The Size of Coffee Cups at Brunch Joints is Too Damn Small

I love brunch. I could eat brunch any time of the day and be completely satisfied. This morning, I enjoyed morning brunch with my family.

Here's a picture of my coffee mug. I've included a creamer for scale, so you can see how small the cup is. I find this cup size is typical at most brunch establishments.


I enjoy coffee in the morning. I typically only drink one cup, but it's a fairly large travel mug. A tiny cup like this? I'll need several refills to get my fill.

My kingdom for a brunch place with a reasonable adult-sized coffee mug!

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1st (world problems)!

May 24, 2015 @ 3:01 PM


You get free refills at any establishment I've been to for brunch.
Fresh every time. Don't complain.

May 24, 2015 @ 3:21 PM

Jason from Sudbury

I don't drink coffee. Usually have milk with my breakfast and I have the same problem. Glass is too small and you don't get free refills for milk. Mind you at home I usually have my milk in a mason jar. So there's my first world problem.

May 24, 2015 @ 4:03 PM


The size may not suit your needs, but from a food services standpoint it makes sense. Smaller cups means waste (you tossing out coffee) is less likely. The coffee left in your large cup is served to another diner increasing profit on a high margin product. It's called smart business.

The success of a restaurant is as much about this type of stuff as it is about good food.

May 24, 2015 @ 4:36 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

If annoying customers with coffee cups for ants is good business, they're doing a swell job.

May 24, 2015 @ 4:54 PM


I could counter that if that is your biggest issue, count your blessings Mike.

May 24, 2015 @ 4:57 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I don't buy into this "first world problems" thing. No problem is too small for sharing and discussion. Not all issues have to be life and death.

May 24, 2015 @ 5:01 PM


Who says they are? Not me. I didn't use the hashtag. But consider this

1. It cuts back on waste in the food services industry. This increases profit margins which, in turn, may translate in to higher wages, long shifts for staff, etc.

2. Coffee is a tropical product. It's grown in foreign lands, often under "slave" like conditions for the worker (forget the "respect the Bean" commercials). The product is then transported using either plane or boat long distances. Jet fuel and bunker fuel are made from high sulfur oil (sour oil/heavy oil from tar sands). The result is a elevated CO2 levels & substantially increased pollution. You, Sir Mike, declare you mow your lawn with a human powered mower for environmental reasons, ja?

*LOL*, so it's also a 3rd world problem too Mike. Now, you get points if it was fair trade.

May 24, 2015 @ 5:15 PM

Ben V


We should add this to the pile with using the grocery divider.

May 24, 2015 @ 5:22 PM

Ben V

@gump: sorry i didnt even read your comment before typing mine lol

May 24, 2015 @ 5:23 PM


I was just busting Mike's balls because it's Sunday and I got a good nights sleep.

May 24, 2015 @ 6:01 PM


Is all you have to comment about. Small cups.
30size cup A.

May 24, 2015 @ 6:26 PM


I wonder what they would think if we brought in our own mugs.

May 24, 2015 @ 7:47 PM

Rob in Ajax

The coffee 'mugs' in the bedrooms at Great Wolf Lodge are even smaller than the brunch ones. It's so borders on offensive. The wife and I now bring up our own mugs and a Kuerig machine to save us from the horrendous coffe provided in-room or at the eateries.

People don't drink Dixie-cup-sizes of coffee anymore. They drink out of big bastard sized mugs with heft and volume to sooth the much needed caffeine fix. I'm with you, Mike.

May 24, 2015 @ 9:57 PM


For sure, the coffee cups are way too small. But, and this is just a theory, maybe it keeps the servers circulating to the tables with those ugly coffee pots. The customer might be inclined to tip a little more if they feel the service was extra attentive. It also gives you a chance to speak to someone if something went wrong with your order.

May 25, 2015 @ 7:48 AM


I don't mind the small cups if my server is available for re-fills. Sometimes you get a server who's way too busy and you sit there dying for your 2nd small cup of coffee.

I would also like to add that I wish all servers would pre-bus the tables. Nothing worse than sitting there after you've finished your meal with a table full of dirty dishes.

But yes, these and many others are totally #firstworldproblems. Wow, that was the first time I've ever used a hashtag. Funny, I don't feel any better....

May 25, 2015 @ 8:18 AM

Ryan G /

I have a related irritant regarding tiny diner coffee cups.

