Coffee in a glass cup or a coffee cup?

Often we Italians drive bartenders crazy with the strangest requests. But after the great diatribe between supporters of  “normal” coffee and those who cannot do without their decaffeinated, there’s another one immediately after.

Specifically  this is the one which divides those who love their coffee in a cup and those who only drink their coffee in a glass. In this article we will discuss the differences between these two different ways  of tasting one of the excellences of Italy.

The history of coffee in a glass 

Every variety of coffee, from the classic espresso (link) or cappuccino, to the more unusual ones like the marocchino coffee, have a history.

In this respect coffee in a glass is no exception. Even if for the last few years, this habit has been becoming more widespread throughout the whole of Italy, its origins seem to be rooted right in the capital. In the South of Rome, in fact, it has been popular now for quite some time this habit of ordering a coffee in a glass at the bar.

Whether it is just a trend or a genuine tradition, here we will tell you all there is to know about coffee in a glass.

Coffee in a glass: the reason behind the choice

These days we hear (and say) more and more often at the bar  “an espresso in a glass, please”. But what are the reasons why people are tending to prefer this to the classic coffee in a cup?

The glass and the elegance of the coffee 

If you love coffee in all its different shades, then you must choose to drink your coffee from a glass, because appearance is also important, and coffee is no exception. The transparent aspect of this type of small glass shows off  the elegance of the hazelnut color of an Italian espresso much better than porcelain coffee cups. In this way the eyes can enjoy the sight of the coffee before the taste buds enjoy the flavor! But this choice also has a downside: the glass actually has poorer insulation properties, and so your coffee stays warm for less time.

The characteristics of the glass cup. 

According to those who love their coffee in a glass, the tapered shape of the glass allows the coffee to form a higher and denser froth on top, allowing the Italian espresso coffee to retain all its organoleptic properties. The slim rim of the special tall, narrow glass also offers a pleasing and delicate sensation against the lips.

Why some prefer their coffee in a cup 

The cup is an object which we are now used to seeing every day. But very few people know its secrets: from the material, to the shape, to the temperature it should be heated to.

The porcelain coffee cup 

The coffee cup is made of porcelain, but do you know why? This material demonstrates a uniform reaction to temperature variations, it is resistant and remains neutral to contact with alkaline and acid solutions and its aptitude for thermal insulation allows the coffee to cool down more slowly.

The shape of the cup 

Every type of coffee has its appropriate cup. For the espresso it should be thicker to keep the coffee hot for as long as possible, and furthermore the mouth of the cup should be narrower so as to reduce the surface tension, allowing the froth to remain longer. The bottom of the cup though, should be homogeneous and rounded, so as to level the froth.

For the cappuccino you need a particularly thick cup which can retain the heat; furthermore, in order to lift up the espresso better when the foamed milk is poured in, we would recommend a cup which is slightly broader at the top. In this way it is easier to create  Latte Art designs which are now very popular everywhere.

And do you prefer your coffee in a traditional cup or in a glass? You should try them both and find out which one is the best for you.

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