15 Types of Coffee Cups and Mugs – Choose the Best One for Every Occasion

This article highlights the most common types of coffee cups and mugs available based on their material and intended use.
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Last updatedLast updated: October 28, 2021
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As a coffee lover, you may not want to admit it, but you definitely have a favorite coffee mug. Heck, you probably have a coffee for all types of occasions! Going on a camping trip? Travel mug to the rescue! Looking for a convenient coffee cup? Just pull out the ceramic cups. Sometimes it even feels as though the taste of coffee is different based on the mug you use.

There are multiple types of coffee cups, most of which are defined by their material and intended use. We have compiled an essential guide for coffee enthusiasts to help you choose the best mug for your drink. Check out our comprehensive read below!

6 Types of Coffee Cups Based on Material

Here’s an interesting fact: the first coffee mugs were wooden. They were then followed by pottery mugs that went out of style since their walls were extremely thick, making it hard for people to sip their drinks. Metal mugs then made an entry and could be found in lead, silver, bronze, and even gold. Even though they had thinner walls and made sipping easier, they couldn’t be used on hot drinks. The first porcelain cups that could be used on both cold and hot drinks were only introduced in 600 CE. Reusable coffee cups are a more recent invention, and according to BBC Trusted Source He said it was the stupidest idea he had ever seen The BBC’s weekly The Boss series profiles different business leaders from around the world. This week we speak to Abigail Forsyth, founder and managing director of reusable cup business KeepCup. www.bbc.com , when their inventor, Abigail Forsyth, approached a designer with the idea, she was dismissed and told they would never sell. 

Coffee mugs have come a long way in terms of the materials they’re made from. Here are our top 6 picks. 

1. Ceramic Coffee Mugs

15 Types of Coffee Cups and Mugs - Choose the Best One for Every Occasion
Ceramic coffee mugs are very common, and it’s not hard to see why. They are highly durable and will likely outlast most of your other coffee cups. Ceramic cups also retain heat and disperse it evenly, keeping your coffee hotter for longer. You can find them anywhere, including your local shops, high school reunion, favorite diner, etc. While ceramic mugs aren’t particularly stylish, they are available in a wide variety of designs and colors, so you can easily find one that suits your personal preferences. They are also easy to clean but stain easily. 

2. Glass Coffee Mugs

15 Types of Coffee Cups and Mugs - Choose the Best One for Every Occasion
Glass coffee mugs are almost similar to ceramic cups, but they’re clear and allow you to see your coffee as you drink it, creating a beautiful and enjoyable experience. They’re also easy to clean and don’t stain easily.  Glass coffee mugs are, however, a poor heat conductor and dont retain heat. They also become hot to the touch and are fragile, which means they can chip or break easily when you drop them or hit them against your countertop. You can, however, navigate this downside by getting double-walled glass mugs with a handle. 

3. Stainless Steel Coffee Mugs

15 Types of Coffee Cups and Mugs - Choose the Best One for Every Occasion
This material is mostly used on travel mugs as it prevents heat loss and is extremely durable. You don’t have to worry about breakages or your coffee becoming cold while you’re in transit. Stainless steel coffee mugs often come with lids to prevent spills, and there are others with handles for convenience. It all boils down to your preferences. These coffee mugs are relatively pricey, but they’re worth every dime you spend on them.

4. Melamine Coffee Mugs

15 Types of Coffee Cups and Mugs - Choose the Best One for Every Occasion
Melamine is common in kitchen utensils such as cups and plates and is highly preferred for being durable and lightweight. Melamine mugs are perfect for coffee because they’re great insulators and thus keep your coffee hot for a long time without becoming hot to the touch. They’re also dishwasher safe, affordable, and are durable (they rarely break from being dropped on the floor).

You should, however, note that melamine coffee mugs aren’t safe for use in the microwave, so you can’t use them to reheat your coffee.
 

5. China Coffee Cups

15 Types of Coffee Cups and Mugs - Choose the Best One for Every Occasion
Few mugs match up to the charm and collectibility of china coffee cups; they’re extremely attractive and are often reserved for special occasions. They, however, have one major drawback: they require special care & are delicate, and therefore break easily. You have to clean and store them carefully as they’re susceptible to cracks. 

6. Stoneware Coffee Mugs

15 Types of Coffee Cups and Mugs - Choose the Best One for Every Occasion
Yes, there are coffee mugs made from stone! While stoneware coffee is not as popular, they’re highly durable and can last you a long time without cracking or chipping. They’re also very attractive, which is why most coffee drinkers prefer them. Since stoneware coffee mugs are handmade, every piece is unique. They’re also glazed and can be made from various blends of clay, flint, and stone that create an amazing look. Stoneware coffee mugs rarely stain and are great insulators. 

