Lavazza, whose attitude to ‘design’ in the Italian sense has led to such fascinatingly diverse projects in the past, has produced another unexpected invention – the ceramic cup shaped for the pouring of espresso. This is the E-cup, which includes three unexpected design features, only one of which is immediately apparent.
This is the fact that it has no handle. Instead, it has two slight hollows in the wall providing a grip for the fingers – in the language used by Italian designers, this ‘allows even more intense contact between container and content’, and is ‘minimalism and purity in a simple coffee cup’.
The other features are not obvious. One is that it has a double wall that insulates the coffee. The second is that the cup is asymmetrical – the inner wall on one side is steeper than the opposite wall.
The point of this, explains Lavazza, is to ‘allow the coffee to fall gently and fluidly from the espresso machine’s spout to the bottom of the cup… the E-cup then collects the espresso gently, just like two hands joined to protect the content’. In practical terms, this means that there is no breaking up of the crema.
Interestingly, the saucer also follows the asymmetric theme – one half of the saucer inclines towards the other, exactly like the inside of the cup. The overall result is of an extremely stylish espresso cup.