Some people would look at a mug, and figure it’s the same as every other mug. People have favourite mugs, but that’s just because of hte picture, right? Or maybe it has some sentamental significance — it was a gift, or a prize or something.
Maybe you think that mug technology has been perfected, and that perfection has become ubitquitous. Without realy realizing it, probably held these views not long ago. But I have recently been faced with the fact that I was wrong.
Perfect Mugs are not everywhere, and there are in fact many very bad mugs. And bad mugs are still being made, to this day. They are being made and they are being sold, and that are being purchased. And it is ridiculous.
For the last few months, I’ve been staying at a place with a considerably well-stocked kitchen (even if the design of the kitchen leaves much to be desired) And there were lots of mugs. But they were not good mugs. They were bad mugs.
Until exposure to these many bad mugs, I hadn’t really considered on all the points a mug could go wrong. But these big mugs seemed to demonstrate them all. And here we shall outline them.
1) Size: We are inclined to fill a mug up to at least 3 quarters full. The result of a mug too big is that it will be too hot to drink until it is too cold too drink. You have a specific window of time when the beverage is at optimal temperature — as hot as possible without being too hot to drink. And soon after it is of drinking heat it will become lukewarm and unenticing. Ideally, you will drink about 4/5 of your mug at optimal temperature, and the last 1/5 will be lukewarm. But with a big mug, this is not the case. Remember, we are not drinking in percentages of mug, but in proportion to our body size based on our heat tolerance. Meaning that you can drink a fixed volume of a given beverage at a given temperature in a given amount of time. SO: a mug that carries a volume that exceeds 1/5 of your Hot Beverage Drinking Capacity is going to result in a lot of undrunk (or unenjoyed) tea.
2) Insulation: these mugs were poor insulators. This means that when the tea was good and hot, it was too hot to hold the mug. Because the mug was so big, it was awkward to hold it just by the handle. And because the insulation was poor, the contents cooled down rapidly. Poor insulation decreases one’s drinking window, decreasing the effective Hot Beverage Drinking Capacity (HBDC) ((which is largely based on rate of consumption as a function of heat).
Pictured above are the mugs in the house. The smallest one is completely adequate: it’s volume is too small for many occasions, but so small that it’s insulation properties are nearly irrelevant. The next biggest one (which I did not discover in a lower shelf until I had been suffering through the Bad Mug for some time) holds about a cup and a half of fluid, and is reasonably ideal. The handle is a good size, the volume is appropriate for the average human’s HBDC. Again, it’s insulating properties are not overly significant in light of the volume it carries.
The next size up probably holds a little under 2 cups of fluid. I would say that this is at the upper limit of volume for a viable mug. It is more than I care to drink at a time, and so I haven’t really tried and, and can’t speak to its insulating properties.
The largest of the mugs is way too big. It holds over two cups of fluid, and has poor insulation. As a hot beverage drinking vessel, it is all but useless. But only as a Hot Beverage Drinking Vessel. You could easily fill it with dirt and grow various plants in it. You could throw it at assailants, and it would be fine for beverages meant to be served cold or at room temperature.
But you can throw basically anything at assailants, and basically any Beverage Vessel can deal effectively with cold or room temperature drinks.
So, really, this Big Mug is like the Little Dog of the Beverage Vessel world. It doesn’t serve a relevant function, it doesn’t need to exist, and one is left wondering why anyone put effort into designing, or why anyone would expend wealth in purchasing it. But here we are. Little Useless Dogs are everywhere, and a lot of people have over-sized mugs at home in their cupboard. The Market is stupid, and at least some of the blame goes to the consumers.