What makes a good coffee mug? There are few objective truths, but some combination of heat insulation, ergonomics, aesthetics and (occasionally) technology usually does the trick. We scoured the web for the best of the best in these categories so you don’t have to. These are the five best coffee mugs of 2018.

Snowe Porcelain Mug

Snowe products are only available from Snowe. This means the price you pay is (moreso) in line with the cost of production, R&D and such. Hence why its sets of elegant coffee mugs are made of Limoges porcelain, a premium material and France’s answer to China’s hard paste porcelain (which is used to make fine China, coincidentally), yet aren’t absurdly expensive. The shape is classic, the color is too and the makeup is that of mugs and tableware twice its cost.

NotNeutral LINO Mug

Our co-founder has said everything that I could say about NotNeutral’s mug. Alas, the condensed version is as follows: its handle connects to the top of the mug and flattens out with it, meaning you can actually use your thumb when holding the mug (this was actually designed for baristas to have an easier time with latte art), its available in loads of colors and it boasts excellent heat insulation. Helpfully, it also comes in plenty of larger or smaller sizes.

Hasami Natural Mug

Hasami porcelainware doesn’t only come in natural, it just looks the best in it. Hailing from the town of Hasami in Nagasaki, Japan, the brand’s aesthetic is defined by an unassuming color palette, high durability and jubako, a traditional Japanese practic of modular, stackable objects (think of it like bigger bento). Its porcelainware is also mixed with clay from the surrounding area, granting it added durability (and a more unique look).

Heath Ceramics Large Mug

The good people of California-based Heath Ceramics have been doing what they do since the middle of the 20th century, and their mug, the large one, is an absolute dream. First, the mug understands a large mug should be taller, not fatter. Second, it knows a more voluminous product requires a larger gripping area than smaller products. Hence this mug’s very smart, very simple four finger grip. Also, it comes in a boatload of colors and is dishwasher-friendly.

Mud Australia Mug

Mud Australia’s coffee mug is a lot of things — made of clay from Limoges, made by hand made, made ethically and made in a bevy of colors. But above all else, they’re just beautiful. The mugs are dyed during the slip stage of production (when the material is still moist) so they develop a deeper color, and the interior of the mugs are glazed after firing. The resulting matte outside, shiny inside is a stunner. Bonus trivia: they’re also used in the dining rooms of all David Chang restaurants.

Ember Ceramic Mug

This is the mug for those serious about their home coffee drinking. Ember’s self-heating travel mugs are known, but its similarly self-heating home coffee mugs are less so. The upshot: Ember mugs keep your coffee at whatever temperature you want for as long as you want, so there’s no rush to drink the entire mug. If you’re really into it, you can control the temperature via an app on your phone, and log all sorts of presets and other data.

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