Test Drive: Exploring the ESPRO Coffee Tasting Cup Set

We take a look at ESPRO’s flavor-specific coffee mugs for coffee pros and home consumers.


Photos courtesy of ESPRO

There are many aspects that need to be considered when designing the ideal coffee cup. Recent studies have shown that the shape, texture, and even the color of a cup can significantly impact the overall coffee-drinking experience.

Applying these research findings to their latest innovation, the Canada-based ESPRO team has sought to transform the coffee-drinking experience with the launch of their Coffee Tasting Cup Set in the spring of 2019. Just a few months after their launch, they received a Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) Best New Product Award at this year’s World of Coffee event in Berlin.

ESPRO’s tasting set comes with a stylish tray; it was awarded Best New Product by the SCA at World of Coffee this year.

The set consists of four cups, each made from premium magnesium porcelain. Using the size of the cup’s opening, its shape, and its thickness, each mug highlights a different flavor profile from the SCA and World Coffee Research’s Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel. The SCA’s vibrant and descriptive tool organizes 110 varied flavors and aromas of coffee. After carefully studying the wheel and test-driving various coffees, the engineers at ESPRO decided to focus on producing cups that amplified four of the most prominent flavors found in the world’s coffee: floral, cocoa, fruity, and spicy.

Each ESPRO mug enhances one specific element of flavor in your cup. You can choose which flavor you’d like to amplify based on the mug shape. 

While consumers can purchase each one of the four cups individually, the set provides a more robust coffee-tasting experience. Crafted to help coffee professionals and everyday consumers alike explore their beans, each cup helps individuals discern specific flavors and aromas for an elevated tasting experience. After exploring the different flavor profiles in your favorite coffee, you’ll likely think twice before reaching for another standard coffee mug.

The set comes with a dark wooden serving tray that is both practical for serving and stylish enough to display. The cups remain classic in their color scheme, coming in either a solid white or light gray. Both versions have a crisp white interior, which serves as the perfect canvas for your favorite coffee.

“Your choice of cup completes a coffee’s journey from farm to table,” the accompanying guide tells consumers. Here, the vessel becomes an important part of the coffee’s long journey from the field into your morning cup.

ESPRO provides a tasting guide that includes the SCA and World Coffee Research’s Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel, which they used to develop their mugs.

For beginners who are not well-versed in tasting coffee, the guide provides clear, simple instructions about how to engage with the tasting process, beginning with how to select and brew the coffee and finishing with how to get the most out of the tasting experience.

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Caroline Cormier
 is a freelance writer from Canada. She currently lives in Berlin, where you can find her digging through archives to discover forgotten stories of the past for her Ph.D., exploring the city’s art and culture scene, or simply enjoying a good cup of coffee at a local café or farmers market.

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