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History of Coffee Mugs

Joan Russell
Table of Contents

Mugs are practical and useful in many ways, including at businesses. This article will explore the history of mugs, some of the ways they are used and the types available. Mugs can also be used to raise money for organizations. Read on to learn how.


Archaeologists found mugs carved from bones dating to the Stone Age. The first coffee shop appeared in 1475 in Constantinople. The first coffee mugs were made out of wood during that time. In 1748, Britain banned coffee and all merchandise associated with it, including mugs. This led to a shortage of mugs, and the black market prices for mugs rose. Coffee mugs today are made in a variety of sizes, patterns and designs for many purposes. In fact, many organizations use them as a way to promote sales and as a fundraising tool. Mugs are staples in most homes and offices where people drink coffee, tea or hot chocolate. The coffee mug business is big and there are many companies competing in this market. There are mugs that keep coffee warm and can be carried in the car. Technological advances may result in new ways to make coffee mugs more durable and suited for consumers.


A mug is a ceramic cup often deeper than other cups for containing coffee, tea and other hot beverages. The types of handles depend on the design. Mugs can hold more liquid than the average coffee cup. Mugs are made of different materials, often ceramic. Bone china, stoneware, strengthened glass, plastic and steel all can be used to make mugs. There are different ways to design patterns on mugs such as silk-screening techniques and decals. Mugs are often sold alone or in sets of 6 to 12.


A mug has many purposes. In offices, it can be used as a container for pencils or pens. Many mugs are decorative and can be displayed to enhance the surroundings. Mugs can neatly hold coffee stirrers, spoons and packets of sugar. The handle of the mug is often set away from the cup so that when you hold the mug it will be cool. Often the walls of the mug are thick to keep the beverage insulated and warm longer. The bases of most mugs are circular.


Travel mugs are designed to transport hot liquids in a car, train or other moving vehicle. They usually have a top that's easy to open and close. These are often made of stainless steel and plastic.
Porcelain and ceramic coffee mugs often come in colorful designs for home use. They are given as gifts on holidays and for special occasions and birthdays. Children's mugs often are decorated with comic book characters and whimsical designs. Stein mugs are larger than the average mug. They are often highly ornate and used for beer.


Mugs are a way to raise money for your nonprofit organization or business. They make practical, low-cost gifts that most people enjoy. Having the name of your club or organization on mugs' surfaces can be a low-cost advertising tool. People enjoy drinking coffee or other beverages and often become attached to mugs they use every day.