Kitchn Love Letters

I’m a Coffee Pro with 21 Years of Experience — These Are the 3 Travel Mugs I Recommend

published Feb 4, 2022
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When you’re as coffee-obsessed as I am, you need a travel mug for all occasions. You need one for your car, one for lattes, one for weekend football games, and one that can actually get tossed in your purse.

Okay, maybe that’s a little excessive. My point is just that your travel mug matters. You clearly need one that works (read: doesn’t leak, keeps your coffee warm, and is easy to refill). For me, though, it’s a little more than that. I love to mix-and-match travel mugs based on where I’m going, what I’m doing, what I’m drinking, and how much coffee I’m gonna need along the way. 

Call me over-caffeinated, but I have a few favorite travel mugs in my cupboard, always ready to go. After more than 21 years in the coffee industry, these are the travel mugs I’ve learned to rely on.

Credit: Ever Meister

1. KeepCup Brew with Cork Band

For lattes, cortados, and other milky espresso-based drinks, I reach for my KeepCup. This toughened-glass travel mug was one of the first barista-approved models to hit the market in 2009, imported all the way from Australia. The shape is ideal ergonomically (it feels so good in your hand!) and aesthetically, not only because the cups are super cute, but also because they allow coffee pros to pour perfect latte art, which you can’t always get in a standard to-go mug. The range of available sizes are also café-ready: 6 ounces for a proper cappuccino, 12 ounces for a drip coffee or latte, and 16 ounces for those days when you just have to. 

Buy: KeepCup Brew with Cork Band, from $23

Credit: Ever Meister

2. Kinto To Go Tumbler

If I’m in the mood for a regular coffee, a Kinto Tumbler is my go-to to-go mug. This vacuum-insulated stainless steel mug tolerates temps up to 212°F, keeps drinks hot for a full hour (or cold for 2 hours), and is dishwasher-safe — a relative rarity among travel mugs. The simple, clean design is compact enough to fit anywhere, and the snug lid has a rectangular sip hole for maximum slurping (and minimal dribbles). 

Buy: 8-Ounce Kinto To Go Tumbler, $35 at Kinto

Credit: Ever Meister

3. Klean Kanteen Wide Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Coffee Mug

Some days, you need to pull out all the stops — and pull out the biggest, toughest, most temperature-stable travel mug you can find. For me, that’s a 20-ounce Klean Kanteen. Its double-walled design keeps hot coffee hot for hours, and its bigger size means there’s always enough to share. What’s probably the most important feature of this particular travel buddy is its 100 percent leak-proof lid (that’s right — no stress about a soggy lunch or ruined library books if you tote this one along in your go bag!). 

Buy: Klean Kanteen Wide Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Coffee Mug with Leak Proof Café Cap, $29.95

What’s your favorite travel mug? Tell us in the comments below.