Maybe I'm labelled a pain in the ass by servers who attend to me, but I always prefer a fresh, clean cup when they come around to refill your coffee. In other words, don't pour fresh coffee over the few remaining ounces of cooling coffee in my cup. Servers will often come by and say "would you like me to warm that up for you?" Um, I don't want that hellish alchemy at all thank you very much.

If I'm at a bar and my pint is nearly done, the bartender doesn't say "would you like me to cool that down for you?" and pour new beer over the old beer. If he or she does, that tells me there's an excellent chance I'm getting knifed at that bar.

May 25, 2015 @ 9:21 AM

Ben V

@ Toronto Mike: Are you more of white bread, rye or French toast guy when it comes to your carbs at brunch?

Further to that is it pea-meal bacon or regular bacon?

Please also say you aren't a an Eggs Benedict guy....

May 25, 2015 @ 10:25 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Ben V

I only ever order my eggs one way... scrambled. And I love French Toast.

May 25, 2015 @ 10:28 AM


- you can bring your own mugs to a buffet

- Again, the small cup is to conserve waste. Coffee is a money maker & food is often not in the restaurant business. Would you prefer bigger cups & more waste, then accept the price increase? Not likely. Then you'd whine about it.


A beer glass should never be used twice. BUT, more importantly, you should ask what level of CO2 they use in their beer. If it's food or beverage grade. If it's not food grade, it changes the taste of beer & can give you headaches (ever wondered why draft gives you headaches)? Secondly, dirty draft beer lines. This causes changes in flavour. It can be common on draft lines which are not frequently used.

@Ben V: Eggs Benny is huge in Western Canada. It's one of the few foods in Alberta that's superior to Ontario (for choice, taste, etc).

May 25, 2015 @ 10:53 AM

James Edgar

I'm not a huge fan of the small cups either, but I'm ok with them as I do understand the concept. Of not wasting coffee.

On a side note: I wonder about Second cup and starbucks when i see virtually every customer not drinking a mocha frappacrappa or what ever dumping coffee out to put in milk or cream. they are losing money on that i bet.

I find scrambled eggs tasteless so i only order over easy . With rye toast . Sometimes bacon sometimes ham ,sometimes sausage ( not often usually crazy salty) and less often peameal ,most restaurants have no idea how to cook it without drying it out so much it gets hard. .

May 25, 2015 @ 11:57 AM


@ Mike, since no problem is too small to discuss, can we talk about something near and dear to your heart? Cyclists. I'm all for cyclist safety, but I seem to care more about their safety than cyclists themselves.

I should elaborate that I am both a motorist and a cyclist, and my experience as both really aggravates me because there is a large contingent of idiots who pedal on our roads. Actually, many don't even pedal on the roads, they still use the sidewalk despite having been given dedicated bike lanes. In these instances, if they are approaching me, I refuse to move over, usually resulting in some hilarious exchange of language as they drop down to the street and then get back up on the sidewalk.

As a motorist, if I give out a short "hey there, be careful, I'm behind you" honk, I get flipped a digit.

As a fellow cyclist, when I track one of them down and ask very casually if they are colourblind or just above the law, I am ignored or seldomly told it's not my business.

So my question to you Toronto Mike, and other cyclists is this; why is it that cyclists can be amongst the most angry, irresponsible and unapologetic users of our roads and sidewalks? Just some food for thought, and I'd genuinely like to hear from you because there is no question we have a large population of idiotic motorists, but cyclists aren't usually up for discussion.

May 25, 2015 @ 12:08 PM



If Starbucks customers dump their coffee that's fine. They've paid for it. The cream thing is another thing all together. For some people if you don't fill the cup to the top they feel ripped off & whine. Others, like myself, want some space in the top (even if I drink a coffee black).


Years ago I was a hard core bike rider. A Saturday could see me ride from Mississauga to Elora & back just to do it (The Niagara Escarpment is PURE hell). I often rode in traffic but I never liked it as I preferred bike paths. The same problems exist now as they did then & will continue too.

The ugly truth is the "bike/car" mix is just a bad idea and it doesn't work. Both the car & the bike side have a high percentage of assholes. Neither respect or like each other. And the biking contingent can be loud & in your face at times. The result is sometimes money isn't well spent on bike lanes that have very little use. I loved to ride my bike but I only enjoyed it on trails, paths or quiet country roads. Riding down Eglington or Dixie Road required nerves of steel and a serious attention span. Hardly "enjoyable".

