Best Mug Gifts
I'm always looking for unique mugs. Sometimes I'm shopping for myself, or something I'm searching for the perfect gift for someone else. Because, really, is there anything better than curling up on a cold day with a steaming mug of hot chocolate? Or relaxing on a weekend morning with your daily coffee? Personally, I can't think of much. It's the simple things that make life wonderful, and relaxing with a hot drink is certainly as simple and easy as it gets. And what better way to unwind than with a mug that is different from any other? One that makes you feel special and the day seem a little brighter?
I love to collect unique mugs. I have an entire cupboard full of them--as soon as I get one more, I'm going to have to do some rearranging in my kitchen! And yet, I can't think of a single one I want to get rid of. Some of them are from a place I've been, some are just plain funky, but each mug is unique. Maybe you collect mugs for yourself, or maybe you're looking for a gift for someone. I've compiled a collection of some of the most unique mugs available for sale on the internet. They're perfect for that someone who is hard to shop for or for someone who collects mugs.
Image by Nathan Wind used under the Creative Commons Licence.
About the Mug
Some background info
When enjoying some well deserved relaxation, some people may prefer a teacup or coffee cup, but I personally feel that a mug is the best. Larger than a coffee or tea cup, they'll give you more of your favourite hot beverage, stretching out your down time. They're also less formal, which makes them perfect for curling up in front of a fire in your pyjamas.
In ancient times, mugs were often made of clay, wood, or even bone. Later, mugs were sometimes made from bronze, lead, silver, or gold, but the metal made them difficult to use for hot drinks. Thankfully, around 600 CE mugs began to be made out of ceramic materials. The very first mugs were made by hand with pottery wheels eventually taking that place somewhere between 6500 and 3000 BCE. Today, mugs are made in many unique designs, allowing for endless possibilities to add to a collection.
Dr. Seuss Mugs
Dr. Seuss is incredibly popular for a reason. His books are easy for kids to read because everything rhymes, which also makes them fun to listen to. Many of the characters are cultural icons and bring back fond memories of childhood. A Dr. Seuss themed mug is a great gift if you're looking for something a bit whimsical or nostalgic.
Unique Travel Mugs - For those who needs their daily caffeine
I know have a better day when I have my daily coffee or tea with me. If I didn't have a travel mug, I'm not sure what I'd do! They're great for students who are looking to save money by making their own coffee instead of buying it (and let's remember that every student needs that jolt of morning caffeine!) or for anyone going to work early in the morning. It also never hurts to have an extra travel mug in case you forget your regular one at the office or don't get around to washing it before the next day. I've walked into many classrooms to find a travel mug left behind on the teacher's desk (and occasionally I've found two...).
And of course, you can't forget about how travel mugs help the environment. By using a travel mug (either by making your own coffee or taking an empty travel mug to a Starbucks or Tim Hortons), you are getting rid of one more disposable paper cup from the landfill.
By choosing a unique travel mug, you'll be sure to never get yours mixed up with someone else's. Plus, it'll make a statement about yourself and just brighten up your day in general!
Starbucks Mugs - You can never have too much Starbucks
Over the years, Starbucks has released a number of collector's mugs. Even if you aren't a huge fan of the franchise (I'm a Tim Horton's girl, myself) but just go there because you like coffee, these unique mugs are still a great choice. Some of them don't advertise Starbucks in any significant way but are simply great mugs all on their own. I especially love the fox mug and would love to add one to my own collection. Over the holidays, take-out coffee often come with this fox image and it's always a nice treat. I will admit that it was actually on my Christmas list from this past year, though I unfortunately didn't get it and it wasn't in my budget to get for myself. Maybe this year?
Starbucks Background Information
Ever wondered about the massive franchise?
There are lots of famous coffee chains, and while Starbucks is only one of them, it is the largest in the world. They have over 20,000 stores spread over 62 countries. It's a bit hard to wrap your head around, but it's true! Really, with such a wide variety of coffee, tea, and goodies, it's easy to see why they're so popular. There are even a few Starbucks Evenings the serve appetizers and alcohol.
The popular chain began in Seattle in 1971 as just a local coffee house. They gradually expanded and really began taking off in the late 1980s. In the mid 90s they expanded to overseas markets, which now house one third of the Starbucks franchise. Despite worldwide success, most of the business is still run from Seattle, the home of great coffee.
Frog Mugs - Ribbit
There's lots of frog mugs out there--these are just a few of what I think are the best choices. Just make sure the person actually likes frogs, first! I have a friend who is terrified of frogs and I'm sure she wouldn't want any of these, no matter how cute they are. I, however, would love any of these unique mugs and if it wasn't for a sheer lack of space, I'd probably have them all. But of course, you don't want to get something that ends up creeping someone out! On the other hand, a harmless mug could be a great way to face their fears...
