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Demitasse set with metal frames and spoons

A demitasse (/ˈdɛmɪtæs/; French: "half cup"), demi-tasse,[1] or espresso cup is a small cup used to serve espresso. It may also refer to the coffee served in such a cup, though that usage had disappeared in France by the early 20th century.[1]

A demitasse typically has a capacity of approximately 60–90 millilitres (2–3 US fl oz), half the size of a full coffee cup (a tasse à café is about 120 millilitres (4 US fl oz)).[2] The Italian Espresso National Institute recommends serving espresso in a white china cup holding 50−100 ml.[3] They are typically ceramic and accompanied by matching saucers, but some coffeehouses and china companies also produce brightly decorated varieties.[4][5] Another type of demitasse has a glass cup set into a metal frame, called a zarf.

Demitasse cups are small because they usually serve espresso, which is a stronger, more concentrated coffee, best served in smaller portions.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bissell, Clifford H. (May 1946). "The Word demi-tasse". Modern Language Notes. 61 (5). The Johns Hopkins University Press: 340–343. doi:10.2307/2908949. JSTOR 2908949.
  2. ^ "What is a Demitasse Cup?". Food. Archived from the original on 2017-01-18. Retrieved 2017-01-17.
  3. ^ "The Certified Italian Espresso and Cappuccino" (PDF). Istituto Espresso Italiano.
  4. ^ "Demitasse cup and saucer, "Imari" pattern". Yale University Art Gallery. Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2010-03-10.
  5. ^ "Haviland Demitasse Teacup and Saucer". Tempe Historical Museum. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2010-03-10.