Updated: April 12, 2018
An expertly crafted single origin latte can be a damn fine drink. Except when you are forced to drink it out of the thin, plastic ‘World’s Best Dad’ mug that was the only thing left in the cupboard. (No offence to World’s Best Dads…) On the flipside, a thick ceramic mug that oozes class can enhance the coffee drinking experience that much more.
In fact, there is literally science that suggests the quality of a mug can enhance the enjoyment of a coffee. If you don’t want to read the paper, it says that the same coffee in a white mug tastes nicer and the same coffee in a glass tastes less bitter. Stupid humans…
You might be in the market for a last minute birthday gift or you might be wanting to take your latte game to the next level with a proper latte glass. You might want the best coffee cup that keeps coffee hot or you maybe just need some decent paper cups for your barbecue next month. There’s 9 categories for 9 types of buyer. Look around at your leisure. Each one will have a pretty gold link that takes you straight to Amazon… Easy!
A lot of people are gonna choose a mug based on design and… well, just design. So for each category I’ve included a few of the best coffee mugs or cups – all with photos – so you can pick what you like the most!
1. Best espresso demitasse
2. Best standard coffee mugs
3. Best coffee mug for a commuter (best to go coffee mug)
4. Best coffee mug for a gift
5. Best extra large coffee mugs
6. Best latte glass
7. Best funny coffee mug
8. Best disposable coffee cups
9. Best thermos coffee mug (insulated coffee mug)
Best espresso demitasse cups
The art of espresso drinking is one that is discussed and debated in the pantheon of the gods. Or something. What I’m saying is you really, really wanna have a nice cup to drink espresso from. These smaller sized cups are known as ‘demitasse‘ which is French for ‘half a cup’.
The first set are these beautiful double-walled espresso glasses. The double walls give them a heat retaining effect – perfect for the small size of espresso which seems to get cool in like 15 seconds.
This espresso demitasse from Illy is a pretty penny at $75 but just look at it! It’s gorgeous! Designed by a famous artist, the idea is the handles represent a reimagined infinity symbol. The whole Illy website is full of expensive but beautiful espresso cups if you’d like to check out more.
This last set are ceramic espresso cups which have a more traditional demitasse design but with arty writing on the side. You get a lovely metal rack to display them on in your kitchen and you even have small little saucers to go with your small little cups.
Best standard coffee mug
This is the standard. The 12oz beauty that everyone has about 19 of in their kitchen. And out of those 19 you probably have 1 or 2 that you like drinking coffee out of. And I’ll bet they’re both chipped! Well no longer! Here are some absolute beauties of standard coffee mugs, both ceramic and stainless steel.
To start, here’s a lovely pair of stainless steel mugs by Maki. Nice design, solid feel and with the added bonus of some heat retention. These 15oz babies are the top sellers on Amazon and has the added benefit of a no-nonsense money back guarantee.
The next option is my kind of mug, a plain and simple design that feels weighty and has a thick brim. Nothing like drinking coffee out of a cup with a thick brim, as I sometimes think…
The next ones come in a set of 4 for a very reasonable price. These ceramic earthenware are really nice looking – much nicer than the photos suggest – and you have the option of a boatload of different colors!
Best coffee mug for the commuter (best to go coffee mug)
It’s 7am, your coffee is made but you’ve gotta be straight out the door? Looking to get that 30 cents off at Starbucks? This one is the one for you.
This one will fit well in your car’s cup holder and it has a clever ‘quarter-turn lid’ sealing design that will lock the opening and prevent spills – although note that the small sip opening on the top will always remain open. It can take a solid 16oz and is reasonably good at keeping it hot for a while.
Another option is this similar design which has the hilarious ‘This is probably wine’ written on it.. Perhaps one to leave in the car when you drop your 4-year-old off at the nursery!
Best coffee mug as a gift
I get it. It’s 22nd December and you’ve not bought your brother / father-in-law / zumba instructor a present for Christmas. You need something everyone will like, costs less than $20 and maybe will get a laugh out of them. Well, I’ve got the perfect solution: a coffee mug!
(It’s possible you’re more thoughtful than me and are actually buying this as a nice surprise for someone, too.)
This coffee mug has a little shark in the bottom that slowly reveals itself as you drink the coffee.
This strange design props itself up off the table and hovers – good for science buffs who will need to work out just where the centre of gravity is.
