For Roasters & Retailers

Why Did Coffee Cups And Soda Cups Get So Big?


When I was a kid at summer camp, we drank out of green glass mugs. So when my wife and I got a cabin in the woods and stocked it with housewares from the shed at the dump, I was thrilled to find the same mugs and drink out of them every day. I also found cups and saucers from the ’50s.

But they are also really small by today’s standards. The cup with saucer holds 4 ounces, the green mug 6. The ’80s vintage red mug holds 7, and the big one holds 8.

Until recently, the biggest coffee container I ever saw was the bowl of cafe au lait that I bought every morning in Paris during my summer trip there during University. I didn’t have much money, but there was enough milk in that bowl that I got all the coffee and calories that I needed to last until lunch – because 16 ounces of milk and coffee is 320 calories, a whole meal.

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