12.10.2005

Coffee Mugs, Andy Rooney Style


Please read this post in Andy Rooney's nasally voice for full effect...

Why is it that it's so hard to get coffee served in a mug these days? I realize the trend in coffeeshop efficiency caters to the oh-my-god-my-blackberry-is-so-full clan. I mean who really has time to sit and sip anymore? (In the interest of full disclosure, since I joined the ranks of freelance writers, I am one of those people who sit and drink coffee while you walk by and ask, "Do those people have jobs?")

Drinking coffee from a mug improves the tactile experience. I like the weight and the way the mug channels the warmth to your hands gently, without needing a paper sleeve advertising tooth whitening. I like being able to slurp the first sip to make sure it's not scalding hot, which is next to impossible with a plastic lid that delivers the burning liquid right to the middle of your unsuspecting tongue if you're not careful.

What gets me even more is when they ask if your order is "for here" or "to go," and you say for here but they still give you a paper cup.

I love Tryst and Open City for their hefty mismatched mugs, but they know you're staying if you're seated. Mocha Hut gave me a mug when I asked. And then there's Whole Foods, which I would think would offer mugs to patrons who could stay in an effort to reduce waste. (Could the water used to wash the mugs be more environmentally damaging?)

Maybe I'm alone in my Rooney-whiny rant. I have a friend who loves the paper cup, blaming it on Starbucks brainwashing. Who out there has great mugs? Care to weigh in with your own thoughts? Whine away.

15 comments:

Michael said...

I'm afraid I've thought about this too much and have a solid opinion ... give us a mug (the squat thick diner style) and hire a dishwasher ... but at home I've stop using anything but this heavier style and then I found the best of all worlds ... a replica of the New York Greek 'we are happy to serve you" to go paper cup ... only it's ceramic ... I've given you the moma link and you can navigate to the online store, kitchen and tabletop and then coffee and tea. I'm throwing out everything else and buying five more (except for the matching civilized "entertaining" saucer-required ones) http://momastore.org/ ...

the kitchenette said...

SoHo Tea and Coffee in Dupont serves a majority of their hot drinks in cool glass mason jar-like "mugs." Except my last tea there was in a styrofoam cup..boo!

lackadaisi said...

I like both the mugs and the coffee at Azi's. She makes a mean cappuccino.

Scott said...

You could rename this article...why coffee is so much cooler in italy. Yes they may pound it like college freshman doing liquor shots, but it's allways out of a honest cup.

Anonymous said...

You're certainly not alone. I prefer a big, ceramic cafe au lait style bowl-cup. It's the same bowl-cup from which I eat my cereal.

As for paper cups, I concur with the previous commentor about Azi's. The cups and coffee are great. I like the simple orange logo and LOVE that there is a retractable cover built into the lids. I imagine that's pretty expensive for her; if not, why don't more places have them?

Karen said...

Fantastic post. ceramic > paper

When I have to take my shot and run i leave off the annoying wrap-around advertisement.

Has the 2nd Juan Valdez shop opened up yet? I'm tired of hoofing it all the way to the OAS.

Where is Azi's?

Amanda said...

Azi's is at 9th and O, and I seriously need to get over there. I hear all great things.

Not sure about Juan Valdez...

Anonymous said...

Plenty of places in NY serve up a tall drip in diner white mugs...when you make it up to the Big Apple next, sure I can steer you in the right direction Rooney:)

DonRocks said...

"I like being able to slurp the first sip to make sure it's not scalding hot, which is next to impossible with a plastic lid that delivers the burning liquid right to the middle of your unsuspecting tongue if you're not careful."

The bitch with this isn't the liquid itself, it's the gap in between the top of the liquid and the top of the cup, a thin buffer of what amounts to superheated steam. Since the air pressure in that gap is increased, it can tolerate moist heat beyond boiling, and sucking in that first sip is like sucking on an espresso steamer. Ouch!

Loganist said...

Sparky's Espresso Cafe at 14th and "S" offers real-live mugs, and always asks if you want your coffee for here or to go. If you want it for there, they will put it in a mug unless you otherwise request it not be.

If I recall correctly (been a couple months since I've been there), Java House at 17th and "Q" does the same.

I am surprised/disappointed that more of these hipster/hippie places that like to give off a left-wing vibe (*especially* Sparky's) don't offer a place for customers to recycle paper cups that they drink in the shop (I sometimes end up staying at Sparky's long enough to drink my coffee, even though I had asked for it in a to-go cup but then got caught up talking to a friend, etc.). I always rinse my paper cups and put the paper parts and the plastic lids in their respective recycling bins.

Kriston said...

I'm with you on Sparky's.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, all the Starbucks in London will give you coffee or tea in a Starbucks mug if you order it for here - wonder why they haven't adopted this policy in the states?

Anonymous said...

Starbucks will give it to you in a real mug, just ask. There's this older cat who is sitting at the bar every morning with his mug, reading the paper.

Me, I like the go-cup so that I have the option of leaving to wander around before I am finished with my latte.

Oliver said...

Murky Coffee on the Hill, 7th & Pennsylvania SE, serves your joe up in big, fat soup bowl mugs. So does that little French cafe on 2nd street SE, right next to Pete's diner. Those mugs are more like bathtubs.

Anonymous said...

In response to the comment on the new Juan Valdez, one just opened up on I St NW between 16th and 17th and its fully stocked with real ceramic cups that no one ever uses... well except me.