Ever been in this situation? You sit down in your car or office with your coffee cup, anxiously anticipating the first sip of a steaming hot morning beverage, only to find yourself drinking a room-temperature memory of what a hot cup of coffee should be. If you’re anything like me and prefer to avoid lukewarm coffee, I recommend getting yourself a coffee cup that’ll keep your coffee nice and hot.
As any hot coffee drinker knows, there are two ways in which you can enjoy your coffee. The first is at home, in the office, or anywhere with a table on which you can put your mug. On-the-go is your second option. Lukewarm coffee is unacceptable in both instances. Here’s what features define the best standard and travel coffee mugs that will keep your cup of joe piping hot.
What makes great standard coffee mug?
If you’ve ever browsed any souvenir shop in a theme park, you know very well how common coffee cups are. You get them as gifts from family members (Nice to meet you, #1 Dad!), as corporate swag, and as raffle prizes. These kinds of cups pop up all over grocery stores and big box stores around the holidays, and most of them should only be trusted as decorative pieces.
For a standard cup of joe, you’re going to want a cup with a handle. When you want to enjoy a soothing, hot cup of coffee, a paper cup with a cardboard sleeve just isn’t going to cut it. For a truly exquisite coffee drinking experience, select a cup that feels comfortable in your hands.
Try to find a double-walled cup, as this can keep you from burning your hands if you accidentally forget to reach for the handle and instead wind up touching the cup itself. The two walls will also prevent heat from escaping as quickly as it does with a single-walled coffee cup.
Although it’s a bit difficult to keep coffee at its optimal scorching temperature without a lid, choosing a cup with insulation is sure to offset the short amount of time it takes for hot coffee to become coffee that could almost qualify as iced. For a truly useful cup that’ll keep your coffee at the temperature that you want, you’re going to want one with insulation to keep the heat in.
When you’re looking for the perfect mug to keep your coffee hot all day, be sure to consider the durability of your cup. If it’s made of a high-quality material like stainless steel, chances are it will be much harder to smash into pieces, leaving behind an unsightly mess—and a very sad coffee cup owner. A coffee cup that can withstand the torment of regular (or heavy) wear and tear is sure to be a coffee cup you won’t have to replace at the end of the season.
Most people are likely to prefer a coffee cup made of dishwasher-safe material. Likewise, a coffee cup with a wide opening is going to be easier to clean than one with a lid or complicated mechanisms. If cleaning your coffee cup with ease is high on your list of preferred specifications, choose a model that’s durable and wide enough to be cleaned thoroughly by hand or in the dishwasher.
What makes a good travel mug?
Commuting can be hard. If you’re looking for a surefire way to make it easier, pick a travel mug that can stick with you when you need it most. You’re also going to want a travel coffee cup that will keep your coffee hot for the duration of your commute and beyond.
Any good coffee cup will also be large enough to accommodate the hot, black ambrosia of the gods. Typically, a 20- or 30-ounce cup will be sufficient to keep you caffeinated during the day.
If you spend a lot of time commuting to work or school, you know how important it is to have a large travel mug that will keep your coffee hot. Cups that only keep coffee hot for half an hour or less aren’t going to cut it here. It isn’t fair to be forced to chug coffee just to enjoy it hot. To really savor your coffee ritual, you need a cup that’ll let you slowly sip at your own pace.
Once you’ve found a container large enough to sustain your caffeine addiction, it’s important that the cup fit in your cupholder. Nothing is worse than buying a coffee cup, only to realize that the base of the cup is a centimeter too thick to set down in the car.
Although it’s not necessary to invest in a coffee cup that looks like it’s from the future, a few newer features may be able to transform your everyday cup of joe into something a little more modern. A thermos-style travel mug with insulated walls will undoubtedly keep your coffee hotter for longer than a regular travel mug. If retaining heat is important to you, opt for a double-walled thermos to keep your brew as hot as possible.
Opting for a vacuum seal button that locks the spout open and closed will make your morning cup of coffee a little safer. As it reduces the chance of spilling the coffee everywhere, a reliable seal is a make-or-break feature for many. This means no more spilled coffee in your bag and all over your work papers. Or worse, on your corporate laptop.
Many low budget models are equipped with some sort of closing mechanism, and it can come in very handy for one-handed driving. Safety always comes first, but coffee should come right after that. All over your freshly pressed shirt clocks in second on the list of most awful places coffee could spill, right after the top spot—directly into your laptop’s keyboard.
When all’s said and done, after you’ve enjoyed your hot cup of coffee throughout the day, it’s important that you can start fresh the next morning by having your cup primed and ready for another day of keeping your coffee piping hot. Try to select a cup that hits upon the recommended features, and is also dishwasher-safe. If you cannot find a cup that is adept at keeping your coffee hot while being dishwasher-safe, settling for easy-to-clean parts may be your second best option.
Undoubtedly, coffee makes the world go ‘round. Keep yours hot by owning a cup that guarantees a hot brew all day through.
To learn about how to make cafe-quality coffee at home, check out this article on the best espresso makers for under $200.
We like our coffees hot and our beers frosty. Click here to read about the best beer mugs for the freezer, and keep your brews cold on game day.