While some people enjoy their coffee with milk or without, with sugar or black, we can all agree on something. We all like hot coffee. Drinking cold coffee makes no sense unless it is an ice frappe, but that cannot be called coffee per se. It goes the same with tea. Few people like their tea cold and the ice coffee principle apply. Ice teas are a thing of the summer. The rest of the time, we all like our beverages hot. So what is the best way of keeping your drink warm at all times? Buy yourself the best thermal carafe you can find.
Why a thermal carafe and not a thermos?
The primary reason people go for thermal carafes and not a thermos is the capacity. A thermos is ideal for a maximum of two people. Or if you drink more coffee than other people (which you should not because it can affect your health,) a thermos can keep two or three cups of coffee for yourself. However, anything larger than that turns into a carafe. A thermos can be placed in your handbag, or you can put it in its specially designated place in the car. The point is that a thermos can only hold so much coffee.
A thermal carafe, on the other hand, can keep a lot of coffee warm. Some models have a capacity of 2 liters, which should be enough for at least 8 people. It is ideal to take along at a picnic, for example. The idea is that when you need a substantial quantity of coffee, a thermal carafe is more suitable than a thermos.
Glass thermal carafes vs. stainless steel thermal carafes
If you did some looking online, I am sure that by now you have encountered both glass and stainless steel carafes. They are both popular with buyers, but there are some significant differences between them. I am sure that you are interested in finding out what those differences are.
First of all, we should talk about durability. As you can imagine, stainless steel is more durable than glass. As a metal, it does not rust or corrode, and if you drop it, chances are it is going to survive with its integrity intact. A glass carafe, however, once you drop it, you can say goodbye to it. It will break into a million pieces. Nevertheless, there is one advantage to glass, and that is that you can put it in a dishwasher. Stainless steel thermal carafes are not dishwasher safe, so you are going to have to wash them by hand.
Secondly, a stainless steel thermal carafe will maintain your coffee or other hot beverages warm for a more extended period of time. That has to do with the materials’ heat conductivity. Glass is a great heat conductor, while stainless steel is not. As a result, the heat will be lost faster in a glass carafe than in a stainless steel thermal carafe. They are both efficient, do not get me wrong, but if you need your coffee warm for longer, stainless steel is the way to go.
Thirdly, I should mention the re-heating aspect. When you choose a glass thermal carafe, you cannot re-heat the carafe itself. It may be possible to do it in the microwave, but that is not likely since if you had a microwave at hand, you would probably find yourself in a kitchen. And a kitchen allows you to brew a fresh cup of coffee. Stainless steel carafes, however, can be reheated. If the model allows it, you can put the carafe over a source of heat, and the coffee will be warm again. Of course, not too fast because, as I said, stainless steel is not an ideal heat conductor.
There are other differences as well, but I do not think they are so important. For example, in a glass carafe, you can see how much coffee you have left (if the carafe is transparent or semi). Of course, that has little to no matter.
How to choose the best thermal carafe
If you are interested in a thermal carafe, then you should know that you can find a lot of them online. However, you should pay attention to what you buy so that you end up with the right product. For that to happen, you need to consider the next aspects:
The capacity of the carafe
If you search online, you will see that thermal carafes come in all sizes. You have a vast variety to choose from. Even so, you should go with the one that suits your needs best. Think of the circumstances when you will use the carafe. Of course, always leave a margin of error, but you should get a pretty clear picture.
Glass or stainless steel carafe
While I like the glass thermal carafes more because they look beautiful, I tend to believe that stainless steel thermal carafes are better. I always look at functionality before aesthetics, and that has been working out pretty well for me. Since stainless steel is a poor heat conductor, the coffee will stay warmer for longer, and that is the whole point of a thermal carafe, isn’t it?
You have no idea how annoying an inefficient pouring spout can be. You may know something about it. When the spout is not designed properly, the coffee will pour all over the place instead just into the cup. For that to find out, it is best if you read some thermal carafes reviews online to see what people have to say about it.
High-quality handle for carafe
While stainless steel is a premium material, not all models have a solid handle. I suppose you do not want to be left with the handle in your hand and the carafe on the floor. That happens more often than it should, which is why you should look for a thermal carafe with a hard plastic handle.
This is not a must, but I personally like it very much. Most heat from a thermos or a thermal carafe is lost when you open the container. However, if you want to open it, you can go for a thermal carafe with pump pouring. The system is quite straightforward, and instead of opening the container and pouring it into your cup, you can just place the cup underneath the spout and pump come coffee out. It is that simple. The mechanism is ideal when you need your beverages hot for up to 36 hours.
What are the best thermal carafes?
Looking for the best thermal carafe may prove to be tricky, mostly because there are so many of them out there, and you do not know which to choose. Following the criteria above should help you make the right decision, but if you are not in the mood for all that browsing, you can simply choose from one of the products below. I am sure one of them is the best thermal carafe for you.
