#788: Tugmug

Today’s invention is a new way to use an existing product.

I usually make coffee using one of those insulated Smartcafe mugs with a filter element intended to squish the grounds down into the bottom of the cup.

The main problem with this design is that I end up with a sedimentary layer of coffee remnants which are really hard to extract from the base of the cup, once the beverage has been consumed. It also means that I have to cart about an inch of coffee grounds, right next to the liquid I’m drinking. So, why not use this device in a more effective way?

Place the filter element in the empty cup, so that it rests on the bottom. Now add the powdered coffee beans on top. After brewing, slowly withdraw the filter element, so that the grounds are carried upwards on top of it.

Extract the filter element (which might need a slightly increased tray depth) and simply tap it into the recycling bin, leaving a cupful of liquid coffee behind, ready to drink. No more scraping at the residue in the cup to make it fit for reuse.


  1. I’ll try this as I have one of said mugs. I wonder how long it’ll take for the lifting process to complete, as it normally take a little bit of pressure to depress (although I like my coffee strong)

  2. I like strong coffee too, but do be careful, since the original design probably needs modification to work as described here. In particular, there is the danger that fast withdrawal might clog the filter and pull out hot liquid with it. Secondly, the widening of the cup towards the top may allow some grounds to fall back into the brew.

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