December 19, 2019

Things Somebody Needs to Invent: Leak-Proof Coffee Mug

coffee beans

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Hot coffee (or tea) is something many of us consider an essential part of our day. Not surprisingly, there is a large market for products related to coffee and tea. I bought a couple of those vacuum insulated tumblers a couple years ago and have been using them daily since. They really are fantastic products, but they have one glaring flaw: they are not impossible to spill and far from leak-proof. As long as I have a free hand to devote to holding one, I'm fine. When that is not the case, they don't work at all.

So here's one thing I think somebody really needs to invent: a truly leak-proof coffee mug that is easy to drink from and easy to clean. Here are my requirements for such a product:

  • Leak-proof in the sense that I can fill it with hot coffee, put it inside a backpack that will be jostled around quite a bit, and be confident that not one drop of coffee will escape along the way
  • Keeps the coffee reasonably hot for at least a few hours
  • Available in 16oz and 20oz sizes
  • Have a lid design that feels natural to drink from
  • Wide enough that it can be cleaned without having to buy additional tools
  • Durable and/or generous warranty so the user does not have to worry about the lid breaking

I have been looking for this for some time, and the closest thing I've found that seems to meet all the requirements is one of the mugs made by a Japanese company called Zojirushi. I just ordered one of these, and I'll tell you what I think once I've had the chance to put it through its paces.

Why not just buy a thermos, you ask? I think a smaller thermos would be an option, and that is the route I would go if I was equipping for a long road trip. I'm looking for something smaller, lighter weight, and that does not require a separate mug to drink from. And while I have had a couple of good thermoses over the years, they have all been difficult to clean. Even after scrubbing with a bottle brush, they never look or smell clean.