Decades ago, Japan rocked the automobile industry with its revolutionary manufacturing and car quality, but today that title seems to be moving over to Elon Musk's electric car company Tesla. Nevertheless, Japan isn't done innovating mass-produced hardware.
The latest magical product from Japan is the Zojirushi thermos, a product that has gradually earned a reputation for astounding users in the West with its ability to keep liquids hot or cold far longer than most of the competition.
Zojirushi isn't a new brand, it has been around for over 100 years, but like Marie Kondo and her innovative de-cluttering solutions, this unique Japanese export is finding growing numbers of American fans who can't stop raving about its qualities.
For our purposes, and because Zojirushi has so many different thermos models, we'll focus on the sleek and easy to carry Zojirushi Stainless Mug (specifically, the SM-KHE36/48), which you can buy now on Amazon for $23.97.
Using vacuum insulation, the thermos can keep your hot or cold beverage at nearly the same temperature for hours on end.
We initially thought there was a bit of exaggeration being heaped on the product by friends who are in love with the brand. Sure, it probably works, but there's always some new "wonder product" from a foreign land that promises big results but often yields just average performance.
Well, recently, we left a cold beverage in the Zojirushi Stainless Mug and totally forgot about it in a backpack. Two days later, we remembered to retrieve the container from the inner reaches of the bag and opened the thermos only to find incredibly cool and refreshing liquid in the Zojirushi Stainless Mug, only slightly less cold than when it was first poured into it a few days earlier.
This is by no means a scientific sample, and we'd be happy with a thermos that kept its contents temperature consistent for a day — but 'several days' was, well, pretty astounding.
Officially, the company claims a temperature consistency of about 6 hours, but trust us, it's much better than that.
Part of the reason we forgot the thermos in our bag is related to the other thing we love about the Zojirushi Stainless Mug, which is its leak-proof top and unique locking mechanism.
The four-piece component set allows you to quickly pop the top open with a satisfying snap and then lock it with a just a thumb swipe. Thankfully, this assemblage is also incredibly easy to clean.
Normally, we might offer you a few other thermos options for comparison, but there's really no need to waste your time if you really want the best — this is it.