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Came across this pretty little mug when I was shopping in TKMaxx last Christmas, I ended up getting it for my mum. She likes her tea/coffee warm so this mug, which obviously comes with a lid is just heaven for her. She uses it daily now. It''s not a Thermos, it won''t keep your beverage warm for hours but it does the job of keeping drinks warm for a while and protected from dust with the lid. It works just like the paper mugs you get from coffee stores, except that it''s reusable! Other than that, it was the phrase ''Keep calm and carry on'' at the front of the mug that prompted me to get this for my mother. It sounds like a cliche to most people but to me and my mum, it keeps us grounded. We are rather nervy, we don''t think positively enough most of the time and the whole of my family is depression prone. Being so far away from her these days (I''ve moved away from home now) means that we can''t be there for each other when we need it the most (which is like, all the time). Having the mug around, having that phrase run across your mind everyday just motivates my mum in a positive way, encouraging her to relax and take life as it is. We will never be able to predict what comes in our way, but we can control how we handle obstacles in life. This mug brings a smile to my face, always.
I'd like to start my review by saying that my mug is different from the one pictured above. Mine has a white lid, a mainly red body, and the text is all in white. Other than that, it is identical in design.
I used to work in insurance sales until I recently gave it up to become a student once again. One of the downsides of the job was the early morning starts, which resulted in me feeling pretty tired and rushed. By the time I was up, groomed, and dressed, there simple wasn't time for a hot cup of coffee in the morning. Initially I used a Thermos, which did perform very well, but was rather large for my coffee consumption needs and soon became used for carrying my lunch (soup). I only really drink coffee first thing in the day, so I needed something suitable for that single use.
Enter the travel mug, made of double walled ceramic that will keep your hot drinks hotter for longer, and topped of with a rather funky soft rubber lid with a convenient hole for sipping. The lid itself fits on securely, though it takes a couple of try to get the hang of it, and the mug has a comforting amount of weight to it. I do like a mug that feels heavy ans substantial in the hands - I've no idea why, it's just a personal preference.
The mug has that 'Keep calm and carry on' design that appears to be everywhere at the moment in multiple variations. As stated at the start, my design is a different colourway from the one pictured above, having a white lid, a red body, and white text. This design is everywhere at the moment - which doesn't;t stop me liking it. It is dishwasher proof.
It also has a 280ml capacity. Now, I like to take my own coffee from home to drink on the bus, but for those who would perhaps like to fill this with a drink from your favourite local beverage shop, that translates to a Short in Starbucks, a Regular at Cafe Nero, and a Primo at Costa. Essentially, the smallest of whatever you'd buy at a big chain, but still, to my mind, a decent amount of Java.
So, we've covered the design, and the size, what of the practicalities. Ah. Well, you see, at first glance this cup looks ideal for taking a cup of coffee from home to work. Until you realise that the little sippy hole means you do have to keep the cup upright at all times. You can not, for instance, sling this into your backpack as you do with a Thermos. This is itself is not an issue. I'm relatively coordinated, and can just about manage to keep a cup the right way up when it is full. But, add in additional factors such as needing to carry extra bags, running for a bus when you're that few minutes late, or wearing mittens, and it becomes something of a danger. It's smooth sides render it ungraspable when wearing gloves, and the slightest jogging motion causes hot coffee to come jumping out of the sippy hole. And sometimes, I just don't have the hands free to hold it.
Would I recommend this mug? Well, I do really like it. It's very attractive, has a nice feel in the hands, and if you DO use it to carry your chain store coffee (I never drink in those places) it could also be potentially very environmentally friendly. However, if you're in a rush, dragging along a suitcase, and wearing mittens, or any one of those three, it just isn't that practical. It also takes up a fair amount of room in a handbag when lugging it home empty.
I've seen versions of this mug everywhere, with prices ranging from £5 to £9. I paid around £6 for mine in my local supermarket.
