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If you’ve been perfecting your home latte, you’ve probably come to realize that the mug you use can have a major effect on the outcome, particularly if you’re attempting latte art.
If you’re working on that perfect leaf or rosetta, you need a vessel that will support the process rather than make it more challenging.
There are endless options out there, and not all mugs are created equal. What you pick will depend on a lot on personal preference.
My top pick is the Sweese Porcelain Latte Cups, for their shape, size, and style.
There are several factors to consider when looking for the perfect latte mugs, and we’ll investigate these aspects in detail before sharing our six favorite latte mugs for home use.
How To Choose a Latte Mug
What may seem like a simple purchase is actually a rather complex decision, and there are several factors you’ll want to weigh when shopping for the perfect latte mug. There are a variety of sizes, shapes and materials, and what’s right for you will depend mostly on how you intend to use your mugs.
The biggest consideration for your latte cup selection is how you intend to use it. What are your home latte goals? If you aren’t interested in cups for latte art at all, then the shape of the cup will have little impact.
If you have any inclination toward learning, or giving latte art a try in the future, you will definitely want to go for a bowl-style cup. These are the cups which, as their name suggests, have more of a bowl shape with a small base opening up into a much wider mouth with a lot of surface area. This space is critical for practicing and achieving latte art. With this style of cup—something like the Coffeezone Barista Latte Art Cup—you will also end up with fairly consistent and integrated foam.
If you go with a more traditional mug shape, like the Bodum Bistro Double Wall 15 oz Latte Cups, latte art isn’t impossible, but it will be a bit more challenging. Either way, you’ll want to avoid a narrow mug with a tapered top, unless latte art is of absolutely no interest to you. With a more traditional mug shape, you’ll also end up with a thicker layer of foam on top.
I personally don’t enjoy drinking out of bowl-style mugs, as I find them to be awkward, easier to spill, and they don’t keep your morning drink hot for very long due to the large surface area. Although I personally care more about flavor than latte art, I do like to dabble, which is why my top pick is the Sweese Porcelain Latte Cup. It’s a great compromise and, for me, the perfect shape.
Unlike a flat white, cappuccino, or espresso shots, there’s no prescribed size for a latte. A latte is typically an espresso-based drink that has more milk than espresso, but how much more milk is really a matter of preference.
In a lot of artisanal coffee shops these days the only difference between a cappuccino and a latte is the size, with a latte being slightly larger. It used to be that a delicious cappuccino was equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foam, but with the advent of latte art, the use of integrated foam has done away with the distinct top layer of foam.
When looking for the perfect latte cups for home use, think about the size you like to enjoy. Some people love that big ol’ latte they sip on for an hour, so the 16 oz Norpro “My Favorite” Jumbo Mug might be the ideal choice. Others prefer something just a few ounces larger than a cappuccino, at around 8-10 oz. It’s all based on your particular preference and there’s a mug on the list for every taste.
The material of your latte cup will affect both the aesthetic and the coffee drinking experience. I’m quite particular about how I enjoy my morning latte. I personally prefer a quality porcelain or ceramic mug. I absolutely abhor drinking out of to-go cups and travel mugs. The material of my drinking vessel greatly influences my enjoyment, and plastic is just a no go for me.
That being said, porcelain has long been the standard for both caffe latte cups and home use. Not only is porcelain an elegant material for enjoying your daily latte, but it also does a pretty decent job of keeping your coffee warm.
Just remember that the larger the mouth of the cup, the less well it keeps the coffee warm.
Borosilicate glass latte cups are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional porcelain, and they have a distinctly modern look to them. Most borosilicate mugs will have a double-walled design and you want to make sure this is the case as it will keep your coffee hot and your hands cool.
The see-through nature of glass cups is rather stunning when they’re filled with a layered drink such as a latte.
Borosilicate glass is much more durable than regular glass, so it’s less prone to breakage and is almost always microwave and dishwasher safe.
If you’re purchasing latte mugs for daily use, you want to make sure they have some level of durability. Sure, it’s nice to bust out the fancy china when you have guests over, but for the hustle and bustle of everyday life, look for latte cups that are chip resistant, and microwave and dishwasher safe.
