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Six Popular Materials Used to Make Mugs

Posted by Paykoc Imports ,13th May 2022
Six Popular Materials Used to Make Mugs

The mug is one of the oldest types of drinking vessels known to man. Its enduring popularity can be ascribed to two things: simplicity and effectiveness. Since the first known mug-like vessels appeared nearly 15,000 years ago crafty humans have used a variety of materials to create their mugs including ceramic, plastic and more. Recently, copper mugs, first created centuries ago, have seen a resurgence in popularity due to their association with the incredibly popular Moscow Mule cocktail. Below, our copper drinkware creators take a look at some of the different materials used to make mugs.

Humans are industrious types who, over the centuries, have used dozens of different materials to create drinking mugs including everything from wood to gold. In this list, we're going to focus strictly on some of the most common materials currently or recently used to create mugs.


Any coffee lover will tell you that coffee just isn’t coffee unless it’s served in a ceramic mug. Ceramic can be shaped into whatever form the maker chooses, it retains heat well and it's affordable. In addition, ceramic will not alter the flavor of your coffee or other drink and if properly cared for it will outlive its owner. If that owner is into hot drinks, ceramic is also microwave safe. Finally, ceramic mugs clean up quickly and easily. On the downside, it does not take much to chip your beloved ceramic mug. And once chipped it will never be exactly the same again, even if you glue the chipped piece back into place. Ceramic mugs are also not a good choice for parties because they break so easily.

Stainless Steel

You don't ever have to worry about a stainless steel mug chipping or breaking if you knock it over. For this reason, stainless steel mugs are an ideal choice for taking along on a hiking or camping trip. Stainless steel mugs are also a good choice for cold beverages as they retain the cold longer than other materials, including ceramic. A stainless steel mug with double walls and a tight-fitting lid also makes a great mug to hold your coffee while you drive. They're also tough and long-lasting. On the downside, a good stainless mug costs more than the average ceramic mug and you can't put it in the microwave. And don't even think about using a stainless steel mug as a Moscow mule mug.


Porcelain is technically a type of ceramic, but it’s fired at much higher temps than regular ceramics which allows for a beautifully glassy finish and thinner walls. There is no question that porcelain mugs have a timeless beauty all their own and are a step up from regular ceramic mugs, at least from an aesthetic standpoint. If you really want to impress your guests serve them coffee in porcelain mugs. But while there’s no debating the beauty and elegance of porcelain it also comes with significant downsides. First, it’s expensive. Second, it’s fragile. Third, chipping a porcelain mug is a whole ‘nother level of distressing compared to chipping a ceramic mug. And finally, it doesn’t keep your drink hot or cold.


Plastic is everywhere these days because it’s cheap, can be molded into any shape you can imagine and it’s tough. If there are kids around the house plastic mugs make a lot of sense. But that’s about where the positives for plastic mugs end. Now the downside. Plastic is a petroleum product and an environmental nightmare. If not properly recycled that plastic mug will wind up in the ocean where it will take thousands of years to break down. Plastic also absorbs tastes over time and you can forget about having your plastic mug laser engraved like you can do with a copper mug.


The enamel mug achieved iconic status during frontier times and has pretty much retained that status right up to the present day. The enamel mug is not entirely enamel. Instead, they are crafted from tin or another metal and then glazed with enamel to produce a rich, lustrous finish that's as attractive as it is durable. Enamel mugs can be placed directly on an open flame which is one big reason they became a hit during the pioneer days. They are also resistant to corrosion and will not adopt the flavors of the drinks poured into them. On the downside they cannot be put in the microwave, they get really hot if you place them on an open flame and despite their potential longevity they can still be chipped.


People have been making mugs from copper for centuries. As we stated earlier solid copper mugs have been enjoying a renaissance lately due to the surging popularity of the Moscow Mule. The copper mug has a ton of upside including its stunning beauty, its timeless qualities, the fact that a custom copper mug can be personalized, and the fact that copper is completely safe to drink from and will not adopt the tastes of the beverages it holds. On the downside, you can't microwave a copper mug and they are not as cheap as plastic.

To learn more or to order wholesale copper mugs for your restaurant, bar, tavern or ski lodge, contact Paykoc Imports by calling 1 (888) 657-2881 today. Or stop by our brick and mortar flagship store on Logan Court in Denver.