I'm going to give it three stars. Whilst it's not suitable for every scenario, it is perfect for filling up for a short walk to the supermarket to keep me warm, for carrying on the bus (provided I've no baggage), or indeed for using at home without the lid. I do like the design too. It's just a shame that, in winter when it is coldest, I can't use this and gloves at the same time. And gloves win.
As an addict of the early morning cup of tea, I know that I am very lucky to have a kind hubby who makes one for me every morning and leaves it by the bed. Unfortunately, as he gets up much earlier than I do, I often find that my tea is cold when I wake up. Over the years I have tried a variety of methods to keep my tea warm, from china cups with separate lids, to thermal flasks. Of them all, the thermal flask travel mug was by far the best buy, but the downside was that they have to be washed by hand as they are not dishwasher safe.
When I first heard of porcelain thermal travel mugs that could be washed in the dishwasher, I was delighted and rushed out to give them a try.
These mugs first hit the market as the 'eco mug'; an environmentally friendly alternative to the tall paper cups that you get takeaway coffee in from places such as Costa or Starbucks. The first one to become really popular was the 'I'm Not a Paper Cup' Mug - a white thermal mug that was designed to look exactly like a disposable takeaway coffee cup.
From this start, the market seemed to blossom, and it is now possible to buy ceramic thermal mugs in all types of designs. Prices range from £5.99 to £12.00. I chose a design from the UK company Creative Tops, who produce unusually designed tableware for sale over the internet as well as in local stores. It came from their 'Don't Throw Me Away' collection.
My mug is red, and has the Keep Calm and Carry on slogan on the front. I paid £9.95 in my local Steamer Trading Cookshop, but I also had the choice of a variety of flowered and patterned mugs - or mugs with slogans such as 'Don't Throw Me Away'.
The mug is fairly heavy and feels robust. Just before I bought it, I looked as a cheaper version for £5.99 in another shop, but could immediately see that my mug was heavier and had more effective insulation. One obvious sign of this, apart from the thicker mug wall, was that the Creative Tops mug has no rubber holding grip around the outside. The cheaper models have this grip, which indicates to me that the mug is hot to hold - and therefore not keeping in as much heat!
Looking around the same size as a takeaway mug, this mug stands 13cm high and is an attractive pillar box red colour. The lip and the words 'Keep Calm and Carry On' are white and the whole finish is unblemished with a nice bright shine.
The walls of the mug are thick because of their double walled design, helping to insulate the liquid inside. The lid is made from a white flexible silicone with the words 'Caution contents hot' embossed on the top. The lid also has a 1cm drinking hole. Both lid and mug are dishwasher and microwave safe.
The mug is cleverly designed so that the drinking lip is substantially thinner than the insulating walls. This is a big plus, as some of the thermal mugs that I have had in the past have extremely thick walls and lead to embarrassing dribbles down the side of my mouth as I drink.
~~Using the mug~~
The most important thing for me was the ability to keep my tea hot in the morning! In this respect the mug performed well, although not quite as well as an ordinary thermal thermos travel mug. Externally, the insulation performed very well - I could hold the mug very easily with very hot liquid inside. The walls were barely warm and there was no need for a protective holding ring.
Internally, the mug did keep my tea warmer much longer than a normal mug. After 30 minutes the tea is still pleasantly warm and nice to drink. After 45 minutes, it starts to become a little tepid and although still drinkable, is probably a bit on the cool side.
I usually remove the silicone lid and drink from the lip, but on the occasions that I have drunk through the hold in the lid I have found the design to be very good. The silicone does not give a rubbery taste to the tea although it is not quite as good as the hard plastic lids that come with disposable cups. The size of the drinking hole is perfect - just big enough to suck liquid through without dribbling or spilling. The liquid does come out slowly though, and the force of sucking the liquid out makes the whole lid become concave.
I am very happy with my purchase. Although the porcelain mug does not keep liquid quite as hot as a thermos mug, the advantages of a nice design, the pleasure of drinking out of china rather than plastic or metal, and the ability to put it in the dishwasher - all make up for the less efficient insulation.