ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Coffee That's Been Up Too Late

Updated on April 10, 2015
Thermal Carafes
Thermal Carafes | Source

The coffee brewer is designed to be simple. It gets water hot enough and sends it at just the right temperature through your grounds for exactly the right time. The extracted brew ends up in a container. In a perfect world, you instantly pour this liquid into your cup and drink a heavenly drink. As you slowly sip it, it changes in flavor as it cools.

Somewhere along the line, it occurred to someone that it might help to keep the remaining beverage warm, either so you might enjoy a second cup or on the chance that others might join you in a few minutes.

So, the thought of adding a hot plate underneath the brewer’s carafe seemed like a good idea. And, for a few minutes, it is a good idea. For up to about thirty minutes, the coffee kept hot in the carafe is virtually identical in flavor to the original brew. Somewhere after thirty minutes, the effect of heating the coffee begins to add a bitter note the the beverage. After a while, it even affects the aroma. Few of us fail to note this aroma, commonly present at places that offer complimentary coffee such as oil change services.

A few years back, the folks who made thermoses began marketing their products as superior to warming plates in order to preserve your coffee at just-brewed temperatures. Their claim was, and is, that coffee tastes and smells better for longer using their product. The claims vary, but I’ve read optimistic projections of hours and even conservative ones of more than an hour, with virtually no taste or aroma degradation.

Is it true?

I think the thermos offers a couple of genuine advantages. The evaporation that takes place on a warming plate is lessened in a thermos, where the steam rises and falls back into the brew. The direct heat of a hot plate, probably concentrates the heat too much on the coffee nearest it and so might be expected to accelerate any negative effects, whereas it might be effectively argued that there is inherently less of this effect using a thermos.

However, when all is said and done, my unscientific use of both over several years shows very little difference. Meanwhile, the thermos has the unfortunate and, in my opinion, far greater negative trait of offering false security. The worst of the thermos marketers presents the thermos as a virtual storage locker of coffee flavors and aromas.

Where are hot plated coffee carafe holds coffee well for up a half-hour, I find the thermos matches its flavor for maybe forty minutes. To me, that’s hardly worth the gain. Meanwhile, thermal carafes are more likely to be hard to clean with narrower necks. That would be a bigger taste threat to me.

My preference is still the hot plate and a good glass carafe. If the model offers the option, I like the hot plate to automatically shut off after a half hour.
If you must have a thermal carafe, make sure it offers a wide enough neck to place your hand and a sponge down into it. Use a small amount of fragrance-free detergent to keep it clean, or a glass carafe for that matter.

Thermos gaskets pick up odors that are hard to remove more than the plastic lids on carafes. This might be a minor point, but I think it’s valid.

Don’t buy anyone’s claims that coffee can be kept warm for an hour or more, regardless of the method. It just ain’t so. Coffee in a sealed thermos heats itself into bitterness.

I’ve yet to see any scientific research done that proves otherwise.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)