I imagine most people need to know two things about this mug.
1) It really is a terrific insulator. Your coffee will be hot all morning, and probably into the afternoon with this mug. I have found coffee hot 5 hours after I poured it. Hot.
2) It doesn't leak. Yeah, that's what they promise, but the surprise is that the clever and more importantly well constructed lid does not leak. You could store it upside down in your important files cabinet if you needed to. It's a great mug.
Also, I think it looks cool. It fits my cupholder in my truck. It's easy to clean. Those are all nice too.
on June 27, 2008
My husband called my old car "the cheesemobile," because I often spilled my white chocolate whole-milk lattes between the seats while driving and couldn't clean up the mess before it soured and stank. Hot summers in that car were not fun.
My new car is the same color as this beautiful insulated mug, and the car smells fine because the mug works so well. Screw on the lid and your drink is secure - hot or cold. Simply press the button and drink. When you release the button and put the mug down, the drinking port closes tightly. Knock the mug over and the most that will spill (assuming the lid is screwed on securely) is the one drop that might be left in the drinking port. Keep the button pressed until you put the mug back in the cupholder and even that drop probably won't be there. No levers to forget to close. No lids you need to align, or snap on and wonder if the snap worked.
Because the mug is designed with two-layer construction with an air gap, hot things stay hot, and cold things stay cold for longer than it usually takes to drink the contents.
The steel construction makes this a durable item I expect will last me for years. The sleek design is very attractive and well-proportioned -- it fits in most cupholders without being top heavy, and it feels good in my hand.
Even washing the mug can be fun: put a bit of soap and half a cup of really hot water in, close the top tightly, shake vigorously, then point the top away from you into the sink and press the button. Enjoy the dramatic fountain spray! (Just watch for the backsplash, and don't get burned...)
My one complaint: the blue paint isn't as durable as the plain brushed steel finish. My husband's steel version still looks new, while my blue one looks a bit scuffed.
If I ever lose this mug, I'd replace it in a heartbeat.
on November 22, 2011
I have used this Contigo Coffee mug for over a year and a half. I love it because it is the only travel mug that does not spill or leak AND it keeps my coffee warm.
However, as other reviewers pointed out, cleaning is an issue. It is easy to clean if you have the correct tools, but if you don't have the correct tools and make the mistake of thinking you are cleaning it by just washing the lid, you will be negatively surprised one day when a chunk of old coffee finds its way into your drink. It is repulsive; I am not going to lie. However, this is the only mug that does what I need, so I have no armed myself with tools to properly clean the lid.
I have one small bottle scrub brush (I believe it would be like the sippy straw cleaners they sell on Amazon) and I have a miniscule brush cleaner (also on Amazon, Wilton Tip Brush) which is used for cleaning out the tips of icing bags for cake decorators.
Every day after I enjoy my coffee at work, I immediately rinse the lid out under hot water, and then I let it sit on my desk to air dry (so no mold grows). When I get home at night, I wash the lid with soap and water as normal, and then I take these the two brushes I mentioned above to clean out the crevices, sticking the tiny brush through the drink hole (where a lot of coffee collects) and all the tiny parts, and the larger brush to get into the mechanism in the top of the lid, where coffee also collects. I am always amazed at what I will find. My husband is amazed that I still use the travel mug at all, but I am now confident that I am getting it clean. It takes me 2 minutes.
It is a lot of extra effort, but so is cleaning coffee out of my bag everyday, which use to be my routine. If you can't commit to cleaning the lid, then I wouldn't recommend this product because you will end up with chunks of old coffee in your mug, or worse in your mouth. Also, I have another coffee mug, OXO Good Grips LiquiSeal Travel Mug (also sold on Amazon). This travel mug also doesn't spill, but you can't get to mechanism to clean it. After cleaning my Contigo daily, I cringe to think what is hiding in my OXO coffee lid that I just can't see.
The benefit of the Contingo is that it does exactly what it says it will (not spill and keep your drinks warm) AND it allows you clean it. Getting all my coffee to work, and still drinkable, I am willing to take on the extra challenge of cleaning the lid thoroughly.
on September 12, 2012
I purchased 6 total mugs for my family. These look great, I don't have to worry about spills, and they keep drinks warm (warmer than any other cups based on my experience); okay, so why do they get 1 star and a bad review? Because, the company told me that I should purchase a new lid every 30-60 days! Get this, the lids cost almost as much as the cup!
