Ceramic Mugs: Coffee Just Tastes Better in Them

Ceramic Mugs: Coffee Just Tastes Better in Them - bzyoo

Few experiences can compare to that first cup of coffee in the morning. It opens our eyes and wakes up our bodies and minds. Its rich warmth permeates our souls and gets us ready for the day ahead.

Of course, coffee isn’t just for top-of-the-morning wake-up calls anymore. With so many blends, brews, and flavors available, it’s an all-day beverage. It’s great for mid-morning and afternoon slumps, sweet treats, and even winding down in the evenings. Because of all that, coffee has become the second most-consumed beverage in the world, topped only by water. 

Finding the Perfect Coffee Mug

Aside from all the coffee-centered beverages now available, an array of cups and mugs is also on the market to help us enjoy this universally sought-after drink. Those include plastic, stainless steel, ceramic, and glass mugs. Paper and styrofoam cups are also common options. 

Some people insist the vessel doesn’t make a difference; it’s the beverage inside that matters. Most of us know that’s not exactly true, though. Coffee just seems to taste better in ceramic mugs. Many people say that’s all in our heads, but that’s not necessarily the case. Though some of it stems from psychological factors, much of it is backed by science.

No Flavor Exchange

Some coffee mugs, like those made of plastic, retain flavors from previous beverages. They may even hold in chemicals from dish soap. Those stale and unpleasant flavors then leech into coffee and affect its taste. At the same time, those vessels tend to retain odors. Odors can affect the way we perceive taste as well. 

For example, say you retrieve a plastic coffee cup from the dishwasher. It was washed with citrus-scented dish soap infused with bleach, so remnants of that soap are lingering in its pores. You may be able to smell them while the mug is empty. 

Then, when you fill the mug, those leftover molecules leech into your coffee, giving it a faint essence of bleach and citrus. Even a slight whiff of scent can affect the way the coffee tastes. That doesn’t happen with ceramic. 

No Chemical Reaction

Furthermore, some materials may react with the chemical composition of coffee. Metal mugs, such as stainless steel, fall into that category. Have you ever noticed that drinks like sodas taste different in aluminum cans than they do in glass or plastic bottles? That’s partially due to a chemical reaction. 

Quite a few people find that their coffee has a bit of a metallic taste when it’s in a stainless steel mug. Though stainless steel doesn’t hold onto flavors and odors the way plastic does, the chemicals in the coffee could react with the metal. They’re essentially eating away at the stainless steel. It’s an incredibly gradual process that’s not really noticeable, but it’s still taking place. 

Besides that, the ever so slight exchange of coffee and stainless steel molecules releases a bit of the distinct metallic smell. If you can smell the metal, you’ll taste the metal. Keep in mind that this isn’t a particularly dangerous situation. Still, it can affects the taste of your coffee. Ceramic is a neutral material, so it doesn’t react with the more than 1,000 compounds in coffee.

No Unstable Finishes

Additionally, ceramic cups aren’t coated with unstable finishes that could work their way into your coffee. That’s not true of all materials. Paper coffee cups are a prime example. They’re coated with a type of wax to prevent them from leaking and disintegrating when exposed to liquids. 

While those wax coatings are considered safe, they’re not entirely stable. When they come into contact with hot coffee, they start to break down. Sometimes, you can even see them melting off of the cup and into the coffee before your very eyes. It looks a bit like motor oil on a wet parking lot. That’s naturally going to alter the flavor of your coffee. 

Effective Heat Retention

Another quality that makes ceramic mugs the perfect vessel for coffee is their ability to retain heat. According to recent studies, people generally enjoy coffee most when it’s between 135 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Ceramic keeps it within that temperature range for longer than some other materials. 

Plastic and glass allow coffee to cool down far more quickly than ceramic does. Paper cups offer virtually no heat retention. Styrofoam provides more insulation, but like other materials, it can affect the taste of coffee. After all, it’s a chemical-laden synthetic material. 

Stainless steel mugs and tumblers keep coffee warm for longer, but as noted, they can influence its flavor. Besides that, you can’t put metal cups in the microwave to reheat your coffee if it gets too cold to enjoy. Ceramic mugs can easily go in the microwave if you need to bring your coffee back up to an optimal temperature. 

Mental and Emotional Effects

Ceramic coffee mugs also bring about several psychological effects that can influence how much people enjoy a cup of java. There’s a certain amount of satisfaction that comes from feeling the weight of a ceramic cup in your hands. With so many sizes and shapes of ceramic mugs available, anyone can find one that melds perfectly with both the size of their hands and their daily coffee requirements. That’s only one piece of the puzzle. 


As ceramic helps coffee retain its heat, some of that warmth permeates through the mug. From there, it transfers into your fingers and throughout your body. It’s a wonderful, comforting feeling both physically and emotionally. 

Calmness and Comfort

Ceramic mugs can also exude a sense of calmness. For most people, sipping hot coffee from a ceramic mug means they’re at home or in the presence of loved ones. They may be getting ready for work while simultaneously trying to get their children dressed and off to school, but they’re still enjoying coffee from the comfort of home. 

That, alone, may give them a certain amount of peace and happiness. Those feelings can follow ceramic mugs wherever they may be. Whether drinking coffee from a ceramic mug in a restaurant, at work, or elsewhere, that unmistakable calmness returns even if it’s on a subconscious level and for only for a few moments. 

Other types of mugs don’t have that effect. Stainless steel cups are often used for traveling, so they’re associated with being on the go. Paper and styrofoam cups generally come from cafes, coffee shops, and other establishments. They’re typically linked to crowded spaces and feelings of being rushed, so they make us feel pressured and stressed. Plastic often feels more institutional and impersonal. 

Granted, we don’t necessarily notice those elements on a conscious level. They’re still there, brewing beneath the surface, though. Even though they’re not immediately evident, they can definitely hamper our ability to fully relax and enjoy a cup of coffee.  

Making the Most of Your Morning Brew

Numerous types of coffee cups are on the market. Stainless steel versions keep coffee warm, and they’re portable, so you can take them with you wherever you go. Styrofoam and paper are disposable, so you simply throw them away when the coffee runs out. Plastic is cheap and offers a certain amount of durability. That being said, all these mugs can alter the way coffee tastes as well as our ability to enjoy it. 

Coffee tastes better in ceramic mugs. They don’t retain odors and tastes or leech chemicals and finishes into your coffee, so they allow its full aromas and flavors to shine through. They retain heat well, and they can be microwaved if needed. Beyond those factors, ceramic mugs give you a sense of calmness and satisfaction you just can’t get from other options. Those feelings make coffee even more enjoyable.