food,  photographs,  Thoughts

favourite coffee mugs

I drink a lot of hot drinks throughout the day, coffee and herbal teas mostly. I have a wide variety of mugs I like to use, and a couple of strange rules have arisen.

First, most of my mugs are strictly divided into coffee or tea mugs. There’s no cross-contamination between the two. There is only one exception, and that’s a set of matching pottery mugs that I put out ‘for company’, and they have to be flexible. Secondly, some mugs are mine and some are Martin’s. We share a couple of them.

Technically I could banish these rules and make it a free-for-all. The world wouldn’t end if coffee splashed into a tea mug. But I think some other weird order would spring up over time. It’s one of those quirks of human interaction with inanimate objects. The more we use them the more we imbue them with a narrative life, partly assisted by the accretion of memories associated with them.

It is not just the shape and texture of the cup in our hands, as well as the smell of our beverage, it’s also all those we have shared this drink with before (or the solitary nature of our indulgence), and all the moments of cheer and despair we have experienced with it.

Since I work from home I use these mugs all the time, and many of them have been with me a long time.

I have favourites. I’m not going to pretend that all mugs are equal in my eyes – they’re not. These are the ones I reach for first (the others get used as the dishwasher fills up – and I try to ensure every mug gets on the rotation regularly). Today, I’m going to show you my favourite coffee mugs. I’ve way more tea cups because I drink far more herbal tea than coffee.

Russian doll mug

I love this mug with the Russian doll motif. Partly it’s the design, and the other reason is the size of the handle, and it holds a generous amount of coffee.

I like a variety of colours, textures, and shapes in my drinking vessels.

Helen Griffin mug

This is a hand-thrown, hand-glazed mug from Helen Griffin Ceramics in Galway. I bought it at the Kinvara Farmer’s Market last year and it rocketed to the top of my favourite coffee mugs list immediately.

It feels great in the hand, and there is a pleasing range of colours in it. Hand-made mugs are hard to beat. I have plenty of manufactured ones, but the ones where a craftsperson was personally involved in shaping the object have a special place in my heart.

Miskatonic University mug

Martin and I share this coffee mug. It offers a large dose of the dark elixir, has a big handle, and of course it sports the Miskatonic University logo on the front.

Which is quite suitable for our household.

Wonder woman cup

Wondy gives me a lift some days. Bullets bounce off her bracers, and she smiles.

When I drink from that colourful mug I feel up to the task at hand, even if it’s one of those difficult chores. I throw my lasso of coffee truth over my villainous editing, and the words scramble to line up in a seemly order.

Paul Maloney espresso

This is an espresso cup from Paul Maloney Pottery. The reason the crema isn’t perfect is that by the time I moved the cup, got my camera, and started taking pictures, it dissipated a little.

Here’s an older photo of my Gaggia espresso machine.

The first one of the day

I like the fact you can see Minnie’s face reflected in the chrome on the front.

At the moment I’m not drinking caffeinated coffee, so espressos are out. Technically you could make a decaffeinated espresso, but that seems like an affront to the whole point of an espresso.

So, I make my decaff coffees (I buy Swiss-water decaffeinated to cut down on the chemicals) in a cafetière.

In a later blog post I’ll be displaying my favourite tea cups – oh, the excitement!

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