Review: A solid, practical mug with a thoughtful, understated design.

Well, the Mug arrived in the post today. I’ve put it through its paces and I’m glad it say that, overall, it does the job a mug should do. Let’s see how it got on.

PACKAGING

The mug arrived in a cardboard box, apparently sprayed with expanded polystyrene balls. The box was solid enough, but I confess to being slightly dubious about how well the balls would withstand a greater than normal shock. Still, no damage done. The box opens by removing a cardboard tongue, then the lid opens quite easily.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Having removed the mug from its packaging, I gave it a quick rinse with water and had a good look. There is no manufacturer on the base, I confess I should have dried it before checking as I now have a wet leg. The mug is slightly creamy white and is printed with four Barries, each holding a coat hangar. They are sporting yellow, blue, green and red anoraks, I am still to work out which one is missing from the five in the CD notes. Print quality and image resolution is good. However the Barries feel slightly rough to the touch – it remains to be seen whether this affects the drinking experience. The green Barry has a tiny blemish just above his right foot.

The mug is covered in shiny glaze, this may be seen as downmarket by some but it does have the advantage of being easy to clean.

HANDLING

Balance is centred well, with the finger positions slightly above centre. The handle is cleverly thought out – it has room for two fingers, and the underside of is angled to accommodate a third. This adds to the feeling of stability, whilst limiting the potential for scalding – I can see my children bringing me cups of tea in this one.

The mug is designed to hold 300 ccs of fluids, though with its good balance you could probably go over this limit for short periods. On contact with the mouth the mug demonstrates its careful design once again. It has a lip, if you will, that is just large enough to catch one’s own, thus making the mug-mouth process very simple and effective. The handle position results in a slight pressure on the lower digits when it is tipped, but this should not cause anyone too much grief. For those who prefer to hold the mug by its body, once again the balance is good and there is room for two average-sized hands.

DRINKING QUALITY

I tried the mug with Kenco instant coffee, this was mainly successful. The protruding lip did result in a slight fluid residue on the underside, however dripping was kept to a minimum. That’s the mug, not me. The mug is neither chunky nor delicate, neither is the rim too wide, therefore it should be suitable for both coffee and tea. Dunking is an option for most biscuits, including Rich Tea and Hob Nobs – some Digestives may prove a little too wide. Oh – and the roughness of the Barries did not prove to be a distraction.

Heat retention was good, but the last few mouthfuls tended to lose the heat quite rapidly so be careful.

OVERALL

A solid, practical mug with a thoughtful, understated design. The few minor weaknesses we could find in this mug should not distract from the drinking experience it provides. Buy one!

Review: A solid, practical mug with a thoughtful, understated design.

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