The cup is often overlooked. It’s one of those things that is so close to our own nose and eyes that we somehow don’t notice it.
However, if you see your daily coffee habit as a something akin to a meditative practice; a ritual that sets you up for the rest of the day, then it’s worth paying attention to all the little details.
As the zen masters like to say:
How you do the small things, determines how you do everything
Personally, I enjoy trying different cups and glasses, as it somehow wholly alters the perception of the same beverage. There is no right or wrong vessel, just a lot of options that can somehow help you achieve a new coffee experience.
Coffee Cup: Best Materials for Home
In my opinion, two materials are sublime when it comes to sipping java juice.
- Glass. When using a glass, I like to use a smaller size with a rather wide opening. This material somehow helps you appreciate acidity and subtle notes of the coffee. The drink cools down very quickly this way, allowing you to taste many of the most exciting flavor notes rather quickly.
- Ceramics. This material is the granddaddy of them all when it comes to coffee mugs and almost doesn’t need any introduction. Coffee cups made with this material retain heat longer than glass as long as they are preheated. I prefer to drink my daily no-fuss morning coffee from ceramics.
Coffee Mugs for Travel & Work
Even though these are my two favorite materials, they are also both somewhat fragile. For that reason, it’s also worth mentioning the other options on the market as they make for far better travel mugs.
- Plastic: This material receives much criticism from the environmental crowd, and they are probably right in their venting. It’s not the best cup material since it doesn’t retain heat well, and doesn’t have a pleasant tactile feel. Furthermore, unless it’s high-quality plastic, it might give off an unpleasant flavor when holding a hot beverage. The main advantages are that it’s light and sturdy, which makes it an option for travel mugs.
- Metal: It doesn’t feel that luxurious to drink from a metal cup, but if the alternative is not getting any caffeine while on the road you can probably live with that. Metal is usually used in thermo travel cups, often in combination with other materials. It doesn’t give off any weird smells like plastic, and it’s also better for the environment.
Acme Evo Cappuccino Cup
This cup seems to have taken over most gentrified neighborhoods in the world. ACME is a modern classic that you see everywhere today. It’s not hard to understand why. The design is timeless, and the material has a nice feeling in the hand and against the lips. You can get this cup in all the rainbow’s colors.
Personally, I think this exact model is a little bit too wide. I prefer the company’s bigger cup.See more reviews
Acme Evo Coffee Mug
Here’s ACME’s take on the classic coffee mug. It’s got the right size, and the material is top notch. I like that it’s not too wide. An overfilled, large cup is a recipe for disaster. This model, on the other hand, is easy to drink from and has a right balance.
You can get this in a bunch of colors, all neutral shades that don’t steal too much attention from the beverage.See more reviews
The Best Ceramic Coffee Mug
Do you want something with a bit more personality than the ACME Evo? Then a handmade ceramic clay cup might be your thing.
This model is hand decorated, so every cup is unique. It’s rather large, in fact, you can probably have your whole morning ration of coffee in just a single mug. If you want something with a bit more color, they have that too, but I prefer the subtle shades of this one here; unique but not flashy.
The company that makes these cups is family-owned and based in Oregon.See more reviews
Hario Coffee Glass
Hario is called ‘the king of glass’ back home in Japan. Before the company started making coffee products, they produced glass for labs.
This craftsmanship is evident in all their products. Hario makes beautiful and sturdy glassware that always look the part.
I have had this cup for a while, and it’s always a pleasure to drink from.
Perfect proportions and a nice tactile feel. It doesn’t hurt that it also looks great on Instagram. It comes in three different sizes.See more reviews
Double Walled Espresso Glass
Traditionally, espresso was always served in a little white cup. In recent years, however, we have seen more of the so-called espresso glasses. These are great because they allow you to see the separation of crema and liquid up close.
This particular model from Kitchables is double walled. This means that it retains heat well while protecting your fingers from getting burnt. Many brands that produce double walled glasses have quality issues; often they are fragile or leaking. This brand has several hundred satisfied customers on Amazon, though, so you shouldn’t have any problems.See more reviews
Bamboo Travel Mug
This cup is made for the travelers and Trekkies among us. It looks quite nice compared to other travel mugs. I love the fact that the steel is covered with bamboo, which is an excellent eco-friendly material.
The cup is very lightweight, making it great for travel. It also has a lid that can keep the liquid hot for a while, although it’s worth pointing out that this isn’t a thermal cup.
The bottom has a rubber coating, so the cup doesn’t scratch or slide on surfaces.See more reviews
Contigo Stainless Steel Travel Mug
This isn’t the prettiest coffee cup on the market, but if you’re looking for an efficient and affordable travel mug, then this is the best bet.
It has thousands of positive reviews on Amazon, so if you trust ‘the wisdom of crowds’ then this mug should be on your radar.
It will keep your coffee hot practically all day (the company promises 5-7 hours), and it is entirely leak proof. This means that you can put it in your bag and not get any coffee stains whatsoever. This feature alone makes it an exciting option!
With a 16 oz capacity, it also keeps more than enough coffee for most people. The reviews claim that it’s easy to clean too.See more reviews
Yeti Travel and Camping Mug
This stainless steel mug is for the outdoorsy rather than the commuter. The cup is super strong and sturdy, but at the same time, it’s nice to drink from and rather pleasing to the eye.
The cup is not leak-safe, but the lid does help to keep your coffee warm for a couple of hours and will prevent spills from outright clumsiness.
With a 14 oz capacity, you can have a massive cup of coffee, or even a stew or soup when you’re out camping.See more reviews
At the end of the day choosing the right mugs for your coffee comes down to personal preference. On one hand, I think a coffee cup should be aesthetically pleasing, and on the other it should also serve a purpose.
Luckily, you don’t have to just settle on a single mug for your brew. Since cups are usually pretty affordable, you can have a whole little collection at home if you wish to do so.