After taking a look at the mugs, read on to find out more about frogs!
More About Frogs
There are nearly 5,000 species of frogs around the world. The smallest is only half an inch. While the most diversity is found in the rainforest, frogs can also be found in subarctic regions of the world. The earliest fossils are from the Triassic era, but scientists believe the oldest frogs actually date back as 265 million years in the Permian era. There is a wide variety of frogs, from the dark brown and green species that camouflage themselves to the bright colours found in more tropical areas. The brighter frogs are often poisonous and their bright colours warn predators to leave them alone if they value their own lives.
Many species of frogs are actually endangered. Scientists think that about 120 species of frogs have disappeared since the early 1980 with over one third of existing species in danger of following suit. This is partly because of deforestation and also because of a spreading fungal disease among frogs.
Rubik's Cube - 80's throwback
Remember the Rubik's Cube? As a toy, it may have been a frustrating, seemingly impossible puzzle, but as a mug, it's a unique gift for the mug lover in your life. The Rubik's Cube is one of the most well known toys around--wouldn't it be cool to have a mug shaped like one? Plus, if you have it in mug form, there's no expectations to solve the puzzle! Read on below to find out more about this cool toy, including some mind blowing numbers of just how many possible ways you could change a Rubik's Cube.
Possible Rubik's Cube Combinations
The Rubik's Cube was invented in 1974 by Erno Rubik from Hungary. It was sold in 1980 and won German Game of the Year Best Puzzle award. Over 350,000,000 Rubik's Cubes have been sold worldwide.
The game consists of a cube with each side covered by nine stickers; each side is a different colour. The traditional colours are orange, green, yellow, blue, white, and red. The cube has an internal pivot mechanism that allows the faces to all turn independently. A player must turn these faces multiple times in order to mix all of the stickers up, then attempt to put them back to their original places. While it sounds simple, anyone who's tried the Rubik's Cube knows that once the squares are mixed up, it's extremely difficult to put them back to their original places.
In 2003, organized competitions have been held to solve the puzzle the fastest. There are also official world records for the Rubik's Cube. These are kept by the World Cube Organization.
If you're into math, you will appreciate the design of the cube. Even if you're not a math fan, the sheer number of possible combinations might stagger you. The cube has 8 corners and because of the design, the possible combinations are run by permutations. This means there are 8! possible ways to arrange just the corners. 8! translates to 8X7X6X5...and so on, giving us 40,320 options for corner cubes. When factoring in the possible edge combinations, there are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 or 43 quintillion possible ways to arrange the Rubik's cube. Unbelievable, right? Just remember this the next time you're frustrated by one of these "children's" toys.
To make it even more amazing, if you disassemble the individual cubes that make up the toy and reassemble them, the number of combinations increases to 519 quintillion. Now...try counting that high!
Make Your Own Mugs
If you're a crafty person (and even if you're not!), try making your own truly unique mugs! You just need a cheap, dollar store plain ceramic mug, sharpie pens, and an oven. Here's a fantastic video that shows you how to do this. You can be as creative as you want!
If you're thinking of making your own mug but you don't have any markers, here's a couple of options for you. They're also great for other crafts!
Your Drink of Choice - Let everyone know
Did you have a favourite mug? Or is there a really cool one I'm missing that you think I should add? Maybe you have a great mug story. Tell me here!
Leave a Comment!
Charito Maranan-Montecillo from Manila, Philippines on June 26, 2014:
I dig the Rubik's Cube mug!
Takkhis on May 20, 2014:
This lens truly helps the one who is searching for unique mugs. Most of the mugs here are beautiful!
Rose Jones on January 26, 2014:
Mugs are super collectible and great gifts . You have found some fun ones.
sierradawn lm on December 13, 2013:
Your mugs are delightful!
Stephanie (author) from Canada on December 13, 2013:
@Coffee-Break: That sounds like a great mug! :)
Dorian Bodnariuc from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on December 12, 2013:
I love the frog mugs, they are so cute. Other than that I got as a gift a mug that has written: "IT freak".
sousababy on November 03, 2013:
My favorite mug is the one my daughter made for me. Besides that one, it's a large-handled yellow one. I especially like those last ones on your page that can hold a snack too - clever design and fun.
SavioC on October 05, 2013:
Just loved different types of mugs . Last week my daughter gifted me a nice one with a very humorous saying.
Stanley Green from Czech Republic on September 14, 2013:
Yes, my favorite mug is one I got from my wife. It has lovable rustical theme and I use it pretty often.
Stephanie (author) from Canada on August 28, 2013:
@othellos: Thank you! There's a few on here I wouldn't mind having :)
othellos on August 17, 2013:
Interesting information about mugs and coffee. Your suggestions are excellent choices for gifts to any coffee lover.