Take out cups – the tail wagging the dog

July 3rd, 2007

This is something I’ve never understood – the sizes of takeout cups.

We all go to great lengths to search out our crockery – it must have the right feel, thickness, porcelain quality and most of all drinks must taste good from it because espresso drinks are a game of ratios.  We are pretty much stuck with a measure of espresso hence the move towards 5 and 6oz cups for capps because with less milk the whole thing tastes better.  You buy those cups so you can deliver a specific taste to a customer.

Then we have take out cups.  Instead of demand dictating to supply it seems the other way around.  Take out cups are generally 8, 12, 16 and sadly 20oz.  Neat divisions of 4oz separating each one.  What this doesn’t do is respect espresso drinks as ratios.

The cappuccino got its name from its taste (in a backwards sort of way – it got its name from the precise colour of the mixture of coffee and milk) and yet my 8oz takeout capp is going to taste very different from my 12oz capp because I’ll be damned if I can find a way to add 33% more espresso, not a drop more or less.  A single shot 8oz latte is going to taste like a double shot 16oz latte.  But what if you serve in a 12 or a 20?  We tend to up the number of shots as we go up the drinks sizes, often ending up with 3 shots in a 20oz, compared with a double in a 16oz or a 12oz.  The ratios don’t match.  I don’t get it.

Maybe there are nice boutique manufacturers of paper cups out there I don’t know about, though I do know there is a lack of people making a good 6oz.

Would love to hear other people’s take on this…..

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