Tea drinkers know what a pain it can be to take their beverage with them when they leave the house — traditional travel mugs aren't made with tea in mind, and always leave you with a used bag and nowhere to put it. Steep ($30) solves the traveling tea drinker's problems by providing an insulated cup with a screw-on lid and a space to keep your leftovers. Made from ordinary ceramic material, and designed to fit traditional mason jar lids, it's threaded on the top and bottom, so you can keep things securely contained. Safely microwave yours and stick it in the dishwasher when you're done.
Add a bit of whimsy to your morning coffee routine with one of these Creature Cups ($15-$20). Available in 11 or 15 oz. sizes, these curious cups are dishwasher safe and feature a different creature at the bottom, which only emerges fully once you're nearing the end of your drink. Choose from an octopus, pelican, crocodile, sea otter, shark, spider, or skull, or pony up for a set of two ($25-$35).
How do you improve on the awesome drinking utility of the mason jar? Give it a better-than-Starbucks wrapper and a handle. The Holdster Mason Jar Mug ($20) slips onto standard wide-mouth jars, cladding them in leather and keeping the heat — or cold — away from your hand. Available in cross-stitch or riveted styles, and with or without a looped leather handle, they're a great way to add a touch of class to this traditional vessel. Combine with a Cuppow to create the ultimate farmland-esque travel mug.
Add a touch of morbid whimsy to your china cabinet with these Stackable Skeleton Coffee Mugs ($84). Designed by Phoebe Richardson and made from bone china — pun most likely intended — the set includes four white mugs that, when stacked, form a full black skeleton illustration. Perfect for horror-themed tea parties.
Upgrade your morning — or afternoon — liftoff procedure with the Blast Off Espresso Cup ($17). Crafted from glazed ceramic, this paraboloid cup holds 2.5 oz. of the caffeinated stuff, and, appropriately, sports three '50s-style rocket fins for legs.
A mug with a built-in coaster? Brilliant! Inspired by a banana holder, the Floating Mug ($40) is exactly that: a white porcelain mug — perfect for coffee or tea — that separates the liquid-holding portion from the ground by integrating a coaster into the handle, keeping the heat away from sensitive surfaces like wood, while giving the cup itself a cool floating look. Hence the name.
Some of our favorite salsas and sauces come in plain, reusable jars — but unless you're running a country-themed bar, they aren't so useful for drinking out of thereafter. Unless you've got a Cuppow ($9). This brilliant little tool acts like a coffee cup lid, working with most normal wide-mouth canning jars to turn them into efficient, reusable, spill-free travel mugs — although it still won't stop you from burning your hands should you decide to fill it with hot coffee.
You've got the French Oven, so why not get yourself some matching tea/coffee mugs? These Le Creuset Stoneware Mugs ($12/each) are made with the same high-quality standards as the company's cookware, and feature the same non-porous enamel finish to resist odors, staining, chipping, and cracking, with no chemical leaching. Available in six colorways, so you should have no trouble finding one to match your decor.
Unfortunately, modern pop culture has sullied the legacy of the tin cup, leaving it with the foul stench of a bad Kevin Costner golf movie. Reclaim its lost history with the Jacob Bromwell Tin Cup ($40). Historically correct and handcrafted using some of the same equipment that's been churning out these classic vessels since 1819, this simple relic is probably the purest way to enjoy your favorite whiskey.
Who knew beer glasses could be so... adorable? The Gama-Go Pint Glass Four Pack ($40) is a set of four 16 oz. beer-begging glasses, each featuring a different Gama-Go design — Bling Wall, Whoooooooo, Yeti Forest and Squid Wreck. All four glasses will arrive in a custom package, and are sure to bring some sickeningly sweet sparkle to your dark, damp, S&M-themed beer dungeon.
With a legacy dating back to ancient times, Leather Vessels ($22-$200) are painstakingly-handcrafted cups, tankards, flasks, and bottles, each made with highest-possible level of detail and accuracy. A few more contemporary designs are available now, and will soon be joined by strict medieval reproductions of real-life vessels, some of which were studied by the creators at the Museum of London. So pick one up, fill it with some Mead, and toast to a time of kings, queens, knights, and shockingly bad hygiene.
There's little reason for anyone to pay more than 30 grand for a coffee and tea set, but the amount becomes slightly more tolerable when it's an unquestionable work of art, and the Alessi Silver Tea & Coffee Tower (£20,000; roughly $33,500) certainly qualifies. Created by London-based designer Zaha Hadid, this striking piece of functional fancy features a long, flat teapot, a skyscraper-like coffee pot, a milk jug, and a sugar bowl, all designed to fit together following a template built into the carrying tray that allows for different looks based on how the set is being used. Truly unique.