At Good’s Store, we hear some incredible stories about YETI mugs—those super-insulated, extra-tough, stainless steel, every-disaster-proof travel mugs and bottles that are supposed to withstand almost anything, all while keeping your drink hot or cold for hours.
One Good’s Store customer claims that she poured hot tea in her YETI mug before driving to church, but it was too hot to drink on the way there. So, she left the YETI mug inside her car while she attended the service. When church was over, her tea was still too hot to drink.
Or there’s the car fire story on YouTube: A truck catches fire with a YETI mug inside containing an ice cold drink. When the smoke clears, the YETI travel mug inside the truck still contains ice cubes.
A few weeks ago my cousin Lorelle and I discussed the YETI stories and wondered if YETI really does work. We decide to get together the next weekend and find out if YETI mugs really do keep coffee hotter than other insulated travel mugs.
We feel qualified to do this since we both like coffee and can read thermometers. In fact, Lorelle is probably even more qualified than I am, since she’s a barista at one of my favorite places to get coffee, the New Holland Coffee Company. We’re going to put YETI to the test and share our results with everyone who cares to listen.
Of course, we aren’t scientists, and my kitchen is not a lab, so we aren’t claiming these to be scientific results. It was a just-for-fun test, to see what would happen if we compared temperatures of the coffee after they’d been sitting in the mugs for a couple of hours.
It’s also a low-budget (or no-budget) experiment, and so testing the burning car story is out of the question. Instead, Lorelle borrows her sister’s YETI mug, and I raid our family’s stash of insulated travel mugs for similar sized mugs. We brew some coffee and get started.
First, we check to make sure both our thermometers were working correctly by dipping both into hot water at the same time. The thermometers both read the same so we’re good to go.
Then, we pour coffee into the four mugs, and put the lids on tightly. When we pour the coffee in the travel mugs, it reads at 170° F.
Next, we wait for two hours. Actually, it's more like two hours and fifteen minutes, since Lorelle has to run home and is late getting back. (As I said, this isn't very scientific.)
The travel mugs have now been sitting in my kitchen at room temperature (71°) for about 2 hours and fifteen minutes. It’s time to start taking the coffee’s temperature.
We test the two insulated plastic mugs first. The coffee in both of them now reads about 100°. Since they don’t even have sliders to close on the lids, it’s not surprising they are fairly cool.
Two mugs are left. One is a Sea Foam color stainless steel YETI mug, and the other is a plain stainless steel mug my dad got as a gift from work. These mugs seem pretty similar: both have rubber seals inside the lid and sliders that were tightly shut for the test.
“Let’s do the YETI mug last. It’ll keep us in suspense,” Lorelle declares as she plunges the thermometer into the non-YETI stainless steel mug.
That one checks in at 110°, about ten degrees warmer than the plastic mugs. Now it’s only the YETI mug left.
Lorelle put the thermometer in and we watch as the needle climbs up. 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 125, 130, 135… 138° is the final temperature. YETI has officially won!
The results are:
Pink plastic mug 100°
Blue plastic mug 100°
Stainless Steel mug 110°
Sea Foam YETI mug 138°
So… what’s the difference? Why did the YETI mug keep the coffee 28° hotter than the other stainless steel insulated mug? YETI, of course, would tell us it’s because of their extensive testing and superior quality. I did notice while the mugs were cooling, the three other mugs all had heat escaping from their sides, while the YETI tumbler did not.
We could have tested more things (cold drinks for example, or having the mugs in cold temperatures instead of inside the warm house), but we’re satisfied and convinced that YETI does a better job at keeping coffee warm, at least compared to the travel mugs we were testing.
Lorelle drinks from the winning YETI mug.
So, what’s your YETI story? Tell us in the comment box below!