I’ve never understood those people who never have hot drinks. Really, I just don’t get it. There’s something so comforting and warming about having a hot drink to tuck into and to freshen you up first thing in the morning.
My morning routine usually starts with a cup of lemon and ginger tea in bed but then I like to move onto the more punchy stuff: coffee. I’ll often make a flask to go (take a look at my review of my Klean Kanteen flask here) and pour the excess into a travel mug.
I currently have two mugs that I use: the Lifeventure Ellipse travel mug and a KeepCup. The Lifeventure mug is thermal, whereas the KeepCup isn’t. I have these two different options because there are times when I want my coffee to stay warm for a longer period of time if I’m traveling and then sometimes I want to be able to drink it straight away. Today I’ll be looking at the Lifeventure mug and the KeepCup will come later.
The Lifeventure Ellipse Travel mug, £10.99*
It’s a slim cup that fits nicely in my car drinks holder (yes, I’ve had cups before that don’t). I’ll generally use the Ellipse if I’m going on a longer journey and would like my coffee to last. Now, it claims to be able to keep your drink warm for up to an hour thanks to a ‘double walled construction’ and so to prove that it does actually hold its heat I did a thermometer test. It also says keeps it cold but this isn’t something I’ve ever used it for and so have not tested it out.
I tested the heat loss for both water and black coffee to see if there was a difference – and interestingly, there was. Have a look at the tables below to see that the heat loss for coffee was markedly less than for water. That’s degrees celcius, by the way.
Now, I almost always use this cup for black coffee and I was happy with a temperature of 46/44 degrees Celsius after an hour. Although not hot, it was warm and very drinkable. I would not want it to be much cooler though, as otherwise it would start to veer into being too cold for me to actually enjoy drinking it.
I feel an hour is a good length of time to be able to keep something warm enugh to still be drinkable in an item like this. I’ve had a Camelbac cup before that kept my coffee so blisteringly hot that I couldn’t actually drink it when I wanted to. You make coffee on the go so you can drink it on the go – not have to wait until your journey is almost up before you’re able to take the first sip.
Another point I like about this cup is that the lid screws on, keeping it nice and secure. I’m such a clumsy person that I end up dropping things and knocking things over with alarming regularity so this security is unbelievably useful. It also has a flip top, which when flipped open allows you to drink freely. It clips back down – again making sure your drink is nice and secure from spillage.
I just want to mention a couple of things that niggle me with this cup. The rim makes it a little difficult to drink sometimes while on the go. Rather than funnel the coffee into my mouth, or provide a drink hole that I can completely cover with my mouth to drink, this rim spreads the liquid, which if I’m not careful means it dribbling out the side. The second thing is that the flip top when open does sometimes fall back down to conk you on the nose. But that’s only minor – it’s not like it will hurt you, it’s just a small inconvenience.
Over all it does its job well, is hardy and keeps your drink a nice temperature. It also comes in a vibrant green, plum purple and black. I always used to have a Lifeventure thermal cup when I was younger (I don’t know where it disappeared to…) and resented not being able to drink it as I was walking along or driving as it was a screw top with no drink function built into the lid. So that problem solved, happy days.