The rest of the world will be familiar with drinking coffee out of mugs – but in France, it’s tradition to drink morning coffee in a bowl.
If you want to enjoy coffee like the French, then we have just the right coffee bowls for you!
What are the best French coffee bowls? The best French coffee bowls are typically made of porcelain or ceramic. They should be easy to hold in your hands and large enough to fit your morning coffee.
These bowls are available in many different serving sizes and can also be decorated and designed in fun ways too!
Read below to learn more about coffee bowls, the origin of this unique custom, and a recommendation list for the best coffee bowls in the market!
Café au Lait
The cultural habit of drinking coffee out of bowls goes back many centuries. According to popular anecdotes, locals would commonly enjoy sipping coffee out of large bowls in the morning.
Whether this was done to save dishes or as an alternative to not having regular coffee mugs, is unclear. But this habit turned into a morning ritual that is continued by the people of France even today.
Even kids who get too old for their regular sippy cups graduate and start using these bowls to drink milk in the morning.
It is worth noting that this habit is only (or mostly) related to morning coffee. Many people in France usually drink regular espresso or milk coffee from typical cups in the afternoon or evening.
These specialty coffee bowls are no larger than typical cereal bowls but you can also find a lot of variances in their size depending on how much coffee you need.
Coffee bowls may also have engraved or printed words on the side. Some of them commonly have “café au lait” printed on them which translates to “coffee with milk.” It’s also become a special type of drink.
You can find and repurpose pretty much any bowl and turn it into a French coffee bowl. But where do you start?
Read our buyer’s guide to find out!
Buyer’s Guide for the Best French Coffee Bowls
Here are two things that you need to check out before investing in a coffee bowl:
- Serving size
- Build quality and colors
The regular serving size for coffee ranges around 6-8 ounces but this range is highly subjective and can vary from person to person.
French coffee bowls come in many different sizes. Most people prefer to use a 13-ounce bowl for their morning coffee.
Even if you don’t drink that much coffee, you should still go for the larger bowls because you will have the option to not pour more coffee than you need.
Also, larger bowls allow for better grip, as it is customary to pick up and drink from the bowl using both hands.
We recommend a 13 to 15-ounce bowl to start.
To put the sizes into perspective, a 13 oz bowl would fit about the same as a size Tall at Starbucks, a 16 oz would be a Grande, and a 20 oz cup would equate to a Venti cup.
Build Quality And Decoration
If you are looking for a more durable bowl then we suggest that you go with a porcelain bowl rather than a ceramic bowl.
Bear in mind that both of these materials will offer excellent build quality, especially if you purchase a high-quality bowl – but you may get a bit more reliability and utility from a porcelain bowl.
Can’t find an authentic French coffee bowl? Then just get a simple or decorated cereal bowl that you can repurpose as a coffee bowl. This strategy may even open up a lot of new avenues for you to try out different designs and colors too!
Mix and match sets of coffee/cereal bowls and bring in friends and family over for a hot bowl of morning coffee – the French way!
Pro Tip: Always check the quality and the design for defects before making a purchase decision. You will be using the bowl to store hot liquid so the bowl must be able to handle the excess heat.
7 Best French Coffee Bowls
Here are all the best coffee bowls that you can find in the market:
|1.||Pillivuyt Traditional European Coffee Bowl||White porcelain, microwave safe, 13 oz|
|2.||Annovero Multipurpose Bowls||Colorful set of 6, 20 oz each|
|3.||Mora Ceramic Small Bowls||White with trim, set of 6, 16 oz each|
|4.||Lenox French Perle Groove||Set of 3, white stoneware, 6 oz each|
|5.||Cafe Au Lait Coffee Pillivuyt Bowl||White porcelain with "cafe au lait" writing, 13 oz|
|6.||Sweese Porcelain Fluted Colored Bowl Set||Colorful set of 6, 20 oz each|
|7.||Sweese Porcelain Bouillon Cups||White ceramic, set of 6, 8 oz each|
We picked these bowls according to our buyer’s guide above so you should expect different sizes and styles of bowls!
1. Pillivuyt Traditional European Coffee Bowl
This is a traditional coffee bowl that you can typically find at any traditional European home or coffeehouse.
It is the perfect way to start your mornings and is an excellent simple white coffee bowl that you can also use as a decoration piece.
This bowl is made of pure high-quality and durable porcelain that can withstand minor shocks. It can hold up to 13 ounces of fluid and you can easily clean it within seconds thanks to its polished design.
2. Annovero Multipurpose Bowls
Change it up by adding color to your China cabinet! This multipurpose set of bowls is the perfect way to introduce your family and friends to this wonderful French tradition.
You get an assortment of six “grade A” porcelain bowls that all come in different colors and designs. Each cup is around 23 oz which means that you would be getting a venti cup’s worth of coffee every morning!
They are microwave safe and are polished in a way that adds shine, and protects them from odors and bacteria, too!
3. Mora Ceramic Small Bowls
These are one of the most attractive-looking coffee bowls on the market.
They have a muted design with a brown-colored base that stands out! It is the best coffee bowl for people who enjoy simplicity with just a little bit of pizzazz.
Each of these bowls can hold up to 16 oz of coffee and you can wash them in the dishwasher, too! They are made of high-quality ceramic and can also be microwaved if you ever want to quickly reheat a cup of coffee in the morning!
4. Lenox French Perle Groove
Not only does this set make for a great coffee bowl, but it is also a fantastic gift for any type of occasion.
The bowls are made of premium stoneware and are designed to last a lifetime, all while providing you with maximum durability and reliability.
Each bowl is microwave safe. If you don’t feel like cleaning them individually, then you can also throw them into the dishwasher for a quick wash!
5. Pillivuyt Cafe Au Lait Coffee Bowl
This bowl is as traditional as it gets, with one extra little detail.
The Pillivuyt white coffee bowl is designed to be a replica of the same bowls that are used across France.
It even has “café au Lait” printed on the side – just like you find in some coffeehouses. The bowl itself is made of high-quality porcelain and can hold up to 13 fluid ounces.
It is a classic addition for any coffee lover – and it also happens to be dishwasher safe!
6. Sweese Porcelain Fluted Colored Bowl Set
Love colored and eye-catching bowls? Then you are going to fall in love with this set of six cute multipurpose bowls.
They will liven up your kitchen counter and can hold up to 26 ounces of coffee.
There is a color for everyone! You get a dark blue, light blue, yellow, white, red, and navy-blue bowl.
They come with a fun and grippy design (a.k.a. fluting) on the exterior which can make holding the cups easier when you are dealing with a full bowl of hot coffee.
We highly recommend that you start with this set if you’re not sure where to start!
7. Sweese Porcelain Bouillon Cups
Want to keep it simple and classy without dealing with overly large bowls?
Then why not try this set of six plain white, 8-ounce coffee bowls?
These bowls are made of premium-grade porcelain and can also be microwaved or washed in the dishwasher. They are the perfect pairing with black or milk coffee. We’re sure you’ll enjoy drinking from them!
The smaller size is ideal for people who like concentrated coffee. It can also be a great vessel for tea and other coffee-based beverages too!