Definitive Buying Guide for Coffee Carafe, Glass Vs Thermal

“Only you can take me out of bed

And get me through the day

With you, all of my troubles lay dead

All of my demons are chased away.”

-Peter Gareth

Peter Gareth almost captured the coffee effect. But to be honest, no one can tell what coffee does to us. There are two types of people in this world. Those who love coffee and those who haven’t tasted coffee yet. And there are two types of coffee lovers. Coffee lovers who brew their own coffee and coffee lovers who rely on baristas. Here’s the thing-

You can find a different kind of joy while brewing coffee. Very few feelings can be compared to that of spreading coffee aroma from the freshly brewed coffee made by one’s own hands in the morning. But there’s a catch- 

Self-brewing can be disastrous too. You can mess up the whole process and can ruin your whole day in the process. And coffee carafe plays a very important role in making the perfect coffee brew. You won’t believe how this simple tool can change your coffee flavor and change your whole day. 

Now don’t go all panicked and run away from the adventure of brewing own coffee. We’ve got you covered. Here we’ve brought in everything related to coffee carafes. From its classification to the cleaning method to buying guide. So, let’s get going with the details-


What Are Coffee Carafes?

Coffee carafes are bottle or container that people use for holding a particular amount of coffee and for keeping it hot. Most of the people also use this to pour coffee into mugs. In short, coffee carafes are dedicated solution to coffee holding, pouring and keeping hot.

To be honest, you can hold, pour and keep coffee warm in other ways too. But with coffee carafes, it’s all about efficiency and aesthetic. So, using coffee carafes is actually highly recommended.

Coffee Carafe vs Decanter

Yes. These two are actually different. Many people think carafes and decanters are completely the same. But decanters are in fact used for keeping and serving wine. Decanters allow the wine to breathe before serving. Also, these come in peculiar shapes.

In modern days you’ll see companies like Amazon and Walmart selling coffee carafes and decanters. So, it won’t matter when you type in ‘coffee decanters’ instead of ‘coffee carafes’. You will get suggestions for good coffee carafes. 

However, serving coffee from a real decanter can take you to a whole new level of aesthetic. Just imagine the looks on your friends when you bring in a crystal decanter just for serving coffee. 

Quick Tip: You can get a decanter by typing in ‘Coffee decanter’ and sorting through different tableware material. You’ll find actual decanters. But those tend to be costlier than normal carafes. Also, while serving coffee with decanters don’t wait too long. Coffee tends to get cold sooner in decanters.

#Types of Coffee Carafes

Types of Coffee Carafes

At this point in our journey, we will explore all the branches of coffee carafes. At first, we will classify coffee carafes based on their ability to hold warmth. There are two types of coffee carafes based on to hold warmth. These are- 

a. Thermal Coffee &

b. Non-Thermal Coffee

Now let’s explore these types-

A. Thermal Coffee Carafes

Thermal carafes are usually double-walled containers that hold up heat inside for a long time. These double walls can be made from the same or different materials. For example, you can have-

  • stainless steel on both walls  
  • plastic on both walls 
  • stainless steel on the inside layer and powder coated aluminum on the outside.

These are just a few examples. Thermal carafes work on a very basic principle of thermodynamics. The vacuum between two walls prevents heat from passing through the air. As a result, you get a minimum level of convection. That’s not all- 

The walls or layers are usually connected in a few specific spots. As a result, you also get a minimized heat transfer through conduction. Thermal carafes come in different sizes. The most popular sizes have 8-12 cups of capacity.

Pros and Cons of Thermal Carafes

Thermal carafes keep the coffee warm. This is the ultimate advantage of thermal coffee carafe. But besides this, there are some other advantages of thermal coffee carafes. As well as these have their own cons too. So, let’s explore these-


  • Keeps the coffee fresh. Nonthermal carafes use a hot plate to keep coffee warm. This sometimes burns the coffee.
  • Delays coffee oxidization.
  • Won’t break easily if dropped from hand. Ideal for a commercial kitchen, picnicking and camping. 


  • These carafes are heavy.
  • Inside is not visible. As a result, you’ll easily get misled about the coffee amount.
  • Inappropriate for formal servings.

These disadvantages can easily be solved through other methods.

