How to Choose the Perfect Coffee Mug
What makes the Perfect Coffee Mug and why is it important?
Choosing the right coffee or tea mug might sound like a trivial type of question but I assure you it makes all the difference when you're trying to find something to use for your everyday brew. As a potter I've made and experimented with many forms over the years which has made me realise there are a few things to consider when choosing, although all down to personal preference here's my insights to find the perfect coffee mug.
Although the shape and size of a mug is probably the most important aspect of a coffee mug purchase we should also consider the overall aesthetic first, How do you want the mug to make you feel? is it bright? is it dark and moody? When having guests do you want your mugs to give a 'wow factor'? I personally love a simple, clean design with pops of colour but I also have friends who love bold, 'one of a kind' mugs which is also perfectly acceptable. Choose the right style that matches your vision.
Function & Size - Tea or Coffee?
Now lets cover function and size. It's important to consider what sort of beverage you'll be most using your mugs for. Historically a cup of tea may only be as large as 150ml which are roughly the size of my mugs here. These are also approximately the same size as a mug for a lungo coffee or a cappuccino, but if you're more into a larger morning brew then a 400ml large mug might be your best option. I find this is my perfect morning coffee size because it has a fairly large quantity without me feeling too full, especially when it's all coffee! (Side note, it's perfect for dunking biscuits if you're a tea drinker too).
We've covered size and function but lets cover shape. Shape is the most important thing to me when I'm making my mugs as this really determines the overall function of the piece. Heat dynamics suggest that a rounded, bulb shape with a smaller opening generally retains heat longer than a straight cylindrical form but in my opinion this is at the expense of aesthetic due to my love for clean, straight lines. The thickness of a mug will also make a difference, a thicker walled piece will lose heat slightly slower than a thinner walled piece at the expense of added weight.
I try to design my pieces with the purchaser in mind. I aim to create all my mugs with an even wall, allowing for a good heat retaining capacity whilst also keeping the vessel light and easy to use. I finish all rims with a soft piece of faux chamois leaving a smooth area to meet the lips & design all my handles so that they are soft, strong, lightweight and durable.
I hope you've liked my insights into what makes the perfect coffee mug, I'd love to know what you look for in a mug too so please get in touch or DM me on social @hobbsceramics.