What's the answer? I don't know. I do think that cities should engineer neighborhoods to be bike friendly from the get go & have a series of paths. In cities like Toronto the answer is tougher. What I do think is that those people looking to ride on major roads (not paths) should be licensed (with plates). And there should be tickets issued for things like running red lights, etc.

And..good bike riders need to get mad at the idiots. Same way I feel about people on motorbikes who drive like assholes. The bigger problem is driving in general & the anger involved (especially in Ontario where it's madness). I'd sooner drive in Rogers Pass in a snowstorm than drive around the city in anything. And Rogers Pass gets 10 metres of snow a year.

May 25, 2015 @ 1:01 PM


You speak common sense Irv.

I agree with all your points. I grow frustrated with the environment in the city generally. We've always had poor planning but it seems even more pathetic lately. Like narrowing down Eglinton at the Allen to one lane. Really? So that construction workers can park their cars on site. That is literally all it's done for. I took a look inside, and other than a crane and some supplies, the space that they created on Eglinton is for nothing other than parking. Ridiculous.

Also, the traffic lights are atrocious. It's 2015, I am sure there are some great software programs that can alter the traffic light patterns to deal with peak rush hour. But no, still on the same system from the '80's. Even up until 7-8 years ago, I used to enjoy living in this city much more than I do now. I find people are less friendly and more upset most of the time.

Your trips to the escarpment sound stressful but ultimately worth it.

May 25, 2015 @ 1:59 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I don't understand why adults are cycling on sidewalks. I won't even let my kids bike on sidewalks. Sidewalks are for pedestrians.

There are some bad cyclists, just like there are some bad drivers, but most of us (I try to be a good cyclist and driver) are courteous, safe and respectful.

May 25, 2015 @ 2:52 PM


I truly believe the hottest part of hell is reserved for people who ride their bikes on sidewalks. If you're 9 or younger, fine. Older than that, ride on the effing road.

May 25, 2015 @ 2:58 PM



Why do adults ride on the sidewalk? It's simple Mike. They're scared of riding on the road, that's why. As someone who suffered a serious leg injury in an accident, I can understand why. Try living life in a wheelchair even for a week or hobbling on crutches and trying to live. It fucking totally sucks.
Sure it's wrong, but I understand why people do it especially on busy arterial roads.

The issue with big cities and driving is the flight to the inner city. People want to live downtown and that they are doing. The urban areas are not designed for the volume of cars & can't easily be expanded. You want to see parking hell, try downtown Calgary. I had a rental in the core (which is pricey) for 2 reasons. 1 is it's cheaper than a hotel at 220 a night. 2, it made commuting to most of my clients (downtown) easy. I bought a bus pass or I just walked. A few years ago when I'd have to park downtown, I could spend 40 minutes going in a circle looking for a spot. And then if you found one, get ready to shell out $$. Back in 2007-8, I was doing small business IT and on average I would spend about 800$ a month on parking. All in Calgary. That came off the bottom line. Not like I could bill it back.

@Cristos. I used to ride north out of Brampton & then ride into the Forks of the Credit (namely Belfountain). I'd often ride up Mississauga Road. It doesn't look like a big hill, but it is. I can remember I'd average about 9 km per hour on the speedometer. Going down the hill I once hit 82 km per hour. And I had legs like tree trunks back then. It's freaking brutal & the road has narrow shoulders too.

If you're game for a great ride, all roads north of Fergus are good. The Bruce is even better, especially the road on the Huron side. You head through the Singing Sands & it's nice, flat and treed. The only problem is the odd dog that might come out to chase you.

May 25, 2015 @ 4:57 PM


I love going out for breakfast/brunch. I agree, the cups are minuscule compared to the size of a cup of coffee most people drink nowdays. While I'm a fairly new coffee drinker, I tend to appreciate an establishment that supplies you an abundance of what you might need so as to save calling over a waiter or waitress. Coffee is definitely one thing I would like to see an urn of on the table if more than one person orders it. This should be the case for water across the board as well, a pitcher of water should be standard with meals at some places like diners. And on the subject of coffee, please supply ample additives (especially when there's often a pound of sugar on the table but only a few little cream and milk containers.)

May 25, 2015 @ 5:12 PM

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