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15 Unique Coffee Mugs: Great Inexpensive Gifts for Any Occasion
Searching for an inexpensive -- and interesting -- gift for a co-worker? Friend? Neighbor? Family member? Unique coffee mugs fill this need. What do I mean by unique? Different mugs. Quirky mugs. Funky mugs. The following mugs are not the normal everyday coffee mug, and coffee mugs do not have to arrive empty or only filled with coffee. Read on for gift giving ideas.

Dunking Mugs

The Cookie Dunk Mug

This white ceramic mug is perfect for those who dunk cookies in their coffee. The bottom of the mug contains a shelf that holds two of your favorite dunking cookies, eliminating the need to balance a saucer while decreasing the number of dishes that need washing later. This one also comes in brightly colored polka dots. Add a package of shortbread cookies to make this gift complete.

The Taca Cup

This mug solves the problem of how to dunk a large cookie without breaking it into pieces. While most people solve this problem by using a bigger mug, the Taca (Portuguese for cup) provides more cookie space by expanding the mug into the handle. Now coffee lovers can dunk their oversized cookies neatly without losing a crumb. Why not include a package of oversized cookies to give them a head start?

Face Mug

This ceramic mug depicts an angry face with an opening or shelf that positions a donut directly in its mouth. Add a box of special donuts or donut recipes to this mug.

Link Mugs

Have you ever been faced with carrying three or four mugs at once? Such a task often results in burning fingers, spilling coffee, even staining the carpet. This mug set solves the dilemma of how to carry more than two mugs without a tray: the ceramic mugs interconnect. Each one has a plug on one side and a corresponding recess on the other. Simply link the mugs together in a side-by-side line to carry. Fill each mug with a different flavor of coffee creamer. Or include several pound bags of exotic coffee from Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Nicaragua.

The Heart Mug

Round on the outside, this ceramic mug has a heart-shaped interior, not visible until filled with coffee. What is perfect with hearts? Chocolate! Fill this one with his or her favorite candies.

Drink Selector Mug

One sugar? Two? Milk? Cream? How do your co-workers like their coffee? If you can't remember, then this is the mug for you -- or them as the case may be. This ceramic cream-colored mug has metal selector rings that can be twisted to reveal drink, sugar, and milk preferences. Want your coffee black with two sugars? This mug can make that much more likely to be remembered. Creamers or various coffees would be a perfect filler for this one.

My Cuppa Coffee

This mug is also designed to help coffee drinkers mix the perfect amount of milk or cream every time, simply by matching the color of the coffee to the color preferences at the top of the mug: Milky, Regular, Dark and Strong, and Just Coffee. Color code your way to a perfect cup of coffee every time. Fill with a variety of creamers or sugars -- or both.

Canon Camera Lens Mug

Any photographers around? If so, this mug just might suit them. This mug looks exactly like a 24-105 mm black lens with a realistic lens-cap lid with rubber-grip focus zoom rings. It even has an auto-focus switch that actually switches. Fill this mug with film for the film photographer or camera batteries and an SD card or stick drive for the digital image maker.

Coffee Mug with Spoon

If you have ever needed a spoon at the office and couldn't find one, this mug is the answer. Often found as promotional mugs, this mug comes with a spoon nestled in its handle. Fill with different types of sweeteners or creamers.

Compartment Mug

These acrylic mugs feature miniature items in a false bottom to the mug. Themes include the seashore, space travel, a semi tractor-trailer, and various sports paraphernalia.

Customizable Ceramic Mug

This mug is a blackboard-type finish that allows one to write messages on the mug. Imagine greeting one's partner with a mug that says good morning or I love you. best ninja coffee bar personalized mug comes with its own porcelain art pen.

CTRL+ALT+DELETE Mugs

Reboot your day! This trio of square ceramic mugs stores upside down, resembling those infamous three keys on the computer keyboard.

Saguaro Cactus Mug with Lid

Do you know anyone who has a southwest-style decor? This mug mimics the actual shape of the Saguaro cactus, complete with tiny yellow flowers on the handle (which resembles an arm of the cactus) and on the lid. In keeping with the southwestern theme, this mug could be filled with recipes for Southwestern Spices or Mexican Coffee.

Auto Stir Mug

This mug may be the ultimate gadget for those too busy to stir their own mugs. This one automatically stirs the coffee with a push of the button while keeping the coffee warm.

The Ultimate Coffee Mug

This cup is ergonomically designed with unusual curves, allowing it to fit naturally in the hand and in the cupboard.

Suggestions on Filling Gift Mugs

Now that you have chosen the perfect mug, why stop there? Let's fill it!

Chocolate covered espresso beans. Found in most coffee shops as well as online, they are also available in decaf, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate.

Recipes. Recipes are a great addition. Include several recipes or one recipe with a few gourmet versions of the ingredients. Recipes for coffee drinks are always a good choice. If your recipe is for an alcohol-based coffee, then include the miniature bottles of those special ingredients. Coffee cakes and other dessert recipes are always welcome. Coffee cakes range from the simple to elaborate, with and without nuts, with and without chocolate, cake mix-based or from scratch. You may even consider including a family recipe. Share a favorite shortbread or sugar cookie recipe or donut recipe.

Candy. Need I say more?

Coffee. Gourmet and specialty coffees are great add-on gifts, and pound bags allow for more choice. Try something different - perhaps a bag of organic shade grown coffee from Bolivia, Colombia, or Puerto Rico.

Packaged cookies. If you prefer to avoid recipes, then try adding a small package of cookies for dunking. Don't forget to consider the size of the mug as you choose the size of the cookie.

Biscotti. Biscotti are an Italian twice-baked crunchy biscuit with recipes dating back several centuries. Traditional biscotti are made with flour sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, almonds, and anise. They can also be found with such names as Chocolate Biscotti with Cranberries, Almond Chocolate Biscotti, and Gingerbread Biscotti. Indulge!

Coffee Creamers.Consider including a variety of coffee creamers. These could include those found in the grocery store or gourmet shop or online.

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