During the cold winters here in London, the idea of commuting with my hot drink was always a romantic one. The reality was far from it. The paper cups from the coffee shops are just very poor option. Firstly, they are made of paper and plastic – good for recycling, but how often do you come across a recycling bin in London? They go cold too quickly – the paper does not insulate at all and this means you need to drink up quick! They spill/leak/fall apart – a slight squeeze and the lid pops off, or worse, if you haven’t put the lid on properly (that last pop of lid going on over the cup is crucial) you will spill it down your front! And if it’s not upright, then it’s all over the floor….
I’ve been through several travel mugs, plastic ones and ceramic ones, and I’ve always been disappointed. Mostly the size of the mugs are fine, fit well in the hand and hold a mug of hot beverage but that’s where the good points end.
They all leak. Despite the little tab to close off the hole, you have to keep them upright and stable, a little bit of movement and the beverage will leak out.
They are not great at keeping drinks hot because usually there’s no proper insulation.
So I went searching. One of my colleagues suggested I try the Contigo West Loop travel mug. She was impressed by it because it was leak proof and she could use it with one hand, which was particularly useful for her commute to work in the car. I had a look for it online so I could buy it and try it out but during my searches I came across the Zojirushi travel mug. It consistently did well in reviews. My interest was piqued.
It arrived in a box that had very few English words on it. I wish I could read Japanese!
I love this colour – this is the Cinnamon Gold colour. I bought it in the 480mL volume as I thought this would be a big mug of coffee or tea and then some! I feel it’s the right size for me and my handbag as well.
So I brewed my tea, filled the travel mug and off I went! Normally when I brew my tea, I expect to wait a little while for it to cool down before I can drink it and I factor this time in. Brew tea, go do other things, then grab and go.
Sitting on the tube, I reach for the travel mug and promptly burn my tongue. It has not cooled down. That’s fine, I’ll just sip it as I walk from the station. Still too hot! I decided to walk with the lip open to help it cool down. Unfortunately it was still boiling hot by the time I’d reached work, so I hadn’t managed to drink a drop of it!
I now let my drink cool down before I pour it into the mug and this way it will be at a drinkable temperature over the next few hours (or more). I did a little experiment with hot water in the mug, lid closed, and 12 hours later it was still hot! So the insulation works almost too well!
When I did get a chance to drink it, the very simple one-handed operation, makes it a joy when you’re holding a kindle or a pole on your commute. Simply slide the locking switch to the right to unlock, and push the silver button to open. The locking switch is extra protection for those accidental button pushes whilst it is in your bag. To close the lid, I just just push it back down with my finger.
The spout is easy to drink from and the size of it allows a good amount of beverage to flow out. The lid also locks down so it doesn’t hit your nose while drinking.
It has been made to be easy clean. The inside of the vessel has a non-stick coating to prevent stains and the lid easily disassembles and reassembles. However, it is not dishwasher-safe so requires cleaning with a soft sponge.
It comes in 3 volumes – 360mL, 480mL and 600mL. It’s narrower diameter means that it also fits well into most cup holders.
It comes in other colours – Clear Red, Pearl Pink and Black.
We throw away millions of paper and plastic cups each day to get our caffeine fixes. Take your travel mug with you and you could save yourself some pennies as well as the environment!
I do not sell this product on my website and the link below is only a click-through to a supplier on Amazon but if you would like to get your hands on one, then click on the image.