Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Mighty Mug

Seconds after I dumped a cup of coffee all over myself, the floor, and the couch (missing my laptop and the dog) I got an email from a place that wanted to send me a magical mug that wouldn't tip over.

How could I refuse?

When The Mighty Mug arrived, I opened the box, set the mug on the kitchen counter and pushed. And pushed. It held firm. I mean, I don't know if I'd want to tie a rope around it and dangle from a seventh-floor window, but it was stuck tight to the counter when I tried pushing or pulling it sideways or at an angle.

But when I lifted straight up, it lifted just fine.

What sorcery is this?

Something to do with a vacuum seal on the bottom of the mug. Lifting straight up breaks the seal, but when you push, bump, or nudge it, it holds firm.


But wait a minute.

I put the mug on the wooden table where I usually rest my coffee next to the couch and it was completely tippable. It didn't stick at all.

Wha? Did I use up all the magic? I went back to the kitchen, and it stuck just fine on the decades-old and somewhat ugly countertop. I went to the dining room table and it stuck, mostly, but not as firmly.


I walked around the house, setting the mug on different surfaces. Marble table - sticks.  Paperback book - sticks. Glass surface - sticks. Smooth plastic tray - sticks. Slotted bamboo tray - doesn't stick. Wooden floor- sticks as long as it's not over a seam. Textured card table - doesn't stick. The dog - doesn't stick. Entertainment center wood top - sort of sticks.

I pondered. Then I figured it out. If the mug is on a flat smooth surface, it will create that vacuum that holds it in place. But if you put the mug on a bumpy or deeply scratched or textured surface, it can't hold as well. My dining room table has some wood grain that you can feel, but not a lot. But it does have a smooth painted surface (where it isn't scratched). Thus, the mug held on, but not quite as tight as the completely smooth counter.

On the other hand, the wooden table where my coffee usually rests is not slick or smooth. There's enough texture that the mug won't grip very much at all.

So ... if you're going to set this mug on a smooth surface - glass, polished wood, granite ... or any other smooth surface, you'll be safe. If you think this will work on the picnic table, the rustic wood tray, the pebble-surfaced Formica counter top, or any other uneven, scratched, grouted, un-smooth surface, then you're out of luck. You probably also don't want to set it on top of the corner of a napkin or on top of that ginormous jelly spill (come on, now, clean that up!) or it might not hold the way you expect it to.

But if you're using this at your desk and it has a smooth, uninterrupted surface, you'll be happy as a clam. (How happy are clams, anyway? I mean before they're stuff with bread crumbs and broiled?)

I still plan on using the mug on my wooden table - I have a piece of counter top material - something like Corian - that I bought for use in photos. It's the perfect fit for my little table and the mug sticks to it very nicely. Problem solved. And, if we're being honest, it looks better than the distressed wood. Which is a nice way of saying the varnish has worn off the table top in places and it's kind of scratched here and there.

The mug comes in a couple of different styles, including one that's heat-proof for coffee and another that's designed for cold drinks. I opted for the heat-proof since it works for hot and there's no reason not to put a cold drink in there. The cold one, however, would not have been as useful for hot beverages. Which I really don't want to spill all over me.

The dog is also looking a bit relieved.

Who's it for: Klutzes like me.

Pros: They don't tip! (On many surfaces.) Dishwasher safe.

Cons: They look like standard travel mugs. They will tip if they're not on a smooth surface. So don't show off unless you know it's actually safe.

Wishes: I sort of wish it had a handle, like a coffee mug does. But that's not mission critical.

Source: I received this from the manufacturer for the purpose of a review.

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