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10 best mugs

We all have a favourite when it's time for a comforting cuppa, but how about these designs for a refreshing new direction?

Perhaps it's because we're traditionalists, or maybe the amount of tea we drink, but us Brits really do love a good mug.  From classic British to traditional Japanese we've found the most exciting mugs around, perfect for tea, coffee or just brightening up your kitchen. 

1. Willow and Stone Indigo Drop mug: £9.95, Willow and Stone

This delicate porcelain mug is handmade in Vietnam. Half the shallow body of the mug is decorated with rings of small blue drops, which continues with a single line on the inside. Simple and sweet. 

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2. El-Aich Yellow mug: £12, Unique and Unity 

Bristol-based maker Melissa Grace Farnie (El-Aich designs) patterns each of these arty ceramic mugs by hand. It's a classic shape with a modern design, the splash of yellow on the handle contrasts brilliantly with the monochrome body.

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3. Anthropologie Latte mug: £6, Anthropologie

Anthropologie brings a range of zesty colours to a classic porcelain cup: mint, lime or sky blue. It’s just as at home in a chic café as the kitchen cupboard. The wide brim means that your tea or coffee will cool down faster, making it easier to drink. 

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4. Emma Lacey Pink Everyday mug: £27, Conran shop

Emma Lacey’s unusual mug is hand-thrown from a fine stoneware clay and finished with a tactile glaze. The mugs are handmade in England and the little dent in every mug is from the touch of the maker. Inside, the pink glaze drips over the rim, revealing a natural finish.

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5. Da Terra Splash mug: £14, Unique and Unity 

This mug, from Portuguese favourite Da Terra’s Splash collection, is covered in broad strokes of bright colour. Fans of individuality will be pleased to hear that Da Terra's mugs are all individually hand painted so no two pieces will ever be exactly the same. 

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6. Royal Copenhagen Fluted Contrast mug: £17, Trouva

Royal Copenhagen has been producing ceramics since the 1700's, but that doesn't mean they're stuck in the past. The epitome of modernity, Royal Copenhagen’s modern mug has a brightly-coloured silicon wrap instead of a handle, which protects your hands. It takes a bit of getting used to, but you’ll soon appreciate its minimal and functional design.  

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7.  Habitat Pinya mug: £6, Habitat

The rounded shape of Habitat’s terracotta Pinya mug is made extra alluring by a speckled glaze and a range of bright Mediterranean-inspired colours. Just as perfect for warming your hands up on as for sipping out of. 

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8. Mud Australia Mist mug: £31.95, Harrods

Mud Australia is making a bit of a splash in the UK, with a new London store. Pricey but beautifully made, each piece contrasts natural textures emphasised by carefully chosen colours. At ten centimenters high it's on the bigger side, ideal for caffeine fans. 

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9. Xiang Shang cermaics, Mountain Glaze mug: £26, Rouge

The variable colour on this glazed ceramic comes from a traditional Chinese ceramics technique which uses 1250 degree heat. It gives the mug give it a retro appeal that’s immediately comforting. It’s handmade in Jingdezhen which is the traditional ceramics capital of China.

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10. Marimekko Hauki Oiva mug: £16, Heals

The long body of a pike wraps its way around this porcelain mug from Finnish brand designer Sanna Annukka. All of the brand’s designs have a mid-century feel with patterns and illustrations that reference nature and folklore.

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Verdict:

Top pick has to be the Indigo Drop mug, which is beautifully subtle, handmade and has a reasonable price tag. The Fluted Contrast mug by Royal Copenhagen should also be a talking point around any coffee table for its clever silicon design, proving it can be modern, function and stylish too.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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