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No matter how you decide to make your coffee, in the end, everyone needs a mug or espresso cup to enjoy their final brew. While some prefer a mug that’s full of character and color, others enjoy something to take with them on their commute to work. There really is no one-size-fits-all option, because choosing the best mug comes down to a thing of preference, and luckily there’s no lack of choices available today.
From durable stainless steel cups and insulated mugs to self-warming coffeeware, here’s are the best coffee mugs and espresso cups.
Best Overall, Coffee: Le Creuset Stoneware Mug, 14 Ounces
Available in many color varieties
Made in China
Lip curve feels unnatural for some
For a classic everyday mug, it doesn’t get much better than the Le Creuset Stoneware Mug. This popular mug has a 14-ounce capacity that's suitable for a large serving of coffee or your favorite morning beverage. It's made of stoneware, which is very durable and designed for daily use. Additionally, this mug has a colorful, non-porous glaze that's resistant to scratches, chips, and stains. It’s also nonstick for an easy cleanup process.
This coffee mug is available in 20 different color options, so you’re bound to find your favorite shade to match your style or your home decor. It's safe for the oven, microwave, broiler, freezer, and even metal utensils. This mug is dishwasher safe and comes with a 10-year warranty to add to its overall value.
Best Overall, Espresso: De'Longhi Double Wall Thermal Espresso Cups
Perfect size for a single espresso shot
Cool to the touch
Water may seep between double walls
If you’re looking for a durable and beautiful espresso cup or two, look no further than De’Longhi’s Double Wall Thermal Espresso Cups. Boasting double-wall insulation, these small glasses keep drinks hot or cold, while also limiting condensation. This means they can be used for all types of drinks, such as hot coffee, iced coffee, espresso, and beyond.
They're made of BPA-free borosilicate glass, a material that helps to guard against breakage, and are designed with an elegant, clear body and sleek, curved sides to provide a comfortable grip. Each glass measures 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches and holds up to 2 ounces, fitting a single shot of espresso easily and possibly even a double shot. The De’Longhi espresso cups are dishwasher safe.
Best Travel Mug: Contigo Autoseal West Loop Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug
Spill- and leak-proof
Easy to handle with one hand
Long heat retention
Must be hand washed
Too wide for some car cup holders
For coffee that you can take on the road, this travel mug from Contigo is the ideal companion for commuters. It holds up to 20 ounces of your favorite beverage, which is, for many, enough coffee to last throughout the workday. It’s also leak- and spill-proof due to the mug's “autoseal” feature that locks the lid in place. It even has an easy one-handed drinking feature, which allows you to open the lid and sip your beverage at the push of a button.
Drinks will remain hot for up to seven hours and cold for up to 18 hours, thanks to this mug's excellent vacuum insulation. It's available in a number of colors and sizes, and the lid is dishwasher safe (top rack only), although the body must be hand washed. All of Contigo’s products have a limited lifetime guarantee, so you can rest assured that you’re buying a high-quality product.
"The Contigo performed even better than promised." — Suzie Dundas, Product Tester
Best Glass Mug: JoyJolt Serene Double Walled Insulated Glasses Coffee Mugs, Set of 2
Perfect single-serve size for coffee
Clean and beautiful design
Looks like plastic
JoyJolt’s two-piece set of glass mugs are worth turning your attention to for their beautiful crystal clear design. Each glass mug holds 7.4 ounces and is made of borosilicate glass, which isn't as heavy as traditional glass, making them lightweight and comfortable to hold. They're heat-resistant and resistant to temperature changes, and boast double-wall insulation to keep your hands cool when handling hot beverages or free of condensation when drinking iced coffee. They're perfectly sized for single servings of coffee or espresso-based beverages, such as cappuccinos or lattes.
These glass coffee mugs are dishwasher-, microwave-, oven-, and freezer-safe. They're also backed by a limited one-year manufacturer warranty.
Best Self-Warming Mug: Ember Mug²
Exact temperature control
Several colors and sizes available
Hand wash only
Short battery life
For the coffee drinker who enjoys their beverage piping hot or even lukewarm, the Ember Mug² is designed to keep your coffee at the exact temperature you choose. This can be set anywhere between 120 degrees Fahrenheit and 145 degrees Fahrenheit via the Ember app.
Unlike a coffee mug warmer, the mug itself does the warming, as the battery is built right into the body. The included charging coaster allows you to take the mug around the house wire-free, when it's fully charged, for up to 1.5 hours. Another nice feature is the LED indicator at the base of the mug that lets you know when your mug has reached the set temperature.
Choose from several color options and two mug sizes, including 10 and 14 ounces. These mugs must be washed by hand and can be fully submerged in water up to 3.2 feet.
"From the moment I poured my coffee into the mug, it stayed hot until I was finished about 60 minutes later." — Cheyenne Elwell, Product Tester
Best Insulated Espresso Cups: Real Deal Steel Double-Wall Insulated Espresso Cups, Set of 4
Keeps espresso hot
Not microwave safe
Stainless steel isn’t ideal for coffee
For the ultimate insulation when it comes to your morning espresso, this four-piece set maintains temperature flawlessly. Made of the highest-grade 18/8 stainless steel, it also works to protect your hands from getting burned when handling hot liquids. The square handle is designed to provide a convenient hold, allowing you to put your finger through or pinch when drinking.