Okay, so here's the story: I am an daily tea drinker. I know how to use vinegar to clean mugs if needed, and have kept the lids clean (which requires cleaning them between every single use with soap and water, which I do). So, the point is, I get that I have to keep the lids clean. However, after a while, the mugs started leaking regardless of how clean they were kept. First it was one of my kids mugs, I figured they were just rough with it or something. Then the other lid started having a problem, so I told my kids to use regular glass mugs and sit at the table for now on in order to drink tea.
Then my mug started leaking, and creaking, and not serving its purpose. I used one of the other ones, again, started having the same issue, and so did my wofe. So, I called the company to complain and was told "that's why we carry replacement lids; please visit our website to purchase new lids." I stated that I had only had these for about 5 weeks and the customer service rep said that she didn't expect the lids to last much more than that and that I would need to purchase new lids. This is exactly what I was told by their customer service.
Ok, so let's do the math.
I purchased 4 cups at a big box store for $40.
2 cups online for about $20 each.
So far, I am out $80.
The company states the lids last 30-60 days, and the lids cost $7 each (at least for the models I have).
So, based on my conversation wiith customer service, I am expected to pay $42 per month (or every 60 days) in order to keep these mugs. That's between $252 to $504 per year if you own 6 mugs. So, the total cost of ownership of a Contigo mug is $104 per year... Oh, I didn't include tax. Sounds farfetched if you ask me, but that is how the numbers add up.
The fact is, these mugs are just not worth it. The company has some of the worst customer service reps I have ever dealt with. Take it from someone that works in manufacturing, the cost for these mugs to be created is almost nothing, the lids are probably 6-13 cents each depending on the how the assembly line in China sets the pieces in the plastic mold after it's cooled. So, this is a rip off. It's one thing to charge $20 for a mug; it's another to not support your product with the expressed intention of selling lids to consumers who supported your company.
Here are two replacement mugs from Thermos that I have purchased, & I must say, I have never had to replace the lids. they never leak, and in fact I use it at work, and I don't stir anything, I simply put what I want in it and shake it up, and it never leaks are spills at all. I have had the mugs listed below for almost 2 years, since writing this review.
Thermos Stainless King Travel Tumbler, 16-Ounce, Matte Black
Thermos 16-Ounce Vacuum-Insulated Travel Tumbler, Stainless Steel
Here is the funny part of my experience: my review has reviews!
I don't believe the average amazon customer, or customer of any store in general, would be writing a really long review about a review. Also, some are keeping track on those reviews years later in regards to a mug! It's quite obvious the more you look at some reviews online, many are single item reviewers and are likely employees of the manufacture in question. I worked as a marketing director for many years and many of these manufactures do create their own reviews. I have never honored the requests of the companies I have worked for, and those that do, should be ashamed of themselves.
This review has more reviews than any of my other reviews. There are so many comments on this review, all about my review. It's kind of hilarious considering that it is just a mug. the manufacturer made a phony attempt in a comment to rectify the situation, but when I actually contacted them, they offered no help; it was purely for show.
For anyone that doubts what I say, since you have so much time on your hands to review a review, you can just as easily get the customer service number for contigo, say that you have this particular model and need a replacement lid under the lifetime warranty, and see how much they tell you it's going to cost for the new lid and shipping. Discussion over.
Finally, for those of you who have missed it, the company has released a new lid, that now offers an easy way to clean it. If you call the company, or read some of the marketing literature, they will say that it was a common complaint about the old lid, the same one that I had on this mug! So it is not some magical plot for me to dare to say something about a lid that shall not be named, it is simply someone who was unhappy with a lid, and wanted to share my experience over two years ago.
on August 19, 2009
I love the design of this. The seal of the lid is tight - nothing leaks. It's very easy to operate and fits nicely in my car's cup holder despite the fact that it's a little bulbous towards the bottom. Drinking from it is also nice and clean - it doesn't leave residual liquid sloshing on the top of the lid. The hole for taking in air (also controlled by the autoseal button) is covered so nothing comes out there either. One thing to note, if you have hot liquids, pressure will build up and depressing the autoseal will release the steam and possibly some moisture - this makes cleaning it kind of fun as you can add hot water, detergent and shake then see how far you can spray. The stainless steel look is sharp and so far, hasn't dented or scratched. The rubberized potion of the lid provides good grip for you to hold the cup as well.
