Collections: The Coffee Mugs

We have an awful lot of coffee mugs for a family with just two coffee drinkers. One way or another though they all get used.

More pottery . . .

More pottery . . .

Some of them are approaching 25 years old (my blue mug with the leaf pattern); others were purchased just last year when we were in Japan (the Starbucks Yokohama and Kyoto mugs). The Tokyo mugs are from Brett and my trip to Japan to meet our new grandson in 2011, and the Hawai’i mugs are from Christmas 2012, when we first came to Kaua’i and committed ourselves to moving here. The girls’ little mugs were stocking stuffers one year when they were small.

Brett was drinking from the other Hawai'i mug.

Brett was drinking from the other Hawai’i mug the day I took this.

The girls' childhood cups (and WenYu's treasured Good Mythical Morning mug)

The girls’ childhood cups (and WenYu’s treasured Good Mythical Morning mug). They still use them frequently.

None of the mugs was particularly expensive; I think the most we’ve ever spent on one is $11.95 for one of the blue & white Starbucks architecture mugs, which celebrate our favorite west coast cities. We had collected five when Starbucks stopped making them, and had to bid for the last one on eBay. The other mugs were gifts, or picked up at a market or craft exhibit, or as an inexpensive souvenir on one of our or the girls’ travels. Each one holds much more than coffee though, and there isn’t a day that I don’t reflect on the time and place we purchased or received the mug I am drinking from that day.

From the girls' trips to China

From the girls’ trips to China

The architecture mugs are BIG so we use them for soup

The architecture mugs are BIG so we use them for soup

Brett has a system for setting the mugs out every morning, so that every day of the week he and I each get a different one, with a different memory. Will we addd another one someday? I’ll never say never, although we’re getting very picky these days, needs versus wants and all that, and we really don’t have room for more. We’re very satisfied and happy with all we have now, but who knows?

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12 thoughts on “Collections: The Coffee Mugs

    • Laura says:

      We looked very closely at the KCC coffee mugs last time we were there, but decided we just didn’t need any more right now. They are some very good looking mugs though.

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    • Laura says:

      I’m almost ashamed to admit that we threw away/donated several other random cups before we moved, ones that really didn’t mean all that much to us. This is still a lot, but way more manageable than the amount we used to own.

      (Don’t tell the others, but the blue leaf mug is my favorite, too. I saw it one day at a store nearly 25 years ago – it called to me, I bought it, and I’ve loved it ever since.)

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    • Laura says:

      Thanks, Vivian! I don’t know why, but I’ve always “collected” things. When I liked something, one was never enough. I always thought (and still do think) that many things look better in groups.

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  1. Snoskred says:

    This might inspire a mug post of my own, I think. 🙂 Monday it will post. I have this one gorgeously huge IKEA mug – I used to have two of them but one got broken. All the other mugs are lesser mugs compared to that one mug. And every time we go to IKEA, I have this tiny bean of hope in my heart, that I might find another one. But I never have. 😦

    You have a seriously gorgeous collection of mugs in my opinion. 🙂

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    • Laura says:

      OK, I will be looking on Monday – I want to see your collection! And I’m hoping you find your IKEA mug – have you checked eBay?

      I have a Pinterest board called “My Daily Cup” where I pin pictures of coffee mugs I like. The original idea was to come up with 365 different ones but there are currently 2,000! LOL. However, there are actually more mugs out there that I don’t like. I never knew there were so many ugly mugs.

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  2. anexactinglife says:

    I love your family’s mugs! And have been seriously tempted to buy giant Starbucks mugs when I travel. But that would mean removing mugs I already own, because the 2 mug shelves in the cupboard are full. Over the years I have also been tempted to buy beautiful handmade pottery mugs, but again, held off. My shelves are full of very miscellaneous mugs, many of which were give-aways or gifts. I have done clear-outs a couple of times when I moved. Since I drink coffee and tea every day, mugs will always be important to me 🙂

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    • Laura says:

      The Starbucks mugs are very tempting, aren’t they? I’m still tempted by the new Hawai’i mugs they’ve put out, but not enough to buy them. I really had no plans to buy any mugs when we went to Japan last year, but both Yokohama and Kyoto are special places for Brett and I from our times there, and I also loved the designs on the mugs so I bought them!

      We had nearly double the mugs we have now before we moved. It took us more than a little while to get rid of the extras, but the ones we have now are very special to us.

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  3. Urspo says:

    I love hearing about coffee mug collections for each has a memory of travel and circumstances. Each of mine makes me recall a time and person. Of course I drink tea, but the point is the same. 🙂

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    • Laura says:

      When my husband and I were first married, we started a collection of mugs made by a particular pottery company. They all had the same shape, but different designs. They were beautiful, but never carried any meaning and were eventually swapped out for the ones we have now. Coffee mugs, it turns out, can be very banal or objects that invite recall and memory. I prefer the latter.

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