As is the case for many families and working professionals this year, the holiday season seems to be a gift that keeps on giving: Our team is constantly bouncing between events, get-togethers, and parties at a pace that would make a hummingbird’s head spin. (Not to mention planes, trains, and automobiles – but that’s another story.) Luckily, we’ve been steadily cruising through the last few months without hiccups thanks to a steady drip of caffeine and seasonal cheer. Credit our recent decision to upgrade our office’s travel mugs to a more innovative solution courtesy of Contigo. According to our inside sources, not all models are specially-engineered to be used with one hand, or prevent spills, but all are pretty awesome. And many are also (hallelujah!) engineered to keep drinks steaming hot or ice cold for hours.
Being someone who’s obsessed with the latest new gadgets and innovations, I decided to take a closer look at why many of our associates seemed to be suddenly cutting visits to the office coffee maker and break room by half. And if you haven’t researched it already (don’t worry if not, being trends experts, we tend to stay seven steps ahead of everything – even travel and home accessories), you might want to check out the special Thermalock vacuum insulation built into these suckers. But from what we can tell, not only can models like the AUTOSEAL West Loop or Metra or the Snap Seal Byron keep drinks hotter and cooler way longer than average mugs and bottles. The (no joke) double wall vacuum insulation actually extends the drinking experience for ridiculous amounts of time because beverages can stay hot up to 5 hours, or cold for up to 12 hours.
A bit fascinated, I decided to ask folks around the building for their thoughts on how to keep drinks hotter or colder for longer – especially for long journeys, on which many of us often find ourselves. Here’s what our associates had to say:
- Before you pour your drink into a travel mug, try warming up the mug first – e.g. by pouring boiling water into the mug to warm the stainless steel. Afterward, dispose of the boiling water, and add your preferred beverage. That way, you can start at a nice toasty temperature to begin with and help you maintain warmth throughout the day.
- Keep a portable container with extra reserves or backups of coffee, cider, or other hot beverages at a comfortable temperature before transferring them into the mug to use as needed.
- Don’t be afraid to reheat: If you get the chance, stop off and give your hot beverage a warm-up in a nearby microwave, e.g. at a friend’s house or client’s office, and transfer it back into your travel mug, so it can achieve a higher temperature again. (Which can then be maintained again.)
- With regard to chilled beverages, don’t forget to put ice in it to cool it down when you place it in a travel or mug or water bottle, start at lower temperatures to begin with, and maintain a nice chilled temperature over an extended period.
- Pack a small cooler – not only can you pull ice from it as needed, but if you pre-freeze or chill a drink (e.g. a small bottle of water), you’ll have a frosty back-up that 1. can help chill other contents itself and 2. offers a ready supply of cold beverages to pull from when you need to top up again.