The Great Mug Incident of ’13

Tea or coffee?
I need a new mug.

I had a work mug, identical to the hundreds of others which everyone got recently. Most of these mugs ended up in the kitchens, but I’d managed to hold onto this one specific mug since I got it. So, it was with no small amount of sadness that today it got lost amongst all the other identical mugs in the dishwasher.

It wasn’t me who put it there, I hasten to add. Now, to the casual observer, it was just another mug. But this was my mug. I’d washed it every night and kept it safe on my desk. Could you not just take one of the other mugs, I was asked. The ‘exactly the same as the one you lost’ went unsaid.

No. That was my mug.

I know it sounds silly. I know, I know.

So now, I need to go mug shopping. I’ve had a number of mugs over the years, but there are some quite specific requirements when it comes to getting The Perfect Mug.

  • Size. Despite what they say, when it comes to mugs, size *is* important. Too small, and you’re into multiple tea rounds. Too large, and it’s cold by the time you get to the bottom of the cup.
  • Handle. You need a good handle on a mug, one which facilitates carrying multiple cups for the aforementioned tea round. I’ve had mugs with handles which are too small, making the multi-carry tricky, or with sides which slope, causing the tea to slosh.
  • Design. I’m not a huge fan of the gimmicky slogan mugs. I like them to be a little plainer and understated. That said, my favourite ‘at home’ mug is the Starbucks City Mug I got in Barcelona. Perfect size, good handle, straight sides. Trouble is, Barcelona is a long way to go to get a replacement. And getting one from here with ‘London’ on it just isn’t quite right.

So, dear reader, I’m in the market for The Perfect Mug. I’ve got my eye on a few potentials, but am open to suggestions…

* The mugs in the photo aren’t the identical ones I was referring to. Yes, they are identical. But the pendantic amongst you will note that they’re cups, not mugs. Well spotted, you.

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

15 thoughts on “The Great Mug Incident of ’13”

  1. I would of course loan you one of my cherished Starbucks mugs with Beijing or China on – how many people have THOSE! – but I would need replacements if they were to go awol mind….

  2. Mug preferences are important. I have specific mugs for different purposes, including morning tea mugs and afternoon tea mugs. Then coffee mugs,fruit tea mugs, hot chocolate mugs, guest mugs…

    1. Definitely. At home I have a range of cups & mugs depending on time of day, drink etc. Sometimes you just fancy a small green tea, for example. Other times you want a giant mug of coffee.

      Each mug has its perfect time & place. Work mugs ate trickier as you’re trying to cater for all-day use 🙂

      1. This is very true. I don’t have a work mug at the moment after breaking the last one, which I got for free and mainly used because it was so hideous no-one would steal it. I do not know how I will pick a new one. It sort of has to be special since I must use it all day, but not TOO special, as it is only for work.

      2. Exactly. I’d like it to be personal, but not too special. I’m using my backup mug at the moment, which is a bit too big, sadly.

  3. one word: china. Not the country…the, you know, fine and expensive and beautifully suited to hot drinks material you will thoroughly enjoy using. It’s got to be china. Try second hand shops for quirky ones, but watch out for cracks. They hide a monstrous amount of germs, apparently…I never counted…

      1. I got a whole tea service from a charity shop. I adore it!It would have been great to know a bit of the history behind it though. Shame that volunteers in charity shops don’t have time to dig up details just to add to the charm of browsing through thier stores. And it could be a sad story: the tea service belonged to somebody who got dumped at the altar – this was one of their wedding presents, impossible to return because partly shattered in anger against the abandoning partner…Yes, you’ll find your mug! Or you could ask somebody to buy it for you.

      2. I’d love to know the provenance of stuff that finds its way into charity shops. Someone just having a clear out, or as you suggest, something more tragic? Perhaps someone bought them a brand new set so they’re getting rid of an old one?

        On Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 9:01 AM, espresso coco

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