Monday, September 26, 2011

Mug Musings

I've been contemplating the difference in coffee cup sizes from the 1950s to today. They seem to have gotten quite a bit larger in the last half century or more.

Just look at the size of the cup this fella hoists, obviously forced on him by a loved one hoping to sober him up:

DiDi and I tend to like mid-century modern dishware, and so have a small collection of cups from that era.

We have some like this:

And like this:

And even this:

We don't have these but I wish we did because they are very cool:

I'm also hearting these very hard:

We have a number of other styles as well, but Google images isn't helping me find them but we moved and some are in storage or in our garage (which I like to call the Fourth Dimension).

The mid-century cups typically hold about 8 oz if you've got a steady hand or don't mind a periodic morning scald. 6 oz is better if you prefer to play it safe.

Contrast that with today's mugs:

Ok so this is a bit of an exaggeration, but you know what I'm talking about. Walk into your local AstroDollars Coffee Shop and take a look at their options. Assuming you understand the language they use to make you feel hip, the smallest one is typically 12oz, and the large is 20oz.

That's a lot of joe, no matter how much they've frothed the milk and decorated the top with hearts and flowers.

The mugs most people use at home are similarly ginormous.

What happened in the intervening years? Do we really need that much more caffeine now?

Did the coffee mob strong arm cup manufacturers?

Here's what I discovered. When I'm at home, the amount I drink in a small cup is satisfying. When I'm on the road and pull over for a jolt, I still tend to go for the 16 oz medium.

Which is weird. Somehow just looking at the larger cups make me think I need more.

But I don't.


  1. My go-to mug is pretty large. Too lazy to go downstairs and take a pic of it, so I found one online instead. Nice middle of the road coffee and food place up here, now called Williams Fresh Cafe. It can't compete with Tim Hortons so it finds a different niche.

  2. I prefer the different niche any day. Though I DO love TH's coffee...