different designs of cups on the market, adapted to every taste and style. Among so much variety and assortment we could hardly list them all, but we will give you a rough overview of the characteristics of each type of design.

Modern

Modern cups are characterised by their novel and creative designs, as they can have asymmetrical shapes, avant-garde themes, or be replicas of other objects and characters. Stainless steel is very fashionable for the manufacture of modern cups.

Borosilicate is also a popular material for modern cups, as it is both eye-catching and functional. There are also very beautiful and original modern cups that change colour or pattern when the temperature changes abruptly.

Rustic

Rustic cups are generally made of hand-painted ceramic in warm colours, which may or may not be embossed. They are very ornamental and have a handmade style that is very beautiful and harmonious to accompany country decorations.

Classics

Classic cup designs are those with delicate patterns that do not clash with the decoration, and which adapt to different styles. They are often plain or with subtle details, and are usually made of ceramic or porcelain.

Vintage

Vintage designs, also called retro, are those that represent an older style or format; therefore they have drawings of characters and objects of yesteryear, or well-known phrases from films or series that were emblematic decades ago.

These cups can be made of enamelled steel (a material widely used by our grandparents), or porcelain, usually decorated with rococo flowers, for example, which evoke a very romantic Victorian style. They usually come in pastel colours, such as sea water green, pale pink, etc.

You can find very novel and original cup models on the market. (Photo: Pexels / pixabay.com)

Capacity

Another important aspect is the capacity of liquid that the cup can hold. In this case you should choose according to your tastes and comfort, but also in relation to the type of drink you consume, as an espresso cup will not be the same as a cappuccino cup.

  • 60 to 80 ml: Small cups, also known as cups, generally contain between 60 and 80 ml, and are used for espresso or ristretto (an even shorter and more concentrated espresso). They usually come with their respective saucer.
  • 125 ml: These cups can be used for certain types of teas (depending on their size), or for espresso (with a small amount of milk) or macchiato (the same characteristics as espresso but frothier). These cups are usually made of porcelain, although they can be found in many materials.
  • 150 to 200 ml: These are the largest cups, designed to hold coffee with milk (such as cappuccino or latte), or hot chocolate. Their mouth is usually wide, and their rim is a little thicker so that you can taste the drinks better without the risk of burning yourself.

Thickness

Although we generally do not pay attention to this aspect, the thickness of the cup is a fundamental factor, not only for maintaining the temperature of the drinks, but also for our comfort when drinking.

Thick walls

Normally, out of knowledge or instinct, we tend to choose cups with thicker walls. In fact, these containers are ideal for keeping drinks warm, but their surface ends up being uncomfortable and uncomfortable to the touch when we rest our mouth on the rim to drink.

Thin walls

The exact opposite happens with thin walls: they are much more comfortable and pleasant when we rest our mouth on them to drink, but they keep the heat of the drinks for a very short time, which is why they are more recommended for coffees, teas or other iced infusions.

Balance

So what is the solution? On the market you can find models of cups with thick walls to keep the heat of the drinks for a long period of time, but with thinner rims to make them comfortable during the tasting process.

(Featured image photo: 6689062 / pixabay.com)

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