Why does coffee taste better in a ceramic mug?

It’s no secret that coffee tastes better in a ceramic mug. Studies have shown that coffee tastes anywhere up to 25% better when consumed from a ceramic mug!

What is it about ceramic mugs that make coffee taste so much better? Is it the material the mug is made out of? The weight and texture of the mug? The insulating properties of ceramic?

The answer is all of the above! Let’s dive a little deeper to answer the question “Why does coffee taste better in a ceramic mug?” by first talking about what makes the material so unique.

Why does coffee taste better in a ceramic mug

What is ceramic?

Ceramic is one of the oldest and most versatile materials in human history. This special kind of clay has been used for everything from ancient pottery vessels to modern kitchen tiles and high-tech solar panels.

What makes ceramic so unique is its ability to withstand extreme temperatures without melting or breaking down. While this quality makes it ideal for cooking and heat-resistant insulation, it can also lead to a few problems.

For example, it can be challenging to keep ceramic cool enough to take medication or eat food that needs a cooler temperature, such as ice cream.

Despite these challenges, ceramic remains one of the most useful and durable materials on the planet, enabling us to create everything from art to technology and beyond. So what is ceramic?

Simply put, it’s a material with incredible versatility and endless potential.

Who invented the ceramic coffee cup?

Ceramic coffee cups have been around for centuries, with the first ones being made in China during the Ming dynasty. These early ceramic mugs were often decorated with intricate designs and were highly prized by the upper class.

It wasn’t until the late 19th century that ceramic mugs became widely available to the general public. With the advent of mass production, ceramic mugs became much more affordable and slowly began to replace the glass and metal mugs as the standard vessel for coffee.

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Why does coffee taste better in ceramic coffee mugs?

Mostly made up of water, coffee beans also contain oils, fatty acids, proteins, carbohydrates, and hundreds of other flavor compounds. When these flavor compounds interact with the mug material, it can change how we perceive coffee taste.

For example, if the mug is made out of a material that absorbs flavors (like glass or plastic), it can change the taste of coffee. This is especially true if the mug has been in contact with strong-flavored foods such as spices or garlic.

On the other hand, a ceramic mug will not absorb these flavors and help preserve the coffee’s original flavor. This makes it the ideal material for enjoying your morning cup of Joe!

Aesthetics play a lot into the psychology of our food. If you’re like me, then you have a favorite mug. Maybe it’s your lucky mug or the one that says “World’s Best Mom” on it. Whatever the case may be, using a mug that you love can make your coffee taste even better.

It’s not just the material of the mug that matters, but also the shape and size. A study published in the journal Flavour found that a mug with a wider opening was associated with stronger tastes while drinking from a taller mug helped to preserve the coffee’s aroma.

How to choose a ceramic mug

Ceramic Mug Diagram

When you’re choosing a ceramic mug, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. First, make sure that the mug is made from pure ceramic. Some mugs are made with a ceramic coating, but they’re not necessarily made from 100% ceramic.

You’ll also want to make sure that the mug is microwave and dishwasher safe. While you don’t have to put your mug in the microwave or dishwasher, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Finally, make sure that the mug is lead-free. Ceramic mugs made with lead can leach the toxin into your coffee, which is definitely not something you want.

Finally, make sure that the mug is big enough to hold the amount of coffee you want to drink. There’s nothing worse than being halfway through your cup of coffee only to realize that you should have gotten a bigger mug!

Different Coffee Mugs

What kinds of coffee mugs are there?

There are all sorts of coffee mugs out there, but not all of them are created equal. In fact, the material of your coffee mug can actually have a pretty big impact on the taste when drinking coffee.

Glass coffee mugs

The glass coffee cup is a popular choice because it is made to be lightweight and easy to clean. However, glass is not very good at retaining heat, so your coffee may start to cool more quickly than you would like.

Ceramic coffee mugs

A ceramic cup is our favorite type of coffee cup. These mugs are made from high-quality materials that can help keep your coffee hot for longer periods of time.

Many ceramic mugs also have beautiful designs or fun quotes printed on them, which makes them a great choice for anyone who likes to add an aesthetic element to their morning cup of coffee.

As a solid and neutral material, ceramic also won’t absorb any flavors from your coffee, so you can enjoy the true taste of your favorite beans.

Stainless steel coffee mugs

A good choice for those who are looking for an outdoor-friendly option. However, stainless steel mugs can sometimes impart a metal flavor into your coffee.

Stainless still is super durable and won’t break if you drop it, making it a good choice for those who are looking for a mug that will last.

Plastic coffee mugs

A lightweight and convenient option, but a plastic mug can sometimes absorb odors and flavors from the hot coffee, which can impact the taste of your beverage.

Plastic also tends to retain heat less effectively than other materials, especially in an old plastic mug.

Paper coffee cups

Probably the worst option for coffee mugs, a paper cup can start to smell when heated up and can impart that flavor into the coffee. Additionally, paper cups are not very good at retaining heat, so your coffee will likely cool down quickly.

Porcelain coffee mugs

Similar to ceramic mugs, a porcelain cup is usually thinner and more delicate. They’re not as good at retaining heat as ceramic mugs, but they are a neutral material and won’t absorb any flavors when you drink coffee.

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How to care for your ceramic coffee mug

Ceramic is a very durable material, but there are a few things you can do to help keep your mug in good condition.

Here are a few tips on how to care for your ceramic coffee mug:

  • Wash your mug by hand rather than in the dishwasher, as this will help to prevent scratches and cracks.
  • Use a mild soap or detergent to clean your mug, and avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage the surface of your mug.
  • Don’t put your ceramic coffee mug in the microwave if it’s not clearly labeled as microwave safe, as this can damage its structure and make it more prone to cracking.
  • Store your coffee mug properly when not in use, such as on a shelf or inside a cupboard. This will help to protect it from chips and other damage.
  • Don’t store your mug in direct sunlight, as this can cause the colors to fade.
  • If you drop your mug, inspect it for cracks or chips. If there are any, it may be time to get a new mug.

With proper care, your favorite ceramic coffee mug will last for years to come.

Final Thoughts

There you have it – everything you need to know about coffee mugs! Whether you’re looking for a new mug to show your personality or you just want to make sure you’re taking care of your current one the right way, we hope this article has helped.

Don’t forget to enjoy your coffee – no matter what mug you’re using!

About the Author Kris Silvey

About the Author Kris Silvey

As a semi-professional at-home barista and full-time software engineer, my love for coffee borders on obsession. By combining my passion for coffee with an engineering mindset, I strive to perfect my brewing process and share that knowledge with each of you.

Why you should trust us

Here at Elevated Coffee Brew, we believe in making sure our readers have access to the best and most accurate information. That’s why we do our due diligence when researching each piece of coffee gear and coffee bean for every article. We take pride in being thorough, and go the extra mile to ensure we deliver the highest quality content.


Sometimes, we like to get our hands dirty and actually try out the item ourselves. Other times, if necessary, we reach out to professional baristas with extensive experience who can offer their input on a particular product or technique. Ultimately, our goal is to find the best items that will make you a great home barista!

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