Everyone has a favorite mug. That special cup that not only holds your morning coffee but also holds your favorite memories of a particular moment, person, or place. In celebration of mugs everywhere we asked some members of the La Colombe team to share their favorite stories behind their favorite mug. Come get sentimental with us and read their stories below:
Rachael: Cafe Staff
The “Perfect Sized Parting Gift” Mug
This is my favorite mug! I got it from a beloved yarn shop when I was moving from Seattle, WA to Philadelphia as a parting gift for myself. It also happens to be the perfect size.
Chris: Coffee Roaster
The “Best Gift for Dad” Mug
This is a totally corny mug, and I know it, but I absolutely adore it. My son and I have breakfast every weekend and he knows that I’m a coffee roaster so he and my wife wanted something that they knew I would use. Those hours with him are my favorite of the whole week.
Nico: Wholesale and Sales
The “Dove Love Forever” Mug
This is a picture of my favorite mug for the past two years. We designed the cup with our friends from NotNeutral for Christmas 2018. I love the shape and the structure of that mug. We had ordered a few hundred of them and they got sold out immediately. I was lucky to save one of the first original runs and I have been using it every day since. It is super Christmasy, but I think it makes my coffee taste better.
Jamie: Demand Planning and Strategic Ops
The “Passed Down From Generation to Generation” Mug
Most mornings, I enjoy my coffee from one of my favorite mugs. The pineapple mug has been passed down through generations. It was bought by my husband’s Grandmother (his Mimi) in the 60s. The pineapple often symbolizes warm welcomes in the South but was also used by sailors in New England to let friends know of their safe return. Fittingly, the pineapple mug has traveled through many states and multiple moves but always seems to find its way home. Thanks, Mimi!
Abbey: CPG Sales
The “More Than Just a Mug” Mug
Every time I read the handwritten Polish phrase “Ja cie kocham” I smile and my eyes get watery. This phrase means “I love you” in Polish and it was that same phrase that my late grandfather (Dziadzi as we called him) signed to each handwritten note he sent me. After his death, my aunt took his handwriting of that phrase and engraved it on a coffee mug (my favorite one of course). Now…each morning, I get to wake up, brew my fav coffee (Corsica) and read those beautiful words.
Aaron: Sales & Education
The “It’s the Little Things” Mug
What’s special about this mug is that it’s not mine – it belongs to my wife Melissa. Every morning I take a few quiet moments (save for grinding the beans – and P.S. DON’T WAKE UP THE KIDS!!) alone to prepare our morning coffee. Without fail I grab her favorite mug and add just a splash of almond milk – exactly how she likes it. So as our schedules change as frequently and unpredictably as the New England weather, it’s comforting knowing that we will always begin our days together over a simple cup of coffee.
Esen Pence: Creative
The “Cute Animals Are Always the Move” Mug
The illustration is two porcupines, one is still asleep one is waiting for them to wake up. I don’t know if they are friends or mom and baby but I know they’re ADORABLE! I had bought a more expensive version of this, hand-painted, for my husband which was then broken. I can’t tell if this is hand-painted but it’s a bit more “manufactured-like” but I came across is soon after the original was broken and it felt like a sign that things were going to be alright.
The mug also holds about 10oz of coffee which is perfect and it cools the coffee slowly.
Siobhan Collins: CPG Sales
The “West Coast Watercolors” Mug
I found my favorite mug at a street art fair in Encinitas, San Diego the winter of 2017. My partner and I were living in Los Angeles at the time, just visiting a friend for the weekend, and stumbled upon this adorable pottery vendor. The mug caught my eye by the size of it; who drinks that much coffee? I do. But not only is it my go-to mug that I drink out of every morning, but in my eyes, the most beautiful of all my mugs that live in my cupboard. It sure is the tallest, but nonetheless reminds me of the ocean mixed with sunset colors, and living in Southern California. Little did I know that while I was purchasing my mug, and taking in the beauty of San Diego, that I would soon move there not even 6 months later…the mug and I were meant to be!
