Sunday, December 09, 2007

Fresh Coffee to Go from REI Mug

Performing like a simplified version of the French Press, this 12-ounce REI branded vacuum mug results in some great-tasting coffee. The sheer simplicity of it makes me wonder why nobody else got this product out earlier. You just spoon course coffee grounds directly into the aluminum mug, pour hot water into it, and screw on the filter lip.

That's how you drink it, but screwing on the additional top cap keeps the thing sealed up completely and it then functions as a thermos. In my tests the coffee stayed very hot for over five hours in a cold car---impressive. That heat-retaining ability can be a curse though if you're just looking to fill it up and hop into your car for a commute. If you put in boiling water it's going to stay lip-burning for quite a while unless you take the filter top off and let it air out for a while. The mug itself stays amazingly cool to the touch though; you can't tell from feel whether there's anything hot inside or not.

Cleaning this travel mug and coffee maker is easy. There are no filters and no parts besides the three you see here.

This is more of an item for campers or backcountry skiers than it is for regular travelers, but it would be a great gift for someone heading off to a region where good coffee is hard to find (like most parts of Asia). The $25 price tag seems a bit steep for a Chinese-made bit of aluminum, screen, and plastic, but considering the almost magical insulation properties, it's not an item easily duplicated by knock-offs.

Get the REI Vacuum Infuser Mug.

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Anonymous said...

This is a good gift idea. I seem to be the only one drinking coffee in my office lately and don't need a whole or even a half of a pot, just one tall cup will do. This will cut down on cold coffee in the late morning and the taste of old coffee in the late afternoon.

Mitchel Gibbs said...

I just got this for a Christmas present. I am planning on using it for a hike that I am going on Thursday. That is the main reason that I asked for it. However I just realized that I can use it in the office also. I got some flavored coffee for Christmas as well so now I can drink my flavored coffee in the office. NICE!

Mitchel Gibbs said...

Just wanted to update everyone on my Christmas present. It worked great on my hike. It was nice to have some of my fancy flavored Christmas coffee in the morning after surviving a Thunderstorm in my tent. I had the proper amount of coffee already in a snack size zip loc. I heated up some water on my gas stove, dumped my coffee in the mug, poured in the water and in 10 minutes I was on cloud nine.

It also works great at work. I can go in the morning and use it as a regular coffee cup to drink my morning coffee from the office pot. Then after lunch I can use it with my zip loc bag coffee stash to have my fancy flavored coffee for dessert.

Everyone that has seen it has liked it and considered purchasing one themselves. This is a really great product.