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What Are Coffee Mugs Made Of? Find Out Here!

What Are Coffee Mugs Made From? Ever Wondered?

We drink about 2-3 cups of coffee per day on average. Waking up without a cup of morning coffee wouldn’t be the same.

Buying an ideal coffee mug requires knowing what the best materials are for coffee cups. That’s why taking a little time to research can help you pick the perfect cup for your daily coffees.

A coffee lover has a wide choice for coffee cups.  Below are the different materials used for making coffee mugs.

Ceramic Coffee Mugs

Ceramic and porcelain are both made from clay, but they’re fired at different temperatures. Porcelain is fired at a temperature between 1,650°F and 2,200°F (900°C to 1200°C), while ceramic is typically fired anywhere between 1,400°F and 1,700°F (760°C and 870°C).

If you’ve ever seen the inside of a factory where ceramics or porcelains are produced, you know that each type of clay has its unique look—but the color difference between them isn’t just cosmetic. It keeps coffee hotter too.

In addition to its higher firing temperature, porcelain also contains kaolin (also known as china clay), creating a more rigid surface than ceramic mugs.

This contributes to porcelain’s increased durability compared to ceramics.

Since it can withstand heat better than other materials like earthenware or stoneware in its class of ceramics or even glassware made from borosilicate glass (like Pyrex), it makes sense that this durability would mean longer-lasting cups for your kitchen countertop!

Plastic Coffee Mugs

Plastic coffee mugs are probably the most common type of ceramic coffee mug.

Nowadays coffee mugs made from plastic come in a variety of sizes and styles. It is an inexpensive material. It is durable, lightweight, microwave and freezer safe (depending on the plastic), dishwasher-safe and oven-proof.

You can get them in all colors and shapes: you can find them in your local dollar store or at a big box store like Walmart or Target.

Plastic mugs are easy to care for as they can go in the dishwasher without chipping or breaking, so they’re popular with kids who may be prone to dropping things!

If your plastic mug gets dirty (and trust me, it will), it’s also easy to clean; just run it through the dishwasher cycle a few times, then wipe it down with warm soapy water.

Coffee companies are also introducing paper cups.

Glass Coffee Mugs

Glass coffee mugs are a popular material for high-quality coffee mugs because it is durable, inexpensive, and can be used in the microwave.

However, glass mugs are not microwave-safe, so care must be taken to avoid cracking or breaking them with hot liquids.

Glass mugs should never be cleaned in the dishwasher because they may break from the shock of being bumped around other dishes in the dishwasher.

The coffee chain has already started rolling out the new cups in some of its stores.

Glass mugs can also shatter when dropped onto hard surfaces such as concrete floors or marble countertops.

Copper Coffee Mugs

Copper is a metal that conducts heat, electricity, and sound very well. It also has antibacterial properties, making it ideal for coffee mugs.

When you make coffee or tea in a copper mug, it doesn’t get as quickly as when you use other materials such as stainless steel or glass because copper is so good at conducting heat away from your beverage.

The result is that you can enjoy your drink longer without burning yourself!

Stainless Steel Coffee Mugs

Stainless steel is a durable material for those who want to avoid chemicals and paint.

Stainless steel doesn’t rust or corrode, so it’s easy to clean and keep your coffee mug looking fresh. Stainless steel mugs can be found in many colors, including black, white, silver, and gold.

Some types of metal look better than others, depending on the design you prefer (sparkly silver might not go with your kitchen decor).

What is Better, Porcelain or Ceramic Mugs?

Porcelain is a type of ceramic that’s more durable than ceramic and less expensive than metal.

Most porcelain cups of coffee can be used in the microwave and dishwasher, but avoid using them on a stovetop or open flame, as they may crack if overheated.

Ceramic mugs are also less fragile than porcelain and can withstand being dropped by accident without breaking. However, they might not be microwave-safe or dishwasher-safe like porcelain mugs are.

How Ceramic Mugs Are Made

Ceramic mugs are made in a kiln; a large oven used to fire ceramic objects.

The cups are placed inside the kiln and heated to about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,093 degrees Celsius). This causes them to fuse and harden.

When the firing is complete, they’re removed from the kiln and glazed with a thin layer of porcelain enamel applied while they’re still hot — this process is repeated at least twice so that it can fully set into place.

How to Print on Coffee Mugs

There are a few ways to print cups of coffee.

The most common is screen-printing, which involves using a stencil over the mug and then pressing ink onto it through the stencil.

This can be done by hand or with a machine that presses the ink through hundreds of tiny holes in the stencil to form an image or design.

You can use digital or sublimation printing for fancier designs—the former uses more traditional methods like vinyl cutters and laser printers. In contrast, the latter uses heat to create full-color prints directly on ceramic mugs (although these tend to be more expensive).

Digital printing is also how some people make their custom graphics for their coffee mugs at home with templates from websites like Zazzle or CafePress.

