Kitchen Culture

Mug selection matters.

Saturday mornings are one of my favorite times of the week–even more than a Friday afternoon.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, pulling out of the school parking lot after work of Friday is a great feeling, but I’m tired.  The day was long.  Often, I’m on my way to somewhere else from there–meeting people for dinner, running errands.  Fridays are still full of responsibilities to other people and things–all of which I value, but are still draining when you already feel like you’re running on empty.

Saturday mornings, on the other hand, are all mine.  They have acquired a certain quiet ritual that I cherish in the hustle and bustle of the week.  I don’t set an alarm and wake up when I wake up (I usually don’t make it past 7:30 or 8, but it’s the principle of the thing.) I shuffle my pajama-clad self into the kitchen wearing fuzzy periwinkle slippers, and make coffee.

Somewhere in the past year, coffee has morphed from “Just Keep Me Upright” lifeblood to a sacred rite of the weekend.  I now associate it with having enough time to be inefficient and unproductive.  Making that pot of coffee is allowing myself the luxury of a slow waking-up, not knowing what I want for breakfast and having the time to just think about it for a while longer.  My theory is this philosophical shift happened at some point when I rebelled against the world of travel cups and the constant rush of my life, and stubbornly decided I was only going to drink coffee if I could drink it out of a real mug.


Mug selection is a very important part of the process.  The Saturday morning coffee mug must be carefully selected based on several factors:

  1. Thickness.  The optimum thickness of a mug’s sides varies depending on how warm/cool my apartment is.  I’m very particular about how quickly my coffee cools to be the “right” temperature.
  2. Volume.  Am I doing bills and balancing my checkbook? I want a little mug, so I can get up for lots of breaks.  Am I hunkering down to start a binge read of The Lord of the Rings? I need a big mug so I don’t have to leave my snuggle-y nest unnecessarily.
  3. Holdy-ness Value.  This is an absolute imperative for any mug that earns a place on my shelves.  Each mug must be evaluated for how it feels when you wrap both hands around it and let the coffee’s warmth seep into your fingers.  (This is especially important in the dead of winter.)
  4. Intrinsic Nerd Appeal.  In case you can’t tell from the picture, my coffee mugs have a definite leaning toward a certain Mary Tyler Moore-vintage “je ne sais quoi.” This standard of selection is heavily influenced by what old T.V. shows I’ve been chain-watching lately. For example–The Bob Newhart Show?  Definitely the orange flowers.  Golden Girls? Give me the Florida mug, no question.

Now, to be clear, I don’t stand around for more than a minute choosing what mug I want on a Saturday morning, but it is a little, lazy joy that is special to weekends and, for me, coffee.  It a little gleeful moment when I indulge ridiculous, romantic fancies.  And I like it that way.  My life is better and richer for those moments.  The me that gets poured out all week long gets filled back up a little bit with each steamy cup of coffee drunk from a silly, secondhand mug with avocado-colored flowers.

So make yourself a pot of coffee this weekend.  Choose your mug for its holdy-ness value.  Slow down.  Breathe.  Let yourself be refreshed.

18 thoughts on “Mug selection matters.

  1. You definitely captured the importance of Saturday mornings for teachers everywhere. I love just laying in bed and knowing you do not have to rush off anywhere.

  2. This is great! I also am picky with my coffee mugs, and I love being able to set aside the travel mug on Saturday mornings in lieu of a real mug. Enjoy your Saturday!

  3. I love this. I wrote a blog story one time about the very same thing. Mug choice is important per the mood and whether I am drinking hot tea or coffee. ๐Ÿ™‚ Makes me want to go get a cuppa now! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I feel you on cup selection. I had the same purple mug for years and then it got a crack in it. In a panic, I headed to the kitchen store to purchase a new one only to discover the color purple was no longer available. I settled on the same style of mug in red. And in a moment of clarity BOUGHT TWO.

    Both times my daughters have brought home their significant others for the ‘first visit’, the young men have chosen my red mug as their cup for coffee. Only once does this happen and from then on they choose a different cup.

    Cup selection matters.

  5. You are indeed a kindred cup spirit. I would add to “holdiness ” that the thickness of the lip of the cup is critical. Here’s to many delightful Saturday mornings of sipping from just the right vessel

  6. Your categories for appropriateness of mugs is the best! Your photo with your mugs all snuggled up to each other is off the charts cute! Your description of how you ease into your Saturday routine is captivating. A perfect Slice!

  7. I had never thought about the things that make up the perfect coffee cup — now, I will be thinking of all of them this morning. I love your sense of humor — so much why this piece works.

  8. There is a certain adult-y-ness about your post. When we transition from a carefree lifestyle to one that cares about the little things, it feels a rite of passage. You have captured this in your selection of something once taken for granted. I love this and all that it stands for.

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