One of my pleasures in life is going to Starbucks with Andrea. One secret I think I can share is that Andrea likes her Starbucks coffee super-duper hot. Like burning hot. So when I saw this story, I immediately thought of her. That’s how considerate and selfless I am.
The always informative Spiegelonline has a fascinating article about a pair of German scientists who have developed a coffee cup that keeps coffee at a temperature of 58 degrees Celsius (136.4 degrees Fahrenheit), which is apparently the ideal temperature for drinking hot beverages.
The two men, Klaus Sedlbauer and Herbert Sinnesbichler, got upset because their mulled wine was always either too hot or too cold. They figured there must be a way to retain the heat long enough to drain the mug, and found the solution in something called phase change material (PCM), “a wax-like substance” that absorbs warmth and is used in construction to retain daytime heat and reduce energy use.
Sedlbauer and Sinnesbichler constructed a coffee cup containing little pockets they could fill with a type of PCM that melts at exactly 58 degrees. Once liquidized, it absorbs the heat from the coffee, allowing it to cool to the perfect temperature, and then holds it there by slowly returning the stored heat to the coffee. Once the coffee is gone the material cools and returns to a solid state. (See a photo here).
Oh sure, it’s ugly as all get out. But who cares? If it really does keep the coffee warm…
Andrea is laughing: Super-duper, extra, extra hot… I like to take the time to stress that with the barista. I like to give them ample opportunity to have me not return my coffee, which I had to do just yesterday. (Wish I could say I was joking…)by