A good coffee machine is important. There’s no denying that. But a hot, well-brewed cup of joe is useless if it gets cold, so you’ll want to stash it in a container that will keep it warm for hours on end. For that, you’ll need a thermal carafe. Heavier than a glass carafe, thermal carafes are designed to keep liquids warm, so you can enjoy a fresh batch of coffee all morning.
The magic of a thermal carafe lies in its walls. Rather than just one outer layer, a thermal carafe has a double wall—and in between, the air has been removed, creating a vacuum. This vacuum is what keeps liquids inside the carafe warm, as heat transfers much more slowly without air. Of course, that doesn’t mean your coffee will stay piping hot forever—different thermal carafes may have thicker walls, and will thus keep liquids warm for longer. They don’t have to just be used for coffee, either. If you’ve found a thermal carafe you love, then you can just as easily use it for tea or other hot beverages.
The one downside? Unlike a glass carafe, a thermal carafe is opaque. That means you may not always be able to tell exactly how much is left in it. That’s a small price to pay, though, for the many perks it provides. Here are four of the best on Amazon.
1. Tiger Corporation Thermal Insulated Carafe
If you’re in the market for a thermal carafe, then you’ll want one that has superior heat retention. Tiger Corporation’s carafe is among the best out there in that regard, as it can keep coffee or tea at 131 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 24 hours at a time (perfect for those all-nighters.) It can hold up to 45 ounces and doesn’t suffer from the same issue that many other thermal carafes do: weight. Thermal carafes are markedly heavier than their glass brethren, but you won’t struggle to lift this one. It’s worth noting, though, that it is much taller than it is wide—which may work well for some cabinets, but not others.
2. Hastings Collective Large Thermal Coffee Carafe
Let’s be honest: Most thermal carafes don’t look that great. But Hastings Collective’s offering isn’t just another stainless-steel item in your cabinet. Instead, its exterior is a soft white, and it has a German beechwood handle that’s both ergonomically designed and nice to look at. It gets the job done, too. It’s both watertight and leakproof, so you can handle it without fear that it will spill. Unlike other carafes, it’s also optimized for both tea and coffee, as it has a built-in stainless-steel strainer that you can use to steep loose leaf tea or coffee grounds in hot water. And it can hold a good amount of the stuff thanks to its 68-ounce capacity.
3. Pykal Coffee Carafe
If you find yourself frequently spilling coffee or tea when pouring it out of a pitcher—and are hesitant to invest in a thermal carafe for that reason—then Pykal’s device is the one for you. It’s a massive carafe, and is capable of holding up to 120 ounces at a time. For that reason, it’s tricky to take on-the-go or to move around too much, but you probably won’t have to. The carafe dispenses coffee through an adjustable nozzle that activates via the push of a button—just like a cold water dispenser—a technology that the brand claims is totally splash-proof. And the carafe itself cleans up pretty well: It comes with a long brush so you can reach every corner.
4. Zojirushi Vacuum Carafe
When you think of a thermal carafe, your mind probably first goes to something like Zojirushi’s. It’s a pretty classic stainless-steel build, one that’s a fair bit wider than it is tall, and that can hold up to 34 ounces at a time. Keep in mind this is less than many other carafes, which works well if you’re brewing for just you but may not work for larger families of coffee drinkers. What sets this thermal carafe apart, though, is its durability. Its stainless-steel construction is incredibly durable, and can take a real beating. Plus, the mouth is wide enough that you can clean it with ease, so it won’t get too dirty too quickly—further adding to its longevity.