Coffee Makers That Use Thermal VS Glass Carafes

by Jeanette Kierstead

I've been asked this question more and more often lately (people know that I'm a coffee addict slash expert slash crazy about anything coffee related) soooo… I decided to write a little article discussing the difference between coffee makers which use thermal carafes, versus coffee makers that use glass carafes. I have been using both of them for a while, weighing out the pros and cons and picking some favorites.

What is a Thermal Carafe ?

A thermal carafe is a type of container that is used to keep hot liquids hot and cold liquids cold. They are made of double-walled stainless steel and have a vacuum seal between the walls. This makes them very good at insulating their contents. Thermal carafes come in a variety of sizes and styles, but all of them share the same basic design.

There are many different uses for thermal carafes. They can be used to keep coffee hot, tea hot, or even soup hot. They can also be used to keep milk cold or water cold. Whatever the use, they are designed to maintain a consistent temperature for their contents.

Thermal carafes make great gifts for anyone who loves hot or cold beverages. They are also a great addition to any kitchen. Any home that has one will be able to enjoy the benefits of having hot or cold drinks available at any time.

Pros of a Thermal Carafe

Keeps coffee hot for hours

This is the main benefit of using a thermal carafe. If you need your coffee to stay hot for a long time, then a thermal carafe is the way to go.

Prevents burnt taste

Another advantage of using a thermal carafe is that it prevents your coffee from developing a burnt taste. This is because the water in the carafe stays at a consistent temperature, which means that your coffee will not be exposed to high temperatures for too long.

Easy to use

A thermal carafe is very easy to use. All you need to do is put your coffee grounds into the carafe, add water, and then screw on the lid. There is no need to worry about making a mess or spills.

Cons of a Thermal Carafe

Can be expensive

Thermal carafes can be quite expensive, especially if you buy one made from high-quality materials.

May not keep coffee hot for as long as you want

While a thermal carafe will keep your coffee hot for hours, it may not be able to keep it piping hot for the entire time that you want it to be. This is because the heat escapes from the carafe over time.

May not be convenient for travel

If you are planning on taking your coffee with you on the go, then a thermal carafe may not be the most convenient option. This is because they can be quite bulky and difficult to transport.

What is a Glass Carafe ?

A glass carafe is a type of pitcher that is typically used to serve water or other beverages. It is usually made from glass, but can also be made from other materials such as plastic or ceramic. The carafe typically has a spout for pouring, and a handle for easy handling. Glass carafes can be found in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Some are even decorated with designs or etchings.

Glass carafes are popular kitchen accessories, but they have their pros and cons. Here are a few things to consider before you buy one:

Pros of a Glass Carafe

  • They look great on the countertop or table.
  • They keep coffee hot for longer than other types of carafes.
  • You can see how much coffee is left in the pot, so you know when it needs to be refilled.

Cons of a Glass Carafe

  • They can be breakable if dropped.
  • Some models don't have a lid, which means coffee can cool off quickly.
  • They can be more expensive than other types of carafes.

Thermal vs Glass Carafe: The 15 Differences

A glass carafe is a type of container used to store hot beverages. It is usually made of borosilicate glass, which can withstand high temperatures. A thermal carafe, on the other hand, is an insulated container that helps keep beverages hot or cold for longer periods of time. Here are some of the key differences between these two types of carafes:

  1. Thermal carafes are typically made of stainless steel, while glass carafes are made of borosilicate glass.
  2. Thermal carafes usually have double-walled construction, while glass carafes do not.
  3. Thermal carafes often come with a vacuum-sealed lid, while glass carafes do not.
  4. Thermal carafes can keep beverages hot or cold for longer periods of time, while glass carafes are not as good at insulating.
  5. Glass carafes are typically cheaper than thermal carafes.
  6. Glass carafes are more fragile than thermal carafes and can break more easily.
  7. Thermal carafes are better at retaining the flavor and aroma of hot beverages, while glass carafes can allow these to escape more easily.
  8. Thermal carafes are typically heavier than glass carafes.
  9. Glass carafes are typically dishwasher safe, while thermal carafes are not.
  10. Thermal carafes often come with a warranty, while glass carafes do not.
  11. Thermal carafes are available in a variety of sizes, while glass carafes typically only come in one size.
  12. Thermal carafes are available in a variety of colors, while glass carafes are usually clear.
  13. Glass carafes can be used to store cold beverages, while thermal carafes cannot.
  14. Thermal carafes can be used on the stovetop, while glass carafes cannot.
  15. Thermal carafes can be used in the microwave, while glass carafes cannot.

So, there are a few key differences between thermal and glass carafes! If you're looking for an insulated container to keep your hot beverages hot or your cold beverages cold, then a thermal carafe would be the better choice. However, if you're looking for a cheaper option that is still dishwasher safe, then a glass carafe would be a good choice.

Coffee Makers That Use Thermal VS Glass Carafes

Coffee Makers That Use Thermal VS Glass Carafes
Coffee Makers That Use Thermal VS Glass Carafes

When people ask me what is better between these two types of carafes, I ask them how quickly they drink their coffee, as that is the only true answer to this question. Allow me to explain…

For instance, I drink my coffee relatively quickly compared to some people, but the rest of my family, shall we say, takes their sweet time when they wake up, and so it would be kind of selfish if I pour the coffee in the glass carafe and start guzzling cup after cup, while it gets progressively colder for them. Why? Because the glass carafes don't keep the heat in as long, for one thing.

