Of all the reasons to drink your espresso out of a for-here ceramic cup… in today’s Anchorage Daily News Bill Sherwonit professes doing so as part of his “move toward becoming a more responsible espresso drinker.” No, I’m not making this up: adn.com | life : Housecleaning tips: Begin with small steps and see where they lead.

The author talks about how he parted ways with paper cups as an environmental cause. Of course, this begs the question of whether a paper cup or the soap-and-hot-water washing of ceramic cups is more environmentally responsible. Afterall, the “paper or plastic” grocery bag debate turned out to be such a quagmire for environmentalists.

So while the environmental debate may still be out, why overlook the fact that an espresso tastes far better in a real cup? Would you drink a single malt scotch out of a paper cup? Would you dine out at a fine restaurant and request that everything be served in a plastic basket, wrapped in aluminum foil?

If you bothered to have an espresso drink of any decent quality at all, a lot of preparation has undoubtedly gone in to making it: freshly roasted beans, the right blend, a tuned machine, the right timing and barista skill, etc. So why take that $3-4 coffee and dump it in a paper cup like something served at a four-year-old’s birthday party? There’s a reason why the good baristas take the effort to pre-heat cups … why espresso served in paper cups tastes like paper … why the best espresso cups are chosen to provide the right amount of thermal insulation while providing a shape that best suspends the delicate crema that sits on top of the espresso.

Given that the article’s author also professes to drinking his espresso out of a 16-ounce insulated mug, I hope that he’s putting milk in it. (Otherwise he has a lot more problems than just environmental ones.) But even if you’re drinking one of those milkshake-sized espresso drinks, do yourself a favor: lose the paper. You’ve earned the right to be treated like an adult.