Author: george Posted: April 5, 2009

A bit of San Francisco has traveled up North.

We finally got our Gibraltar tumblers at crema last week.  We had been looking in every restaurant supply store and fancy schmancy glassware store in the city for the proper size. 

At the end of the day, turns out our food reps had perfect 4.5 oz gibraltar cups.  

For now, we aren’t even putting it up on the menu.  It’s just a drink that you can order if you are ‘in-the-know’ so to speak.  People start asking questions pretty fast when they see you with one.

The Gibraltar is not just the name of the cup, it is the name of the drink, and thus can not be modded in anyway.

For here only.  2 shots.  Whole milk.  Temperature on the very cool side, circa 120.


I like it it because you get a different feeling holding and drinking it.  In a glass tumbler it feels more natural to stand around with and just talk with other people by the bar, probably because we’re used to doing this with almost every other social drink (eg. beer, wine, vodka, etc.).  It’s a staff favorite already.

I always find it a little bit awkward standing with a demitasse and saucer in hand.  Do you hold the saucer and cup with 2 hands?  Or do you hold both by the saucer and play a balancing act the entire time?  Maybe it’s just me.

Funny enough, 2 days ago I was at Ethical Bean and the guy in front of me in the line asked the cashier what a “Gibraltar” was.  I perked up and wondered where that question possibly could have come from.  A quick glance at the menu told me the answer-  Ethical has them too – as of a week ago apparently. Total coincidence.

Fast forward 2 days and Elysian twitters that they are now rockin’ the gibraltars.

So as far as I know, (correct me if I’m wrong) you can get a gibraltar at 3 cafes in Vancouver:  Crema, Ethical, and Elysian.  

Amazing, because as of 2 weeks ago you wouldn’t be able to get it anywhere.

I bet anyone a press of Aricha that by summer time there are at least 2 or 3 other cafes to add to that list.




22 Responses to “Gibraltars.

  1. Jonny says:

    JJ P & T and Moja are now rockin’ the Gibraltars.

    (But only if Tristan, David or I are working ;) )

  2. Robert Csar says:
  3. brent dennen says:

    i want one.

  4. ya.wei says:

    available at the library, too. only when yawei’s working and in a good mood – just kidding. now i have to go visit you again.

  5. Jeremy says:

    yes! that is exactly how coffee is meant to be.

    I use a cheap 5oz glass at work for all my own drinks–if it’s too hot to hold, it’s too hot to drink. In Australia, where I learned a lot about coffee, every cafe serves their drinks in glasses.

    (p.s. I work at the Radio Station Cafe.. we met when you came in to review the place ages ago.)

  6. John says:

    I’m a fan of this drink –or the concept of any drink like this, it doesn’t technically have to be a Gibraltar. It allows you to get away with something you normally wouldn’t. It’s easy to think, “um, it’s just a 4 ounce macciatto, big deal.” but there’s a bit more to it.

    It’s the perfect excuse. We get to mask what we believe is a pure coffee experience behind a silly cup and name. There is no soy, no extra hot, no decaf, no single shot, no low fat milk, no to-go -zip-nadda-nothing. No-mods. Customers get the drink the way we think is best. Want a 4 ounce single-shot Gibraltar, to-go, extra hot? Nope, But, you can have a 4oz single-shot latte, to-go, extra hot.

    The added bonus of using a Gebraltar for this concept of, “an excuse” is they’ve probably not seen many drinks poured into a Gibraltar glass (at least in Canada), and most likely haven’t heard the word Gibraltar in context of coffee. I find first experiences allow customers to be extra perceptive, and usually it leads to in-depth conversations about the details of coffee.

  7. Doug Finley says:

    George…now we have to do our (specialty cafe’s) part to protect the drink. No “Gibraltar’s to go”! At Moja, we are trying to down-size our drinkers. Example…Latte to Cappuccino. Cappuccino to Macs. I look forward to having one at Crema soon! Cheers.

  8. david says:

    JJ P&T doesn’t have the true Gibraltar size. The tumbler size JJ has is about 6-7oz. I might get my own set of tumblers from Ikea (they sell 2 oz, 5oz, and 12oz tumblers for cheap).

  9. Anth says:

    meh :)

  10. lawrence says:


    Maybe if someone in Halifax starting serving ‘spro in some special glass (e.g. 2oz Bodum Pavina) and gave it a fancy name like “Pavina” maybe most places could start serving ‘spro with less than 4-5 ounces in their shot. Just a stupid suggestion.

  11. John says:

    Possibly the best order ever.
    Yesterday a group of 4 came into Crema and ordered 4 Gibraltars, and then immediately followed with 4 presses of Aricha #34.

  12. Vova says:

    Hey.. I was looking into getting a few of those Gibraltar cups
    Where can i get them

  13. david says:


    You can get 5oz cups at Ikea…… (The real name for the cup is called a “Tumbler”)

  14. Grady says:

    If I pour a single malt whisky into a wine glass, I can call it whatever I want, but it is still a single malt whisky.

  15. george says:

    @david and Vova
    Actually, the name of this specific cup is “Gibraltar”. It’s made by a company called Libbey.

    Yes, it’s essentially a poured cappuccino, but where oh where in the city are you going to find a 4.5oz double cappuccino?

  16. arthur wynne says:

    thats how we serve lattes in oz

  17. arthur wynne says:

    oh and bars use them as a rocks glass

  18. Julian says:

    Wait… isn’t this the same as the Austrailian “flat white”? Or am I mistaken? Otherwise, I make these for myself at work all the time.

  19. Scott Henderson says:

    Love the look of the drink in the clear tumbler. Are the folks in Nanaimo ready for this. We still smile at people who complain about our 16 oz large mugs offered at our cafe’, when apparently 7-11 offers 20 ounces of pure crap for half the price. Maybe we’ll go slow and just drink the Gibraltar ourselves… and say “this isn’t for you, you’re just not ready”.

  20. Tyler Brown says:


    Well said.

  21. Grady says:


    Keep fighting the good fight in Nanaimo! We’re behind you! Being a missionary is always hard, but always rewarding.

  22. Jimmy says:

    That post at The Shot is priceless. Especially when Steve Ford says “…it’s just another piece of f_cking latte art.”

    But I do think the concept is kinda ninja. How else could you serve a cappuccino at 120F? Call it something completely different: the gibraltar.

    I just wish people would stop freepouring their capps with art! :)

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