Your morning routine might involve throwing on running shoes and putting a mile on the books. Mine involves staring at my coffee maker until it's made a pot of coffee. I know — coffee? To start the day? Groundbreaking. But it isn't what's inside the coffee cup that's unique: It's the coffee cup itself. Once my coffee is brewed, things really start to heat up — I open my kitchen cabinet to look at the unsung heroes of my morning, a variety of beautiful Hasami Porcelain mugs.
Owning and using a beautiful and practical Hasami Porcelain Mug makes me feel concretely like an adult as Feeling Like An Adult is increasingly harder to define and much easier to think about in abstract terms. Sure, it’s not as traditionally adult as, say, heating up a bowl of oatmeal. (I’m not there yet.) But it’s a step forward.
Hasami has a line of porcelain plates, bowls and mugs that I’ve used and loved for years. Their coffee cups have a minimalist aesthetic for entering 2022: Some offer a gorgeous-looking gray glaze, while others are intricately speckled. The Hasami Porcelain Mug’s simplicity allows it to appear quiet, composed and mature — all the qualities I look to emulate as I head into the workday. It also comes in a variety of sizes: 11 ounces, 13 ounces, 15 ounces. I have three Hasami mugs in two sizes (13 and 15 ounces) and all in different colors (Gloss Gray, Black and Natural) — and I’m only getting started on my collection. It’s dishwasher- and microwave-safe when your cup needs cleaning or your beverage needs heating, respectively. And it’s handmade, which I think adds to its appeal: When someone asks you what that is in your cabinet, for example, you can coyly respond: “Oh this? This coffee cup that literally no one else in the world owns?”
Hasami’s design is unconventional in the face of so many Garfield mugs, which have their charms, but often aren’t what you want to be confronted with before your daily caffeine hits. I can only endure so many frowns before the sun rises (most of which come from myself in the mirror).
I should also note that I’ve had my Hasami Porcelain mugs for years now, and not one of them appears any worse for wear. I stumbled upon the mug in 2015 at the enthusiastic recommendation of a Los Angeleno friend — he raved about how the glossy mugs felt wonderful in his hands, and the Hasami line’s ability to form a set. You see, you can always expand your collection: All the pieces in the Hasami Porcelain line are built around the same footprint so that you can easily stack them on top of one another, and they look like they’re all a part of the same universe, whether you’re adding a coffee cup, a plate, a bowl or a wooden tray (to help with stacking). Even when they’re not literally identical, they’ll still match.
Of course, I wouldn’t mind if they were less expensive. Hasami has been making porcelain kitchenware for more than 400 years, the company says, and you have to pay a little extra for that long-standing expert craftsmanship. Although around $30 might sound like a lot to spend on a coffee cup, I expect you’ll use it every day — and your use of it will quickly justify its cost.
Other coffee cups to consider
If you’d rather not spend as much money on a coffee cup as a Hasami Porcelain Mug asks — listen, I get it. Or maybe you’re a simple person who wants simple things, like an even more expensive smart mug that keeps itself warm. Here are a couple highly-rated alternatives to Hasami Porcelain.
Compared to the Hasami Porcelain Mug, the Ikea Dinera Mug is… Well, you could buy fifteen of them for the same price as one Hasami cup. It’s pretty basic-looking and inoffensive as far as coffee cups go — the 10-ounce mug is available in three colors: Gray-blue, Dark gray and Beige. Its size means it’s smaller than any one of the Hasami Porcelain mugs, but large enough to fill up with coffee to get you through the morning. (And to fill up again, as needed.)
Now let’s head in the opposite direction: The 10- or 14-ounce Ember Coffee Mug 2 costs three times as much as the Hasami Porcelain Mug, but it promises different things. It’s a smart mug that comes with a charging coaster that, according to Ember, you can use to set an exact drinking temperature and keep your coffee hot or even lukewarm, if you so desire. Its battery is rated to last about 90 minutes when it’s off its charging coaster, the brand says — keeping it on the charging coaster will keep its battery charged indefinitely. Unlike the Dinera Mug, which is sold exclusively at Ikea, the Ember Coffee Mug 2 is available across major retailers, both online and in stores.