ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Psychology Behind the Coffee Mug!

Updated on September 28, 2019
Abitha Deepak profile image

Abitha is a creative writer who draws inspiration from daily life and tries to look at a situation from different perspectives.

Psychology often tries to explain complex aspects of human behaviour by choosing a subject that is part of everyone's every day - specific common behaviour patterns. In that respect, every theory such as emotional attachment to inanimate objects to social life can be explained away with a person's habits attached to the coffee mug!

Coffee Fix
Coffee Fix | Source

I am thrilled to note that I am not the only one who sulks if I catch somebody else reaching for my mug!

Much ado about the coffee mug

My son was all of 9 months when he started taking a fancy to my coffee mug collection. If he spotted one lying around idly, within his reach, he would clutch it tightly in his hands, look at them with the utmost curiosity, turn it over and repeat the exercise! After this goes on for a while, I tiptoed towards him, to gently take it away before he lays claim to it as a toy. By then he would catch me nearing him and before I could reach for my precious mug - bang it would hit the floor! Well, by the time I learned that if I just sat tight and made no attempt to retrieve them, they would still be around, it was too late!

I am slowly thinking about rebuilding my collection, now that he is five years old, he comprehends my emotions better(or rather me his?) In the past, every time I pass by a mug collection on display, I usually end up buying at least two that grab my attention! I had an assortment and a few favourites. I often chose them based on the kind of mood I was in!

Why do we have this emotional attachment to the coffee mug?

Perhaps it is the sense of comfort it offers when we are tired of the cares of the world. Maybe it signals a fresh start when we are waking up to the chirping of the birds on a warm cozy morning or rain-soaked day with the trees shivering with cold raindrops kissing their leaves.

You mop up my frown

and all my worries you drown

You help me cope

when I mope

An ode to my coffee mug

O my dear coffee mug

The one my palms like to hug

You offer such warmth in the morning cold

Open my sleep laden eyes covered in the linenfold


I smell thy exotic aroma

urging me to wake up to the day's drama

How I love holding thee

and gazing into the sea

of dewy morning mist

adding tiny joys to my list


You mop up my frown

and all my worries you drown

You help me cope

when I mope


You reset my woozy brain

when there has been an emotional drain

Help me enjoy the drizzling rain

and deal with any pain


Are you my elixir

my sore muscle fixer

Do you offer me superpowers

when I am in babel towers


Maybe you offer me comfort double

when someone bursts my bubble

I now see

why I so love thee!


Emotions and your coffee mug

The poem above pretty much sums up why not only me but a million others feel the way they do about coffee mugs.

Psychology often tries to explain complex aspects of human behaviour by choosing a subject that is part of everyone's every day - specific common behaviour patterns. In that respect, every theory such as emotional attachment to inanimate objects to social life can be explained away with a person's habits attached to the coffee mug!

Tall Sturdy Mug with a broken handle
Tall Sturdy Mug with a broken handle | Source

Part of your routine

Reading some such studies, I am thrilled to note that I am not the only one who sulks if I catch somebody else reaching for my mug!

The coffee mug often is a symbol of an individual's routine, be it a 4 am cup of coffee or an evening routine to watch the skyline and chirpy birds returning to their nests with sips from a hot cup of chai, or a cup of chamomile tea at bedtime - this forms an integral part of our day. To hold the familiar, favourite mug puts us in a state of happy calm.

We often unconsciously consider the mug as an extension of our personality. Some feel a sense of belonging or a sense of comfort when having a cup of hot beverage. You can see the character, Sheldon from Big Bang Theory, often asking someone if they want a cup of hot beverage as he strongly feels it offers comfort. At office spaces, for example, when being hard at work trying to meet a deadline, a coffee mug can trigger support, and the caffeine would mean more energy to complete the task at hand. Coffee mugs at the workplace are often chosen carefully either with a quirky statement on it or some distinct identity attached to it.

The coffee mug often is a symbol of an individual's routine, be it a 4 am cup of coffee or an evening routine to watch the skyline and chirpy birds returning to their nests with sips from a hot cup of chai, or a cup of chamomile tea at bedtime - this forms an integral part of our day. To hold the familiar, favourite mug puts us in a state of happy calm.

Triggers fond memories

Often these seemingly unassuming mugs are memory pegs for an incident, or an occasion or pure nostalgia. As a result, they make you feel all the more wrapped up and cozy, and this may have nothing to do with the hot coffee or tea you might be sipping on - it is more the memory of it all, this day, that year!

In recent times, I have grown attached to a particular mug with a broken handle, which is otherwise quite sturdy, durable, and tall. I like to drink any beverage from this mug, especially when I am working on an article or movie nights - Depending on the hour of the day or the mood, it can be anything ranging from plain warm water, lemon tea, black coffee, hot soup to a cold milkshake! I think it is because I can take my time and sip from it for the longest time possible, while I work or watch something without any distractions.

The perfect cup for a palm hug!
The perfect cup for a palm hug! | Source

Perfect for a gift

When I gift mugs to people, I like to look for a mug that has a personality or a quirky line or two - especially if I know the person well.

Mugs might be one of the most versatile gifting options out there considering how many inventions there have been down the ages.

It is interesting to note that the mug has more informal attributes to it compared to the cup. In its first avatars, the mug was chiselled out of wood, bone, and stone! As time moved on, there seem to be a plethora of innovations associated with the mug.

Some quirky ones include the puzzle mug where it becomes a challenge for a person to figure the secret opening that leads to a passage that connects different cups to drink from rather than the usual way.