However, the lid needs serious work. The lid itself is what is holding me from recommending this product as well as purchasing it again should anything happen to this cup. First of all, I use a standard nylon dish sponge with pad to clean. It is too abrasive for the relatively soft plastic on the lid and left swirl marks. Also, brand new from Amazon, the lid has a deep scratch about 3/4" long on the top (so it's not from cutting the box open). Maybe it was returned? Also, the mouth area from where you drink from will pick up scratches from your teeth assuming you have decent dental hygiene. But those are mere quibbles. The real problem with the lid is that it is difficult to clean. I could have sworn I read somewhere that the lid can be dismantled for cleaning but this is NOT the case. inside the lid is a fairly complicated network of plastic with lots of spaces for liquid to get pocketed in. The actual plastic that controls the open and shut piece is hidden and cannot be seen - thus cannot be cleaned. The only way I can think of cleaning this is with hot water and detergent and copious amounts of shaking. This is not enough for me. I want something that can be taken apart and cleaned. I've used this 4 times now - it's a week old. I use it to hold coffee every morning to work. Coffee is in this cup for about 3 hours. I rinse it out using the above method after and use it for water from a water cooler. The water tastes like coffee. It's not strong...but it's there. The tumbler itself holds no taste of the coffee or smell...it's from the lid. I imagine if you use this strictly for coffee and coffee only...then you don't have this issue but...just because you don't taste residual coffee doesn't mean that it's not there.
On the Contigo site, you cannot use cleaners containing bleach, chlorine, abrasives, and/or other harsh chemicals to clean this. Basically, it's clean only as hard as you can agitate the water. Not very clean in my opinion.
on August 29, 2012
This thing is great for many reasons. Let's start with looks. Ooo! Ahhh! Amazon is currently selling 8 different colors, all beautifully anodized aluminum.
The most important part: does it insulate well and keep my coffee hot? Holy crap, yes. My lovely wife makes coffee around 8am. My coffee is still hot at noon. 4 hours, which is what Contigo advertises. They also advertise keeping liquids cold for 12 hours, which I believe but don't care about.
So how does it work? Double-walled construction with a vaccuum in the middle. That's right--aside from the lid, the coffee doesn't really have a surface that touches air. How wonderfully scientific.
The lid completely seals in the goodness. No drips! Hold it upside-down, flip it around, toss it in the back seat and not a single drop will be dripped. Now, press the big, springy button and coffee will come a-flowin. The lid is nice an ergonomic, perfect for sipping.
Cleaning the cup itself is easy. It's hand-wash only, but we use a basic OXO bottle brush and it cleans up quickly and easily. The lid is another story. It's not very easy to clean quickly due to all of its nooks and crannies. The lids are dish washer safe, so that's an easy option, though it takes time. A quick rinse is usually all I do between uses, and let's be honest: with all those little hidden places, there's probably some grossness.
For the most part, it's easy to clean. Any option needs cleaned, so just don't be lazy.
I couldn't be any happier with these travel mugs. I suppose the lid could be easier to clean, but maybe not with its current functionality. I'm no coffee mug engineer. This keeps your drinks HOT, fits in cup holders, doesn't spill and looks nice to boot.
on March 31, 2012
I got the Contigo Autoseal Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler because of all the good reviews. I was initially impressed for a few days but noticed some annoyances.
1) Because of the vacuum function, whenever I press the tab to open the lid for the first time after pouring some coffee, the pressure releases and some of the coffee/steam inside will spit out a bit. This however is expected and to an extent, mentioned in the instructions.
2) After several uses, I've noticed that it does not keep the coffee very hot even if I don't open the lid at all. The hot coffee I would pour in would turn warm within two hours.
3) The last thing I noticed was that there would be some condensation forming at the bottom of the cup. I've taken care of the cup and don't recall damaging it so I don't think its due to mishandling of the cup or anything like that.
