How much capacity does a cup of coffee have?

Coffee cups are one of the essential or indispensable accessories when it comes to enjoying our favourite drink. Some people drink it in a glass, but even so, when we talk about consumption, we still refer to it as “having a cup of coffee”.

What not many people know is how much capacity a cup of coffee has and what sizes we normally use when we drink or order different types of coffee at the coffee shop. That is exactly what we are going to learn in this article.

The capacity of coffee cups is mainly determined by the type of coffee (beverage) for which they are intended.

It is not the same to know the capacity of a large latte cup, for example, as it is to know the capacity of an espresso cup that can be drunk in just one sip. An espresso or a ristretto, which are very short, intense drinks, would lose their properties and temperature if they were served in a container that was too large. And, of course, coffees with a lot of milk or foam will always have more volume than black coffee and will need to be served in larger cups.

So if you are curious about these issues, or perhaps you are considering renewing your coffee set (for private use or for your establishment), it never hurts to know these figures.

What is the capacity of a standard coffee cup?

At this point, if we are talking about catering coffee cups, we should clarify that there are normally two standard sizes. If we order an espresso or a short latte, it will be served in a small cup. If we order a larger coffee (or breakfast cup), then the capacity is much larger.

The capacity of a cup of black coffee (the small ones) is usually 60 millilitres.

The capacity of a large coffee cup is usually around 200 millilitres.

In the following pictures, you can clearly see the difference between the two:

Large coffee cup or breakfast cup (200 ml.)
Large coffee cup or breakfast cup (200 ml.)
Small espresso coffee cup (60 ml.)
Small espresso coffee cup (60 ml.)

As we say, these are the standard sizes. Of course, there are intermediate sizes and even larger than these, but these two sizes are basic and almost obligatory in any catering business where coffee is served. For cappuccinos, lattes or americanos, sometimes a slightly larger cup or even a tall glass is required for serving.

Some examples of this are coffee mugs (whose capacity is usually one third, 330 millilitres) or the capacity of a cup of coffee cut, which is usually around 125 millilitres, double that of an espresso cup, but not as large as a cappuccino cup. Not all bars have them, by the way.

So that you don’t get lost, here is a summary of the capacities of each coffee cup (the most common ones):

Cup of black coffee60 ml.
Cup of cut coffee125 ml.
Cup of coffee with milk150-200 ml.
Coffee mug330 ml.

Finally, let’s not forget that there are also coffee glasses, whose sizes and purposes may be similar to those of the cups we have just seen, although not always identical.

Related: Difference between ristretto, espresso and lungo pods