The Best Coffee Mugs of 2023, According to an Expert

Espresso mug preferences are very private. Type, sentimental worth, and routine all play an element in deciding on a favourite. On the similar time, espresso is a fancy sensory expertise: there are greater than 800 recognized taste and aroma compounds in brewed espresso, and the vessel we drink from can have an effect on how these are conveyed. The thinness of the lip, materials, dimension, and form can all have an effect on your sensory notion of espresso, however we additionally need a mug that’s snug to carry and appears fashionable—one which even makes black, drip espresso stand out.  

It additionally is perhaps time to ditch your outdated, outsized mug. Big mugs hold espresso too sizzling on account of their giant thermal mass when full, however as quickly as the quantity drops under the midway mark, the espresso cools off too shortly and turns into bitter (espresso tastes greatest round 130ºF when your palate can detect extra subtlety and sweetness). We constructed a listing of our favourite, reasonably-sized (6- to 14-ounce) espresso mugs that can enhance the flavour of your espresso whereas nonetheless remaining fashionable, snug, and straightforward to drink from. 

The Standards: What to Search for in a Espresso Mug

Severe Eats / Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

There are a variety of particular particulars that may impression each the sensory expertise and luxury of a espresso mug, so we wished to interrupt these down individually:

  • Lip thickness: A skinny lip is simpler to sip from with out dribbling, nevertheless it additionally lets you slurp the identical method a wine glass does to absorb extra of the aroma of your brew.
  • Opening width: A wider opening will permit your nostril to absorb extra aroma, however may also lose warmth quicker. Narrower cups create extra thermal mass, but additionally may block your nostril.
  • Measurement: Our sensory receptors detect extra nuance in espresso from 120-140ºF, and smaller mugs assist espresso cool to ingesting temperature faster whereas permitting you to complete your mug earlier than it turns into chilly and bitter. 
  • Base/wall thickness: Including mass within the partitions or the bottom of the mug will add extra thermal insulation, which may also help hold espresso hotter at the same time as the quantity drops. 
  • Materials: Ceramic and porcelain are higher warmth conductors and add insulation whereas glass helps espresso cool faster for people who find themselves wanting to sip. 
  • Deal with form: Spherical handles can rotate and slip, however handles with a flat prime give your thumb a greater leverage level and are extra snug to carry. 
  • Handleless choices: Typically a handleless cup can really feel extra pure to select up than these with a deal with, and so they are typically extra fashionable and glossy. 
  • Cup & saucer: A well-designed saucer permits your thumb to pinch the lip simply, making it simple to hold your espresso from room to room (and catching any spills in the event you stumble). 
  • Double-duty: Although among the mugs under have been initially meant for espresso drinks, we included them as a result of they’re additionally favorites of espresso professionals for brewed espresso. These multi-talented choices embrace the Felt+Fat 8oz Cappuccino Cup, d’Ancap 6.1oz Verona Cappuccino Cup and Saucer, Fellow 11oz Monty Double Wall Ceramic Cup, and notNeutral 6oz Vero Glass.

Up to date Traditional Mugs: Skinny Lips, Flat Handles, and Straight Sides


Working with baristas at Intelligentsia Espresso, notNeutral designed their Lino sequence particularly with specialty espresso in thoughts. With a flat deal with to your thumb to relaxation on, a thick base that retains espresso sizzling, and a skinny lip that’s simple to sip from, it’s a trendy replace to the basic diner mug—and it is available in quite a lot of colours. You might also discover that your favourite native espresso store has its personal model of the Lino mug—notNeutral produces customized designs wholesale, so hold your eye out for enjoyable patterns and colours.

Manual 11oz Amber Glass Mug


These straight-sided mugs from Guide are simple to drink from, and their exaggerated handles add trendy aptitude to their classic amber glass design. Glass permits espresso to chill extra shortly than ceramic, so these mugs are excellent for impatient sippers with a way of favor.

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug


The Ember mug has a built-in heater that retains espresso sizzling for 80 minutes and lets you set the temperature between 120ºF and 145ºF. By maintaining the espresso heat, it prevents natural acids from breaking down into bitter and bitter flavors that you just usually discover in room-temperature brews. Whereas we most well-liked the journey possibility in our testing, we additionally actually just like the dealt with mug model for ingesting at dwelling.

Miir 12oz Insulated Camp Cup


This camp mug-inspired cup from Miir checks the correct bins: a skinny lip for sipping and a thumb relaxation on the deal with, plus the added bonus of vacuum insulation. Its lid enables you to take it on the go, and its sturdy deal with could be simply clipped to a backpack for mountaineering and tenting.

Hasami 13.5oz Natural Mug with Saucer

Blue Bottle

We’re followers of the putting angles of Hasami cups, however we notably like this lidded possibility. It’s barely bigger than we’d usually suggest, however with an included stackable ceramic coaster/lid this mug can hold your espresso temperature regulated earlier than you want a refill. It’s produced from a mix of porcelain and clay, nonetheless, so it does have a rougher texture that might be off-putting to some.