This cute ninja-themed design is perfect for that last minute baby brother present. It even comes with a classic ninja shuriken and a not-so-classic ninja spoon. Other options from the same company are a bat-themed or Apple macintosh-themed mug.
The picture shows the mug with levels that go ‘Go Away’ to ‘Not Yet’ to ‘How May I Help You?’ as you drink your coffee. Trust me on this, this coffee mug gets a HUGE laugh at family gatherings. It’s also quite a nice design for a comedy mug, quite drinkable all on its own.
Best extra large coffee mug
I must admit, there have been times where I’ve filled a large French Press and just sat there drinking cup after cup. Not healthy, is it? If only I had a larger cup. Well, here are some options.
Some people need a coffee to wake up in the mornings. And some people need a 20oz monster load of super strong coffee before they are capable of functioning like a normal human being. Luckily, there are mugs for people like that.
First is the fitnessCity Titanium cups. These were originally designed for outdoors or camping situations, but their strong build and low balance make them a great bet for those who need a larger cup. They come in at 600ml which is a touch over 20oz.
The 20z Orca Chaser is another large one with a stainless steel exterior. This has a tough polymer grip handle and a copolyester lid giving it a much more traditional ‘mug’ feel.
Best latte glass
There are some who would argue that a Latte is the prettiest of all the coffees. These are smart people. A cute glass filled with a light hazelnut-brown coffee layered over pale white milk. Mmmm… I’m there.
So let’s see how you can get the very same effect at home.
First up is from the famous coffee brand Bodum and this is my personal choice in this category. A good size at 13.5oz, it’s dishwasher and microwave safe and even has a (mild) thermos effect!
If you’re absolutely after that ‘no handle’ look then here’s another solid option from BonJour. These are a similar size at 12oz and also are double walled giving it a thermos effect. And there’s two of them. That’s… more than one.
Best funny coffee mugs
I’ll let the text do the talking on this one, safe to say this makes a perfect christmas present if you really, really want to wind up a brother or sister.
While I can’t condone the rampant use of swearing on this mug I can condone the message. It might even serve as a reminder to some of your colleagues…
Oh dear, more swearing. Still, you can’t deny the humor!
The last one is so special it gets a place in two categories! The picture shows the mug with levels that go ‘Go Away’ to ‘Not Yet’ to ‘How May I Help You?’ as you drink your coffee. Trust me on this, this coffee mug gets a HUGE laugh at family gatherings. It’s also quite a nice design for a comedy mug, quite drinkable all on its own.
Best disposable coffee cups
Garden party and want to show off your coffee making skills? Or maybe someone in your household just can’t be trusted with anything that has a remote possibility of breaking? Whatever your reason, disposable coffee cups are available and some of them are lovely.
These first set are well priced and have an insulating ripple that keeps the cup cool to the touch even if the coffee inside is piping hot – no need for an extra sleeve of double cup if they are being carried. Doesn’t come with lids but you can buy them separately.
The next option have a cute polka dot pattern and have the notable advantage of coming with a lid. These are a sturdy option – very little bend in the cup even if you squeeze it.
What the last set lack in design and prettiness they make up for in other areas. Each cup comes with a jacket and lid for convenience. The material is all made of paper and other bio-degradable and compostable materials so you’re in the clear on the environmental front.
Best thermos coffee mugs (insulated coffee mugs)
Confession time: I actually don’t like my coffee hot. I need a bare minimum of 10 minutes after the brew before I can properly enjoy my drink. The amount of arguments I’ve had with people over this means I know there’s plenty of you out there who need their coffee at a similar temperature to the fires of hell. Well, if you wanna know how to keep coffee hot then here are the best mugs for you.
We’ll start with the Avitos – a really nice stainless steel option. Insulated for hot and cold temperatures, these can carry 14oz and have an insulating lid. Perfect if you want high quality heat retention but still want something that looks like a mug – probably the best all round choice for best coffee cup that keeps coffee hot.
If keeping the heat in is your absolute priority then I’m gonna have to recommend the YETI Coolers Rambler. Available in 10oz, 20oz or 30oz options this is more like a traditional vacuum flask that you can drink out of. This one will keep your coffee scalding for hours.
The last option, and nicest looking in my opinion, is the Bodum Bistro coffee mugs/glasses. These 10oz glasses are made from borosilicate glass and are double walled so they will be effective at keeping the heat in while still being cool to the touch.
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