Sunday, January 15, 2023


Although important to my daily existence, coffee is probably not so in the great scheme of things. At National Review a consideration of "the best coffee cup in conservatism":
There are many subjects on which conservatives differ. Foreign policy. Trade deficits. Landlords from Queens. Soccer communism. But perhaps the matter of greatest significance is the coffee bean. ....

...[T]hat beautiful brown liquid essential part of American life. As such, the problematic bean juice deserves to be poured into the best possible vessel. Thus commences the second annual conservative mug showdown, in which the best mugs of conservatism duke it out. This year’s contestants are Commentary, Law & Liberty, the Manhattan Institute, the Morning Dispatch, and, of course, National Review. ....

The study shall assess the mugs on the basis of three categories: Appearance, Function, and Heat Retention. ....
The "study" can be found here. Alas, my cup didn't win. It is wrong that they all (including mine) were made in China.

My cup:
Morning Dispatch
  • It still holds coffee
    Design If the Morning Dispatch mug strikes you as a self-consciously slightly taller and broader version of the National Review offering (with a dash of the Weekly Standard’s color palette, R.I.P.), you’d not be alone. The tass*, tall and white, reminds the author of himself. It is the least visually interesting of the five.
  • Comfort The added height allows the handle to house all four fingers, giving the user a passable set of brass (ceramic) knuckles — a fitting secondary application for a mug hailing from a publication that houses the pugilistic quills of Kevin D. Williamson, Jonah Goldberg, Allahpundit, and until very recently, David French.
  • Lettering The lettering is single-sided, favoring the user, with a red box containing the Morning Dispatch’s title. Given the outlet’s origins as a newsletter, the box is a cool homage to the format. Unfortunately, the youthfulness of the publication is noticeable in the finished product, as the coloring of the letters is noticeably smudged ("hand wash preferred"). Also, a cheeky note on the mug’s bottom reads “Worth Your Time” to an onlooker, but owing to the body’s single-sided decal, only blank ceramic meets the eye of said onlooker. I’m confident the mug’s second draft will correct these issues.
  • Durability The finish is glossy, similar to NR’s and L&L’s. The extra space allows for mixing Irish coffee without precious fluids slopping out.
  • Warning Mug can cause the growth of gray scruff in those over forty and, conversely, the absence of facial hair in those under thirty-five.
  • Origin China
*A word I had to look up: "tass is a drinking cup or bowl. Middle French tasse, from Arabic ṭass, ṭassah, from Persian tast"

Luther Ray Abel, "The Second Annual Best Coffee Cup in Conservatism Contest," National Review, Jan. 15, 2023.

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