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You Can Never Have Too Many Mugs

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White “pie for breakfast” mug from Bubby’s restaurant in NYC

This post originally appeared on April 2, 2020, in Add to Cart — the weekly newsletter for people who love shopping (almost) as much as they love eating. Subscribe now.

There may be no kitchen item as delightful as a mug. As noted in the Eater holiday gift guide this past year, you never need another mug, but somehow you’ll always find a way to add one to the rotation. Especially if that addition carries sentimental value — maybe you lifted it from your childhood home or picked it up on a trip. A mug is the ultimate souvenir, an easy-to-justify purchase that you can use forever. And with every use, it will remind you of that vacation you took or that coffee shop you lingered in.

Below, a small selection of coffee shop mugs. Buy one or two, and you’ll be sending a few dollars to a business that could probably use it right now.

Things to buy

  • This “pie for breakfast” mug from Bubby’s evokes the nostalgic comforts of the NYC restaurant, which dishes up hearty biscuits, fried chicken, and yes, pie.
  • Any New Yorker will appreciate this Cafe Grumpy mug, with its perfect grumpy… mug. (Sorry.)
  • With its understated, monochromatic design, you would never know this Crew Collective mug, from the gorgeous cafe in Montreal, is from a specific cafe.
  • These textured, handmade mugs from Ruby Coffee in Wisconsin are a delight to hold.
  • Even if you’ve never been to Deadstock Coffee in Portland, it’s hard to disagree with this “Coffee Should Be Dope” mug.
  • This travel mug from Spiller Park in Atlanta, with its summer camp vibes, embodies the playfulness of the cafe.
  • This Cafe du Monde mug from New Orleans lives at my parents’ house, harking back to the family trip we took there when I was 4 years old. The design is ageless.

Things to know

  • Wherever there is a crisis, chef-turned-humanitarian José Andrés seems to show up. Hence the José Andrés Saint Candle that turned up on Etsy this week, which promptly sold out. Kelly Carnes, the Etsy seller, said she’s donating all the profits to Andrés’s relief organization, World Central Kitchen.
  • Many restaurant groups have set up fundraising for their staffs, inviting direct donations. Jean-Georges is raising money, in part, with gorgeous porcelain: Ceramic studio Source and Tradition is selling a collection of elegantly pinched gold-rimmed tableware, with 50 percent of all sales going directly to the Jean-Georges Restaurants Employee Relief Fund.
  • A bolder piece of merch to support the restaurant industry: “Bought This T-Shirt and Stayed the Fuck Home” shirts, an initiative with over 30 partner restaurants in which 100 percent of profits are donated to the restaurants, which in turn will give 25 percent of that to their out-of-work staffers.

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