To borrow a line from a timeless song, hot drinks really get me going. If my coffee isn’t scalding hot, meaning it’s still near-boiling moments before my first sip, I don’t have a good morning.Coffee that cools down before I can finish it is just downright offensive. After years of reheating half-full cups of tepid java, I heeded my boyfriend’s suggestion that I give a Zojirushi travel mug a try. Within my first morning with my Zoj’, I knew all other coffee vessels were ruined for me.
Also known for its rice cookers, Zojirushi’s vacuum-sealed mugs are the unassuming upstairs neighbor to the Yetis and S’wells of the world. They’re understated, available in a wide variety of colors and lids (my personal preference is matte black with a flip lid) — and they keep drinks astoundingly hot for hours. While my morning coffee never lasts that long, I’ve put the Zojirushi’s true powers to the test during many a late-fall bouldering trip, when a hit of piping-hot caffeine is crucial in the second half of the day. Even though it’s brewed at 7 a.m., my trail coffee will, without fail, still be steaming by the time I flip that lid at 2 p.m. (To get into specifics, the brand claims to keep drinks at a cozy 154 degrees Fahrenheit after six hours of storage.)
My only gripe is that, in order to attain this level of temperature retention, Zojirushi’s lids feature approximately one million rubber gaskets. These doohickeys keep the mugs’ interiors air-tight, but they’re kind of a pain to clean, let alone disassemble from the rest of the lid (and they need to be totally dry before you fasten them back on). That said, what amounts to a moderately annoying 20 minutes of work is a small price to pay for coffee that nearly burns my mouth.
While hot drinks are my passion, my boyfriend uses his Zojirushi (also black but with a twist-off cap) for cold brew — and has the charming habit of leaving it out, half-drunk, overnight. Not only is the coffee still cool come sunrise, the ice cubes are still intact. I might judge you for preferring cold coffee to the hot stuff, but Zojirushi doesn’t discriminate. It’ll keep your drink at its proper temperature for a magically long time and for me, that truly is the best part of waking up.