Lino Coffee Cups Review
by Randy Glass - Copyright 2016 - All rights reserved
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
A sample selection of my "notNeutral" coffee cups.
Top - 10 ounce Lino coffee mug - Lino 12 ounce latte.
Bottom - Lino 6 ounce double cappuccino - Meno 3 ounce espresso.
Form and function. Function and form. Debate it as you will, but as an artist I cannot help but see when the two harmoniously meet in a way to create an object that works as intended, and is simultaneously pleasing to the eye.
I had been thinking about some new cups as we had lost a couple of our ACF cups to the fury which resides at the bottom of our kitchen sink. Since the Italian company, ACF, had gone out of business it was necessary to find replacements elsewhere.
At the 2016 SCAA exhibition I came across the "notNeutral" booth and was immediately taken by the beauty and simplicity of their porcelain tableware. The glaze was immaculate and even the bottom foot of the cups were very nicely finished.
NotNeutral has three lines of cups and matching saucers:
Fina - This line features ivory-hued "new bone china" which they report is more robust than traditional bone china. While beautiful, visually the handle is slightly delicate than the Lino line of cups but features the same basic design as the Lino handle.
Lino - The lino line is white porcelain and features a more traditional tulip-shaped cup with an ergonomic handle.
Meno - The Meno cups are the same shape and size as the Lino cups, but without the handle.
I have chosen the Lino line for their traditional shape. As you can see above, from the very first time I picked up one of the "Lino" six ounce cappuccino cup, without thought my hand grasped the cup naturally, comfortably, and securely. The handle's opening is larger than you normally find in a coffee vessel. I normally wear a large-size glove, and as you see there is still lots of room inside the handle. While that makes it easier to pick up, it is also easier to release your grip without your finger getting caught and then accidentally tipping the cup when placing it back on the saucer.
The first time I lifted the Lino cappuccino cup I placed my thumb, without thought, on the wide, flat area where the handle meets the rim. Note that the design of the handle also eliminates the valley where most handles meet the cup's body making the cup that much easier to wash and it eliminates the buildup of coffee stains that we so often find in that location.
The saucers are designed with a form-fitting well that securely holds the cup in place. The "foot" on the bottom of the saucers is also sized to fit inside the rim of the cups for which they are designed to allow stacking for storage.
About the only negative thing that might dissuade you is that most of their wares give you the choice of white. The Meno coffee cups also come in a black exterior glaze, and the Meno coffee mugs ("beakers" for those across the pond) come in a number of colors.
Their wares are designed in Los Angeles, and all the cups and saucers I have were made in Sri Lanka. In their own words, "we do not discriminate between the ornament and the object." From the first time you lift one of their cups you will realize that this is more than just puffery.
If you are looking for quality tableware from which you can proudly serve coffee to family, friends, or even yourself, I highly recommend notNeutral.