Winter is closing in on Japan, with recent temperatures dropping as low as three degrees Celsius in central Tokyo. When it comes to keeping food and beverages warm on a day out, the all-familiar Thermos brand comes to mind.

The globally famous makers of possibly the best vacuum flasks in the world have been keeping our soups and coffees warm for more than a century, but this year, their Japanese counterparts are taking a step further to warm the hearts and drinks of the locals in the style of a Japanese teacup!

The Japanese, who are known for bringing bento (lunch boxes) to work and school, are most definitely not strangers to Thermos products. Even in summer, Thermos flasks and tumblers are popular choices among the Japanese as the infamous vacuum heat insulation technology works just as well keeping their drinks icy cold.


So why don’t they just use those tumblers for tea during the winter? What’s the big deal about this teacup?

As much as they enjoy the conveniences modern technology brings them, many people in Japan treasure tradition, and when it comes to huddling around a kotatsu (Japanese style heated low table) during the chilly seasons, they prefer using traditional Japanese tableware over shiny metallic cups.

Unlike English teacups, Japanese teacups come sans the handle, and are held with both hands. Believe it or not, sipping on hot tea with both hands around a ceramic cup, warming your hands up at the same time, can be rather relaxing and therapeutic.

▼ Japanese teacups are typically ceramic.B-5-1

In order to replicate an authentic Japanese tea drinking experience, the Thermos insulation teacup is designed with a detachable resin brim which is said to feel pretty much like the real deal when you sip from it. It also comes with a lid to help keep the heat in for an even longer time. The body of the cup is made of stainless steel, with Thermos’ signature vacuum insulation technology crafted in it. Despite having a metal body, the cup is finished with a ceramic-like touch. So basically, it’s a pseudo-ceramic teacup that is comfortable to hold, doesn’t shatter to pieces even if you drop it, and keeps your tea warm for extended periods of time. A work of genius!


The heat insulating cup is said to be able to keep a cup of tea, 72 degrees Celsius at pouring, at optimum drinking temperature even an hour later, at 48 degrees Celsius with the lid on and 38 degrees Celsius without the lid, whereas a regular ceramic cup would have lost more than half the heat in the same period of time.


The dishwasher-safe 200ml tumbler comes in two color variations, Azuki (red bean) and Kuri (chestnut), and retails for between 2,000 to 3,150 yen (approximately US$19 to $30) at various departmental stores in Japan as well as on popular internet shopping sites such as Amazon and Rakuten. Sounds like the perfect Christmas gift idea for couples!

Source: Nikkei Trendy Net
Images: Thermos, Design Feature, Rakuten, LightUp, Tarouemon