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I have often had cups of tea/coffee made for me or by me, and more often than not, I leave it on the counter next to the kettle to 'let it cool down'. More often than not, I accidentally leave my cuppa tea (or coffee), either by my side or by the kettle, for too long and it is barely room temperature
when I remember to drink it.
An easy way to solve this would be an hourglass-shaped mug, with a middling-section that expands upon exposure to heat to restrict flow (therefore the trickle that does get through is more exposed to the air and thus it cools down quicker), and as the main body of tea in the top section cools down, the expansion of the middle section will slow and then decrease, allowing more tea to flow through the bottleneck. If the measurements of the bottleneck is just right, the temperature of the tea should be hot, but not scalding hot. The expansive area should become reduced enough for drinking with ease, but not 'sculling'.
Could be adapted to a funnel-like version with a filter, so people can make freshly brewed coffee and tea in the office breakroom. Could also be adapted to mark down a few minutes if filled up with boiling water/tea/coffee to a marked line.
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||...or you could just stick the tepid tea/coffee in the microwave.
||I'm not sure if this happens to anyone else, [DrC], but when I give it a blast in the microwave the coffee/tea develops a really weird looking 'skin' on the top. Sure, it's fine to drink, however it's easier just to not let it happen in the first place.
||I've recently started having my morning cup of tea in a proper cup and saucer, instead of a mug, and have come to the conclusion that the cup shape has some significant design advantages. When the tea is first poured, it's drinkable almost straight away as the large surface area of the liquid at the top of the cup causes it to lose heat quickly. Then as you go down the cup the reduction in surface area of the tea (and possibly also the narrowness of the cup restricting convection surrents) causes the rate of heat loss to slow, meaning that the dregs of your tea stay warm longer.
And for afternoon tea, the saucer has room for a slice of cake.
||The fantastic voyage of Ferdinand Magellan meets Tea Science.
||(I find leaving my cup of tea on the boiler in the morning works just fine.If I left the boiler on all day whilst at work, the tea would still be hot once I returned home, albeit probably undrinkable and my gas bill would go through the roof.Hardly worth it for a PG Tip tea bag.)