These cups also come with a powder coat finish, protecting your cups from peeling or chipping. Each espresso cup holds up to 3 ounces, which works for single and double espresso shots. They're dishwasher safe and available in several colors, including black, blue, natural, white, and assorted.
Best Double Espresso Cups: Bruntmor 4-Ounce Espresso Coffee Cups with Saucers, Set of 4
Available in fun colors and designs
Holds up to 4 ounces
Matching saucers included
Not stackable as advertised
Lacking in quality control
If you’re someone who enjoys a double shot or maybe even a triple shot of espresso, it’s important to find an espresso cup that can accommodate the volume. Bruntmor’s four-piece espresso set holds a maximum capacity of 4 ounces per cup. This is above and beyond the amount of a traditional double shot of 2 ounces.
Made of ceramic, these mugs are chip-resistant and incredibly durable. They also have relatively thick walls, which helps retain the temperature of your drink for a while. Each cup even comes with a matching saucer. In terms of aesthetics, these are very stylish and smooth to the touch. Available in several color varieties, they're also microwave-, dishwasher-, and oven-safe with a one-year limited warranty.
Best Espresso Cup Set: Sweese Porcelain Stackable Espresso Cups with Saucers and Stand
Convenient storage rack included
Metal stand lacks quality
If you desire a full set of espresso cups, Sweese is known for its well-made collections. This set in particular includes four 2.5-ounce espresso cups with accompanying 4-inch saucers and an 8.7-inch metal stand. The stand makes it convenient to house your stackable espresso cups and saucers in one neat location.
The espresso cups themselves are made of porcelain and available in a number of stylish colors. They offer a sleek design with a cafe-quality look. The 2.5-ounce capacity is ideal for single shots, double shots, lungos, and other small espresso drinks. The walls of these cups are thick to help retain the temperature of your drink. They're dishwasher-, microwave-, oven-, and freezer-safe. They're also chip-resistant and lead-free.
If you’re looking for a coffee mug, the Le Creuset Mug (view at Amazon) is our top pick. The sturdy construction makes it durable for everyday use and the beautiful hues offer enough variety to match any home decor color palette. For espresso cups, the De’Longhi Double Wall Thermal Espresso Cups (view at Amazon) are comfortable to hold, boast an elegant design, and keep your drink at its ideal temperature.
What to Look for When Buying Coffee Mugs and Espresso Cups
An important factor to consider when purchasing coffee mugs or espresso cups is the material makeup, as this can impact how you enjoy your beverage. For instance, if you’re someone who sips their coffee slowly, a heat-resistant material, such as stainless steel, or a cup with double-wall insulation may be in your best interest. If you’re someone who's picky about keeping your coffee’s flavor completely pure, then you may want to steer clear of a stainless steel cup, as it can sometimes impart a metallic taste on your drink. A neutral material, such as porcelain or stoneware, would be better suited for this preference.
Another important consideration may be whether you have children and if they'll be handling your cups and mugs. If this is the case, opting for a more durable material, such as stainless steel or a thick ceramic mug, would be ideal.
All espresso cups and coffee mugs have different safety features to offer. Depending on how you use your mug, there may be certain safety options to look for when buying a new mug. Microwave-safe mugs are ideal for someone who likes to reheat their coffee throughout the day. For quick cleanup, being able to put your mug in the dishwasher without having to worry about it getting damaged is another important quality to look for, as is whether it's freezer-, oven-, or broiler-safe.
A coffee mug or espresso cup’s capacity is important to note when shopping around. To know what mug or cup to buy, determine what types of coffee drinks you enjoy most often. If it’s just a single espresso shot, look for a cup with a smaller capacity ranging somewhere between 2 and 4 ounces. If you drink normal coffee or espresso drinks, such as cappuccinos and lattes, it’s best to look for a vessel with larger volume starting at about 6 ounces and going up from there.
How much caffeine is in coffee vs. espresso?
Espresso has a much higher caffeine content than a basic cup of coffee you’d buy at a local shop or diner. A single ounce of espresso has about 63 milligrams of caffeine, whereas regular coffee has about 16 grams of caffeine per 1 ounce.
How do you get stains out of a coffee mug?
If your mug is weathered and has its share of coffee stains, you can use baking soda as a possible solution. Add a small amount onto the bottom of the stained cup followed by a small amount of water to form a paste. Proceed by gently scrubbing away the stains. They should disappear in a matter of minutes. Rinse and wash as normal.
How do you fix a cracked coffee mug?
For that beloved mug of yours that’s cracked, fear not, as you can possibly repair the damage. The trick is to boil your cracked ceramic mug in milk to seal up the cracks. Simply put the cracked mug in a saucepan and cover it entirely with milk. Bring it to a gentle boil, and turn the heat down to simmer for about one hour. After, allow the milk to cool entirely before removing your mug from the saucepan. Let the mug cure for one to two days before using as normal.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Cheyenne Elwell pulls a double espresso at home every morning. As a coffee connoisseur, she has used both the Le Creuset Mug and the Ember Mug². Additionally, she owns a coffee blog in which she writes about coffee brewing tips, hacks, and new coffee products, making her an expert in this category.