Wednesday, October 29, 2008

hot morning cuppa


I am fighting off a bit of a cold. Feeling lousy always really makes me appreciate a hot cup of something nice, especially in the morning.

I like my tea piping hot, just barely cooled from the way-too-hot-to-drink stage. On a cold morning, I love to guzzle a whole cup of hot hot milky tea and feel the hot liquid warming me all the way down to my belly. Unfortunately, hot drinks don't stay that way for long in cold weather. Shari's chilly post the other day made me think about all the goofy (perhaps slightly compulsive) tricks I use to try to keep my cuppas hot.

I'm always looking for the most space-aged vacuum-sealed thermos. I always rinse my mug with hot water before I put the tea into it. I never let the tea steep without something covering the top to hold in heat. Usually it's a saucer of milk, because my hope is that the milk will warm a bit too, before I stir it in. When we go camping in cooler weather, I keep my thermos mug inside my coat whenever I'm not drinking from it. Maybe I should start doing that at home, too...

Once, my grandmother gave me this amazing little gadget: a beverage warmer. It's sort of a mini hot-plate that sits on your desk like a coaster and keeps your cup of tea or coffee nice and hot. I don't know what happened to mine, but being reminded of it today... perhaps it's time to order a new one.

Now that the weather is getting serious about it being fall, I am really interested in any other hot beverage strategies that you all have to share. In the mean time, I think it must be time for a cup of tea.


  1. Like you, I like things piping hot... I also have a one-mile walk to work. So I needed to find something to keep my coffee hot AND not make a mess. A harder quest than I expected. I ended up paying $28 for a "backpack bottle" thermos made by Nissan Thermos. It's pretty fantastic. Usually the last 4-6 ounces aren't as hot as I'd like, but everything else is perfect. Which you want if you're paying that much for a thermos, but whatever. Point is: I sympathize, and will also be looking for suggestions. :)

  2. you are so cute. i can just imagine you with your thermos in your coat :)
    i am the opposite... i often forget about my drink until it's cool and then end up with room temperature coffee. hmmm.
    and hope your cold is getting better... i was home sick today too... trying to stay warm and cozy!

  3. Your beverage warmer looks familiar! We used one to keep water warm 24/7 so that warming up bottles from the fridge for Raley didn't take so long (patience is not her strong suit!). You can also use it for a candle warmer - so you don't have to light the candle and have an open flame, you just get the nice smell from the melted wax.

  4. We use our cup hot plate as a heat source when incubating sour dough starter.
    Other than that, I like my hot drink not so hot that it burns my tongue. Very sensitive thing. my tongue.
    Good luck on your search fro the perfect heat keeper.

  5. I warm up my milk in the microwave (at about 40% power, no higher) before adding it to my tea... the other thing that I've found is that the higher the fat content of the milk (1%, 2% etc.) the more it cools the tea down...

  6. You can have your cake and eat it too.... Or should I say you can have your tea hot, and work at your computer! There are several vendors who sell USB cup warmers and even some who sell the insulated cups that you can plug into your car lighter AND has a USB adapter too! Just google them. I know the Spy Museum sells them, as does Smarthome.

  7. I'm a tea/coffee addict, so I've also always been on the lookout for a leakproof travel mug to keep my tea/coffee nice and hot. My first pick is a Starbucks thermos, which I used as a travel mug. Unscrew the lid/cup; then push the little button on the inner lid & I'd just sip directly from that. I used to work night shift--I'd make my coffee at 4pm and drink my coffee at midnight--and it still could burn my mouth. By 7am, it was a little warmer than luke warm. Only problem was that these leaked a bit at times. Unfortunately I don't see Starbucks carrying this particular model anymore.

    My second suggestion is...
    Thermos Nissan Leak-Proof Backpack Bottle JML350W
    You can brew your tea in it, remove the tea brewer basket, screw on the sipping lid, and then the outer lid. This keeps my drinks hot for about as long as my Starbucks thermoses do. It's smaller and more portable--I can make some tea, toss it in my bag & I have hot tea all day. The only thing is that the removable tea brewer basket isn't quite fine enough & I get 'dustier' tea. So I brew my tea in something else and then transfer into this mug.

    Most often I use Contigo's West Loop (travel) mug--make sure it's stainless steel. It's leak proof, and keeps hot drinks relatively warm. I use it more than the Nissan b/c the Nissan will keep my tea too hot for too long, but the Nissan is great for keep drinks hot longer.

  8. Substitute "Tea" for "coffee" in the write-up, and have a particular look at the last paragraph. Though I fear you will also have to make a cozy to protect your fingers.

    I am afraid I microwave my cuppa when it gets too cold.


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