Monday, October 12, 2009

Tainter Container

We all know there are many different varieties of coffee containers available. Most thermos carafes use glass insulates and most traditional and "for here" mugs are ceramic. There is one arena with some serious variation though and that is travel mugs. They can come in many shapes and sizes, without much relevance, but their construction material is another story.

I own several travel mugs: a few are made out of plastic, yet another is stainless steal, one is aluminum and copper, one has glass interior lining, and the last of the bunch is ceramic. Why are there so many different types offered? Well, probably because there are morons like me that think they need to have a few of every building material known to man- I'm getting a wood and brick travel mug for Christmas, I think. The bigger question I think, is which type of mug is best and why. As usual, I have a hypothesis.

This morning, I was running a bit behind. I did not have time to pour my coffee into my vacuum glasses by bodum. I was forced to take a travel mug, never my first choice for reasons I'm about to discuss. The only mug clean was the stainless steel and copper mug I bought from Kaldi's Coffee while employed with them. It keeps drinks very warm due to the copper exterior and has a superior rubber lining around the lid which never leaks, even after a few years use and washing in the dishwasher. However, I have always noticed a little bit of a twang from this mug. The stainless steel interior, I believe, taints the coffee's taste just enough for noticing. It adds a hint of alkaline flavor that disrupts my black coffee bliss- I don't think I'll be able to use it again.

My other mugs don't fare much better, I'm afraid. The plastic mugs do not stay warm for long and the parts do not do well in the washer- not to mention a bit of a sterile taste in the coffee, especially noticeable in lighter roasts. The only mugs I've really been able to enjoy are the glass insulated and ceramic. Glass insulated are usually harder to clean due to small openings and are rarely given removable lids. Ceramic is great, but can stain if you're not careful. The stains themselves can alter the taste of your hot brew, so clean them promptly. All in all, my recommendation is to drink your coffee at home, in your own personal ceramic or glass mug and wash it before you leave the house. We early risers have to try extra hard to accomplish this.

Lord, thank you for the coffee, even if it was tainted. Keep my head deflated and on straight. Here we go.

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