Sitting down to enjoy a hot cup of coffee can now be a design-driven event. A clutch of designers from around the world have rethought the process of making and drinking coffee, adding some tongue-in-cheek flair to an otherwise mundane ritual. Take, for example, the maracas-inspired coffee shaker by Roberto Giacomucci (giacomuccidesign.com). Reminiscent of a cocktail shaker, the sleek metal device, which is currently in prototype phase, is shaped like a small hand-held percussion instrument. Shaking coffee grinds is said to give them extra flavour. Swiss designer Tomas Kral (tomaskral.ch) has created a limited-edition coffee set for silverware brand Christofle. The ensemble is called Float because the pots for coffee, cream and sugar are placed on a silver tray in such a way that they appear to be hovering. If silver from Christofle seems a bit rich, you might consider a fun idea in the form of the polar bear ice-cap coffee mug lid (right) from Propaganda ( www.propagandaonline.com ), a Thai label. Also tongue-in-cheek is Japanese designer Ryohei Yoshiyuki's (ry-to-job.com) A Cup of Coffee ashtray. The piece is made of coffee grounds and baked in an oven to create and hold its bowl-like shape. Yoshiyuki says he got the idea after seeing people deodorising regular ashtrays with a lining of leftover ground beans. The product can hold anything edible, he says. It can even be used as a sugar cup.