Why we love to socialise with friends with a handmade mug in hand

Why we love to socialise with friends with a handmade mug in hand

By Tamra Booth, Keeeps

With Friends: The Reunion recently airing around the world and the fact that it is National Best Friends Day this week, it has really got us thinking. There’s nothing better, than meeting up and having moan and a giggle with your bestie, whether you’re at home, at work or out and about, over your favourite hot drink.

Of course, coffee houses were around long before the start of Friends. In fact, they first became popular in the Middle East in the 15th century where people could listen to music, play chess and discuss the news of the day over a cup of coffee.[1] Coffee houses were important centres for socialising and sharing stories and were often referred to as “Schools of the Wise.”[2]

Fast forward a few centuries and the Friends gang were gathered around that famous orange sofa in Central Perk sharing comedy and romantic moments and tales over a cuppa. But have you ever paid attention to their mugs? They were all different colours, shapes and sizes and all very huggable and cosy. There were no plain white mugs in sight and the Friends set designers knew exactly what they were doing because a distinctive mug feels much more authentic, particularly a handmade pottery mug.

So, Friends has got us thinking: Why is it that we LOVE socialising with a mug in hand and WHY does it feel so much better with a handmade pottery mug?


1. Both hot drinks and handmade pottery mugs are comforting

The phrase “fancy a cuppa?” is almost as soothing as the actual drink. “An invitation to sit down, talk and put off whatever trials lie ahead”.[3] If you are heading out to meet a friend, ready to tell them big news, whether exciting, sad, good or bad, a cup of tea or coffee must be in hand before the big reveal. It’s just how it’s done. There is something ritualistic and routine about the whole process that feels comforting, to the point that you are only ready to engage once you have your mug in hand.

Handmade pottery mugs feel so great. There is something super cosy and comforting about a handmade pottery mug as opposed to a run-of-the-mill, mass-produced one. Firstly, it is a tactile object. I would go as far to say magical to touch, which you will probably think is a bit crazy until you feel and use it yourself (trust us).

large white handmade mugs

Knowing it has been made by a real-life person, not a machine, creates an instant connection and appreciation for the item. Mass-produced mugs can be standard and dull in shape and colour. Handmade ceramic mugs often retain the texture of the clay and adorn vibrant glazes, which make you realise you’ve got something one-of-a kind, that is uniquely yours.

2. A chance to slow down and feel present

A hot drink provides a moment to relax. In an age where we all live busy and often stressful lives, it’s important to take a minute to rest the eyes and give our brains a rest. Stress has all sorts of effect on our bodies, but a very common one is developing the nervous habit of biting or picking nails.[4] People have taken up all sorts of arts and crafts to try to keep their hands busy in those anxious moments[5], but a great way to combat this is by filling them with a gorgeous handmade pottery mug. The feel of the different textures under your fingers will provide distraction and keep your fingers out of harm’s way.

blue handmade mugs

Paired with a chat with a friend, it’ll help the mind to focus on the present and to switch off from the other things usually demanding your attention whilst keeping those hands busy. 

3. A problem shared is a problem halved

Today, we live in a society where positive thinking is preached and we are bombarded with inspirational quotes on social media. Practicing positive thinking is in no way a bad thing but it is also okay (and healthy) to have a good old moan to a good pal.

A handmade pottery mug (in fact, handmade pottery in general), much like life, is full of surprises, flaws and imperfections. Just as you might not have expected your day to go the way it did, the potter may not have intended your handmade pottery mug to turn out that way either; but that is what makes it special.

A new perspective and a bit of company often leads to having a bit of a laugh about it all too. Laughter is good for the soul, and much better shared with a good mate. As soon as you are laughing, you’re now associating that bad day with something positive, making it a little less worrisome and easier to handle.

4. Good times without the hangover

I don’t know if it’s because I am writing this following a sunny weekend filled with a few too many glasses of wine, but whilst us Brits love getting together in the garden for an alcoholic beverage, it never turns out to be just one. One bottle maybe, some blurry memories, and one day wasted!

Meeting a friend for a tea or coffee avoids the inevitable hangover that follows the catch-up but reaps the benefits. In contrast to caffeine, alcohol is a depressant which means you are more likely to get the blues the following day. There are good reasons people talk about “hangxiety” and “beer fear”. A coffee or tea with a friend avoids those next day negative feelings, which if it is a “school night” are best avoided.

So, make sure you ditch the standard sized mass-produced mug and trade it in for a huge, huggable pottery mug that will keep you refreshed as you natter away. Treat yourself to a cute pair of handmade mugs and ask your friend to pop over for a cuppa and set the world to rights! Even better, gift your friend a pair of gorgeous ceramic mugs and invite yourself over to theirs! 

All mugs featured in this article are currently available at Keeeps and are affordable and great value for the feelings and comfort they inspire, especially when these moments are shared with good friends.



[1] Coffee and socialising (coffeeandhealth.org)

[2] The History of Coffee (ncausa.org)

[3] A little warmth goes a long way – the science of hot drinks | Food | The Guardian

[4] Feeling Stressed? How Your Skin, Hair And Nails Can Show It -- ScienceDaily

[5] 15 Things to Do With Your Hands When You’re Anxious | The Mighty

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