Wanted: One Mug

I broke my favorite coffee mug this morning. I put it down in a precarious place on the edge of the kitchen counter, and when I wiped off the counter, I went a little too far and whisked that mug right onto the floor!

Little did I know last week when I took the picture of my desk for my blog posting, that it would be the last, maybe only, one of my mug. Now I’m glad I have it. (Not that I make a habit of taking pictures of my mugs, or any of my other dishes, for that matter.)

It’s just that I have a particular attachment to my coffee mug. I use the same one every morning. In the afternoon, when I heat up leftover coffee, I use a small jelly jar. In the evening for tea, I use a large green glass mug.

But in the morning? It’s always the same small white and blue flowered mug. Because I’m a creature of habit that way.

It will take me a while to find a new one. I’m very particular: it has to be on the small side because I like to take lots of trips to the kitchen for refills, and I never fill it up more than half way to make sure that I’ll need a break soon.

In truth, I’ve had several great mugs over the years—a few better than others, but once broken all hard to replace. One other favorite we got when we first moved to Maine was striped blue and white with white and blue clams, fish, and starfish. Another favorite—a tall narrow cup from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts—was adorned with lovely, graceful blue irises.

For a while I’ll use a stand-in, with many to choose from, but none seem quite right. I’ll take my time to find my new morning companion. Because I’m picky, but patient that way.

And until I find one, please…

Be on the lookout for a mug fitting this general description.

1. It must be narrow, preferably curved, to fit the hollow of my left hand, so in winter I can hold it against my chin or my chest while I think, look out the window, and ponder what to write next. But it should not be so narrow that it would stand out as being its most obvious feature.

2. The walls of the cup must be thick(-er than thin) because that will keep the coffee warmer longer—particularly important because I add milk to my coffee, but I like to drink it when it’s very, very hot.

3. The handle needs to be wide enough for two, preferably three fingers, but narrow enough for flexibility in handling. This is of particular importance when I’m carrying my laptop to another room—so I can take my coffee at the same time. But it’s also important when I hold the cup against my chin (see #1). And when I hold my cup with my right hand (which is purely utilitarian for actually drinking the coffee), I need the versatility of grabbing it by the handle or slipping my thumb or two to three fingers through the handle, while cupping the cup in my hand.

4. It most probably should be white with a predominantly blue design or pattern: flowers or fish or some other entertaining picture or print (but definitely not words). This gives me something to think about when I stare at my coffee cup instead of off into space.

5. It must have a sturdy, steady base that is well weighted and can balance on a stack of papers, on a couch arm, a pile of books, on the roof of a car, or—yes—even on the edge of a kitchen counter. Because I’m clumsy that way.

If you come across a mug of this general description, please alert @wordsxo as soon as possible. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Are you particular about your coffee or tea mug? Or is there something else you always need to have with you when you write? Are you distracted, like I am, that way?




  1. V.V. Denman says:

    Ha! I just commented on your comment over on Shari Lopatin’s blog. I didn’t realize you were THAT Julia. I came over here to meet you. Well, hello again. 🙂 Pleasant coincidence to land here twice in one day. Have a good one!

  2. Liz says:

    I don’t know if you read Funky Mama Bird, but that woman’s got a system for which mug on which day of the week!

  3. C... says:

    Boy are you picky LOL, just kidding. Have you considered making one??

    I like a plain mug, no print, and it has to be thick and weighty, not dainty.

  4. @V.V. yep, I’m “that Julia.” Good to see you again! 🙂

    @Liz I just checked out Funky Mama Bird — I love it! Thanks for the connection.

    @C — you have nooooo idea how picky 🙂 As for a weighty white mug, that’s my substitute fall back that I’m using right now!

  5. Oh, most definitely, I am picky when it comes to which mug to drink out of at what time of the day.

    (Sorry, this will be lengthy ;~)

    There have been beloved mugs in the past, but I’ll start with when we moved to Ohio in Sept. 2008. When choosing a house to rent, we did a drive-by looking for coffeehouses—must have at least one good one within range or we can’t live there. We found Peaberry’s in Canfield (a suburb of Youngstown). I bought one of their mugs for drinking coffee at home and got hooked on how it felt to lift and hold it. Plus, I like that name.

    Tragically, the handle broke off when I dropped it from my sudsy hands while doing dishes. My own MEH, a sweet, thoughtful guy, bought me a new one. I treasured that new one until it got broken IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. (You understand the need for pathos and capital letters.) MEH offered to get me a third one, but at $19 or some-such it was too much of a luxury item for the budget at that time.

