When the Kahvi mug arrived and I took it out of the box I did wonder what was so special about it. It looked pretty much like any other travel mug. The cool Finnish design was outstanding and the kind of kit I would like to be seen out and about with. However, there had to be more to it than that.
The Kahvi is actually a cross between a cafetière and a travel mug. On the packaging, it says “The cafetière that’s good to go”. The makers consider it a cafetière so I decided to stick with that name in the title of this post.
A cafetière is what you make coffee in and not, as far as I know, for drinking coffee from. The Kahvi has been cleverly designed to be a hybrid of the two. The question is can it be done without sacrificing the functionality of either or both?
First impressions are important and out of the box the Kahvi looks good and feels robust. It is constructed out of stainless steel with the outside coated in white and the inside bare metal. The double wall construction keeps your drink hot (or cold). There are a silicone non-slip base and a silicone sleeve for extra grip.
The clever bit is the cap. Just like any travel mug, it has an opening through which you can drink and a small air hole. These are both sealed by a flap with a silicone seal that snaps firmly into place when not drinking, running to catch the train or driving the car.
Underneath all this is the mechanism that enables you to have freshly made coffee to go. The basic principle is like any other cafetière or french press. A disc of fine mesh on a rigid plastic frame pushes the ground coffee down through the hot water. To prevent the drinker sipping a mouthful of grounds a silicone seal around the plunger has been added.
It looks cool and feels solid and robust but does it perform well. I spent several weeks using it to test it out.
Firstly it is as easy to make the coffee as any cafetière. You add your choice of ground coffee fill with hot water, screw on the cap and plunger and, after four minutes, gently push the plunger down. For those who like the coffee sweet and white, you add the sugar at the same time as the coffee and hot water and the milk just prior to plunging.
If you take pre-measured and sealed bags of ground coffee you can do all this in your hotel room and avoid the sachets of instant coffee generally served up.
Secondly, it doesn’t leak. The first time I used it the Kahvi cafetière was inadvertently knocked over and after rolling across the surface came to rest. Not a drop escaped. How long the seal will last with continued use I can’t say but it is still not leaking on mine.
Thirdly, the silicone seal on the plunger works. There is nothing more off-putting than to end up with a mouthful of grounds after a delightfully tasting coffee. The design of the Kahvi cafetière has managed to prevent that unpleasant experience.
Lastly, it keeps the coffee hot. Indeed, for me keeps it too hot. I like my coffee to cool a little before drinking. The Kahvi cafetière is well insulated and for those who like their coffee a few degrees off boiling it keeps it that way… for a very long time. I have taken to either leaving the flap open to allow steam to escape or I make it in advance of when I want to drink it.
It’s great in the hands and the smooth rounded edges ensure that it feels good around the mouth when drinking.
The Kahvi cafetière comes in three colours; white and candy pink, white and aqua blue and white and what they call Earl Grey.
To give you some idea of how long it remains hot there are two instances in my testing I should tell you about.
I prepared a coffee and drove from Southampton to Heathrow, a journey time of about 1 hour 15 minutes, and the drink was still too hot for me to drink. I’m not saying I like it cold but it was barely cooler than when it was made. The heat loss was unlikely to have been more than a few degrees.
On another occasion, the coffee was left overnight and discovered at midday the next day, around 18 hours after it was made. It was still comfortably warm although the coffee tasted a little too brewed.
For those who are coffee connoisseurs, I also experimented with the cold brew method; adding ice and a little cream 24 hours after adding the cold water. It was a successful experiment in that it tasted great and kept its cool. However, I couldn’t envisage a time when I could predict I wanted an iced coffee using the cold brew method. I could possibly make a batch of cold brew and keep it in the fridge and make up an iced coffee-to-go.
The makers also claim it can be used to for loose leaf tea. I am not a tea drinker so cannot comment here but if there are tea drinkers among my readers then please comment on the feasibility of it below.
It looks cool, it feels cool and keeps things hot. Stylishly functional it does the job its designers set out for it to do. I found it a great way to have my favourite blend anytime I travelled. Hotel coffee is now a thing of the past.
A couple of times I would like to have used it but not made the coffee in the cafetière (the aforementioned ice coffee) and it would have been good to have an extra lid without the plunger.
If you want a simple and practical way to drink your favourite blend of fresh coffee whilst on the go then the Kahvi cafetière is right up your street.
For those who are wondering: ‘Kahvi’ is Finnish for coffee