Comparison Chart Between 2 Thermal Coffee Carafes

Cresimo Thermal Coffee CarafeStainless Steel2 LiterExpert ReviewCheck Price
Pykal Thermal Coffee CarafeSatin Finish2 LiterExpert ReviewCheck Price

B. Non-Thermal Coffee Carafes

Usually, non-thermal carafes are made out of glass. But these carafes can be made out of other materials too. These carafes keep the coffee warm with heat plates. Without heat plates, the coffee inside these carafes doesn’t stay heated for long.

Non-Thermal Coffee Carafes Types

We have made a classification of non-thermal coffee carafes based on the material those are built with. So, let’s peek a little at non thermal coffee carafes materials-

1. Borosilicate Glass

If you want a glass carafe that won’t break upon thermal shock, then you’re in the right place. Due to a special mixture of silica and boron trioxide, these carafes are exceptionally resistant to a sudden heat spike. So, you can pour hot coffee inside these without any fear of explosion.

2. Porcelain and Ceramic

You will find these astoundingly beautiful coffee carafes online. But these tend to be a bit pricey. Besides the beauty, most of these carafes come with an internal coating that resists stains and odors. A lot of these carafes are even dishwasher safe.

3. Wood

Normally carafes are not fully made out of woods. The most common combination is normal glass carafe with a wooden lid or handle.

Pros and Cons of Non-Thermal Coffee Carafes

Just like the two sides of a coin, these carafes too have advantages and disadvantages. So, let’s get introduced with the pros and cons-


  • Can keep coffee warm through using the heat plate.
  • These carafes are lightweight
  • Most of these are pretty transparent. It’s comparably easy to determine coffee level inside.
  • Are great for fancy servings and aesthetics.


  • Makes coffee sour and stale
  • Creates a burnt taste because of hot plate heating
  • Breaks easily

Most of these disadvantages have no solution. You cannot make sour coffee fresh again. Also, you cannot use a broken carafe.

Comparison Chart Between 2 Non-Thermal Carafes

Cuisinart DCC-1200PRC Glass CarafeGlass Carafe12- CupExpert ReviewCheck Price
Hamilton Beach Coffee CarafeFeature Description 12- CupExpert ReviewCheck Price

Factor To Consider When Buying Coffee Carafes

Now that you know all about thermal & glass coffee carafes types, it’s time for you to choose one. For that, you have to go through a proper buying process. The best coffee carafes differs from person to person. What is best for you might not be efficient for another person. 

For that reason, we’ve gathered up some considering factors that will lead to the best coffee carafes for you. Based on those factors we have made a step by step guide for you.So, let’s get through the steps of choosing:

Choose Carafe Type 

To choose the carafe type, at first determine for what you will use this coffee carafes. Will it be for fancy meetings? Or would it be for long term personal use? Or will it be used for the office?

If you want to buy one just for serving coffee in formal or fancy gatherings, then you should probably get a glass or porcelain carafe. If it’s for office, then go and get a steel thermal carafe. Go for the same option if you’re buying for long term personal use. 

Choose the Perfect Capacity

For this again you have to think of your using intention. If you use it for office, then obviously you have to go for larger carafes. If it’s for personal use, then there’s no need to grab the largest one available. We suggest looking at the volume of the carafe rather than cup numbers while buying. 

That’s because companies consider different cup sizes while measuring. So, the standard 8 oz per cup isn’t applicable to all the brands. You’ll understand better with an example. One brand sells a 40 cups coffee carafes that has a volume of 6 quarts.

Now, let’s calculate the volume of 40 cups. If one cup has 8 oz then, 40 cups have, 40 cups x 8 oz = 320 oz. On the other hand, 1 quart has 32 oz. So, the carafe should hold 6 x 32 = 192 oz. 

So, it’s a bit problematic to follow cups as the capacity unit in case of buying. Therefore, get something around a range of 32 oz for home or personal use. To keep your office energetic, get a 68 oz or bigger carafe. 

Consider Material Quality

Check your carafe material quality once you’ve found the perfect capacity. If it’s made out of steel, then make sure it’s stainless. If it’s plastic, then check if it has PETE or ‘Recycle number 1’ symbol. In case of glass, see if it’s heat-resistant and dishwasher safe.

Assess Ease of Use

Some models have easy pour spots, easy clean spots. Some even come with cleaning supplies. The shape of the carafe also plays a role in usability. Some carafes are sleek and tall.

Whereas some are bulky. Sleek ones are great for commuting. You can even put those in your car cup holder. On the other hand, bulky ones are pretty balanced. So, seek out which one will be easy to use for you. 

