There are lots and lots of good cups on the market and a whole lot of bad ones too. When I am looking for cups I have certain things I keep an eye out for.
1. Size - The giant ones are cool, but unless it's for someone who drinks a LOT of extra large lattes or mochas - the coffee is going to be ice cold by the time they get to the bottom. Something that holds 12 - 16 oz is usually a good size. I have plenty that only hold 8 oz and I like them too, but I have to refill them. I do have a few that are MUCH larger - I don't use them unless I am drinking iced coffee, lattes or for ice cream.
2. Weight - So many of the novelty cups are super light weight. They are thin and then to chip easily and the coffee gets cold way too fast. Also thin walls can make the mug too hot to hold. I've even had a few where the handle gets uncomfortably hot.
3. How easy is it to clean? Mugs with smooth interiors can be washed out. There are some on the market with little critters in the middle. Those can be a pain to wash if you don't get to them right away. Also, is the mug for someone who doesn't mind hand washing? I don't, but there have been a couple of times I've gotten lazy and mugs that should have been hand washed went into the dishwasher.
The keep cup makes for a much better choice for someone who is going to use the dishwasher all the time. They are safe for the top rack of the dishwasher. Comes in handy those times I don't feel so much like hand washing anything.
The same can not be said of my treasured handmade mugs, but I love them so the extra time to wash them by hand isn't a burden.
Once upon a time this Starbucks travel mug was all shiney and bronzey and pretty. The dishwasher took care of all that for me. It's still one of my favorite travel mugs and I use it all the time. Especially when I am taking a latte on the road.
it has to be a good size, washable & keep my coffee warm without burning my hand. And cute. It has to be visually appealing. That's the easy part.
Anything I missed? What do you think makes a good mug?