Why Does Coffee Taste Insanely Better In A Ceramic Mug? [An Investigation]

Why Does Coffee Taste Insanely Better In A Ceramic Mug? [An Investigation]

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Why Does Coffee Taste Insanely Better In A Ceramic Mug? [An Investigation]

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When it comes to your ideal sipping situation, would you rather have your favorite beverage taste as good as possible or bland and flavorless? We bet the answer is pretty obvious.

An essential piece of achieving the best taste is the material the mug is made out of. While there are many different types of drinking vessels out there, from plastic to metal to paper, the material you choose will affect your coffee’s taste. Here’s why ceramic mugs dominate the taste test and are much more superior to alternative materials.

Why does coffee taste better out of a ceramic mug?

The first thing you should know about enjoying a beverage is that presentation plays a crucial role in how the drink tastes. There are plenty of studies out there that prove presentation helps dictate taste, and you’ve undoubtedly experienced it first-hand before. Anytime you go to the restaurant, the meal isn’t just plopped onto the plate in any-which-way. It’s carefully arranged and organized that better represents a high-quality and tasteful meal. Just as ceramic does for coffee.

It’s human nature to perceive quality by context, and using a ceramic mug usually means you’re enjoying a more comfortable environment. Think about it in comparison with a paper cup. When drinking from a ceramic mug, it feels like a better experience because of the associations you make to your mug, from the location you use it in (home, office, local coffee shop) to its weight, texture and insulating properties. On the other hand, a paper cup is temporary and disposable, most likely used in new environments or unique situations, like an out-of-state business meeting.

While the perceived taste quality is important, there’s also an objective improvement as well. For flavor, ceramic is the best choice. Because ceramic is neutral, it neither absorbs nor imparts flavors, leaving coffee to taste just as it should. Our sense of taste is complicated, to say the least. For one thing, you can’t simply narrow down taste properties with only sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Much of what we consider flavor is really smell – so with its neutral characteristics, ceramic really is the best choice.

Other types of mug materials

There’s plenty of other types of mug materials, but why don’t they make coffee taste as good as ceramic? Let’s explore a few of the different types of mugs and what they’re made of.


Plastic may seem like a good choice because of its light weight and convenience, however, overtime the material will actually absorb odors and flavors, causing your coffee to taste bad. It probably isn’t a big deal if you only drink one type of liquid from your plastic mug, however, even different types of coffee can be absorbed by the porous plastic and over time, make your beverages taste bad.


Probably the worst way to drink coffee is out of a paper cup. When you heat up paper, especially treated paper like what a coffee cup is made out of, it can start to smell. This will certainly disrupt an ideal drinking experience.

Additionally, not only does coffee taste better out of a ceramic mug, but it’s a much more sustainable way to enjoy your beverages.

Stainless Steel

While stainless steel might be extremely durable, and good for outdoor excursions, it can impart flavors into your coffee. It won’t absorb flavor, but because many companies choose to use cheap materials, finishes can slowly wash away into the beverages. Plus, there are more than 1,000 compounds in coffee that can react oddly with metal, so you could receive some strange-tasting notes.


While glass also provides a neutral taste similar to ceramic, it’s not quite as good at providing the optimal coffee experience. Since ceramic retains heat better than glass, your coffee will stay warmer much longer. And, since coffee changes taste as it cools, keeping it as hot as possible can let you enjoy the deliciousness for longer.

Have any more questions about ceramic mugs? Contact Deneen Pottery today! As a family-owned company in operation since the 1970s, we’re the leaders in hand-made stoneware, tankards, mugs and much more. Order a custom piece by contacting us today!

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