Although not a coffee drinker myself, it has always tickled me that a country so steeped in design tradition such as Italy would hold so steadfastly to a form as ergonomically unsound as the classic espresso coffee cup. My chief complaint is the ludicrous handle which has to be pinched between the index finger and thumb while simultaneously trying to ignore the searing heat of the coffee that has conducted through it.
Also, once the drinker has sipped, returning the tiny cup to the saucer, as any adult hand can attest, requires an immense ammount of dexterity in rotating the wrist, splaying the three spare fingers and opening the thumb and index fingers just loose and low enough to slide the cup down and connect to the saucer without dropping it.
While on a ceramics course yesterday in the jungle near Ubud, I asked the owner of the ceramics house, herself a master ceramicist and avid coffee lover, to explain further. Based on her basic requirements for creating the ultimate coffee drinking experience I have come up with a vessel that I feel would be able to maintain an elegance while being a more comfortable, practical approach to the ceremony of fine coffee drinking. Oh, and its double ended so you can flip it for your second shot ;)