Mug Critique: The Unknown Studio
Mug Critique is a not-at-all regular feature where Mike reviews the mug from which he’s currently drinking coffee.
Despite the lack of a blog post detailing my exploits, I was recently a guest on The Unknown Studio, a local podcast produced by my good friends Adam Rozenhart and Scott C. Bourgeois. If you feel so inclined, you can check out that episode here.
As a token of their appreciation (or perhaps bait to lure me out of the studio, where I had begun to construct a nest of twigs and audio jacks in which to nurse my brood), Scott and Adam were kind enough to provide me with a mug, evidently the first in an upcoming line of TUS merchandise, including t-shirts, beanies, and 17-point-articulated Adam action figures with Vulcan nerve pinch.
Since their launch last year, I’ve been one of the Studio‘s most vocal critics, but as I’ve always reassured my pals, my words are constructed with the intention of love — constructive criticisms, if you will.
That’s why it only seems appropriate that, in the current downtime between episodes where I’m left with little mud to sling in their general direction, I should subject their product to the same kind of scrutiny that I’ve so kindly offered in the past.
My first impression of the mug was that of satisfaction. The porcelain is a clean, polished white, with a two-sided print job: one featuring their crisp and professional logo, and the other with a clever quip that reads, “Coming to you almost live from inside a ceramic mug…” — a nod to their now-trademarked catchphrase. It’s a clean job with slightly raised ink with not too much glare. Overall, the mug has a decent weight to it, if not a little bit light.
The primary concern I have with the mug, however, is the attached handle — a nice addition that’s now becoming a standard feature on most coffee-styled mugs. The construction feels a bit lacking in places, and compared to my longtime-standby Calgary Flames mug, the whole ring feels a bit thin. Doing some quick measurements, I discovered that this is indeed the case: an average of 4mm, as compared to Cowtown’s 6mm. In addition, the circumference of the ring feels just a bit too wide. Some might argue that this is a matter of personal preference, and some might even prefer the wider grip, which allows all four fingers of a meaty dude-paw to slip through and get a firm grip on the cup. However, I’ve become accustomed to a slightly smaller opening, through which I can only fit my upper three fingers, leaving my pinky free to either cradle the bottom of the mug for extra support, or to show off my latest Super Bowl ring.
The Unknown Studio mug’s redeeming quality, however, comes in its volume. As a man who prefers to draw a clear volume line between ceramic and travel mugs — depending on how much of a caffeine jolt I’m in need of — I was reluctant at first to file this in the “win” category. I had worried that the extra half ounce would only create the potential for more coffee to get cold before I reach the bottom, but my concerns were quickly laid to rest. There’s just enough extra volume to act as a motivator, without so much as to be an offensive lot that demands thermal insulation and a lid, lest its contents be subjected to the icy cold bite of the elements.
For a rookie effort from this Edmonton duo, I’m impressed. There’s a few misses holding the mug back from landing a perfect score, but it makes for a good secondary mug, ready to convert in the red zone when it really matters.