Coffee mugs come in various sizes to suit the various types of coffee, but within each type of coffee, there is a standard size that is generally adhered to.
Here we will look at the sizes of mugs for the different types of coffee, as well as coffee mug sizes from popular take-out cafes.
Coffee mugs are sized according to the type of coffee they are intended to hold. An espresso, for example, would not be served in a cappuccino mug, and likewise, an espresso mug would not physically be able to contain a latte.
Check out the diagram below to know the sizes of various types of coffee.
In This Article
An espresso is a shot of coffee that has a very strong flavor and therefore is usually served in small amounts. Espresso mugs typically come in sizes of 2oz, 3oz, or 4oz, and they are shaped in a specific way to make the most of the coffee. Espresso cups have a small base and a wide rim, allowing more of the aroma to reach your nostrils when you raise the mug to your mouth.
The small size of espresso cups is important to retain the heat; if you served an espresso shot in a regular-sized mug, the coffee would have a much greater surface area and therefore would cool down much more quickly. The way espresso cups help the coffee to stay warm means an espresso can be enjoyed slowly.
A cappuccino is an espresso shot mixed with frothed milk. The standard size of a cappuccino mug is 6oz. As the size of the espresso shot will be predetermined, a 6oz mug leaves enough empty space in the cup for you to fill with the ideal amount of foamy milk.
If the mug was any larger, then the ratio of espresso to milk would be out, and the cappuccino would taste too weak. Cappuccino mugs are shaped like a larger version of an espresso mug, with a smaller base and a wider rim. This again ensures that more of the aroma can be enjoyed while drinking the coffee.
A latte is an Italian invention that is known in full as a cafe latte. This drink is made from a shot of espresso topped up with steamed milk and a small layer of frothed milk at the top. It is similar to a cappuccino but with less frothy or foamy milk. In Italy, this drink will rarely be sweetened, while in the USA, it is more commonly served as a sweet drink with a generous amount of sugar.
In Italy, you would also not see this drink served outside of breakfast time, whereas in North America, you could serve it at any time of day. The standard size latte mug is 6oz, like the standard cappuccino, but some latte mugs can be bigger, up to a giant 15oz. Latte mugs traditionally have a bowl shape, which is how they can be distinguished by sight from the cappuccino.
Filter Coffee or Instant Coffee Mugs
The most common size of coffee mug for general home use is 8oz, which is the ideal size for serving filter coffee or instant coffee. This allows a generous amount of coffee which can hold its heat before you reach the end of the cup. 10oz mug sizes are also fairly common, though not as common as the 8oz mug.
Even larger mugs do exist, but with these, you run the risk of the coffee going cold before you have time to drink it all, as opposed to the 8oz cup in which you can have multiple servings if you like, enjoying them while they are warm. Remember that the size of the coffee mug is not an indicator of the amount of coffee you will actually be consuming because you generally won’t fill the coffee right up to the rim in order to avoid spillages. In an 8oz cup, you can expect to get around 6oz of coffee.
Travel Coffee Mug
Travel coffee mugs are a special insulated type of mug that keeps beverages warm for many hours. These are brilliant for road trips or to take to work and enjoy throughout the morning.
They are a much larger size than regular coffee cups, usually coming in at between 15oz and 20oz. As travel mugs can keep coffee warm for a long period of time, it makes sense that these mugs are large enough to hold several servings of your favorite coffee to keep you going for as long as you need.
Cafe Coffee Mug Sizes Compared
Coffee mugs from various popular cafes are split into different sizes depending on how much coffee the customer wants (or how much they want to spend!).
Starbucks is a popular coffee chain that names its sizes’ short’, ‘tall,’ ‘grande,’ and ‘venti.’ Short is the equivalent of a small coffee, tall is the equivalent of a medium, grande is the equivalent of a large, and venti is an extra-large serving.
The short serving at Starbucks is served in an 8oz mug, which is the same size as the extra small mug from Tim Hortons. McDonald’s, by comparison, does not sell a serving as small as 8oz.
The tall coffees from Starbucks are sold in 12oz mugs, which is the same size as a McDonald’s small coffee, making the McDonald’s servings much more generous. Similar sizes of coffee mugs from Tim Hortons would be the small at 10oz or the medium at 14oz.
The grande coffee, which translates to large, from Starbucks comes in at 16oz, which is the same size as the McDonald’s medium coffee, again showing how
McDonald’s serving sizes are consistently bigger. The venti (extra large) from Starbucks has a 20oz measurement, which is the same as the large from McDonald’s, and the large from Tim Hortons. Tim Hortons also offers an extra-large serving of 24oz.
This size comparison shows that Starbucks sizes are quite meager compared to their competitors, which might be good if you are trying to cut down on caffeine or calories.