You’ll need some Photoshop skills for this method, but once you get going, it’s pretty easy! Other options include debossing (creating relief patterns on your mug), engraving (engraving letters into your mug), painting/sharpie pens (painting with regular paint or sharpies), super glue/epoxy glue (“superglue” works best), kintsugi repair kit (“kintsukuri”), milk frothers/espresso machines (“milk frothers”), reusing old cups you have lying around as new ones!

Screen Printing

Screen printing is the most common way to print mugs.

It’s a simple process that can be done at home with essential equipment and supplies, and you don’t need any special knowledge of printing or design.

To get started, you’ll need:

  • A screen (the stencil)
  • Ink (the dye)
  • A squeegee (to push the ink through the screen onto your mug)


  • Debossing is a type of engraving that involves pressing a design into the surface of a mug.
  • It’s a great way to add a logo or text to your mug, and it can personalize it.

Debossing is an excellent choice if you want your coffee mug to have some extra flair!


  • Engraving is a permanent process. Once it’s done, there’s no going back. Consider something other than engraving if you’re looking for a mug to use with your daily brew.
  • Engraving makes the mug much more fragile than buying one that isn’t engraved. This means it should be handled with care and could even break if dropped or put in the dishwasher too many times or not taken care of properly.
  • On the other hand, engraving makes an excellent gift! If you want to give someone a personalized mug that they can enjoy for years to come (and not just one day), this would be an excellent choice!

Paint or Sharpies

If you’re not a fan of non-toxic paint pens but want to add some color to your mug, consider using Sharpies.

Many people think that these markers aren’t safe for food because they contain alcohol-based solvents, but they are considered safe if the FDA approves the ink.

These markers are dishwasher and microwave safe and oven safe up to 350°F (171°C).

Can a Ceramic Mug Be Fixed?

Your favorite coffee mug fell on the kitchen floor?.

If your mug has been dropped or has minor chips and cracks, you can use clear epoxy to repair it. Follow the instructions on the packaging, and be sure to use enough glue!

The only thing you need to worry about is getting some of that epoxy in your coffee (it’ll taste gross). However, if your mug is broken in several pieces—or if there’s more extensive damage—you’re better off buying a new one than trying to fix it by yourself.

Super or Epoxy Glue

Epoxy is a two-part glue that can be used to bond metal, wood, glass, and ceramics.

It’s more substantial than super glue and can repair broken pieces of ceramic mugs.

Epoxy comes in two colors: black and clear.

If you want to make your mug look like it’s made from one piece of material (like metal), use the black epoxy, so you don’t see the different colored glues at the joints between your mug parts.

Kintsugi Repair Kit

  • Kintsugi is a philosophy that teaches us that things are more beautiful when they are broken.
  • Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold and silver lacquer.
  • In Japanese, kintsugi means “golden joinery” or “joining with gold.”


  • Use a microwave-safe mug.
  • Fill the mug with milk.
  • Heat the milk in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir it and let it sit for 2 minutes to heat thoroughly.

How Can You Reuse an Old Mug?

You can reuse a mug in a few simple ways.

  • Please put it in a cupboard with other mugs (or use it as a pencil holder).
  • Use it as a vase if you have flowers that need holding up.
  • Use it as a planter, perhaps for your favorite plant or bonsai tree.

Hold Pens

If you’re looking for a versatile mug that can hold pens, pencils, markers, paintbrushes, and even paint, look no further than a coffee mug. Coffee mugs are great for carrying anything you need to keep on your desk or near the computer.

Store Makeup

Your prettiest coffee mugs can be part of your beauty routine!

If you’re interested in trying out this mug organization idea, here are a few suggestions for what to store in your new mugs:

  • makeup brushes
  • nail polish
  • makeup products (foundation, lipstick, etc.)
  • hair products (brush and wand)
  • jewelry

Organize Clutter

  • Use a mug to store small items.
  • Place pens and pencils in a mug.
  • Use a mug to store makeup.
  • Store mascara, eyeliner, and other makeup brush inside your coffee mugs until you need them. This will keep them organized and clean while also keeping them close at hand when you need them during the day!
  • If you’re looking for an easy way to organize your lipsticks and glosses, try putting each shade into its coffee cup; this way, they won’t roll around or fall out of their packaging! It’ll make it much easier when it comes time for application too!

Turn It Into a Candle

Now that you’ve made a coffee mug, what are you doing with it? A candle is one possibility. If you’re the crafty type (or if you have an arts-and-crafts friend), why not turn your mug into a candle holder?

Materials needed:

  • a clean and dry coffee mug
  • melted wax (available at craft stores) in desired colors and scents
  • wicks (also available at craft stores) or metal rods with holes drilled into them for wicking.
Ellie Patchen

Ellie Patchen

I love a good cup of coffee on Monday mornings for that pick-me-up, also love them in the afternoon, and on Tuesdays. In fact, it's fair to say that I love coffee all day everyday! So much so that I created a whole site to blog about it, answer questions and to just have a place for my frequent ramblings on the wonder that is.. coffee!

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