Blog reviews

the great mug review, part 1: mug season

L1010639   Wintertime is mug season. It’s cold outside, the days are short and dark. What better way to pull through than with a piping hot cup of tea? That was exactly my mindset when the unthinkable happened: my mug broke. More specifically, I broke my mug while I was trying to wash it. I stood there at the sink, holding the broken mug, unable to put my grief into words. How would I cope with the rest of winter?

The good people at provided me with the answer. They supplied me with new mugs in exchange for a few words on this here blog. Today’s post is part one of that review.

The mug I am reviewing is an iittala Teema mug. Clocking in at 10 oz., this little black mug boasts a remarkably wide handle and a good base-to-brim ratio. As seen above, it looks good in any kitchen because, hey, black goes with anything. It really classes up my kitchen, for sure. It certainly puts the old mug to shame.

Good design was obviously key for the Teema’s creators. Although some of you may say “a mug’s a mug,” the little differences really make this a unique specimen. Light construction makes this mug look deceptively small. There were no excess materials used, which make it both economical and environmentally friendly. When I poured the hot water in to make tea, I was amazed at how much liquid it held. The wide brim oxidized the tea effectively. One of my chief complaints of other mugs is when all the tea settles in the bottom of the mug. Not so with the Teema: the base, being only slightly narrower than the brim, did not “trap” the tea at the bottom.

Another benefit of its color: it will never become stained and unsightly even after years of tea drinking.

Of course no test of a mug is complete in the ideal kitchen setting. I enlisted my friend Andy to help conduct a field test of the Teema:
You may be able to make out the steam rising from the mug on this chilly January night.
L1010625I’m glad to say the Teema passed the field test with flying colors. It kept the liquid piping hot, even in adverse conditions.

I’m happy to give a enthusiastically positive review for the Teema. It is truly a magnificent mug.


the great mug experiment

Dear readers, you are aware of the ongoing tragedy that is my kitchen sink. It is a place where mugs go to die. The sad broken drinkwear are discarded but never forgotten. Well, the good people at heard my cry and allowed me to try something different on this bolg. They sell all manner of fine kitchen goods and they have generously offered to supply me with new mugs in exchange for a review.

As an avid tea-guzzler, I will be able to quickly determine whether these mugs are up to the task. I look forward to the trial. As should you! For you will be able to read all about it right here.

Stay tuned!

autobiography Blog

one dish too many

The other night I broke another mug while washing the dishes. I only seem to break the mugs I like. It may seem like a minor tragedy, but I’m sick of its recurring nature. How much longer until I only have terrible, misshapen mugs? What will my morning routine look like when I open the cupboard only to see mugs staring balefully out at me, hoping I won’t use them for fear of being “washed” into the garbage can? I feel like an incompetent mafia hit man. I only hit the wrong targets.

What angers me most about this situation is the fact that a solution already exists. It’s called a dishwasher. Dishwashers are sanitary, automatic and I happen to enjoy the sound they make while they’re cleaning my dirty dishes. It’s a win-win. But as I am merely a cartoonist/blogger (euphemisms for poor/wretched), I have no such electric device in my kitchen. I only have a big sink and a faucet that throws as much water on me as it does the dishes I’m cleaning.

I mourn the passage of a good mug today. The fact that, somewhere out there, a dishwasher would have had room for it makes the grief even harder to bear.

Rest in peace, tall mug. You will be missed.