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Render HTML with native CoffeeScript templates. No magic, no fuss.


Teacup is templates in CoffeeScript.

Compose DSL functions to build strings of HTML. Package templates and helpers in CommonJS, AMD modules, or vanilla coffeescript. Integrate with the tools you love: Express, Backbone, Rails, and more.

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The Basics

Use the renderable helper to create a function that returns an HTML string when called.

{renderableulliinput} = require 'teacup'
template = renderable (teas)->
  ul ->
    for tea in teas
      li tea
    input type: 'button'value: 'Steep'
console.log template(['Jasmine''Darjeeling'])
# Outputs <ul><li>Jasmine</li><li>Darjeeling</li></ul><input type="button" value="Steep"/> 

Use the render helper to render a template to a string immediately.

{renderulli} = require 'teacup'
output = render ->
  ul ->
    li 'Bergamont'
    li 'Chamomile'
console.log output
# Outputs <ul><li>Bergamont</li><li>Chamomile</li></ul> 


To use Teacup as your Express template engine:

Install from npm

$ npm install teacup

Register Teacup as a view engine.

express = require 'express'
teacup = require 'teacup/lib/express'
app = express()
app.configure ->
  app.engine "coffee"teacup.renderFile

Then write your views as regular old coffee files that export a renderable template.

# views/ 
{renderabledivh1} = require 'teacup'
module.exports = renderable ({title}) ->
  div '#example'->
    h1 "Hello, #{title}"

You can use Teacup templates even if your Express app is not using CoffeeScript.


If you are using connect-assets to compile your CoffeeScript in an asset pipeline, you can use the Teacup middleware which registers connect-assets js and css helpers with Teacup.

Grab the module to get started

$ npm install teacup

Then configure the middleware

express = require 'express'
connectAssets = require 'teacup/lib/connect-assets'
app = express()
app.configure ->
  app.use connectAssets(src: 'assets'jsDir: 'javascripts'cssDir: 'stylesheets')

And in your templates:

{renderablejscsshtmlheadbody} = require 'teacup'
module.exports = renderable ->
  html ->
    head ->
      js 'app'
      css 'app'
    body ->
      # ... 

The Teacup middleware passes the provided options to connect-assets and returns an instance of the connect-assets middleware.


To use for client-side rendering, all you need is teacup.js. You can toss it in a script tag, require() and browserify it, load it with an AMD loader, send it down an asset pipeline like Rails or connect-assets, or use some sweet custom build process.

Teacup claims window.teacup if you arent using AMD or CommonJS.

{renderableulli} = teacup
template = renderable (items)->
  ul ->
    li item for item in items
console.log template(['One''Two'])


Feel free to write your template in the same file as a Backbone View and call it from view.render() like so:

{renderabledivh1ullipforminput} = teacup
template = renderable (kids) ->
  div ->
    h1 "Welcome to our tea party"
    p "We have a few kids at the table..."
    ul ->
      kids.each (kid) ->
        li kid.get 'name'
    form ->
      input placeholder: 'Add another'
class PartyView extends Backbone.View
  constructor: (kids) ->
    @kids = new Backbone.Collection kids
  render: ->
    @$el.html template(@kids)
    @$('form input').focus()

Check out teacup-backbone-example for a complete Backbone + Express app.


The Teacup::Rails gem makes Teacup available to the asset pipeline in Rails 3.1+.


Ids and Classes

Pass a CSS selector as the first argument to a tag function to add ids and classes.

{renderdiv} = require 'teacup'
console.log render ->
  div '#confirm.btn.btn-small'
# Outputs <div id="confirm" class="btn btn-small"></div> 


Define tag attributes with object literals.

{renderbutton} = require 'teacup'
console.log render ->
  button '.btn'type: 'button'disabled: true'Click Me'
# Outputs <button class="btn" type="button" disabled="disabled">Click Me</button> 


Teacup escapes input by default. To disable escaping, use the raw helper.

{renderrawh1div} = require 'teacup'
inner = render ->
  h1 'Header'
console.log render ->
  div inner
# Outputs <div>&lt;h1&gt;Header&lt;/h1&gt;</div> 
console.log render ->
  div ->
    raw inner
# Outputs <div><h1>Header</h1></div> 


The text helper inserts a string in the template without wrapping it in a tag. It creates a text node.

{rendertextbemp} = require 'teacup'
console.log render ->
  p ->
    text 'Sometimes you just want '
    b 'plain'
    text ' text.'
# Outputs <p>Sometimes you just want <b>plain</b> text.</p> 

Custom Tags

You can define custom tags with the tag helper.

{rendertag} = require 'teacup'
console.log render ->
  tag 'chart',
    value: '5'
    style: 'colored'
# Outputs <chart value="5" style="colored"></chart> 


Write view helpers as renderable functions and require them as needed.

Here's a helpers file that defines a set of microformats.

# views/ 
{renderablespantext} = require 'teacup'
moment = require 'moment'
module.exports =
  hcalendar: renderable ({date, location, summary}) ->
    span ".vevent"->
      span ".summary"summary
      text " on "
      span ".dtstart"moment(date).format("YYYY-MM-DD")
      text " was in "
      span ".location"location

And a view that uses one of the helpers.

# views/ 
{renderableulli} = require 'teacup'
{hcalendar} = require './microformats'
module.exports = renderable ({events}) ->
  ul ->
    for event in events
      li ->
        hcalendar event

You can write helpers that support css selector classnames and ids using normalizeArgs:

{normalizeArgsinput} = require 'teacup'
textInput = ->
  {attrscontents} = normalizeArgs arguments
  attrs.type = 'text'
  input attrscontents

Compiling Templates

Just use the CoffeeScript compiler. Uglify will make em real small.

$ coffee -c -o build src


Use plugins with the use method:

teacup = require 'teacup'
camelToKebab = require 'teacup-camel-to-kebab'
teacup.use camelToKebab()


Create your own teacup tag-like components:

caption = component (selector, attrs, renderContents) ->
  div "#{selector}.caption"renderContents
caption '.photo-caption' -> text "A bird"
# Outputs <div class="photo-caption caption">A bird</div> 

Components can also pass data along to their children:

modal = component (selector, attrs, renderContents) ->
  closeButton = ->
    button 'Close'
  div '.modal'->
modal (closeButton) ->
  text 'close me: '
# Outputs <div class="modal">close me: <button>Close</button></div> 

Available Plugins

  • camel-to-kebab - transform camelCase attribute names to kebab-case
  • databind - simplify defining KnockoutJS attributes


How's this different from CoffeeCup?

CoffeeCup is the currently maintained fork of CoffeeKup and is what we were using at Good Eggs before switching to Teacup. The problem with CoffeeCup is that it uses some eval magic to put the tag functions in scope. This magic breaks closure scope so you can't actually write templates using the functional constructs that you'd expect.


Markaby begat CoffeeKup begat CoffeeCup and DryKup which begat Teacup.


$ git clone && cd teacup
$ npm install
$ npm test