Pick out the Best Design

Even if you buy a thermal steel carafe for personal use, try to pick up the best design. Trust us, a photo of a designed carafe on a rainy day with a book will bring in lots of likes on Instagram. So, give a little time in this step. Choose one that’ll go with your personal style. Or you can look for something that’s compatible with almost all types of aesthetics. 

Compare Prices

After these 5 steps if you have more than one product at hand, then get the one with the lowest price. Just remember, after those 5 steps all products in your shortlist will have pretty close prices.  If all the products have the same price, then just pick one.

How To Use Coffee Carafes?

We hope that the buying guide will be enough for you to choose  the coffee carafes. Now, it’s time to explore the using process of a carafe. The using process consists of two stages. The preheating stage and the brewing stage. So, let’s look at these stages-

The Preheating Stage

Here the idea is to preheat the carafe so that your coffee doesn’t lose any heat after brewing. Normally, when coffee enters the carafe after brewing, it exchanges some heat with the cold inside wall. To prevent this, we recommend you preheat the carafe. 

The preheating process is actually pretty easy. Get some tap water and heat it to 200-degree Fahrenheit. Put this hot water into your carafe and keep it there for around 15 minutes. After that empty your carafe and you’ll have a preheated carafe. 

The Brewing Stage

When you put coffee grounds on your coffee maker, put the carafe in position. Synchronize the timing of preheating and brewing. Make sure there’s no huge time gap between the preheating stage and the brewing stage. Once your coffee maker starts working, you’ll see coffee dripping inside your carafe.

Next, take the carafe and pour into your mug. If you’re making for a gathering, then start serving others from the carafe. For better understanding, you can always read the coffee carafes user manual.

How to Clean Coffee Carafes?

Welcome to the most boring part of our journey. Although coffee makes us all excited and active, we experience all the laziness of the world while cleaning carafes. But cleaning coffee carafes is important. 

Dirty coffee carafes will pour disgusting coffee. You won’t get the actual taste of your hard work. All that careful brewing will go to vain thanks to a dirty carafe. Moreover, there are hundreds of opinions about the right cleaning process.

Some have specialized methods for cleaning glass carafes. While some have a secret technique for cleaning thermal carafes. So, here we’ll explain two simple techniques for cleaning carafes. 

Cleaning with Soap

Most of the coffee carafes are dishwashable. But some might have small openings and other limitations. So, you have to clean those manually. So, let’s go through the steps-

  • Rinse your carafe after every pot of coffee
  • Fill it with warm water
  • Squeeze your liquid dish soap (make sure it’s a grease cutting one)
  • Let the carafe get soaked in this soap water for a few minutes
  • Use a sponge or soft cloth or bottle scrubber brush to wash the carafe from inside out.
  • Keep in mind to wash both the bottom and lid of the carafe
  • Keep rinsing until soap flavor goes away from the carafe
  • Always air dry your carafe after washing in this method. You don’t want towel lint in your morning coffee.

This method can be used daily or after every use.

Cleaning with White Vinegar

Through this method, you can clean both the carafe and the coffee maker from the inside. Here are the steps-

  • Create a solution of water and white vinegar inside the carafe. Take no more than 1/3rd cup vinegar.
  • Pour this solution into your coffee maker. 
  • Turn the coffee maker on as if you were brewing coffee. 
  • See if the solution starts dripping into the carafe.
  • Once the carafe fills up with the solution, let it sit for around 15 minutes.
  • Throw away the solution and rinse your carafe .
  • Pour some normal water into your coffee maker.
  • Run your coffee maker for 2 cycles. This will hopefully get rid of all the vinegar flavor.
  • Fill your carafe with warm waterPut a teaspoon of baking soda into the water and let the solution sit for a few minutes.
  • Thoroughly rinse the carafe
  • Air dry the carafe.

Wrapping It Up

This has been a long journey. We believe that by now you’ve become the master of coffee carafes. Now, what are you waiting for? Go and get a coffee carafe to brew the best coffee of your life. Drink yourself and let others taste it.

Bring more soldiers into this coffee lover army. Good luck. We will finish off with a quote from Jerry Seinfeld– “You don’t even really need a place. But you feel like you’re doing something. That is what coffee is. And that is one of the geniuses of the new coffee culture.”

Brian MacCarthy

About the author

This is Brian, your main author for Coffee Tasse. We Review & Guide through various Coffee Machine and Accessories for your batter morning.