By Christen Costa
A few weeks ago I drove from Portland to Seattle in Chevrolet’s Volt. While I’d test-driven (in fact reviewed) the Volt before, I’d forgotten how solid a car it is, despite not boasting a 400hp engine. By charging regularly, Volt owners are driving 900 miles between fill-ups*—icing on the cake since 80% of Americans commute fewer than 40 miles a day: a distance the Volt can easily accomplish on electricity alone. Ultimately, you may still need fuel—the Volt is “electric when you want it, gas when you need it”—much the same way that Americans drink coffee to “fuel” (or re-fuel) their day.
Did you know that more than 50% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee? That stat got me wondering how many of them drink coffee in the car. And of that number, how many have bought a car-specific coffee cup or apparatus. So without further adieu I present to you a list of must-have car coffee devices.
Preventing your coffee from getting cold is as simple as getting an insulated mug. But that will hardly keep it hot, as if it were poured right out of the coffee machine. Enter the Hot Rod Heated Travel Mug ($24.99). This mug not only includes a temperature gauge that monitors the coffee’s temperature—say goodbye to scolded mouths—but also includes a heating element that’s powered by your car’s auxiliary power outlet and will keep your coffee piping hot.
Odds are you find yourself running out the door every morning in a mad dash to make it to work on time. Often this means sacrificing that much-needed, eye-opening cup of java. Not any more—if you throw down $200 for this all-in-one coffee-making car device. Just insert an E.S.E. coffee pod, add cold water, plug the Handpresso into your auxiliary power outlet—all before you start driving—and in minutes you’ll be firing espresso-quality coffee into a cup of your choice.
3. Contigo Autoseal Coffee Mug
Why I didn’t think of this first, or ever, I don’t know. But talk about a cash cow. Unlike traditional portable mugs featuring a hole that often results in spillage, Contigo’s travel mugs (starting at around $20) feature something called Autoseal technology: a push-button seal that opens when pressed and closes when released. Moreover, they can keep beverages hot for 4-12 hours.
4. Coffee Engine
Although not for use in a car, this coffee machine is fit for any gear head. Based on the 3L engines found in a 1990s Grand Prix race car, the Espresso Veloce is made from real-deal alloys like magnesium, titanium and aluminum, and comes in your choice of V10 or V12 layouts. With a limited production of 500 units, you can bet they won’t be cheap, but can you really put a cost on car enthusiasm?
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Christen Costa owns and operates GadgetReview.com, a site that covers a wide smartphones, cars, computers and just about anything that has a button. He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Photos: Top, Getty Images; above, Espresso Veloce
*EPA-estimated 38-mile all-electric range based on 98 MPGe (electric) 35 MPG city/40 highway (gas). Actual mileage may vary.