Design-Ahead Choices: Smaller Sizes with Some Added Aptitude

Kinto 9oz FOG Mug


Mugs that taper in direction of the lip may also help maintain temperature, although they’re often more durable to drink from. This mug from Kinto additionally contains a flared lip however retains the entire warmth retention of a squat base with out the downsides. We additionally just like the squared-off deal with, which permits two fingers to nestle properly with a stable thumb relaxation.

marimekko 7oz Oiva/Siirtolapuutarha Coffee Cup


Finnish design agency marimekko is understood for its eye-catching patterns and colours. Their 7-ounce espresso mug is a superb dimension and form for sipping your espresso on the splendid temperature. Like most choices on this checklist, it has a flat deal with and a skinny lip, nevertheless it additionally is available in big range of basic marimekko designs (together with colorful flowers, monochrome flowers, and dots).

Haand 10oz Short Mug


Vast-mouth mugs are excellent for permitting your nostril to absorb the complete aroma of the espresso as you sip. Since half of espresso’s sensory expertise is in its aromatics, these shorter, wider mugs allow you to take all of it in. Haand provides this design in quite a lot of colours and patterns, too, permitting you to construct a set or simply select a single mug.

Felt+Fat 8oz Cappuccino Cup


Although it’s referred to as a cappuccino cup, it’s greatest for drip espresso. This smaller, squat mug has a large opening and straight sides, making it simple to sip your espresso on the excellent temp. We notably just like the confetti colorways, nevertheless it additionally is available in a handful of stable colours.

Heath 8oz Stack Mug

Heath Ceramics

Heath has been making ceramics for Bay Space espresso roasters for many years, and this smaller, stackable mug is nice for individuals with restricted cupboard house. We love the flattened deal with for a simple thumb relaxation, and the stoneware physique provides nice warmth retention.

Cups & Saucers: Vast-Mouth Cups with Drip-Catchers

d’Ancap 6.1oz Verona Cappuccino Cup and Saucer

Prima Espresso

Designed for a cappuccino, the d’Ancap 6-ounce cup and saucer is a favourite amongst espresso professionals for drip espresso as properly. It options high-quality porcelain with a thicker base that tapers to the lip, providing superior warmth retention with out sacrificing sippability. Its small capability makes it simple to sip your espresso on the excellent temperature, and the extensive mouth enables you to take within the full aroma.

Pilivuyt Coupe Porcelain Cup & Saucer

Williams Sonoma

A bigger cup-and-saucer combo, this high-quality porcelain set from Pilivuyt is elegant and durable. Porcelain holds temperature higher than common ceramic, nevertheless it’s additionally non-porous and simpler to maintain clear of outdated espresso stains. Pilivuyt has been making porcelain since 1818, and these cups are thought of commercial-grade.

Handleless Choices: Type and Consolation Mixed

Wilcoxson Brooklyn Ceramics 8oz Small Cup Leaf

Wilcoxson Brooklyn Ceramics

With its gentle, folded partitions, this piece from Wilcoxson Brooklyn Ceramics creates curves that match properly in your hand. Its skinny partitions assist espresso cool to ingesting temperature whereas letting the warmth heat your arms immediately. It is available in quite a lot of colours and patterns, and serves as a ravishing artwork piece as a lot because it does a espresso vessel.

Fellow 11oz Monty Double Wall Ceramic Cup


The Monty ceramics line from Fellow has a double-walled design for higher warmth retention whereas maintaining the surface cool to the contact. They’re a fantastic possibility for individuals who like ingesting espresso from handleless tumblers, however don’t wish to immediately seize a sizzling cup. The insides are additionally barely sloped to help in latte artwork pouring, in the event you’re on the lookout for a cup that’s well-suited for espresso drinks as properly.

notNeutral 6oz Vero Glass


The Vero line from notNeutral contains a thick, glass base and a skinny lip, maintaining it eminently sippable whereas making it heat-proof sufficient to deal with. It’s a fantastic vessel for espresso tasting, too. In case you’re seeking to brew up an costly, limited-edition espresso to share with a buddy, a set of Vero glasses enables you to sip small volumes frivolously with out feeling such as you’re holding an empty cup.


What mug form retains espresso the most popular?

Whereas a espresso mug with a heavy base that tapers upwards to the lip may hold your espresso barely hotter, mug temperature is extra of a measure of thermal mass. Bigger mugs, round 16 ounces or extra, may have a big thermal mass once they’re full and hold espresso hotter the longest—so long as they keep full. As quickly as you begin to sip espresso, the thermal mass drops considerably and the espresso will calm down faster. Smaller mugs, between six and 10 ounces, will hold espresso heat till you end your final sip and go for a refill. 

Is glass or ceramic higher for espresso? 

Supplies which are non-porous, like porcelain or glass, are the most effective vessels to drink espresso from as a result of they don’t impart any taste and don’t retain espresso oils. Easy-glazed ceramics are additionally nice choices, however pure glazes and tough surfaces can impart taste into brewed espresso. Plus, it’s more durable to scrub espresso oils from their floor. 

Why are diner mugs so thick? 

Diner mugs are designed with thick, ceramic partitions so that they’re sturdy and received’t break in busy kitchens and dish pits, and in addition so they keep warmth higher. The thicker ceramic partitions can maintain greater temperatures than thinner ceramics, however they’re additionally more durable to drink from, heavy, and awkward to carry.

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