Mugs for Any Coffee-Lover In Your Life
One of the only redeeming qualities of a cold, blustery winter snowstorm is curling up in a big, comfy armchair with a roaring fireplace and a piping hot, seasonal drink—whether it's a steaming hot chocolate (see our favorite hot chocolate hacks), a perfectly steeped tea (see the best bagged varieties), or a classic cup of freshly made coffee. (Side note: If you still can’t figure out what the right ratio of grounds to water is, check out this barista’s best secrets for mastering the at-home brew.) And, although you could serve that delicious drink in a paper to-go cup or that plain ol’ mug you’ve had on your shelf for years, something with a little more character will only enhance the experience—plus, it makes for a fun conversation starter at the office. Totally stumped about what to get that coworker you barely know for the annual secret Santa exchange? A mug is always a practical and affordable choice. Does she love cats? Or maybe he buys himself a doughnut for breakfast every day? Choosing a mug that features a design or saying that reflects their interests is an easy way to show you’ve actually been listening. And, as any true office worker knows, a cup of coffee is an absolute necessity every single day of the week.
“Do Your Best” Crowned Leaf Mug
BUY IT: $12; anthropologie.com
Here’s to a warm beverage served up with a reassuring message. Crafted by a Massachusetts-based artist and ceramicist, each of the dishwasher-safe china mugs in this collection has a nice phrase painted on it: “something good,” “hello there,” “make it happen,” or “do your best.” And inside are cheery colorful patterns like stripes or large polka dots. With their thick durable walls and comfortable, interesting handles, these mugs feel like they’re high quality, despite their low price point. The cheery, handsome, and totally innocent mugs make fabulous gifts for bosses and work contacts or even stuffed with candy and stuffed in a stocking.
Black Cat Mugs
BUY IT: $14 for two, worldmarket.com
Here kitty, kitty! These adorable cat-shaped mugs are a wonderfully whimsical gift for feline-loving friends and relatives. Extra wide on the bottom means more coffee (or tea) in every serving and extra stability—great if you’re a little wobbly in the morning like us. These come in sets of two, so you’ll always have a clean mug in rotation—they’re dishwasher safe, too. Here’s a smart gift idea: print out our Chocolate Chunk Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe or design your own blend and package it alongside the mugs. It’s a purrfectly sweet way to say Happy Holidays.
There’s a Chance This Is Wine Mug
BUY IT: $16; madelinevyandco.etsy.com
It’s 5pm somewhere, right? This classic glossy white ceramic mug, made in southern California, is fancied up with hand-lettered font. It makes a fantastic gift for the recent college grad in your life who has yet to see the purpose of breakable, dust-gathering sets of wine glasses. Or, go ahead and give it to your cheeky best friend. Mugs are dishwasher and microwave safe. They’re ready to ship in five to seven days, and take an additional five days in the mail, so be sure to plan ahead (this tongue-in-cheek gem is worth it).
I’m Silently Correcting Your Grammar Mug
BUY IT: $18; prettycollected.etsy.com
For the grammar perfectionist in your life, we found a snarky mug that reminds everyone of her intentions in neat, jaunty script. No matter whether she’s a righty or a lefty, everyone can read the message because it’s printed on both sides. Each mug is heat pressed by hand in a small home studio in LA, but don’t worry, it is microwave and dishwasher safe. If you need the gift to arrive in a jiffy, you’re in luck, because they’re shipped by priority mail and will arrive in no more than three business days.
Snap Happy Lips Mug
BUY IT: $20, bedbathandbeyond.com
Instead of watching the latest local news with your morning brew, why not take a moment instead to analyze the shape of your mouth? This lip-smacked mug from Kate Spade New York will tell you if you’re a “cupid’s bow,” which means you’re quick and to the point, or a wise “lavish lips.” Fill it with some spicy cinnamon candy or bite-sized cookies as a gift for your sweetheart, or give it along with a pound of your favorite coffee or loose tea. Whomever receives this clever mug will be smiling from ear to ear.
The Boss Mug
BUY IT: $14; bloomingdales.com
If your boss has a sense of humor, this mug will be a huge hit. No matter who’s on the receiving end of this gift, they will appreciate the instant confidence boost every time they drink a warm beverage. The fun, metallic lettering will add a touch of trendy style to any desk or countertop. The mug holds 12 ounces, which is about the size of a medium cup of coffee or tea (or hot chocolate, for that matter), and a large rounded handle makes cupping the glass with your whole hand easy. Hand wash only.
French Bulldog Icon Mug
BUY IT: $14; anthropologie.com
Yes, the painterly French bulldog on this mug is absolutely irresistible, with its alert ears and puppy dog eyes. But that’s not the mug’s only appeal. The slightly flared stoneware sides make an elegant shape that adds a touch of sophistication to any kitchen. Give this mug individually, or include several others from the collection, too. The other mugs have different images (including a unicorn, dachshund, corgi, llama, Eiffel tower, and narwhal), in slightly varied shapes so they’re charmingly mismatched, but all are painted with the same blue ink. The charming mugs are classic enough for anyone on your gift list.
Wake Up Heat-Sensitive Mug
BUY IT: $13; bloomingdales.com
It may look like a white porcelain mug with a sleepy cartoon face on the front. It is cute, and oh-so-expressive, right down to the under-eye circles and creased forehead. But fill it with hot liquid (preferably strong black coffee, or hot cocoa will do, too), and that sad, sleepy face will magically perk up into two round, wide-awake eyes. Even the under-eye circles and creased forehead disappear (if only coffee worked that way in real life). Heat-sensitive ink works the magic, and it needs to be treated a bit gently, so hand wash only.
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Coffee Chart Mug
BUY IT: $15; uncommongoods.com
Coffee lovers and science geeks alike will be jittery with excitement when they set eyes on this mug because it’s printed with an expansive chart of coffee information. The chart includes various methods for making coffee (like pour over), the branded gadgets for each method (like a Chemex), the varieties of coffee each gadget produces, and the coffee derivatives that can be made by adding ice cubes, cold water, milk, sugar, etc. There’s so much information that one could continue learning about coffee for weeks. However, the chart, created by two New York designers, is also graphically beautiful.
Library Card Mug
BUY IT: $12, uncommongoods.com
No need to keep browsing: bookworms will never want to return this bright yellow, shiny coffee cup. It’s made to look like a vintage paper library card. You can actually write on it with Magic or dry erase markers (all ages will enjoy)—it’ll wash right off in the dishwasher. Perfect for your must-read book list! At just over $10, the inexpensive, charming mug makes a thoughtful gift for your children’s teachers or librarians. It also looks stylish sitting on a desk, either for drinking coffee and tea, or filled up with pens and pencils. It’s microwave safe.