Do you have a favourite mug?

I hope you’ll forgive me this rather trivial post, but, hey, it’s Friday afternoon.

I’d like to talk about mugs. Specifically, the shape of mugs, and our preferences thereof. Many years ago I discovered, to my dismay, that my best friend (and flatmate at the time) preferred drinking tea out of tall thin mugs. Not like – the world will end if I have to drink tea out of a short fat mug! – but just, faced with a cupboard full of clean mugs, she’d take out a tall thin one if she was making herself a cup of tea.

I’m the opposite – don’t like tall, thin mugs. The proportions just seem wrong, the tops seem too narrow, tea doesn’t cool down right.

I was dismayed because I suddenly realised that for a year, I’d been actively going out of my way to make her a cup of tea that was, in a minor but real sense, not the way she would like it. Without really thinking about it, whenever I made us both a cup of tea, I’d been getting two short fat mugs out of the cupboard.

Now I always make her a cup of tea in a tall, thin mug (while congratulating myself on my thoughtfulness). I like to think this is a touching testament to the depth of our 20 year friendship. Eclipsed only by the time she helped me squeeze a boil on my bum.

Anyway, my own mug-fussiness has now reached the point where I have a very specific shape of mug I prefer. Funnily enough, I don’t care in the slightest about the colour or decoration of the mug. Only about the shape. It’s a physical thing about what feels comfortable to drink. If I’m making a cup of tea I’ll comb the house, if necessary, for my favourite mug, and wash it, rather than use one of the other mugs, sitting there clean in the cupboard.

People have laughed at me for this, and called me anal. And, y’know, I do realise it’s a bit silly. But I just prefer drinking tea out of a particular-shaped mug. And as peccadillos go, I think that’s pretty harmless.

Ross and I are living with my parents for a bit at the moment (such fun, can’t tell you…). I’ve realised that they have favourite mug shapes too.

Mum likes tall thin ones. She thinks they’re more feminine. (For an ardent feminist she has some odd ideas…) Dad likes shorter mugs with a curved-out lip at the top. But not the ones that are dark-coloured inside. In fact we got into an in-depth conversation about this where Dad lined up his favourite five mugs on the kitchen counter-top, in order of preference. I now feel fully equipped to make parental tea. Phew!

At first Ross laughed at us all for this. But he’s recently confessed that he prefers some of their mugs to others. He particularly likes this one, he particularly dislikes that one, with a whole load of gradations in between. So now I’m wondering, how common is this?

Do most people have a favourite mug, like us? Or do most people not care, and Ross has just got infected with our weirdness? Let’s find out. So, continuing my occasional series researching absolutely trivial matters, could you vote in this poll?

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  • MarinaS (@marstrina)  On October 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I have a particular shape of mug that I prefer; it can be quite hard to come by so I’ve been known to stockpile them. Last time I came across the correctly shaped mugs I bought 2, even though the design on them was this horrible cutesy farm animal thing that I think is hideous. I even have a favourite mug at A’s place, and though it’s not 100% the right shape it’ll do, and is the only one I’m prepared to drink out of.

    • matriarchalutopia  On October 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      Ha! It’s not just me then.

      I know this is a frivolous question, but I kind of feel like these details of life give us an insight into the experience of being a person. All those silly little things that you don’t know if it’s just you, or if other people feel the same way…

  • charlieedmunds  On October 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I care about size. I like a BIG mug. And preferably an identifiably-mine mug.

  • Richard Lawson (@DocRichard)  On December 14, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Your dad is right, the inside of a mug is what counts. It must be right. Any darker colour makes the tea look (and therefore taste) weak.

  • Shev  On February 26, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Not only do I have a favourite mug, I’ve actively warned my housemates and friends off using it.

    It’s my favourite colour, a plesaing shape, and most importantly, large enough to hold nearly a pint.


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