Best coffee carafe: Cresimo 68 oz Stainless Steel Thermal Carafe
Just as the title suggests, this thermal carafe is made of stainless steel, which means that you will have this carafe for quite some time. It has a sturdy construction that makes it resilient in time. The double-walled carafe is made of durable 18/8 stainless steel, on the inside as well as on the outside. It can take abuse, and if you drop it accidentally, nothing will happen. I am sure you will enjoy it.
It can keep your beverages both hot and cold for up to 24 hours. Actually, the carafe can maintain a drink warm for up to 12 hours, while cold drinks can remain as such for 24 hours. The Cresimo thermal carafe is equipped with vacuum insulation technology which makes that possible. The opening of the carafe, as well as the handle, is made of hard plastic that can withstand high temperatures. The spout opens easily, with just one push of the button, which means that you can pour the beverage with only one hand.
One of the things I like the most about the thermal carafe from Cresimo is the large opening. The chances of spilling the coffee when you want to fill the carafe are slim to none. At the same time, the large opening makes cleaning easy. Lastly, thanks to its design, the Cresimo thermal carafe will remain cold when you fill it with a hot drink. Also, when you use it for cold beverages, the carafe does not form condensation on the exterior, which we are all thankful for. We all know what happens in a bag if there is condensation. Overall, it is one of the best thermal carafes you can find in this price range.
- Durable construction with double-walled 18/8 stainless steel
- Keeps drinks hot for up to 12 hours and cold for up to 24 hours with vacuum insulation technology
- Large opening for easy filling and cleaning
- No condensation on the exterior when using cold beverages
- Spout opens easily with one push of a button
Vondior 102 Oz Thermal Carafe with Coffee Dispenser
The thermal carafe from Vondior is made for people who need large quantities of coffee on the road. It is suitable for a road trip, camping, and even for a picnic where there are a lot of people invited. That is because it has a capacity of 102 ounces (or 3 liters.) Comparing it to other models, this one is huge, but it is quite popular among buyers. I am sure that if you need such a large carafe, you are going to make the best of it.
Just like the previous carafe, the one from Vondior is made of stainless steel as well. The top has a wide mouth for easy filling and cleaning. You can even insert ice cubes for cold beverages if you like. As for the amount of time, this carafe maintains the desired temperature, you can count on up to 20 hours. However, that is possible because of its dispenser. As you may have noticed, this thermal carafe does not need to be opened to retrieve the beverage inside. Instead, you use the dispenser. You ‘pour’ easily, and because you do not actually open the carafe, the drink inside maintains its temperature for longer.
When you order this thermal carafe, you will also receive a brush that you can use to clean the carafe. Looking at this product and analyzing the online reviews, I think that if you need this product, you should purchase it. It has the excellent quality, the price is not exaggerated, and you will enjoy it for many years to come.
- Huge capacity of 102 ounces (3 liters)
- Maintains temperature for up to 20 hours with dispenser design
- Wide mouth for easy filling and cleaning
- Comes with a brush for cleaning
- Dispenser design prevents loss of heat during use
Alfi Gusto Glass Vaccum Lacquered Metal Thermal Carafe
Last but not least, the thermal carafe from Alfi is a bit different than the other two products. For one, it has a capacity of just one liter, but I tend to believe that this is designed for house usage, and not on the road. I do not see why you could not take it on a picnic, but it is made with glass, and it looks too fancy for anything else than a coffee table. But then again, that is just my opinion.
The exterior of the Alfi thermal carafe consists of a lacquered-plated metal body and chrome-plated plastic handle and spout. It looks beautiful, and I am sure you will agree with me when I say that it appears very elegant. The interior, on the other hand, is a different story. The glass vacuum ware has excellent insulation and temperature retention. Your beverages will remain hot for up to 12 hours, while the cold ones will continue to be as such for up to 24 hours.
The Alfi thermal carafe has an optimized design so that you can use it with only one hand. The screw stopper is easy to use, and you can pour the drink with just a few moves. Closing it is just as easy. Keep in mind that this carafe cannot be immersed in water, and you cannot throw it in the dishwasher either. Cleaning can be achieved with a wet cloth. Other than that, you got yourself an excellent thermal carafe.
- Elegant and stylish design with lacquered-plated metal body and chrome-plated plastic handle and spout
- Glass vacuum ware has excellent insulation and temperature retention
- Optimized design for easy one-handed use
- Keeps drinks hot for up to 12 hours and cold for up to 24 hours
- The screw stopper is easy to use and pour with just a few moves.
Your choice depends on your needs, and since all three thermal carafes are different, you should go for the one that serves you best. However, if I were to choose, I would go with the Cresimo 68 oz Stainless Steel Thermal Carafe. It is built to last, it can carry just as much coffee as I need, and it is quite cheap at the same time. It might as well be one of the best thermal carafes you can find in this price range.
Now that you have all the information, you should be able to make the right choice. While you can buy any thermal carafe on the Internet, I strongly recommend that you get yourself one of the above. I can guarantee that whichever you choose, you will be satisfied with the product you buy.
Last Updated on May 8, 2023
Dustin Hopkins has over 12 years in the cleaning industry, working in the past for one of the top 5 cleaning companies in the US. Currently, he is the chief editor of CleaningRank.com and the proud father of a 5-year-old, Chris.