Friday, May 3, 2013
Starbucks Double Wall Ceramic Traveler
Starbucks® Double Wall Ceramic Traveler, 355 ml/12 fl oz
Our popular ceramic travel cup features our Siren logo and a new splash guard for an optimal drinking experience. The double wall construction helps keep hands cool and drinks warm, and the locking lid minimizes spills when secured properly. Grippy rubber pad on bottom. Holds up to 355 ml/12 fl oz of coffee or other favorite beverage. Handwash recommended, do not microwave.
Price Paid: $10.95
No, I have not switched to coffee, but I am going to review this travel mug from Starbucks. We have several travel mugs in the cabinet. Some have handles. Most don't. All of them are stainless steel on the outside and plastic on the inside. My wife uses them for coffee. She likes them. I don't. Why? No, it's not because my wife nastied them up with coffee, even though she did - eeeewww. To me, the plastic sucks most of the flavor out of the cup. I asked other tea drinkers, and most told me they stopped using travel cups for this very reason. The flavor sucking is not as severe as drinking from a paper cup, but ceramic has spoiled me.
Try this experiment for yourself. Brew your favorite tea and pour into a paper cup, a plastic cup, and a ceramic one. Give each a taste and see if you agree - the ceramic just tastes fuller and richer.
So, I went shopping for a ceramic travel cup. I was surprised the best price I could find was this ceramic cup from Starbucks. With its double wall construction, the cup is heavier than I expected. It felt about twice as heavy as my favorite 12oz home mug. Many reviews I read thought this seemed flimsy. I have no idea why. Maybe they changed the design before I bought mine as it feels very solid to me. It should go without saying, this is ceramic so no matter how solid it is, if you drop it, it is probably toast. Or maybe that would be croutons!
The lid press fits into the cup. There is a ledge around the inside lip that acts as a seat for the lid. It does not screw into place and therefore could, and probably would, come out if the traveler gets knocked over. The center of the top slides and closes solidly enough to prevent splashing.
In using the cup, I found the outside stayed cool enough to hold comfortably. Yet, the top rim of the cup is very hot when the tea is first poured in to the cup. I guess the positive side of that is it serves to remind you near boiling tea is about to hit your tongue. My impression is the all ceramic traveler cooled more quickly than the stainless and plastic versions. That is not only fine with me, but preferred. I cannot drink really hot tea. It did remain nice and warm for quite a while, more so than my home mug. There is a version of this cup that has a stainless exterior. It is roughly $5 more. I suspect it would stay hotter longer, which I would not like.
Now to get to what is really important to me. First, the ceramic feels good on the lips. Second, this fits securely in my car cup holder. Third, I realize any time a lid is put on a mug you are going to muffle the flavor some, as your nose is restricted in catching the full bouquet, even so, this cup does not suck all the flavor out of the tea like the plastic versions.
Bottom line - whenever packing a standard mug is not practical, this ceramic travel cup works very well for me. The price was good. The taste is good. I am a happy sipper. You can find this traveler at your local Starbucks or in the online store.