Thursday, May 19, 2011

Comparing my Travel Mugs

So, yes, this is another post about hot beverages.  What can I say?  I like to drink hot things.  Even in summer.  An avowed tea lover must travel with her tea and so in this post, I wanted to talk about one of my favorite things:  travel mugs.  I have two insulated travel mugs which I love dearly.  Each of them has qualities that I really like. 

The first travel mug I ever purchased was the Contigo 16-Ounce Double Wall Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler.  (I have the green one, green being my favorite color.)  The best thing about this mug is that you absolutely cannot spill it (it doesn't leak at all) and having two young children, this is a seriously good thing.  It keeps tea warm for about 2 hours although it claims to keep hot drinks hot for four hours and cold beverages cold for 12 (but granted I have never tried a cold drink in it). Two hours is not bad but it's not great either.  Really, the only problem with this mug is that it's terribly difficult to clean the lid.  It's one solid piece so no matter what I do, it won't get totally clean.  The best I can do for it it so soak it in warm, soapy water.  I avoid putting coffee or other strongly flavored hot beverages (like the instant ginger tea I sometimes have) in it because I can't get rid of the taste.  

Now, just to show you how serious I am about my hot tea . . . 
One Saturday, I left my Contigo mug at work.  Not being able to imagine going a whole week without my mug, I went back to my workplace on Sunday to try to retrieve it.  Now, if you know me, you know I hate to drive but I was willing to make the trip for my mug.  As luck would have it, the building I work in was locked and I couldn't get in so there I was.  Stuck.  With no mug.  I decided to head over to Target and see if I could get something comparable.  I would have been happy with another Contigo but I was open because I was not completely satisfied with it.  

So I went to to Target and headed over to that section.  They had lots of options but I wasn't really familiar with the other brands (or they were lined with plastic which is a total no-go for something that will be used exclusively to hold hot beverages).  I ended up picking the Thermos Sipp 16-Ounce Stainless Steel Travel Tumbler.  I expected to pay about $25 for it but when the cashier scanned it, it rang up as being $12.  Far be it from me to argue.  I skipped out of there with my new mug thinking I couldn't go wrong with a $12 Thermos brand mug.  And I was right!  Heck, I would happily have paid full price for it.  It keeps my tea hot--really hot--for hours and hours and hours.  Even if I leave some hot tea in it overnight, it will still have some warmth to it in the morning.  I love the way the thing looks and since you can take apart the lid completely, it's very easy to clean.  When it's properly closed, it does not spill or leak--not even a little bit.  And that's perhaps the only drawback: you can spill it and I have a few times.  To drink, you have to depress a button at the top.   There have been times I've forgotten to press the button to close it again and the way the button is, it's difficult to tell sometimes if the top is open or closed.  Also, there are two slits on either side that you can drink from so you have to actually look at the top to make sure you're putting your mouth on the right place or else you can spill it on yourself.  Oh, and then there was that time I forgot to put the lid back together before screwing it onto the top of the mug and hot tea spilled all over the contents of my bag but that's hardly Thermos' fault.  So all-in-all, I have to be a bit more mindful when using the Thermos mug but I think I prefer it to the Contigo just because it works so well at keeping tea hot.  This helps me tremendously because I really like hot tea.  It makes me have to slow down and savor the drink which means that I am less likely to drink more tea which is good because I like to put a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of French vanilla coconut milk creamer in every 16 ounce cup of tea I drink and that adds up in terms of Weight Watchers points.  Also, drinking tea keeps me from mindlessly eating.

So yes, in the contest between the travel mugs I currently own, Thermos wins but I recommend both of them.  

On another note, yesterday at the thrift store, I found a French press.  Now, before my coffee maker's decanter broke, I would not have had the faintest idea of what a French press does but since I had to do research on appliance-free ways to make tea, I discovered it.  It's the Shin Bistro by Bodum and I bought it for $4.99.  This morning I used it for the first time and we had the best tasting coffee ever!  I'm sold!  :)

Yay for hot beverages!!


Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth said...

I have a coffee press and I LOVE IT!!!! It gives you a more mature tasting cup of coffee if you get what I mean. The God broke the lip off my press and is dragging his feet getting me a new one, but I am still brewing Daily!

Mary said...


I am looking after a %100 spill proof mug for my children and myself but we will use it for carrying milk so they should be easy to clean, I found good reviews about Contigo mugs but seems that it's not easy to clean specially when it comes to a greasy liquid like milk, do you have any suggestion for me?

thanks and have a good time

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