The Search for the Perfect Travel Mug
Yes, I have finally found the perfect travel mug. No leaking, no moving parts, easy clean up. I am tickled. That is, until I am washing my hands in the bathroom with a mirror in front of me. What is that? Coffee spilled down the front of my dress. I hadn’t felt it because my 100% cotton dress had absorbed it immediately. I have been walking around like this, with a big brown cascade of coffee down my white dress. This is unfortunate.
I have been on an endless yet crucial search for the perfect travel mug. My standards are actually rather meager. The liquid that is traveling is coffee . And, I am not particularly demanding in my requirements for it’s travels. I just want it not to spill while in the cup holder and while drinking it. I don’t even need it to keep the coffee hot. I drink day old and 2 day old coffee, no issues there. Oh, yes, the cleaning function. I need to be able to clean it relatively easily with a sponge and hot soapy water. Little crevices and pieces and parts that require doll house size brushes to clean it are not an option.
So, the search has exposed me to a variety of travel mugs.
The insulated stainless steel outside with rubber gripper in the middle is the first one tested. The top screws into place, and there is a fixed opening. This one worked well until the rubber gripper in the middle began to falter and slip, despite the hour glass shape of this mug to keep it’s rubber corset in place. Also, it never really dried fully behind there, causing a stagnant odor. Less than ideal for a beverage container to consume things from. Next.
Next is a travel mug with the top that you push down, no threads to screw it into. I am suspicious. How can this not leak? I do what any good scientist who hates to do laundry would do, I test it with water. I am pleased. No leakage what so ever. I move forward with my tepid coffee. As I drink from this travel mug on my way home from work. I have continued success. After wash number one, the bad news comes. Major leaking all over the place. I am confused. What went wrong? I banish this travel mug to the side of the sink, not even wanting to be burdened at this moment to wash this useless thing. But, what do I spy in the bottom of the sink? A black rubber ring the diameter of the coffee mug is in there. I wash it and attempt to get it past the threaded grooves at the top of the mug. Wait, that is not even the right bottom. I locate the abandoned mug on the side of the sink, wash it, and with irritation, I try to carefully place the rubber ring completely flat against the mug’s rim. It keeps twisting out of place. This is not going to work. It needs to be perfectly flat and flush to make a waterproof seal. It’s impossible. That is just not going to happen. Next.
Now, I have located a brown and white travel mug that resembles a very stylish disposable coffee cup, right down to it’s brown cover with fixed opening. This seems like a simple construction. What can go wrong? It passes the water test. It fits in the holder in my truck. When I get to work, there is a sizable puddle of coffee in the cup holder in my truck and coffee all over the indent on the plastic lid. The cup’s structure did not handle the movement of the 30 mile ride well at all. It must have consistently sloshed up out of the opening until the coffee supply was too low to spill out anymore. Next.
Now I have located another stainless steel travel mug. It’s black plastic lid screws on, with no rubber rings. And, it has a handy dandy feature on the lid that allows you to slide the opening closed. This looks great. It passes the water dribble test, fits well into the cup holder in the truck. After a few uses, it was undeniable. There was a foul odor emanating from the lid. I suspect it was stuck in the slide function. But, despite soaking in hot soapy water and using a toothbrush to scrub it out, the smell was still there. Next.
I now decide to reuse a Dunkin Donuts cup. Supposedly the styrafoam never biodegrades, so this should be useful for my endeavor. The cover has a reclosable lid, and it fits into the cup holder in my truck. The simple construction does not leak. This is working. Until day three, when the plastic tab falls off after being opened and closed to many times. Also, the plastic lid no longer grabs the styrafoam cup as tightly as the first use. Next.
I am trapped, at the end of line. I cannot find the prefect travel mug. I resolve to simply drink my afternoon dose of caffeine that staves off my caffeine withdrawal headache from a cup of some sort in one stand still motion, all at once. I am not a coffee nurser, anyway. My husband, now he will take literally 2 to 3 hours to drink a large cup of coffee. I seriously cannot relate to this. What is the point to sip and sip and sip?
I take all my contraptions out ( I never get rid of the coffee mugs that don’t work, no matter how frustrated I get with them). I line them all up. I look at each one. I laugh to myself. They look like they are in a police line up. I keep looking at each one. It is time to make my decision and end this quest. I study each one. The decision; the travel mug with the slide top. It can handle the 30 mile ride into work each day. I will actually take the lid fully off and drink my tepid afternoon dose of caffeine all at once. My quest has finally ended.
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