Very often, coffee is consumed while on the move. In 2015, restaurant review leader Zagat reported that nearly half of all consumers purchase their coffee outside the home—in large chains, small chains or independent coffee shops. Solutions to keep your coffee abound:
The Heated Travel Mug
Some of the newest gadgets on the coffee scene are heated travel mugs, which ensure your coffee stays hot. Quite a few manufacturers are eager to capitalize on the recent craze for these products, and the field is littered with substandard products as a result.
One good option (that also earns some retro style points) is the Princess International Smart Mug, featuring a handy temperature gauge on the side. A good choice for the car (requires a 12v plug) is the RoadPro, which retails for $40 or so; for a less expensive option, check out the Brentwood Electric Coffee Mug.
The Heated Mug
Similar to the travel mug is the Nano Heated Wireless Mug. It uses patented heating technology called NanoHeat to keep up a continuous flow of warmth. Powered by USB, the Nano can apparently keep 16 oz. of coffee or tea at the “perfect drinkable temperature (155-160 Fahrenheit)” for as long as 45 minutes. The parent company, Green Lama, claims the mug can support a minimum of seven refills on a single charge. The Nano isn’t cheap—it retails for $115—but it might be just the thing for that caffeine addict who also happens crave the ideal temperature.
The Mug Warmer
Perhaps the best of both worlds, but also requiring a stable, flat surface, the mug warmer takes your everyday coffee mug or cardboard cup and turns it into a heated mug by transferring the heat from its surface into your drink. Popular with the office crowd, the mug warmer strikes a nice balance between luxury and affordability. One good choice is the Auto Café Take-Out Cup Warmer—perfect for cups from the local café and a bargain at $15. Even cheaper is the more basic Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer, only $10.
Chances are, you’ve never heard of coffee joulies, but they are an amazingly effective way to maintain your coffee’s temperature. What are they? Metal coffee beans that, when dropped into your hot cup of coffee, absorb the heat and release it more slowly than a liquid does, allowing the beverage to extend its heat time. (You can get even more performance out of them by preheating them.) Less technologically advanced than an electronic gizmo, but more dependable, these magic beans are a score for the fans of old-school heat conduction. And don’t worry about accidentally swallowing them—they’re the size of soup spoons.
Use What You Have
While it’s not a gadget, you can often keep your coffee warm by using what you already own. If you’re stuck for a way to maintain your coffee’s temperature, a handy solution is to use a scarf, or if you’re feeling a bit more classy, a cup sleeve, today’s simple update on the classic British tea cosy. Experienced coffee drinkers also know the advantage of heating your cup beforehand, which buys you a few extra minutes before serious cooldown begins.