Musings: my favorite coffee cups

I’ve always had a great appreciation for china, stemware, things of that sort. I value both the functionality and beauty that they bring to my meal and drink. I had this one favorite latte/macchiato glass that I would use to make beautiful coffee drinks in the mornings. One day, I heard the unmistakable sound of broken glass. I came into the kitchen to find my coffee glass shattered and an expression of guilt and horror on my husband’s face. I reassured him that it was alright, that I would get a new one sometime soon.

My beautiful glass before it broke, holding something delicious.

Months went by and some mornings, I really missed my glass. ‘It’s just coffee,’ you may say, but as someone who tries to celebrate each meal and drink, it’s not just caffeinated black water for me. It’s good coffee that deserves to be served in a beautiful vessel. One day recently, I decided that I would replace my glass and get a few extras, so I went onto the Nespresso website to buy some and was sorely disappointed–no more of their signature latte glasses. And none on ebay or Amazon either.

Fortunately, I’ve acquired many beautiful cups over the last few years and they bring a smile to my face every morning as I admire the artistry that went into their design. A couple of them are pictured below:

Espresso cups by Konitz
Bloomies espresso cup by Villeroy & Boch
A colorful New Wave cup and saucer by Villeroy
Cups by Konitz-- a wonderful gift from dear friends
Evening coffee
My favorite regular mug
The cup I drink from when I'd rather be on a farm in France.

As is obvious, I have a thing for coffee cups and teacups. I have many different kinds, and love collecting them; I consider them little pieces of art. There’s one particular set of cups and china that I’m happiest to have acquired, mostly through different auctions: a vintage collection of the Acapulco china by Villeroy & Boch, designed in 1967 (pictured below). The Acapulco line’s pieces are covered in groovy vibrant bird and flower artwork, inspired by Mexican art. Villeroy re-introduced this lovely look a few years ago in a more modern form–they applied the Acapulco pattern to their popular New Wave china for a masterful blend of sleek and artful. But I like the old collection better. It’s incredibly charming and I feel that the colors pop more. I often drink my coffee out of these pieces. I love that the old run of Acapulco yielded lots of oversized/in-between sized cups, which means I have cups that are perfect for espressos, but also ones that are perfect for lungos, cappuccinos and whatever else I make. Since I like to add whipped cream to all my coffee drinks (because coffee rocks a little harder with whipped cream), I like to use these bigger cups to run one or two shots, and there’s still plenty of room left for the whip without it overflowing. Some of my pieces are from the ’60s, some are from the ’70s. I ended up loving the cups so much that I’ve bought several different pieces here and there through auction– trays, teacups and saucers, plates, trivets, coffeepots, teapot, egg holders, teabag holders, ashtrays (I don’t smoke, but these ended up being bundled in with other pieces I liked, so I’m glad to have them anyhow) and I’ve amassed a great collection.

Some Acapulco cups

For our anniversary, my husband presented me with a big, heavy, beautifully-wrapped box. Inside was a set of beautiful latte glasses. These particular coffee glasses (pictured below) are tall ones by Villeroy, with removable stainless steel handles in the curved New Wave shape. The glass is a classic, pretty window to the drink; the steel gives a funky modern finish. So, I pine no more for long-lost coffee cups as I’ve been given this lovely set of replacements. I’m happy.

Villeroy New Wave Latte Macchiato glass
Something yummy on my balcony


  • isabel

    September 24, 2010

    i love this post because i know how you feel…i too collect mugs and have moved into espresso and teacups….nothing like losing your favorite coffee cup to ruin a coffee drinking experience!….Lise…i have to ask did you make those lattes in your pics?? they look so good and are my favorite….do you have a latte maker? if so, which one?

    • sunnyglobaldiva

      September 24, 2010

      Thanks Izzy!

      To answer your question–I have a wonderful espresso machine! It’s the Nespresso Lattissima DeLonghi. It’s an espresso maker and also has a milk system. You can pull a regular espresso shot or a lungo. The milk system lets you choose the quantity of milk that you want–enough for a cappuccino or for a latte. The frother also lets you set the amount of foam that you want. It’s a pod machine, so you do have to buy the coffee from Nespresso, but I don’t mind–the sealed pods ensure that it’s a very fresh cup each time. So to make my drinks, I froth the milk in the machine and I make sure I set a good layer of foam and fill the glass with milk and foam, then I do the shot of espresso and it pours through the foam but just sits there suspended between the top layer of foam and the milk. That’s when I just sit and admire it, lol. Then I stir it and the pretty stripes go away.

      I have a couple of other coffee machines that I use for other coffee-drinking purposes so if you want any recommendations, I could give you many details but I don’t want to risk boring you!

  • Frankie

    September 28, 2010

    I love this post, too! I lost my favorite mug during my last move- it was a rich orange color and a generous size. I totally feel its loss.
    Villeroy and boch make beautiful teacups, too. This is going to sound weird, but they have a great mouth feel- meaning, the rims are delicate, thin, and just awesome.

  • sunnyglobaldiva

    September 29, 2010

    Frankie, I understand what you mean about mouth feel. When you find a great cup, it is, as you say, “just awesome.”


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