But, there are days, afternoons to be more precise, when we gather together and brew the coffee and pour it in the glass carafe, because I know it will stay warm long enough before it is poured in the cups and served. In every other case, we use our thermal carafe and not only for use around the house. My family loves going camping every now and then spending hours roughing it at our campsite with a glass carafe is nothing can be more than a little impractical. That's when the thermal carafe saves the day.

Best Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker: Bonavita BV-1800

If I had to pick a favorite coffee maker from over the years that uses a thermal carafe, I would hands down choose the Bonavita BV-1800, which currently goes for $136 on (price may vary). We've had this in our family for what feels like forever, although its only been a few years now. Even though there is a full review of the Bonavita here on this website, I want to give you my take on it as it has served my family well.

The reason we bought this machine is because it is certified by the S.C.A.A., on the recommendation of someone in the family who works at a café (Hi Jim!) The first thing we noticed about the Bonavita, or at least I noticed this right away, is that the coffee it brewed was nice and strong, and also sufficiently hot. This might sound like stand requirements for a coffee machine, but I think the combination of the right engineering and the thermal carafe are what make the Bonavita such a sure bet.

Best Glass Carafe Coffee Maker: Chemex 8-Cup Classic

Now I will say that the main reason I liked the Chemex 8-Cup Glass Coffee Maker at first is because of its attractive look.

I am a fan of coffee-making equipment, and so when I saw this thing, I had to try it. On top of that, it was only about $60 on Amazon and had over one thousand reviews, most of them saying that this glass coffee maker is amazing.

I'm pleased to say that this coffee maker is a whole different kind of coffee maker than your ordinary "machine". Since there is already a detailed Chemex review on this website, I don't need to go into great detail here.

What I will say is that our Chemex makes some of the cleanest, purest coffee around, just because it is a coffee maker made of solid glass, and so there's no worry that the flavor will be changed by any kind of metal. We mainly use our Chemex when we feel like taking our time, and drinking our coffee immediately with a meal or something like this. As I said before, the heat retention is not the strong suit of the Chemex, but what it lacks in heat retention it makes up in other ways.

More About Thermal Carafe vs Glass

So those are my two favorite coffee makers, and they're both different enough that I use them at different times. Overall, I'd say that I'm a fan of both both glass and thermal carafes, and both have their pros and cons.

For instance I love that I can see through the glass carafe and know how much coffee I brewed and how much there is left, and this looks especially cool with the Chemex, which is all glass. I think that glass carafes look more elegant too to be quite honest, and aesthetically are quite impressive when you present them at the table. Also, I've seen some pretty funky and cool glass carafes out there on the market that I'd like to try out some day.

Thermal carafes on the other hand are usually made out of opaque, vacuum insulated stainless steel with a closed lid, and by comparison with glass carafes, thermal models just look more "industrial", for lack of a better word.

Once the coffee is poured inside, the aroma and the heat stays in. Here the closed lid helps in the process of slow evaporation which helps keeping the coffee at the ideal serving temperature and not only for twenty minutes but for a longer period of time. I've even left my thermal carafe alone for over an hour and when I come back, I'm treated to hot coffee still. This can be very advantageous. Again, everything depends on your preference and how fast you drink your coffee.

In my humble opinion, coffee only tastes good while the flavor and the aroma are at their peak. If you want to keep the maximum freshness the longest amount of time time for hot coffee to be exposed to the open air is not longer than 20 minutes, such as the glass carafe has. In fact, I'd even say no longer than 5 minutes.

On the other hand, if you are a person who doesn't stop with one cup in the morning and you want to brew a big pot and drink it over the course of an hour before flying literally out your front door like Superman, then keeping your coffee in a thermal carafe is the right thing for you. It will keep the coffee warm for over an hour with the lid closed.

Glass vs Thermal Carafe: Pre-heating

In order to keep coffee at the desired temperature after brewing, I recommend preheating your thermal carafe because this way it will prevent the coffee from losing temperature when it enters the carafe. Pre-heating is a big thing in the coffee world, and so this makes perfect sense to me. I must remind you right now to prewarm your cups (especially for espresso) because the coldness will suck up the warmth very fast.

As with cups, I think the same goes to the thermal carafe. All you need to do is preheat your carafe with hot water for about half a minute and then empty it before brewing. With glass carafes you don't really have to do this, since they don't suck the heat out of your drink as fast as cold metal will. In fact, a warming plate can also be used as a direct heat source on the carafe that keeps the coffee at the ideal holding temperature.

Glass Carafe vs Thermal: Cleaning

When comes to cleaning, the glass and the thermal carafes are different from thermal models. While you can clean your glass carafes in the dishwasher (on the top rack of it) if you want to, but thermal carafes are definitely not dishwasher safe and require a manual cleaning process. Personally, I also hand clean my Chemex, just to give it more TLC. However, both are easily cleaned, whether manually or in the dishwasher.

Conclusion for The Difference Between Thermal Carafe and Glass

To summarize - I can't tell you which one is definitively better, because both glass and thermal carafes work just fine depending on your purposes. It is only up to your preference and the speed you drink your coffee, I would say. Some people don't mind having lukewarm or even cold coffee, so I suppose glass would be better for them as they lose heat faster. I hope you enjoyed this article, as I had fun writing it!

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About Jeanette Kierstead

Jeanette has been testing and reviewing kitchen appliances for over six years now, so she knows her stuff when it comes to finding the best ones. In her spare time, she loves nothing more than baking cakes and cookies – especially if she can do so with one of her favorite stand mixers! When she's not in the kitchen, Jeanette is usually looking after everything homes-related; from garden tools to smart home products.

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