Let’s be honest! As lovely as it is to sip tea from a dainty cup in a garden, it’s not practical when you have to go on the road. Even in “covid days”, there are still appointments, and trips to the grocery store. In our caffeine-addicted world, we can’t seem to function without a vessel of some description in our hands.
For example, Sunday morning, I left the house at the painful hour of 7:30 (don’t judge me!) to set up for the Sunday morning service. I had a cup of tea with my morning oatmeal. And then I made a large piping hot fresh cup of S’mores Chai to take with me (I thought my sacrifice earned some morning liquid chocolate).
This vessel containing the sweet elixor to sustain us through our trying days, is often an extension of our wardrobe. It has to have form and function. And like your wardrobe, it’s subjective. Or if fashion isn’t your “thing”, think dating……whether you’re shopping for a cute skirt or looking for the perfect mate (maybe a cute one!), there are a few things to consider. If you’re careful, you might find love the first time. More than likely, you’ll encounter a few lemons first!
- Size – it matters! Consider when you are using it the most. If it’s to wet your whistle after grocery shopping (or bathroom facilites are scarce), you probably don’t need a 64 oz. mug! That’s the equivalent to a 2L bottle. I measured a few in our household that I think are around the average size and they are 32 oz, or 2 cups…or 2 1/3 cans of pop! The important thing is…is it big enough for you?
- Material – Travel mugs are usually made from aluminum, stainless steel, or plastic. Metal is the best insulator, hot or cold! While plastic is more affordable, lighter and usually dishwasher safe, there is a risk that plastics with BPA could leach into your beverage. Metals are durable and less likely to leach chemicals, but are heavier to carry. Frequently, metal travel mugs have better insulation and/or vaccuum-sealed options so your tea stays hot longer.
- Lids – they keep you from slopping in your seat (as a passenger – never drink and drive!) There are plenty of options. Snap on, screw on, and push on are probably the most spill-resistant and hands-off. Snap ons usually have a rubber rubber gasket or skirt which creates suction. Once it’s on, you have to exert force to get it off. Whereas push ons usually have some kind of button or tab with a locking mechanism, rather than a gasket. They can be more prone to breaking. Thermos or bottle caps, with or without a handles are another option but usually require 2 hands to open and that big opening can result in a super slosh. Been there – done that! Some thermos/bottle cap lids have a rubber tether so it stays with the mug. Bonus!
- Sipping Style – Thumb-slide, flip-top/push button or rotate lock gives you control over your gateway to comfort (a.k.a. as the honey hole). Most lids resemble those favoured by your local coffee shop, but there are some that have an added curve for funneling your slurps. Choose wisely.
- Handles – some like a handle, especially when you’re hands are full. Hook that sucker around one finger and you’re good to go. “No handle” simulates the take-out paper cups to which we’ve become accustomed, but too thick or too thin might be uncomfortable. Without a handle, make sure it’s insulated too – protect your fabulous fingers from scalding. If you are looking at handles, find one that feels comfortable in your hand. No one wants a handle that is too think, too thick, or too sharp!
- Personal Style – Once function is found, the sky is the limit! From simple stainless to intergalactic, iridescent tie-dye, there’s a little bit of something for everyone.
When you finally commit to a cup, take good care of it. It might be your companion on more than your adventures outside the doors of your home. Mine passed the day with me on Saturday during an online worship conference.
When you’re on the “go”, fill your “best mate” with what you most desire…
…try to ask nicely!