Keeping your java at the just the perfect drinking temperature can be a challenge. Straight from the coffee maker it's hot enough to scald your tongue, but wait too long, and it will cool down to where it becomes a bitter tepid brew.Sure, you could always stick it in a regular vacuum-insulated travel mug, but that's likely to keep it too hot for most of the day. A regular ceramic mug on the other hand leaves you with a window of thermal perfection that's way too short.
The Temperfect mug tackles this problem by adding in a little science. Developer Logan Maxwell at North Carolina State took the basic vacuum flask design that's been around for decades and added a twist. Instead of using a double wall insulated by a vacuum that can't transfer heat, he added a third layer, filled with a proprietary substance that he calls "material x." When you pour your piping hot coffee into the mug, the heat is transferred through the inner wall where it heats up the material x and melts it into a liquid. By wicking the heat away from the coffee, the brew is cooled to the perfect drinking temperature, while the excess heat is stored in the now liquefied material x. As the coffee slowly begins to cool further, that stored heat is gradually returned to the coffee, substantially slowing the rate of cooling.
Maxwell says that while a ceramic mug only gives you a 15 minute window of Goldilocks-like temperature perfection, in the Temperfect mug your can sip your java for up to three hours.
If this all sounds kind of familiar, it could be that you remember a similar idea called Coffee Joulies that we saw a couple of years ago. The difference is the Joulies were giant bean-like blobs that you dropped into a regular mug of coffee, so they weren't nearly as convenient to use as the Temperfect mug.
The Temperfect mug is a Kickstarter project that has already far surpassed its fundraising goal. Pledges that will get you a mug start at $40, with delivery scheduled for July 2014.