We all have an odd assortment of mugs in a cupboard somewhere, whether we want to admit it or not – the novelty one from a secret santa of Christmas past, the promotional one you accidentally took home from work two offices ago, the one remaining relic of a once matching set. But if you love your coffee as much as we do, it makes sense to treat it to its own special cup – like a little something from our selection of the best coffee mugs, for instance.
- Like it strong? Check out our best coffee for espresso
- Make it just the way you like it with our pick of the best coffee machines
When it comes to our top picks of the best coffee cups and mugs, we’re not talking specialist flat white cups that ensure your ratio of ristretto to foam reaches scientific levels of accuracy, simply that you might want to consider larger cups for long, tall lattes or espresso cups for short shots.
After that, just like your morning cup, it’s all down to personal taste. Rainbow hues for a bright, sun-soaked Sunday morning; art-piece individual mugs for treating yourself to that extra-frothy cappuccino; handleless glass cups for a bang-on-trend minimal look.
So many of us already find our mornings a little brighter if they involve espresso, so why not add another dose of sunshine with these rainbow mugs by Le Creuset? Perfectly sized to hold your morning shot and sit under the spout of a Nespresso machine, they add a bit of fanfare to a little drink that can sometimes look lost in large cups. With one for each colour of the rainbow (except indigo, but a set of seven cups is odd, so we can’t have everything) each member of the family can have their own go-to, and with that customary Le Creuset quality, they’re sure to last.
Think of a classic drinkware brand, and it’s likely Denby will come to you straight away, but while their policy of taking that tough-as-you-like local clay straight from the Derbyshire landscape hasn’t changed, it’s making its way into some superbly arty designs these days. This mug from the Halo range is beautifully rounded with a lovely fine lip that reviewers said was a dream to drink from, but its big seller, of course, is its looks – with a delicately speckled handle and gorgeous multi-layered dark-to-light glaze, it’s certainly one for treasured guests, or a spectacular everyday.
We think there’s something inherently cosy about warming your hands on a cup – if you find yourself in agreement, the way forward is handleless, like these sleek glass coffee mugs by Bodum. Their curved shape has been commended by buyers both for the classy look it imparts and for its comfort in-hand, and the double-walled construction does double duty as standout design feature and practicality, ensuring the outside of the cup is pleasantly warm to the touch while its contents stay piping hot. Low on cupboard space? These are ideal for tea and cold drinks, too, so they really earn their keep.
Enamel cups have been showing a surge in popularity recently, although we suspect that’s got rather more to do with their good looks than their usefulness on the campsite. Even so, we think they’re onto something with that, which is why we’re so enamoured with these stainless steel coffee cups by Just Slate. They mimic the thin lipped, square handled shape of the classic camping mug, and their durable build means they won’t shatter, making them ideal for back-garden celebrations (especially if they’re holding a covert Pimms). Just add a brushed copper finish for a supremely on-trend way to take your morning coffee.
Despite the tangible quality you’d expect from Denby, users found these stoneware mugs were just the right side of heavy – hey, anything that stops coffee getting to our mouths has to be considered seriously – and were just the right size for a long black coffee or latte. They also commended the fine, curved lip that made drinking from them much more pleasant than from an overly thick rim. Add in an elegant traditional shape and selection of on-trend soft tones, and you have a very handsome and hard-working set set.
If you’re short on time in the morning, or simply don’t want to lug a whole French press up to the study, get you a cup that does two things at once. This one from Zyliss simply asks that you add hot water and your favourite ground coffee and push to mix, acting as a mug and a cafetiere in one. It’s available in smart cobalt and red, but we’re particularly taken with that deep grey-brown shade – very profesh. Users found they were left with a little silt after drinking, but seeing as you’d get this with a cafetiere anyway, we think it’s a decent tradeoff for the convenience.
Caffeine lovers - check out our guide to the best green teas, too.