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In the mornings, I like a cup of coffee to keep with me when I'm on the go. I usually make a hot drink very early, and whilst I'm at the yard doing stable duties, I will pop the drink on the nearest wall or ledge and grap it for a gulp every so often.
== What Was I Looking For? ==
I wanted a mug flask which would keep my coffee hot, or at least warm, for longer than about 20 minutes. I have a couple of thermos style mugs and they would keep it warm for a bit, but after about 1/2 hour it would be little more than lukewarm. If I went for a ride and returned to my drink, it would be stone cold.
The other problem I have with those type of mugs is that they're quite good if you want to take them in the car with you, as they have the slender bottom that fits nicely into a car drinks holder. But this slender bottom also makes them a bit unstable so if you are just popping them somewhere while you work, they have a tendency to fall over with the slightest knock. Factor in a curious horse's nose and you have a hot drink which spends more time spilling on the floor than it does going where I want it - down my throat!
As well as this, the 'standard' ones are tall and thin which means you can't get a teaspoon all the way to the bottom of them. This is a pain when I make instant hot chocolate, as you always get the powder gathering at the bottom and it needs a good stir or you end up with a thick sludgy bit when you get to the bottom of the drink.
== What Did I Find? ==
So I had a look on Ebay for a mug style flask which didn't have a narrow bottom, and I came across the Bubba Kegs. I was a bit thrown by the size descriptions as this one is described as a 'Bubba Keg Mini' but in fact is far from mini if you're talking about mug-flasks. It is huge for a 'one-drink' style flask, which suits me perfectly as I do like a large mug of coffee to keep me going for a while. They come in various sizes but this one is 20oz, which is equivalent to about a pint - plenty for a mug of coffee!
They are available in various colours too. The one pictured above is pink, but mine is in fact blue. You can also get them in red and black.
The price was only £7.95 plus £2 p&p so I took a punt and ordered one.
== And What Did I Get? ==
Well I must say I was very pleasantly surprised when it turned up. Exactly as I wanted, it was large and wide. This makes it stable and means I can get my teaspoon all the way to the bottom - no more sludgy hot chocolate at the bottom! It is very robust (yes, I've dropped it a few times already) and has a nice, sturdy feel to it.
The lid fits nicely with a satisfying 'plup' when you put it on. It has an easy to grasp second lid which you can flip up to access the drinking lip. This second lid can be popped back securely to 'lock' it open and is very easy to flip open and shut - even with gloves on - if it's very cold and you want to keep even the drinking hole shut all the time. It has a massive grab handle which has rubber on the inside so again easy to grasp with gloves on. And it looks nice! I didn't really think I could get excited about how a mug flask would look but this is actually a great looking flask, the colours help to make it look fun.
== But Does it Work? ==
Yes, it works! It keeps my hot drink hot for far longer than they others I had been using. It doesn't work miracles, and on a freezing cold day you will still lose some heat from the drink in time. But when I went out for a ride, leaving half a cup of coffee behind, and returned over an hour later to find my coffee was still fairly warm - warm enough to be able to drink anyway - I was delighted.
Like most flasks, it will work to keep your drink cold too, but I haven't used it for that yet.
== Are There any Downsides? ==
Not really. Because this is a wide-based mug, it is not going to fit in any standard car cup-holder so I can't use it to transfer from yard to car. But then I wanted a wide base so it can't be both things.
It has to be hand washed but I have yet to find any thermos flask which can go in the dishwasher so I can't count this as a negative point.
I love it - it is chunky, robust and stable, looks nice and works well. And very reasonably priced too.
(Review also on Ciao)
Flask for hot and cold drinks