Would you buy a metal rod filled with a non-toxic mystery wax if it regulated your travel mug of coffee between too hot and too cool? Stanley, maker of vacuum insulated mugs and bottles, is betting you will.
As part of a Spring 2017 launch of new products, Stanley is unveiling a strange device that looks something like a futuristic fuel cell that fits snugly in your travel mug: The Quick Sip.
The purpose of this unusual doohickey is to counteract the insulating wonders of vacuum insulated mugs and bottles just enough to make your coffee drinkably hot, not scorching hot, and keep it there.
At the heart of this unassuming gizmo is Stanley’s “TempCore” technology, a “non-toxic, petroleum based wax” that’s thermally reactive, changing physical state based on temperature.
Here’s how it works: Place the Quick Sip inside your mug, pour in nuclear-hot coffee (defined as anything above the industry-accepted 175-degree “drinkable” threshold), and the wax inside the rod (a solid at room temp.) quickly absorbs the heat from the beverage, melting to a liquid in the process.
Then, as the coffee cools, the hot liquid wax radiates heat back into your java, keeping it in an “ideal zone” of not too hot, not too cool. Stanley claims a 200-degree beverage will reach the drinkable limit in less than a minute, and hold between 140 and 160 degrees for six hours.
Will It Sell?
The good news is that with silicone at its base and top flaps, the Quick Sip won’t fall out of your cup when you drink and is easy to slide in. Plus, sealed in its stainless steel walls, the Temp Core wax lasts indefinitely.
The bad news is that you have to leave the rod in your cup while you drink for it to work. The ramifications are two-fold – the Quick Sip takes up about 5 ounces of space inside your cup (meaning less coffee), and you have to remember to put it in your cup before pouring in liquid, otherwise you risk a hot, sloppy mess.
The concept has seen success in other products – Yecup offers an electric mug that can heat, cool, and maintain your beverage’s temp. (and charge your phone!), but requires power. And last year, a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign funded the “Temperfect Mug” tenfold.
That design built temperature regulation into the mug itself, no insert needed. Stanley considered this approach, but recognized that the same science that makes Quick Sip great for hot beverages would make it terrible for cold ones – it would radiate heat to warm your iced tea, then hold it at an abysmal room temperature. So, removable rod it was.
The Quick Sip hits the market in Spring 2017 and will retail for $15, or you can get a quick sip with 18-oz travel mug for $45. It works in many other travel mugs, and although we haven’t tested it, sounds like an option for those averse to overly hot drinks. Or you could add a couple cubes of ice. Would you use it?