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Road-Testing The RealClassic Mug
We know how much you like reading detailed, informed, in-depth road tests - but too much indulgence is bad for the soul so you're not getting one today. Peruse instead, Andy C's outpourings on the subject of... ahh... our mugs...
I had heard of these fabled mugs on the RC website, and had often wondered what it must be like to actually own one. So you can imagine my surprise when I came upon a stall at an autojumble held at the Royal Bath and West showground, where a number of these mugs were blatantly on display.
I thought that it must be too good to be true, so I watched the stall from a distance for some time. The operator of the stall was a dubious looking guy sporting long grey hair, who claimed that his name was Frank. Whoever he was he certainly seemed to know his stuff.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, Frank (don't know if that was his real name), sold me one of these mugs for £2, and he convinced me that I was getting a good offer. Needless to say, I set off for home well chuffed.
I was now the proud owner of an RC mug. So what was it like ?
Frank the dealer assured me that it was a new mug. However seeing that the capacity of the mug worked out to be 264.2cc, (bore 6.7cm x 7.5cm), this made me think that possibly it was not new, but was instead a rebored 250cc mug... however I could be wrong.
Assuming that the mug was indeed new, I decided that it should be given an initial running-in period. So I started on plain water, moving onto fruit juice based drinks, and then hot tea and coffee. I will probably wait a month or so before progressing onto alcohol based drinks such as Jack Daniel's.
Bearing in mind that the mug is not fully run-in, the performance thus far is certainly very acceptable. After a couple of initial beverages, I was ready to try and see just how quickly I could drink the entire contents of the mug. Best time to date is a little over five seconds dependent upon the temperature of the contents; this compares favourably with my usual workshop mug.
I feel sure that the time could be improved upon, dependent upon the contents and temperature.
I found the handling superb, the mug's handle being just big enough to slip two fingers through to get a really good grip for that all-important tilting motion at the point of imbibment. The mug's stability on most surfaces was quite impressive, especially on my workbench. I did find that it would fairly easily end up sliding about on damp or wet surfaces, but hey, I wasn't really used to it yet.
The finish cannot be faulted, indeed SWMBO has faithfully reported that it can be reliably cleaned using only hot soapy water.
So what are the drawbacks, and could the mug's desirability be improved ?
As far as I know, there are currently no RC approved accessories available, which is a shame. To my mind there needs to be at least two accessories made available - no doubt some entrepreneur will corner this market, and inevitably there will be inferior quality pattern ones on the market.
Firstly it needs a dedicated stand, where it can be left to idle. Ideally this would be a matching saucer of a similar or complementary material and finish. If a stand were made available, this would increase the RC mug's potential of being accepted at events such as church fetes, tea dances etc.
Secondly, RC should seriously consider supplying the mug with a detachable clip on spout, this would potentially open up a whole new market to young children and toddlers, not to mention heavy dedicated alcohol drinker who tend to spill their drink during a heavy session.
So to sum up: the RC mug is an excellent quality general purpose quaffing vessel, although I wonder if the lack of capacity may put off hardened tea and coffee 'holics (a larger capacity unit would probably be required by this group of drinkers).
I am in no doubt that it WILL become a sought after classic in the coming years, and I strongly suggest buying one if you have the chance. It is surely only a matter of time before these mugs come up on eBay at non-affordable prices, and there are probably already dealers out there buying them up, not to use, but purely to make a profit.
Finally all the evidence suggests that these mugs will eventually pass into shed folklore, so buy one while you can, and keep an eye out for that guy Frank, you never know, he might have plenty more from where mine came.
Oh yeah, and mine is not for sale!
So if you too can't resist getting mugged - here's all the info.
Share your own Mug Experiences
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