When they need to keep water or coffee hot many boaters prefer an airpot flask instead of a thermos bottle. This is because although thermos bottles are more versatile airpots are extremely convenient especially when you are on the move. Often people wonder whether a bottle is better at keeping hot compared to an airpot, but there is no difference between airpots and bottles of the same quality. Now the question is what exactly is an airpot? Essentially airpots are the pump style dispensers which can be found in coffee shops. They are most often used for coffee but they are also useful for storing hot water, hot chocolate, hot cider, and most cold drinks.
Convenience and Ease
In order to serve the beverage all you have to do is hold a glass or cup under the spigot and press the pump which is either a lever or button. It is quite convenient to make a large pot of coffee and then store it in the airpot or simply store boiling water which allows you to make your choice of instant drinks. The same is true for cold drinks as you can make lemonade, iced tea or any other drink in the airpot itself or store cold water in it for making any kind of cold drinks. This is great when you are on passage and all travelers have different schedules or if their preference for hot and cold beverages are different. All you have to do is carry some instant coffee, tea bags and hot chocolate and you are all set.
The biggest advantage of an airpot over a thermos is that there is very less chance of spilling hot water and causing burns. On the other hand you don’t have to open the refrigerator for getting cold drinks in hot weather. It is also a good idea to wedge an airpot in a sink so that any accidental spills will go right down the drain.
One thing that you should keep in mind is that the insulating ability of different airpots varies a lot just like with thermos bottles. The best choices are the ones which have a vacuum liner and the second best are the ones with foam insulation. However, make sure that you completely stay away from the ones which simply have a double walled construction. Also bear in mind that it is rare to find cheap models that are good although buying an expensive one is also not a guarantee that you will get good quality. It is quite common to find thermos bottles (http://www.ehow.com/facts_5495564_internal-parts-thermos-bottle.html) which have a stainless steel vacuum liner, airpots usually have a glass liner. This poses a breakage risk but if you keep it wedged in a sink this will completely eliminate the chances that it will be thrown across the boat and break when being used.
When you are using a glass lined airpot flask or thermos bottle make sure that you warm it with some warm water before you pour any hot liquid into it. This will reduce the chances of the glass cracking due to the sudden change in temperature and will also heat the interior. Airpot exteriors are usually made of stainless steel or plastic. The plastic ones are more susceptible to breakage or cracks especially when they are stored. The problem of the seal on the vacuum breaking also occurs most with these and this causes the loss of the insulating ability.
Choice of Features
The other feature to choose is a push button pump or lever and the latter are less likely to develop problems and are also more convenient. Apart from this a user may also end up getting fingers pinched if not careful. Of course you need to bear in mind that airpots with levers are slightly more expensive. The final choice is size with most airpots able to hold around 2 liters which means approximately 6 mugs of coffee. It is also possible to find an airpot flask that can hold 3 liters of liquid while gallon airpots are also available for heavy usage. It is also important to fill the airpot to the brim if you want the liquids to really stay close to their original temperature.
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