Famous British potter Harvey Adams invented another quirky mug in the 1860s popularly known as the moustache cup.

The moustache mug

Famous British potter Harvey Adams invented another quirky mug in the 1860s popularly known as the moustache cup. It has a ledge near the top where the moustache bearer can take a sip of coffee from a small opening in the middle of the ledge much like the ones a travel mug or a takeaway coffee container from coffee shops have these days!. This solution was invented by him when he realised in the era he was living in, how much work went into twirling, polishing and styling the moustache, especially before a social gathering! Wax was a primary ingredient used in the styling process. You can imagine what happens to wax when a cup of steaming tea goes anywhere near it? It was a sore inconvenience for tea lovers who had to be more worried about their moustache, which they painstakingly nurtured! Not to mention the fact that even if they sip tepid tea chances are their precious moustache can be stained with cream, coffee or tea - Imagine the famed moustache of Hercule Poirot going limp or festooned with cream, it is not something that he will tolerate, right? This invention makes me think of a college professor who had such trouble sipping his coffee while ensuring his moustache was intact! In hindsight, he should have researched about this and got his exclusive mug I guess!

More mug inventions

There are exciting mug variants too like the thermochromic cup which changes colour when a hot liquid such as coffee gets poured. This feature is adapted cleverly for other uses like that of a baby's bottle, that changes colour to indicate when it is safe to feed the baby etc.


Then there are collectible items like the Tiki mugs, which is a general term given to mugs with face sculptures embedded on their surfaces, designed by artists.


It is fascinating to know the number of inventions associated with the humble coffee mug and the depth of character and place of pride it holds in an individual's life.


Then there are collectible items like the Tiki mugs, which is a general term given to mugs with face sculptures embedded on their surfaces

So what does your coffee mug represent for you? Please do vote below. Do share memories and feelings your coffee mug or teacup triggers for you.

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Luis G Asuncion profile image

      Luis G Asuncion 

      4 months ago from City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines

      Nice creativity with your mugs. I do love drinking coffee, however, it is only a simple mug. I love your poem too. Thanks for sharing it.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      5 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Excellent article and wonderful poem.

      It’s amazing, how we get emotionally attached to certain things. You are right about the favourite coffee mug. I do have certain other favourites, and even my favourite sitting place in my drawing room.

      Thanks for sharing this wonderful and interesting hub.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Your wrote a cute poem regarding favorite coffee mugs and have given thought to what they mean to people. We found a couple of cute mugs with cardinal birds on them which appear bright and cheery. Generally we use them to hold soups as they are larger than regular-sized ones. They make me happy just looking at them.

    • lizmalay profile image

      Liza 

      5 months ago from USA

      Such an interesting article about coffee mugs. I totally can relate to this because I have my own collection of coffee mugs as well. Since I am a coffee lover, I drink coffee every morning (never skip this one). I collected coffee mugs around the world and they have significant memories to me and my husband.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      5 months ago from India

      Loved the poem. And the hub too! I used to be a coffee addict and would always end up buying coffee mugs from ccd display. Their mugs were quite creative and sturdy.

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      5 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Swapnil,

      Thanks for the kind comment. Cheers!

    • Swapnil Ghosh profile image

      Swapnil Ghosh 

      5 months ago from Kolkata

      That's a very interesting article on coffee mugs, never thought that deep. Amazing!

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      6 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Dear Pamela,

      Nice to know you too have a favourite mug. I am happy you enjoyed reading the article. Thank you.

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      6 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Thank you, Murali. Yes, most people attach a sentimental value to their coffee mugs.

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      6 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      John,

      Apt adjectives for an article about coffee mugs :) Yeah, collecting mugs is fun and finding innovative uses for the unusable ones is even more so. Nothing like a tall mug of black coffee to get some writing done!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      6 months ago from Sunny Florida

      I also have my favorite mug. This is a very interesting article as I never thought of my coffe mug, which I also use for ofther beverages, as something with a psychological aspect. I enjoyed your article very much.

    • hmkrishna profile image

      Halemane Muralikrishna 

      6 months ago from South India

      Illustrative lively article touching everyone.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Abitha, what a nice warm inviting article. My wife and I seem to collect, or accumulate, coffee mugs. We both have our favourite two or three. My preferred ones are larger than the normal....I really do need a big cup/mug of coffee to satisfy me. I used to have a favourite HubPage mug but the handle eventually fell off so it then became a receptacle for holding pencils and pens. Anyway, I enjoyed this read.

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      6 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Thanks for the comment Prantika. I am glad you identify with the article and have a favourite coffee mug.

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      6 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Dear Lorna,

      Thanks for the lovely comment. I am glad you connect with the experience. Enjoy your coffee and have a great day.

    • Abitha Deepak profile imageAUTHOR

      Abitha 

      6 months ago from Chennai, Tamilnadu

      Dear Peg,

      Thanks for the kind words. I am glad you enjoyed the poem and the sentiments expressed.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      6 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      What an interesting perspective on this familiar, everyday item. You're absolutely right. We seem to have an attachment to our coffee mugs and find a sort of comfort in their routine presence. Well done in capturing this sentiment and I loved the poem, too.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      6 months ago

      Such an interesting article which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I can certainly relate to that special mug which has become part of me. I have had it for many years and even though I have received gifts of various mugs, I still return to 'old faithful'. I think I'll go and make a cup of coffee.

    • Prantika Samanta profile image

      Prantika Samanta 

      6 months ago from Kolkata, India

      An interesting read. I too have my own mug and prefer to enjoy my coffee in it. I think I am closely attached to my coffee mug.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)