| Francis! Francis! Top View |
The FF!! cups have the second smallest saucer and the thinnest walls by far. What were they thinking? That this was tea?
| Illy Schwung Top View |
The Illy cups have deceptively thick side walls - they taper to a thinner top portion. Second only to the Tognana cups in this roundup.
| Vivace Tognana Cup Top View |
Thickest walls, biggest saucer (a generic model that is used for a variety of Tognana cup styles) and a scary handle.
| Saeco Art Series Cup Top View |
The Saecos are slightly thinner than the Illy cups, and have the smallest saucer in this roundup.
In this section, I'll cover the major points again, pointing out the winners and losers in each category.
Clear winner overall for durability is the Tognana set, which is designed for heavy commercial use (Illy's are second). I actually bounced one of my Tognanas off a tile floor (not recommended!) and it came through fine - actually did bounce! Worst in this category has to be the FF!! cups which have the worst seams for the handles, and I just don't like the interior shape design at all. Espresso cups should have a nice rounded bowl shape inside, no angles.
In this one, the Illy and Tognana cups are kind of equal, but Illy wins out for having a perfect matching saucer. Again, the FF!! cups score last, though the Saeco saucer is also poor in comparison to the cups.
Tognana again, with Illy coming a very close second. Poor FF!! comes last again.
A tough one. Overall, Illy gets the win, but Tognana scores a point for weight, then loses it and more for the poor handle design. Saeco is second runner up to the Illys, and poor FF!! loses again.
Tognana wins, Illy a close second, Saeco, then Poor! Poor! FF!! All has to do with the thickness of the porcelain. There's also a downside to this - if you don't preheat your cups, the thicker porcelain will actually leech off more heat from the espresso than the thin wall ones will. But you all preheat your cups, don't you? :-)
Illy's the big time winner here for design, artistry, collectiblity, saucer design, handle design, looks, feel, you name it. FF!! finally moves out of the doghouse coming in second in this category. Tognana scores last, mainly due to the generic saucer and the plain looks and the poor handle design.
Illy again with their near perfect combination of great artwork, high collectibility, awesome design of the actual cup, and giving as much thought to the saucer as they did the cup. Saeco and Tognana are tied for next, mainly because I want to give some due to the Saeco handle. Poor! Poor! Comes in last, though they get big nods for the artwork and matching saucers (and saucers that match the quality of the cups, good or bad).
Well, the Tognana cups are the cheapest and the most durable, so it could be argued they are the best value. But with Illy cups sometimes showing a 800% return on investment down the road, isn't that something too? And when you can buy a dozen logo cups for $50 (effective price of $4.17 per cup and saucer), that's the clear winner in price as well. But I didn't review the logo cups... I reviewed the art collection cups...