Drinking coffee is one of life's great culinary pleasures. I prefer mine with a little bit of frothed fresh soymilk, but that's besides the point. Unless you're specifically having cold brew or iced coffee, the heavenly juice of the coffee bean is best enjoyed hot. Pouring your coffee into just a regular old mug might be good for a few minutes, but after the first few sips the temperature has drastically dropped along with the vibrant flavor notes. That's why anyone making coffee to-go (or even at home) should invest in a good thermos.
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There's a huge difference between a high quality hot liquid thermos and a low quality one. A high quality one will keep your coffee hot for hours upon hours. You could literally pour your brew at 9AM and still be sipping at 12PM, while still enjoying it at peak flavor and temperature. It's quite an amazing experience.
With an ordinary cup or mug your coffee is going to be getting cold in as little as 5-10 minutes. You're then stuck with a sludgy and lukewarm liquid void of all of the original flavor and aroma.
There'a also the bonus of going into your favorite coffee shop and asking them to fill up your mug instead of a paper or plastic cup. Not only is this obviously ideal for environmental reasons, but some places will actually charge you less for the coffee or tea if you don't take one of their mugs.
Even though we've picked thermoses that are the ideal size for coffee, tea, or other hot drinks, it is also possible to use them for hot soup. There are indeed other types of thermoses that work better for soup due to their size and accessory parts. However, if you carry an extra soup bowl or mug with you you can simply just prepare your soup in the morning and enjoy it hot in the afternoon.
We've compiled an entire separate post on the best thermoses for keeping food warm or cold if you need something a bit more versatile.
What separates these products out from the rest of the market is their insulation power. If you go to your local dollar-store and pick up any thermos, it's not likely to be well insulated.
The sealing mechanisms for some of the thermoses below are also rather high-tech, specifically on the first Contigo. Even if they aren't high-tech, most of the mugs we've selected have decent sealing mechanisms which is another critical component to keeping liquid hot.
The Contigo is the a sleek and simple example of an insulated vacuum thermos. It's tall and thin which makes it easy to fit into cup holders. By having a vacuum seal lid this thermos allows you to keep hot drinks hot up to 7 hours and cold drinks cold up to 18. Unlike other thermoses which can require two hands to properly open the lid to take a sip, the Contigo's ergonomic button allows you to do it with just one, making it ideal for multitasking.
This other Contigo thermos is the more basic version of the Autoseal unit. Instead of coming with a spring loaded vacuum sealed button, it comes with a tight snap seal which the user just flicks up or down to take a sip or to close it up. It has a bit less insulated power than the Autoseal, but will still keep your hot beverages like coffee hot for up to 6 hours. Consider the SnapSeal model if you want something that's a bit more simple.
The Yeti is one of the most popular insulated thermoses on the market. There's not much to say about it other than its a really solid insulated tumbler cup. Because its so popular, there's also tons of accessories for it and many different models. Some of the accessories include different lids (such as a magnet sealing lid) and a handle for easy sipping. You can't go wrong with a Yeti!
We wanted to include two simple mugs on this list because there is something a bit different about drinking your coffee from a mug compared to a tumbler or thermos. It offers more of a "home-ey" slow sipping experience rather than the feeling of being always on the go. Unfortunately, classic ceramic coffee mugs offer a great sipping experience, but are lacking in the heat retention department. These stainless steel mugs offer the best of both worlds.
The Simply Modern Cruiser Tumbler is quite similar to the Yeti, but it is manufactured with a wide range of color options. This is great for the user who is aesthetically minded, but still wants to keep their coffee warm! They're also manufactured in a wide variety of sizes all the way up to 36 oz!
Hey! I’m Michelle and I write product reviews for ThriveCuisine.com. I’m always preparing healthy / plant based foods and I’ve developed a knack for helping people get the best bang for their buck.