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My growing mug collection

Written by . Published on under the Coffee category.

A Starbucks Edinburgh mug in front of a toaster on a kitchen counter

As a child, there were always a lot of mugs in the house. My dad collected them and would seldom part with a mug. For years, I did not understand why: (i) we had so many mugs; (ii) mugs were so highly valued. Over the last few weeks, I have realised that collecting mugs is not unusual, especially for coffee enthusiasts. If anything, it’s hard to avoid picking up at least a few mugs that you absolutely do not need but will still find joy in having at home.

I maintain a page on my blog where I write about the mugs I have at home. As of my writing this post, I have five mugs on that page. I need to add the latest addition to my collection, a new Starbucks Edinburgh mug, to the page. When I was thinking about updating my list of mugs to include the Starbucks one, I realised that each mug has some special importance.

My black Starbucks mug was a mug I was able to buy on holiday before the second lockdown in England last year. The Edinburgh Starbucks mug I bought at the weekend was not an intentional purpose. I saw it in the window and I thought how nice it would be to have the mug, not just as a memory of my time in Edinburgh but also because of the aesthetics. The mug looked great. Other stories are listed in more depth on my “mugs” page.

A friend said that they have “Too many” mugs. I think my collection will grow further and maybe I will one day reach the “too many” mark. For now, however, most of the mugs I have are at the centre of a little story which means something to me. I read about a cafe in Japan where the owner gives you a cup based on what he thinks would be right for you (how he determines this is a mystery to me). I still remember this perhaps because it reminds me of how coffee is about more than the drink. You hear people talk about how drinking vessels matter in terms of taste. But not so much emotion.

I don’t use some of the mugs I have very regularly. For instance, the espresso cup I purchased for use when making home espresso has barely been used in the last two months (if at all). However, that does not mean the mug is not significant: there is still a story behind that mug. I might come back to drinking out of that mug in the future. Or maybe not. Who knows!

Let me pose a question to you: do you have a story behind any of the mugs in your home? I’ll bet you do. If you feel comfortable doing so, please share them with me @capjamesg on Instagram or via email at

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