Coffee is a life-saver drink for many – especially to non-morning persons and coffee addicts. And because of hectic, busy schedules, rare and precious are the moments where you can just sit down, relax and enjoy your cup of coffee. So, thank you, Sir James Dewar, creator of the vacuum flask, because the vacuum flask developed into a significant tool for chemical experiments and later, with improvements from others, a common household item. It further significantly made our lives more convenient because we can now keep our drinks hot or cold whenever we want or need to bring our drinks with us.
Through the years, many manufacturers have emerged in the thermos industry and these manufacturers have re-introduced thermos to consumers in terms of innovative and stylish designs and features. But they all serve the same purpose – to keep our drinks’ temperature stable for a certain amount of time. So, here’s a list of the different types of coffee thermos you can use to store your coffee-on-the-go.
Types of Thermoses According to Material
Whether you go to physical stores or browse the internet for thermoses, you will certainly come across different types of coffee thermoses and it can be a bit confusing. But don’t worry, we’ll help you know and understand the different types of coffee thermoses firstly, according to their material. There are two different types of thermoses according to material:
Stainless Steel – This type of thermos has two sub-types: a double wall of stainless steel and a combination of stainless steel for the inner wall and plastic for the outer wall.
Glass – This type of thermos uses glass as its inner ‘wall’, while its outer wall is either stainless steel or plastic.
Either of the two is a good choice of thermos, it all just depends from person to person which of the two he prefers best. Here’s a comparison of the pros and cons of the two:
Pros – It is more durable against hits or impacts; it is the most functional for travels and outings
Cons – It is difficult to clean overtime due to the presence of calcifications that form on its surface over time; sometimes, the taste of the drinks are altered due to contact with steel; in connection with the previous one, it is considered unhealthy because some types of stainless steel interact with drinks; its temperature preservation ability is lesser compared to that of glass
Pros – It preserves the taste of the drinks without any alteration in flavor; it is considered the best coffee thermos; it is more healthy because of its ease in cleaning and therefore, there is less probability of bacteria formation and interaction with drinks; it preserves the temperature of the drink for longer periods of time because glass is a heat-insulating material; there are some models of glass thermos that the glass can be easily removed and changed at a much lower cost than buying a new thermos
Cons – It is more prone to breakage because there are some types of glass that are not durable enough to withstand hits or impacts
Again, generally speaking, there is no such thing as a ‘better’ thermos, because it all depends on each person’s preference in whatever yardstick he chooses to compare the two. Now, because glass is a heat-insulator and stainless steel is one of the heat-conducting metals, stainless steel thermoses lose warmth more quickly in comparison to glass thermoses.
Developments have been made with inner glass thermos to better withstand impacts together with its exteriors to better shield the glass from the risk of breaking. On the other hand, developments with stainless steel thermos have also been made to prevent the formation of calcifications on its surface hence, protecting the drink from chemical alterations which could cause unpleasant flavor changes and health problems.
Types of Thermoses According to Method of Pouring the Drink
You now know the two types of thermoses according to its material, we now introduce you to the types of thermoses according to its method of pouring the drink and their pros and cons.
Pros – The flip-cap method is considered healthy because it is easy to clean hence, keeping the harmful bacteria away which could mix with your drink and pose a risk to your health.
Cons – Frequent opening and closing of the thermos causes the temperature of the drinks to fluctuate, rendering its taste altered due to the temperature changes.
Pros – In terms of ease and efficiency, press-cap is at the top of the list due to its one-step-pour – you just simply click and pour. Additionally, the temperature of the drink is more stable due to the fact that you don’t have to open the thermos to pour your drink.
Cons – Due to its design, there are some hard to reach areas when it comes to thoroughly cleaning a press-cap thermos thus, bacteria could accumulate over time rendering it unhealthy to continue using your thermos.
Pros – In similar terms with the press-cap method, the temperature of the drink is more stable due to the fact that you don’t have to open the thermos to pour your drink.
Cons – Again, the downside of this pouring method is the same with the press-cap, there are some hard to reach areas when it comes to thoroughly cleaning it thus, bacteria could accumulate over time rendering it unhealthy to continue using your thermos.
Things to Consider in Choosing a Coffee Thermos
We’ve presented to you the different types of coffee thermoses according to material and method of pouring. And to help you in making a more informed decision, here are four points to add to your checklist in deciding which type of thermos to opt for.
- Visual Check – No, this is not ‘judging a book by its cover.’ This is because high-quality products have a visual quality that reflects the caliber of the materials used. You don’t have to be an expert in assessing the quality of products based on how they look, but it does help to some extent – it saves you time and energy when you browse through the aisle of thermoses. You must also ensure that the thermos does not have any black spots because that can be a sign that asbestos was used in its production.
- Weight Check – A good thermos usually has an ideal weight. And although, a lightweight thermos would be appealing to many due to its convenience and ease, a thermos that is too light is likely to be poorly constructed and may only be able to keep your drink warm for an hour or two.
- Smell Check – There’s nothing much to explain here. This is but just a reminder that if there’s a bad or funky smell to it other than the ordinary smell of stainless steel and glass, then it is advisable to skip it and move on to the next thermos. The bad smell could be caused by bad components of the thermos.
- Durability Check – When purchasing anything, it is always best (and a good habit) to check the consistency of every part of the item. So, for example, if you notice that the bottom part of the thermos is dismantled or unreliable, this could indicate the risk of leakage and temperature loss. In addition, make sure that the cap of the thermos is tight and secure. The rubber on the top of the glass flask within the thermos, which should be made of the highest-quality silicone, must also be secured tightly and safely for two reasons: (1) if this rubber was made from poor quality materials, it is possible that its chemical components will contaminate your drink and (2) if the thermos is made of substandard materials, moisture might accumulate in between the inner and outer walls of the thermos. And due to this accumulation of moisture inside, bacteria could grow and during the pouring process, bacteria might mix with your drink and endanger your health in addition to accumulating inside the thermos and producing foul odors due to the vacuum created between the inner and outer walls of the container.
As you may have observed, there are hundreds of types of thermoses you can choose from for your coffee-on-the-go. And as we have emphasized above, there is no ‘better’ thermos but the one you actually like and prefer. But there is one sure and best thing about choosing a coffee thermos, the best coffee thermos should be capable of preserving your coffee for a prolonged amount of time while preventing any color or flavor changes from occurring after hours.