One of the gifts I received from my wife this year for the holidays was a Contigo Autoseal Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler, 16 Oz. she knows just how much coffee I consume and shares my love of good, artesian and small roaster coffees. I was excited when I popped this out of the stocking, but I honestly wasn’t prepared for just how awesome this mug really is. I generally don’t like to use plastic for travel mugs so I have an assortment of stainless steel and ceramic travel mugs. This one, however, is totally different. Actually, the “mug” isn’t different at all, it’s just a contoured stainless steel glass.
This is what allows the valve to open and allow the coffee out. And it works. I mean it really works. I did some experimentation like holding the mug upside down, closing the valve while drinking, knocking it over, etc. and it does exactly what its supposed to. It closes the opening and nothing gets out. no more spills, no more coffee on shirts, pants, in the car or on electronics.
Oh, and it keeps coffee hot for hours. I’m not one to generally have coffee sitting around and not be drinking it, but sometimes you just get busy and don’t get a chance. Interrupt driven occupations like IT tend to have this issue. I like my coffee to be the optimal temperature pretty much all the time, this, so far, is doing a better job at that than any portable (or otherwise) coffee mug ever has.
I’m so confident that this mug won’t leak or spill, I carried it (and plan to continue to carry it) in the water bottle holder of my Timbuk2 messenger bag, something I’ve never been comfortable doing before. Pros: Keeps coffee hot for very long periods of time. Virtually spill proof Lid is dishwasher safe. Stainless steel is durable and doesn’t have the weird chemicals that can be present in plastic and cause odd flavors (and arguably other problems) Reasonable cost (~$20 at amazon, probably available cheaper elsewhere). Readily available, not a specialty item. Cons: Can’t use the Aeropress directly. The lip is fairly thin and the mouth of the cup too small to fit the aeropress filter. It’s not really a big deal since I don;t use it with any other travel mug anyway, but it would be nice to not have to dirty another mug. That’s pretty much it. This thing is amazing. – EDIT – It was brought to my attention on Google Plus by another coffee enthusiast that the funnel included with the Aeropress will allow this to work with the mug. There is no downside to this drinking vessel! –EDIT–