Best Latte Mugs
Now that we know what to look for, let’s round up our six favorite latte mugs, plus one added bonus mug I just had to include for purely aesthetic points.
The Sweese porcelain latte cups are the perfect balance of style and utility. They’re stackable, which makes them efficient for storage, and their cute, multicolored style means they’re perfect for open shelves or putting out on display in your coffee corner.
The 10 oz standard size is in the perfect 8-12 oz range of the typical latte. While these Sweese porcelain cups might be a little on the small size for some, it does make them versatile enough to use for both a latte or a cappuccino. Not only are they extremely adorable, but they’re also super-durable, made from anti-chip, pro-grade porcelain that’s both dishwasher and microwave safe.
The Bodum Bistro borosilicate glass latte cups are hands down the top glass latte cup. They look super-cool and sleek. The double-walled borosilicate glass makes them extremely durable and incredibly well insulated.
Their slightly larger size may be a bit big for some, but you can always leave a bit of room at the top if you’re in the mood for a stronger flavor. The nice thing about their size is that they can also be used for soup or other beverages—hot or cold.
The Coffeezone porcelain latte cup is very similar to what you would find at a high-end cafe or artisanal coffee shop. This is a small bowl cup style, with a nice wide mouth for practicing your latte art. It comes in both 8.5 oz and 10.5 oz, and in a variety of colors.
They are quite thick, which makes them both durable and fairly well insulated. But this does result in a wider lip, which will impact the elegance of the drinking experience.
When crafting this list, I had to take into consideration what most people are looking for, but I would be remiss if I didn’t add my personal favorite. Kinto’s Ceramic Lab mugs are handmade Japanese works of art and my absolute favorite mugs I’ve ever owned. I love a natural, rustic style, and there’s something about drinking out of them that I just find extremely romantic.
They are incredibly well crafted and come in several different shapes. I have the small mugs, which are 10 oz and have a more standard mug shape, but the 14 oz wide mugs are perfect for lattes with ample room for latte art designs. They are advertised as microwave and dishwasher safe, with the instructions to handle with care, but I personally hand wash mine. They are definitely pricey—I only have two—but when you have one in your hands you will absolutely see why.
These Norpro 16 oz classic white porcelain latte cups are for those who prefer a larger latte with plenty of room for practicing beautiful latte art designs. What I really like about these cups is the large handle, which gives you ample space to either grip the handle or slide your hand all the way through to cradle the bowl. Large bowl-style cups with tiny handles are nearly impossible to maneuver, so a big thumbs up to the design on these Norpros.
Made of durable porcelain, they are both microwave and dishwasher safe, but they won’t be as insulated as some of the other choices. But they are extremely versatile and can be used for soups, salads, and hot and cold items.
I had to call a tie when it came to the best large latte cup, so Teocera shares the spotlight with Norpro. The Teocera Jumbo Coffee Cups are extremely similar to the Norpro Jumbo Mugs in almost every respect, but they come in at a slightly more affordable price point, are available in a wide range of fun colors, and are even oven safe. The design, however, is just the tiniest bit clunkier and lacks just a touch of the elegance of the Norpro.
I had to include this gorgeous Lysenn Glass Mug because sometimes we just need a little beauty in our lives, even if it’s not the most practical. I absolutely adore the delicate, intricate soda glass design and I would certainly put a latte in this bad boy.
Although it is only single-walled, the cute bamboo lid will help with heat retention. It’s not recommended for boiling hot coffee, but a latte should be far less hot than that anyway. At 12 oz, it’s the perfect size for a latte, but it’s neither dishwasher nor microwave safe. This little beauty needs a delicate touch, but it will certainly add some sparkle to your day.
Final Thoughts on the Best Latte Cups
Whether you’re a seasoned coffee drinker or just starting your home espresso machine journey, finding the right mugs will make a world of difference in both the execution and enjoyment of your cups of coffee and kitchen latte experience. What’s right for you will really depend on your style and preference, but it’s always best to try and find that perfect balance of function and beauty. You want to find something that fits your lifestyle and your personality, and hopefully we’ve given you a good place to start.