A carafe is a glass or metal container usually with a handle which is used to serve water, coffee, wine and other drinks. Many people use carafe for their brewed coffee for keeping it warm or as a secondary container to for serving.
Why should you use a carafe will brewing coffee?
Coffee can be brewed using pourover, kalita, chemex, aeropress and many more equipments. Obviously, the next question would be why should you use a carafe while brewing. Let's take a example of a pourover. Pourover produces an intricate taste when compared to other brewing methods. Many people use a single-origin coffee to satisfy their palette and understand deeper notes while cupping. Using a carafe could affect the taste as it plays a minimal role with the flow control. Flow control is all about controlling the flow rate of the water during pre infusion and during extraction as water passes through the coffee. When you use a carafe there is small sprout which helps the hot vapours to easily release into the environment. If a carafe is not used, these vapours get trapped in the cup and create a pressure which ultimately affects the flow rate at which the coffee drips. By monitoring the pressure, plus adjusting the flow you'll be able to adjust the acidity, sweetness, and body of your coffee.
A thermal carafe is a double-walled container, usually made of a double-wall of stainless steel. But this can also be made of plastic, or one inner layer of stainless with an outside layer of another material like powder-coated aluminium, rolled steel, plastic, or other substances. These containers usually (but not always) have a vacuum between the two walls in order to minimize the heat transfer via convection (i.e. air movement). Since the two layers touch only in a few specific spots to ensure structural integrity, heat transfer through conduction is also minimized.
Tips for using your carafe:
- Always clean the carafe after using it.
- Keep it away from fire.
- Keeps the liquid fresh.
- Keeps the coffee warm for a longer period of time.
- Delays oxidation.
- Makes it convenient if you have kids around as they are shatterproof.
- Too heavy to carry.
- Not suited for aesthetic presentation.
A glass container is just like a pot that is used by many people for their drip coffees. They can be considered as the “traditional” option. It has been around since electric drip coffee machines first appeared in the 1970s and are a familiar sight in family homes and offices alike. It's widely used with a pour-over or an AeroPress. These look good on the gram and also serve the purpose of a carafe which is not as expensive as the thermal one. Many electric home coffee makers already come with a glass carafe which makes it easier for consumers. Glass carafes make use of a hot plate to keep coffee warm. This is great for keeping coffee piping hot for shorter periods.
- Cheaper than other options
- Looks fancy and suitable for formal presentation.
- Easy to clean.
- Nonreactive material.
- Cannot keep coffee warm for a longer time.
- Can be easily broken.
- Gets hot on the outside which makes it difficult to hold it bare hands or without any handle.
Which one should you buy?
If your coffee is usually consumed fairly quickly after brewing, a glass carafe offers several advantages, including price, visual aspect and release of aroma during brewing.
On the other hand, if you need your coffee to stay hot for longer while not becoming stewed, a thermal carafe can keep your coffee fresh for up to an hour.
Thermal carafes might be a safer option where there is a risk of the carafe being broken – perhaps in a household with young children or if you are looking for a coffee maker for the long run.
Another factor might be how you prefer to drink your coffee.
If you are a dedicated connoisseur, you may prefer the neutral properties of a glass carafe since thermal carafes can alter the flavor of a delicately brewed coffee.
For those who care about drinking decent-tasting coffee and who can’t stand coffee that has been sitting around stewing, a thermal carafe might be a wiser choice.
However, if you are the kind of person who usually adds buckets of milk and mountains of sugar to your morning brew, you might not need a thermal carafe to preserve the freshness since you will be masking most of the flavour from the coffee anyway.