    Since then I’ve become accustomed to using the mugs from our blue talavera dinner set that we bought about 10 years ago when we lived in New Mexico. It’s a nice set of dishes and the mugs do feel good.

    For tea in the afternoon I switch to my lucky money cup from Las Vegas or the Kodak mug with my baby grandson on the side. For hot chocolate I use a tall, slender white mug with a cheery snowman scene on the side.

    For the Saturday and Sunday breves that my husband makes for us on our Krups espresso machine ($5 in a garage sale; what a steal) we use the fabulous red feng shui mugs I bought in Santa Fe years ago. (I call them my feng shui mugs because of the Chinese characters in gilt lettering on the side, but I have no idea if those characters are actually related to feng shui. It might say “java” in Chinese for all I know.)

    There’s a picture I took of our red mugs at the top of this article I wrote about my favorite coffee drink. If you scroll down, you’ll see a Peaberry’s mug with some sips taken from it during a taste test.

    Espresso: The Art of the Perfect Breve

    ~ Milli

  6. Great stories! MEHs rule for mug giving (that’s why I was so attached to the last one, too). And I love the feng shui mugs!! Knowing me, I’d have to research exactly what the Chinese characters mean and then write a blog about THAT! 🙂 Glad I’m not the only picky one. Off to post a pic of my afternoon coffee on Twitter!

  7. Perhaps this is THE reason I don’t drink coffee or tea? Too darn complicated. OH, who am I kidding … it’s just too darn HOT to drink coffee in the desert.

    Truth be told, I’m pretty sure I’d like it (clue no. 1: I love coffee-flavored ice cream). Figure I don’t need to add another “bad food” vice to the mix that already includes all things chocolate, all things ice cream, all things with frosting … all things sugar.

    Good luck finding the perfect companion. We writers know what we want … or don’t we? Or do we?

  8. Nina B says:

    Oh no, Julia! I’m so sorry! Seriously, I’ve been there. I use one of two different insulated cups so I can slowly sip (usually coffee) and it stays hot. One is pink and I adore it to pieces. The other is silver–for my more serious days, I guess. Actually, I just use whichever is clean. I had a red one I loved too from Borders, but alas, like the store, it broke and started leaking.

  9. Thanks for understanding — I think most people think I’m joking! (I am poking fun at myself, but I DO miss the cup.) Now that you mention an insulated mug, I’m so curious; I’ve only ever had metal ones, do they make ceramic? Maybe that’s the way I should go. Thanks for a great idea and the sympathy, too. 🙂

  10. E.J. Wesley says:

    Oh man, sorry for your loss Julia. I’m very attached to my mugs (I’ve got a rotation of about three), and I spent ages trying to find just the right ones. Hope a replacement pops up soon!


  11. Melissa — Sadly I don’t know what I want, and sadly I don’t stop with coffee: I have all those other vices you mentioned, too. Although you make a good point about the desert and coffee, have you ever tried iced coffee or frapacino from Starbucks. Amazing! Julia (p.s. I have no idea why the timing got messed up on my replies, but it wouldn’t let me have this comment right under yours!)

    E.J. — Thanks for coming by and your commiseration, too. Luckily I have a back up generic mug which will do while I look. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one with mug idiosyncracies. Thanks for the comment!

  12. cathy says:

    The other night I gave my husband a cup of vanilla-roiboos tea in one of those promotional Bailey’s mugs I’d got from someone at Christmas. No Bailey’s in it, just the logo gleaming promisingly from the side. Well, he took his first sip, then a second and a third and finally proclaimed, wide-eyed and astonished, “This tea tastes like Bailey’s. It’s a magical cup!” Unbelieving, I tasted it too and was startled to find the taste of Bailey’s caressing my unbelieving tongue…!

  13. That’s so funny! And yet disappointing — I mean what if MY mug was a magical mug, too, and now nothing will ever taste as good as the coffee I drank from it? I love your descriptive writing; makes me feel like I can taste Bailey’s too!

  14. malkie says:

    Julia, you say: “Great stories! MEHs rule for mug giving …” ??? How many Engineer Husbands do you have? (;=)

  15. HEY! I was just wondering why I hadn’t heard from you in so long….that’s why I put that typo in the comment! 🙂 Come back on Friday for MEH’s b’day; you won’t want to miss THAT! (p.s. and how many Engineer Husbands do I have? that is one for the book, not the blog!)