4 Types of Coffee Cups Based on the Intended Use

According to an article by the Washington Post Trusted Source After poring over all the evidence, experts declare coffee is (mostly) good for you - The Washington Post There’s a lower risk of many cancers, diabetes and Parkinson’s. Pregnant women, though, should be cautious. www.washingtonpost.com , coffee can be part of a healthy diet. Here are various types of coffee cups based on how you can use them. 

1. Classic Mugs

15 Types of Coffee Cups and Mugs - Choose the Best One for Every Occasion
These are the most common type of coffee mug and can be used anywhere: at home, in the office, coffee shop, etc. Classic mugs are often made from ceramic and glass and often hold about 8 0z of coffee. 

2. Demitasse / Espresso Cups

15 Types of Coffee Cups and Mugs - Choose the Best One for Every Occasion
Espresso cups are the smallest coffee cups available and only hold at most 3 oz. of fluid. When choosing your preferred cup, keep into consideration your preferred espresso shots as well as the insulation. Most espresso coffee cups are available in sets, making them a great option for entertaining. 

3. Travel Mugs

15 Types of Coffee Cups and Mugs - Choose the Best One for Every Occasion
These types of coffee cups are the perfect travel companion and are mostly made from stainless steel. Travel mugs hold a lot of coffee ( around 16 oz.) and are great for traveling with or for carrying coffee for your morning commute to work. You should, however, note that some travel mugs don’t fit under a coffee maker, so make sure you check the size before making a purchase. 

According to multiple reviews, the Contigo Snapseal Byron Stainless Steel Travel Mug is one of the best. It has a beautiful design and can hold upto 20 oz. of coffee. This mug also has a leak-proof lid, can keep your coffee hot for upto 7 hours, and can fit in most car holders. 

4. Tumblers

15 Types of Coffee Cups and Mugs - Choose the Best One for Every Occasion
These types of coffee mugs combine the features of travel mugs in terms of material and ceramic cups when it comes to shape; they’re often wide, have a lid, and are made from stainless steel. Tumblers don’t have handles.

Based on expert recommendations, the YETI Rambler 20 oz Tumbler is a great pick. It’s made from stainless steel and can hold upto 20 oz. coffee and have a lid. These coffee mugs come in various colors for you to choose from and are vacuum insulated. 

Other Types

The other types of coffee cups and mugs include:

1. Pour Over Coffee Cups

15 Types of Coffee Cups and Mugs - Choose the Best One for Every Occasion
These types of cups have pour-over ability and allow you to brew your coffee directly into your mug, reducing the number of dishes you have to clean later. 

2. Novelty Coffee Mugs

15 Types of Coffee Cups and Mugs - Choose the Best One for Every Occasion
Novelty coffee mugs are undoubtedly the most fun type of cups. They are expressive, exciting, and come in various designs. For instance, you can get a mug in the shape of a camera lens. The trick is to get a mug that looks realistic. 

3. Double-walled Coffee Cups

15 Types of Coffee Cups and Mugs - Choose the Best One for Every Occasion
These types of coffee mugs are usually made from glass. They are double-walled to prevent them from becoming hot to the touch on coffee mugs without a handle. 

4. Vintage Coffee Mugs

15 Types of Coffee Cups and Mugs - Choose the Best One for Every Occasion
Vintage coffee mugs have an authentic charm that’s hard to come by in modern mugs. Since most of them are usually old, it’s important to watch out for hairline cracks before you make a purchase. 

5. Custom Mugs

15 Types of Coffee Cups and Mugs - Choose the Best One for Every Occasion
Sometimes we all need a coffee mug that expresses our personality, which is where custom mugs come into play. They are personalized based on your preferred style. 

Final Thoughts

There are multiple types of coffee cups, and choosing the best one can be difficult. The decision is, however, made considerably easier when you segment them based on the material you’re looking for and the intended use. Before buying coffee cups or mugs, make sure you consider their durability, size, portability, and design. This is especially important when it comes to travel mugs and tumblers, as some of them may not fit in your cup holder or under your coffee maker. 

References

1.
He said it was the stupidest idea he had ever seen
The BBC’s weekly The Boss series profiles different business leaders from around the world. This week we speak to Abigail Forsyth, founder and managing director of reusable cup business KeepCup.
2.
After poring over all the evidence, experts declare coffee is (mostly) good for you - The Washington Post
There’s a lower risk of many cancers, diabetes and Parkinson’s. Pregnant women, though, should be cautious.
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