When a recipe asks for 1/4 cup or 1/8 cup of almond milk or coconut water, we are referring to a measuring cup that has designated lines on the cup and you pour your ingredient until you reach the line. They are used for liquids.
When the recipe asks for 1/4 cup spinach or 2 tablespoon of hemp seeds, we are referring to use measuring spoons. They are often used for dry ingredients.
In this picture: https://howtoboilanegg.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/april-7-2010-007.jpg, you will see measuring spoons (left) and measuring cup (top right).