4) A lot of people have talked about the lid smelling after some use and I agree. What I've done that helps is to put a few drops of apple cider vinegar (I would guess white vinegar would work too) into a measuring cup, put the Contigo lid in and then pour some water into the measuring cup until it covers the lid. I typically let the lid soak overnight and by morning, the smell is gone, at least to my sense of smell.
If these small annoyances don't bother you, then this would probably be a worthwhile product. I found them to be enough of a hassle so I couldn't give the product 5 stars (perfect) or 4 stars (a slight imperfection). If I could, I'd give it 3.5 stars since it's a nice product and better than what you would find at any given store.
Update, 4/10/12: I started to notice a weird taste/smell whenever I drink through the mug. Almost like melted plastic or something strange and difficult to describe. If I pour the contents onto another cup/mug, it's not a problem. It looks like some other users have commented on this smell concern so I guess I'm not the only one. I've been washing the mug carefully but maybe I'll take more time to thoroughly wash it and then post another update if I notice any changes.
Update, 4/28/12: The smell still hasn't gone away after countless washes and attempts to clean it. This might be a coincidence but I tend to drink my coffee black and I also prefer dark/strong coffee - I wonder if this has anything to do with the smell. If the smell doesn't go away after I give this a more thorough cleaning, I may have to bump the rating down to 2 stars.
Update, 5/19/12: After many washes, still no change. In fact, I've washed it many times without even putting any coffee in it (but testing out by drinking water) but the smell still persists. Since I've stopped using this product now (replaced with an old plastic coffee mug), I'm bumping this down to 2 stars.
Update, 12/26/12: Updated title to reflect changes in my star rating.
on January 13, 2013
Let me preface this review with what I did not want. I previously had a plastic/metal travel mug. In the 10 minutes it takes to drive to work, at least in the winter, the ambient temp in the cupholder of my car is obviously colder than the coffee in the mug. By the time I got to work, the coffee was lukewarm at best - and it didn't taste right. It didn't taste outright like plastic, but just not the same as if I drink it at home.
Enter this mug. In a word: wow! No taste transfer, hot stays hot, cold stays cold. Even an hour later at my desk - coffee is still hot. How hot? Well, to be a nerd and have some fun I did a little test: I made a pot of "burn your mouth hot" coffee, that you can barely sip/slurp without hurting yourself. I poured it into the Contigo (which was just a room temp), closed it, and put it in the fridge for an hour. That's a lot colder than the commute in a car in winter since cars eventually warm, but the fridge stays cold. I took it out after said hour, opened the top and steam was still coming off the top. I tried to take a sip - and still burned my mouth. Now that's the kind of insulation a travel mug should have! I'm confident that wherever I go, at my destination, my coffee will still be hot.
Oh, and the spillproof top is pretty cool, too. Those that complain it's still not easy to wash: what exactly are you carrying around in your mug? If you're just using it for coffee or tea the only thing in there should be liquids. Even if you use heavy cream just rinse with a little soapy water and done. What's so difficult? No problems here.
on August 15, 2009
These mugs were the answer to our prayers. reusable coffee cup, lid that worked well, stainless body, kept coffee really hot for a long time.
And then I washed the lids. And reused them, washed, reused--and within a week, my coffee developed an off-smell. The lid smelled like a locker room, and the smell would not go away. I could hear liquid in the lid, and it would not dry out.
The concept is great, and I want these mugs to work, because they're the best I've tried, but I won't buy them again. The lids are just impossible to clean thoroughly, and if you're drinking coffee daily, there's just no way to wash the tops properly. Gross.
on February 22, 2011
This product keeps my coffee nice and hot, and for a long period of time, BUT, inside the lid mechanism cannot be cleaned. There is a build-up of what looks like infectious strep throat mucous, sprayed in the crevices. If one has the use of surgical tools, I suppose that would get it out. But for me the only way to remove it, is with the jet spray on my garden hose. In winter I resort to an awl and tweezers to dig it out, but that takes about 20 minutes. If you have ever had a mushroom hidden in the fridge way too long it becomes a slimy ooze. That is what the coating in the lid is like. I have tried filling the sink with water and swishing the lid like crazy. It removes/loosens some of the gunk, but much simply adheres to the mechanism like it is a sprayed on coating. The company web site recommends using a pipe cleaner or a q-tip to clean it. I really prefer a cup that requires far less involved and cumbersome washing. I would recommend a pass on this product.