Thermos Vacuum flasks and the Overnight Coffee Challenge
Guest feature by Alex McMeekin:
Thermos flasks and me go back a long way! Our lives have been interwoven over many years, having used them camping and walking, and mainly for outdoor pursuits.
Thermos as a brand is synonymous with Vacuum flasks. Thermos is also in the enviable position of having a name that people would apply to any vacuum flask they happened to have. That only comes around by having been in the business for a long time, and having provided a quality product that outshines your competitors as well!
Thermos UK asked us to accept the “Overnight Coffee challenge” where a Thermos flask was filled with a freshly brewed coffee, and we were asked to keep the flask closed until the next morning and have a still hot cup of coffee for breakfast. I should point out that I arrived at 2.30pm Saturday, and the flasks were already filled! That’s quite some claim! How did they do? Read on!
To help us understand a little more about the drink that we tend to take for granted, the Prufrock coffee team had put together an enjoyable, hands-on tutorial on how they select and brew their highly rated coffee.
I have to admit that my regular drink of choice is tea! But…… I like coffee, just not as my primary hot beverage. That in itself isn’t a bar from appreciating good coffee though, in fact, it means that when I drink coffee I like to drink a good one!
Prufrock coffee buys in their stock direct from the grower or roaster. Every batch is tested and rated according to an internationally used system. Every coffee they sell will score above 80 points, if not into the 90’s. This is seriously good stock! We were led through the process of tasting, and made lots of slurping noises! That’s correct procedure by the way, even if it does sound a bit comical! It aerates the liquid and brings out all the flavours and aromas.
We tested a range of coffees from the very highly rated end down to a well known supermarket instant! The difference was amazing! There are so many different flavours in coffee, I didn’t know it could get so fruity!
We were given instruction on how to make frothy milk properly, and how to make simple designs in the top surface of the milk as well. That’s actually much easier than it appears!
Espresso coffee was next, and that transpired to be a very scientific method. The grain size of the ground coffee, and the temperature and time taken for the superheated water to be “Expressed” through the grounds is very closely controlled. In fact Prufrock tests its espresso making each morning before serving to make small adjustments to the process to keep their coffee as good as possible!
We finished the afternoon with some cake, just to soak up all the coffee! And then were given a Thermos flask with the previously made coffee already in it, and a Thermos travel mug to keep one’s coffee warm in when drinking.
So how did Thermos do? Well, I duly poured out a cup of coffee from the flask mid morning on Sunday. That’s approximately 20 hours after it was filled. The coffee was still at a very acceptable temperature! I have to admit that I was quite sceptical of this idea, but that was unfounded. Thermos has been around a long time, and has been carefully improving its quality where it can, and it all adds up to an impressive product! I remember in the distant past making my flask in the morning before travelling, so that when you wanted a drink in the afternoon it would still be warm enough, a matter of 8 hours perhaps? This current product blows that out of the water! One could quite confidently make your hot drink the night before now and still enjoy it hot! An improvement of perhaps 50% over the Vacuum flasks of times past?
As for the Thermos travel mug….. have you heard that joke?
“Did you hear about the Hipster who burnt his tongue? He drank his coffee before it was cool!” Boom boom! Well I can vouch for the effectiveness of the Thermos Mug as I did exactly that, underestimating its insular properties and took a swig of searingly hot coffee, thereby fulfilling the premise of the joke…. without being a Hipster of course!
Thermos UK products can be found all across the country, or at http://www.thermos.co.uk/
Prufrock coffee are at 23-25 Leather Lane, London, EC1N 7TE, website http://www.prufrockcoffee.com/