If you’ve been casting your eye over the different options for a new drip coffee maker, you may have noticed that an increasing number of the top models now come with a thermal carafe. Instead of the traditional glass one.
In general, brewers with thermal carafes retail at slightly higher price points than versions with glass carafes, so are they worth the extra money? Here are our top 9 reasons why you need a thermal carafe coffee maker in your kitchen.
1. Better taste
Classic-style glass carafes keep coffee warm after it has brewed because they sit on a hotplate. The problem with this is that coffee sitting on a hotplate quickly becomes stewed and bitter-tasting – in only about 15-20 minutes, in fact.
This means that unless you are going to finish the whole carafe of coffee within this time, you will be drinking an inferior tasting brew.
Since a thermal carafe keeps the coffee warm by insulating it inside, usually with a vacuum wall, rather than using a heat source, the coffee doesn’t stew.
This means that if you want to keep your coffee hot, fresh, and tasting great for more than about 15 minutes, a thermal carafe is the only way to go.
2. Better for one person
If there is only one person in your household who drinks coffee (or if you live alone), there is no doubt that a thermal carafe is the better choice. Since you are unlikely to drink the carafe all in one go, a thermal carafe will keep the coffee fresh for you to keep sipping throughout the morning.
3. Save electricity
With a glass carafe, if you want to keep your coffee hot, you have to leave the machine switched on, which continues consuming power. With a thermal carafe, on the other hand, once the coffee is brewed, you can switch the device off, and the coffee will still stay hot for up to two hours.
This has two benefits. Firstly, of course, using less electricity means you will save money. In the long run, the best thermal carafe coffee maker will pay for itself by saving you money that you would have spent on electricity keeping your coffee warm on a hotplate.
Secondly, for the more ecologically-minded, using less electricity is also better for the planet. A thermal carafe is better for your pocket and better for the environment, so why wouldn’t you want one?
4. They don’t break as easily
This is a no-brainer. A metal thermal carafe will be able to stand up to being dropped on the floor, whereas with a glass one, its game over. This can be exceptionally inconvenient if you have trouble finding a compatible replacement – you may end up having to buy a whole new brewer.
Thermal carafes are an especially right choice for households that have kids: metal is a much better option when you have children charging around.
5. You can place it on the breakfast table
A thermal carafe is a better option if you want to have your jug of coffee on the table at breakfast time. Since a glass carafe requires the hotplate to stay warm – and without it, the coffee soon becomes cold – they aren’t practical for placing on the table.
Your choices are to have cold coffee at the table, to keep getting up every time someone wants a refill, or to have hot, fresh coffee within easy reach on the table. Up to you.
6. You can take it anywhere
In fact, you can take your carafe with you anywhere once the coffee is brewed. If you want to make up a jug of coffee and then take it to your desk, into your workshop, or out into the yard, you can. Since you aren’t tied to that hotplate, a thermal carafe gives you much more flexibility.
7. Better for sharing throughout the morning
Similarly, if there is more than one of you, but you don’t tend to finish the carafe off as soon as it is made, a thermal model is the smarter option. With a thermal carafe, there will always be fresh coffee available for whoever wants it, whenever they want it.
When you finish the carafe, simply brew up a fresh one and leave it there for the next person who wants a cup.
Of course, you can do the same with a glass carafe – but as we mentioned before, after a short while, the coffee won’t taste good. Thermal is a much better solution.
8. They look better
So this is a subjective judgment, but we think most people would agree that a shiny metal thermal carafe is more aesthetically pleasing than an old-fashioned glass one. Sure, there are some very stylish-looking glass ones on the market too, but in general, metal is classier.
9. You can use them for other beverages
With a thermal carafe, when you aren’t using it to make coffee, you can also use it to keep other drinks warm, like hot chocolate or tea. Again, you could do this with a glass carafe on a hotplate. However, the problem is the same as with coffee.
You could possibly put hot chocolate on a hotplate, but we can’t really see many people doing that. Tea, however, would stew just the same as coffee, and we wouldn’t recommend it. And anyway, you’d still be tied to that hotplate to keep drinks hot rather than having the freedom of a thermal.
Taking things further, you could even take your thermal carafe with you for things like camping trips. You wouldn’t necessarily need to take your drip machine with you, but as long as you have a drink you want to keep hot, your thermal carafe is there whenever you need it.
Thermal has all the advantages – and almost no disadvantages
It’s hard to think of any defects a thermal carafe has compared to a glass one. Unless you prefer the look of a glass one or you’d rather be able to see how much coffee is left, there’s no good argument for buying a glass model. That’s why you need a thermal carafe in your kitchen!