Hey coffee drinker—we know you want to enjoy a good cup of coffee and keep it hot for as long as possible. Transfering freshly made coffee directly from the coffee maker into a carafe is the best way to do it. If you want to experience the authentic way of enjoying a cafe quality drink, try making coffee with a carafe. But it's essential to understand that not all carafes are made the same.
Coffee Carafe Explained
A carafe is a container with a handle, a cover, and a pouring spout. Its purpose is to store brewed coffee for as long as you need it. It can also be used as a coffee pourer. Think of coffee carafes as a coffee server and a thermos rolled into one.
Carafes are frequently included with drip coffee machines, but you can use them with pour-over coffee, French press coffee, and any other large batch of brews. They are available in various materials, mainly glass and stainless steel.
Different Types of Carafes
Carafes come in various shapes and sizes, designed for a specific function. Some, for example, are only suitable for a few hours of heat retention, while others can keep coffee hot all day.
Thermal/Insulated Coffee Carafe
An insulated or thermal coffee carafe is typically stainless steel, double-walled, and excels at heat retention. Several hours after brewing, the coffee in one of these carafes will remain hot — not just warm. That's why thermal coffee carafes are generally more expensive, ranging from reasonable to quite steep depending on the brand and quality.
Another reason for the expensiveness is that they won’t break if you drop them. Insulated coffee carafes are generally made of a combination of plastic and high-grade stainless steel, which adds to their durability. Although, since stainless steel isn’t transparent, you can't see how much coffee is in the carafe from the outside.
Glass Coffee Carafe
Glass coffee carafes are a tried-and-true choice that has been around for more than a half-century. They do their job well. Most glass coffee makers' carafes nowadays are shatterproof and heat resistant.
A warming hot plate lies under the pot to help keep your coffee's steaming temperature, typical of many glass carafes. It's a wonderful feature if you're the type of coffee lover who makes one pot and refills their mug throughout the morning. However, if you leave your coffee on the pot for too long, it may heat up and possibly damage the taste.
That's what distinguishes thermal carafes from glass carafes: instead of burning the coffee over time, insulated carafes retain the heat, preserving the coffee's flavor.
The fragility of a glass carafe is another flaw. Even if some glass carafes are shatterproof, most of them will shatter if dropped. They're also practically useless in heat retention without a hot plate. However, there are a few reasons why glass is still a popular choice for a kitchen coffee appliance.
Though it seems like glass carafes are more of a hassle than a gift, this doesn't mean there are no upsides. Glass, unlike other materials, doesn’t capture and hold tastes and odors. Let's say you keep pickles in your glass carafe. It won't taste like pickles the next time you make coffee in the same carafe.
The build of the glass carafe allows you to see how much coffee is left in the decanter. With a hot plate, you have the opportunity of reheating coffee whenever the need arises. Glass carafes are also more affordable. This makes them an ideal option if you're on a budget.
The Choice is Yours
Having a carafe is a must if you want to make the best out of drinking cafe-quality coffee at home. As for the type to get, thermal carafes are generally the better choice if you want a pot that keeps your coffee hot for hours without an external heat source and doesn't affect the taste.
Glass carafes have been around for decades. They’re always a classy option, and they have been used frequently, so you know they’re reliable. Each has kind of coffee carafe has its pros and cons, so the decision is yours for which one will match your lifestyle.