Where did mugs come from?
Like duvets, they just somehow crept into our lives and took over: feathers in a bag rather than blankets, tea in a small bucket as appose to a cup and saucer.
They are practical I suppose, and sometimes comforting — cold hands wrapped around a steaming MUG is a different thing to cup, saucer, index finder, thumb and, if you like, little finger extended in manner of Vicar comes to Tea, in Sunday afternoon dramas.
Over the years, I have kept a small (very small) mental study going, of what makes the mug experience good, bad or indifferent. As an ardent tea drinker (now restricted to three cups a day, sadly, due to caffeine making me more than usually removed from sensible behaviour).
So the findings of this non-funded study:
White is good. Non white inside, not good; whether it be buttercup yellow, acid green or homely terracotta.
Shade of white: (yes, there are hundreds) friendly off white, or ivory – if you are feeling 'Interiors magazine-ish' — bordering on cream, best.
Shape: Ah, now, probably the most important thing.
Slightly rounded, good, but nothing silly like a barrel shape; no 1980s severe cone-shaped things with painful spiky handles. Good honest greasy-spoon café type shape is great — off white, with a nice round handle that you can tuck your index finger into, while you wait for the egg, bacon, beans and buttery white toast.
These are our present mugs.
No one else seems to give a poop what they drink out of in our house, but to me it does make a difference, so from the left:
1/ Silly mug that came from a sex shop in Bournmouth — I think I just went in because I'd never been in one. Why they had mugs in there next to the pink and purple rubbery things, I don't know.
Two much colour on it for me, but fun to give to vegetarians. (I love animals — they taste so good).
2/ Probably my favourite: old now, it came from a supermarket for two euros — the embodiment of comfort-mug, to me anyway: off white, gently rounded, quite chunky china, but not too chunky.
3/ Cheap offering from supermarket, recently. I thought I liked it, but it's too small, and too Persil- white.
4/Good café shaped one, but a bit too small, and a blue-white that feels distinctly cold — not good.
5/ This is actually my favourite one: from a second hand shop, just a bit too small for the times of really needing a 'nice cup of tea and a sit down' but I love it's friendly orange 1970s-ness.
6/ We have several of these; they came from an appalling shop somewhere on the outskirts of Toulouse, when I had gone to buy bed-linen and discovered that IKEA, was SHUT!
Basically, a good colour, interesting ridgy effect, but dangerous, in that they are lacking in base-weight and liable to fall over . . . usually on this computer keyboard.
Link to a very wonderfully silly site all about tea and biscuits.