As the calendar flaps through the brr of December, not only am I wearing more sweaters and wrapping myself in blankets, I'm also making myself a lot of hot drinks. My beverage of choice tends to be tea, but I also love coffee and, of course, hot chocolate. The problem, of course, is that no matter how piping hot that drink is at first, it inevitably cools down. But I've found a way — make that four ways — to keep my hot beverages hot. Psst: They make great gifts too!
Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug
Stainless Steel Thermal Coffee Carafe
Fellow 12 oz Carter Everywhere Travel Mug
Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug
This Ember mug rules! It will keep your drink perfectly hot for up to 80 minutes on a full charge or ALL DAY LONG if you keep it on its charging coaster! You can choose between 120 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want, you can also use it with an app, which lets you set the temperature and customize presets. "Love this," said this five-star review. "Best gift ever. Keep my coffee at the perfect temp. As a mom, I can easily get distracted by my kids, dogs, life, etc. I set my coffee down and come back an hour later, and it’s cold. Not anymore. It tells me when it’s cooled down to my liking, and it keeps it at that temp until the last drop. I love it!!"
What's worse than a cup of coffee going cold? Why, a whole pot of it going cold! If you want to keep that beverage warm for hours, then I highly recommend a thermal carafe. It's especially useful if you plan on serving multiple guests. This model from Gint is a fantastic choice as it has double-walled stainless steel vacuum insulation that will keep the liquid hot up to 12 hours or cold up to 20 hours. The lid is leak-proof too!
One reviewer said it keeps the water hot for hours! "I usually get up a couple of hours before my significant other. I usually put my coffee on first and then wait quite awhile before putting water on for her tea. When this carafe came in, I decided I'd put the water on at the same time as my coffee and when it was done, I just transferred to the carafe. Two hours later she was ready for tea. I poured, it was still steeping hot and perfect to brew her cup. We went shopping afterward and didn't get back for several hours. I'd say total from morning to evening, about nine hours, the water was still hot when I finally poured the remainder out of the carafe!!"
If you wish to carry your hot beverages on the go, a portable thermal mug is the best option. I like this Fellow Carter Everywhere Travel Mug due to its attractive style as well as its innovative ceramic interior coating. Unlike stainless steel, this ceramic interior will keep your coffee tasting pure and free from that "old penny" taste. It has a tapered thin lip for easy drinkability as well. Coffee aficionados love it because the wide-mouth opening fits popular brewing tools like the Aeropress and Hario v60. Plus, it keeps your java hot for up to 12 hours!
"The ceramic coating does a decent job at preventing odors and acidic coating and residues, especially from coffee," said this coffee lover. "The tight lip is a pleasure to drink out of.... Overall, this is a nice cup for making Aeropress [and] to prevent heat loss, and also works for single-cup pour-overs, fitting the V60 without any issues."
I also really like this Zojirushi option. It has excellent heat retention — it keeps beverages warm for six hours — and best of all, it has a locking lid. That makes it practically leak-proof. I've had it jostling around in my bag for hours and there wasn't a single drop!
"The lid is entirely leak-proof," said a five-star Amazon review. "You can try to force it to leak, turn it upside down, shake it around, throw it, whatever you want, but nothing is gonna come out. The lid has a lock for added protection against accidentally opening it in a bag or in some other bad situation. The cap on the lid is exactly what I'd been looking for, an enclosed opening that is covered completely when you're not drinking from it, but also opens enough that it won't get in your way while you drink it."
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The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
We’ve got your holiday shopping list covered with fantastic gift ideas for everyone on your list. You’ll find expert picks on the best tech gifts on Engadget, the best gift ideas for car lovers at Autoblog, gifts for the young (and young at heart) at In the Know, and picks for just about everyone else on your list (moms, dads, teens, nurses, you name it!) in Yahoo’s holiday gift ideas section. On AOL, you'll find for gift ideas for seniors shopping for moms, dads, teens and toddlers.