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If you live in a place with seasons, your coffee order may change based on the weather. Coffee snobs will say that a hot drink usually tastes better, but I refuse to sip on scalding liquid while sweating in peak New York summer heat, so I am an exclusively “iced in summer, hot in winter” coffee person.
The biggest problem I have with that approach is that hot coffee does not stay hot for long, especially in frigid weather, and even the best coffee tastes less than ideal when it’s lukewarm. That’s why a good travel mug is essential — plus, you can bring them to coffee shops for a more sustainable option that holds the temperature better than single-use cups.
Some of my qualifications for a portable mug are practical — it should be insulated, somewhat durable, and able to fit in the cupholder of a car. The lid shouldn’t leak or allow my beverage to dribble all over me when I take a sip.
Other requirements are more personal, like the size (I like to fill my vessels all the way up, so I go for a smaller size to limit my caffeine intake) and how it looks or feels in my hand.
You can never have too many of them, and they make great gifts for any coffee lover in your life. Note that they can also be used for tea, mulled wine, hot cider, or other beverages that’ll keep you warm during chilly outdoor activities.