Tastemakers Spill the Tea on Their Favorite Mugs

Drink up!

May 20, 2022

A cherished mug holds much more than coffee or tea: Whether passed down from a grandparent or picked up during one’s travels, it can also hold a personal story. We asked some of our favorite tastemakers to share their go-to mug; from sculptural phenoms to splatter-painted fun to classic tartan-themed treasures, each one represents its owner in a unique way.

John Derian

  • Stephen Kent Johnson

“This pear tree cup from Astier de Villatte brings me comfort to hold, is pretty to look at and feels nice to sip from.” – John Derian, founder of John Derian

Pear Tree Cup, $102, astierdevillatte.com

Luke Edward Hall

  • Billal Taright

“At home in the English countryside my favorite mug to use in the morning is a one-off piece made by the ceramist Prue Piper. It is made from earthenware and decorated with the face of the Green Man, that legendary character most often associated with folklore, medieval churches, English pubs and ancient woodlands. It’s a very handsome face, and the mug is brilliantly heavy. When the weather is good, I take it and sit in the garden for a while—this is my quiet time to reflect before the rush of the day begins!” – Luke Edward Hall, artist, designer and columnist

Green Man With Insects and Bird Mug by Prue Piper, 8hollandstreet.com

Danielle Rollins

  • Courtesy of Danielle Rollins

“There’s a lot of debate in my house about the morning depository for coffee, particularly regarding a cup versus a mug. Cups are nice for holiday breakfasts and ladies’ meetings. Mugs are meant for drinking quantities of caffeine daily in order to survive. Surprisingly, they’re hard to find outside of ‘Worlds Greatest Dad,’ which is why I love the Mottahedeh Torquay with a decent-sized handle for delivering the morning cup—OK, who am I kidding, cups—of Joe.”Danielle Rollins, decorator, lifestyle expert and author

Mottahedeh Blue Torquay Mug, $30, homebello.com

John Robshaw

  • Courtesy of John Robshaw

“I love handmade porcelain mugs from DBO Home. They are just the right size and the handle makes it comfortable to hold while juggling office calls!” – John Robshaw, textile designer

Pinch Mug, $50, dbohome.com

Erick Espinoza

  • Courtesy of Erick Espinoza

“I am so into the country-chic vibe right now and really loving Tory Burch’s new collection of spongeware and mochaware. They fit so well into a more traditional or freshened-up country house.” – Erick Espinoza, designer at Anthony Baratta

Spongeware Mug, set of 4, $98, toryburch.com

Lilse McKenna

  • Read McKendree

“When I am enjoying a coffee at home or having friends for brunch, I use these basketweave mugs from Williams Sonoma.  I don’t like thick mugs, and these are a nice weight of porcelain that is not too fine to go in the dishwasher and microwave—and they are large enough to hold a full cup of coffee.” – Lilse McKenna, interior designer

Pillivuyt Basketweave Porcelain Mug, $27, williams-sonoma.com


Scot Meacham Wood

  • Courtesy of Scot Meacham-Wood

“Somewhere between my Scottish family heritage and my almost 15 years at Ralph Lauren, I decided I have to have my Yorkshire Tea in one of Ralph’s iconic mugs every morning”Scot Meacham Wood, designer

Wexford Mug, set of 4, $125, ralphlauren.com


Stephanie Nass

  • Courtesy of Stephanie Nass

“As a passionate tea drinker and lifelong New Yorker, I make myself smile by steeping my beautiful loose leaf teas in this ceramic imitation of the classic bodega cup. The Greek Key and Hellenic letters are so good. Plus, this one is dishwasher-safe.” – Stephanie Nass, founder of Chefanie

Ceramic Greek Coffee Cup, $15, uncommongoods.com

Natalie Ebel

  • Maggie Shannon

“I naturally gravitate toward pieces with bold color and these Splatter Mugs by Echo Park Pottery make me feel like I’m holding a piece of art while I drink your morning coffee. Designed by Peter Shire, an LA-based artist and founding member of the Memphis Group, each piece is handmade and totally unique. I love the slightly unusual, sculptural shape and can’t help but smile each time I use it.” – Natalie Ebel, cofounder of Backdrop

Splatter Mug Large Short x Echo Park Pottery, $81, thirddrawerdown.com