The “I Hope They Have His Name at the Souvenir Shop” Mug
I was 12, in 2000, when my godmother got me this mug. She had taken a trip to Universal Studios, one which I was inexplicably not invited, and brought this back as a consolation. I vaguely remember her telling me this was the only thing with my name on it, and she knew I grew up on Dr. Seuss so she was sure I would love it. What 12 year old wouldn’t love a coffee mug that’s supposed to make up for missing Universal Studios? Though this little guy went unwanted for a long time, I never tossed it. Now, in 2020, I work in coffee and have a 2 year old son and these two things are true: I love coffee, and indirectly this mug, more than ever, and I get to teach my son the most treasured Dr. Seuss lesson I’ve learned; “It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.”
Kinda: Human Resources
The “I’m a Bo$$” Mug
At a previous job, the Director of HR and I worked on implementing a new HRIS system to the company. There were weeks of training prior to the implementation and a great deal of meetings, test runs and errors before we went live. On the go live week, he and I tag teamed on rolling out the HRIS system and meeting with groups of employees. On the last day of the last week of the last meeting of implementation , we both were exhausted – but we got it done! I said to him “we thugged it out”! He of course had no clue what I meant and when I told him that it was slang, basically to say we toughed it out, but in a much cooler way – he thought it was great. A week later he gave me this mug with my favorite chocolate in it and threw up the deuces and said Thug Life!
Evan Guyton: Wholesale
The “Free Britney” Mug
“This mug was not my favorite mug, I would even say it was my least favorite, until C19. My wife was gifted this mug, around the time she began to rediscover her love for the tragic pop-star and has become her mug of choice. I on the other hand was less enthused to drink from it. Yet, as I made my morning cup of coffee at home during the worst of C19, Britney began making guest appearances on my conference calls. Each time I unknowingly drank from the Britney Mug, speaking to a potential or existing client, a polite question would be asked, “Sorry to interrupt you Evan, but what is on your mug?”. It became a great icebreaker, taking 5 minutes of a 30 minute meeting to discuss the latest news on her conservatorship. Needless to say, I grab the mug purposefully now and preach the ‘free Britney’ gospel.”
Josh Lind: Cafe Staff
The “Homemade Hero” Mug
I have roughly a million mugs and they all have different significance to me. I lived in an exchange family in Germany where everyone in the family had a beautiful labeled mug, my host mother there handmade me a replica of my own. I’ve worked in a cafe in Australia and nabbed myself a mug on my way out the door that holds coffee and amazing memories. I got one last year from a Lead barista that says World Best Boss and has a hand giving the middle finger on the bottom of it, revealed only when the drinker takes a sip. But maybe my favorite ever is this my ugly-as-sin, Breakfast of Champions mug. In art school I had a friend who was a ceramics major, one morning after a party he and I went into school and he texted me the only item he was able to produce in the state we were in. He told me it was going in the MassArt holiday sale and I snatched it up before it ever hit a shelf.
Yasmeen Fahmy: Executive Administration
The “World Traveler” Mug
My family decided to move from the Philippines to America when I was only 5 years old. I went to school in Manila but spent my early childhood with my grandparents in the tropical provinces with higher altitudes and enjoyed the mountains. I distinctly remember my family’s small coffee farm where I would help my grandmother pick coffee cherries. It was one of my fondest memories of back home.
My father, who was enlisted in the US Airforce, married my mom and shortly after became pregnant with me, but during this time they had difficulty with immigration paperwork for my then pregnant mother. Before my birth, my dad traveled to America on his own and became separated from us for 5 years, but felt more like a century. Though finally in the mid 80’s, our papers were approved and we packed our clothes, our finest china dining ware set, a few furniture pieces and boarded a plane that would take us into Japan where a commercial flight headed to the US would be waiting for us. It was a tremendous moment in my family’s history.
At first we only used our precious cups and matching saucer on special occasions. As I got older, changing residences and exploring different parts of this beautiful country, I developed a stronger regard for the cup set which I began to use daily. It traveled with us from the other side of the world, crossing oceans, and finally landing into a country filled with opportunity, creativity, advancement, a democracy and platform to tell my story. After all these years, every sip from a different time period reminds me indefinitely, that life can be appreciated by just drinking a hot beverage in your most special cup.