Glass Carafe versus Thermal

Glass vs Thermal: How Do You Serve Your Office Coffee?

If you plan on providing office coffee for your employees, you will have to decide what kind of brewing equipment you need. While single-cup units are becoming increasingly popular, they continue to be more expensive per cup of coffee.

If you can’t afford the convenience of a single-cup unit, a standard glass carafe or thermal carafe is an affordable and acceptable alternative. Both types ultimately serve the same purpose: brewing delicious coffee for your office. However, there are a couple of differences that you will want to be aware of.

pouring from a glass coffee carafe


  • Glass Carafe: Visible. Because a glass carafe is transparent, you have the advantage of immediately being able to see how much coffee is in it. While this may seem like a silly detail, many people want to walk into the break room and immediately know if there is a pot of hot coffee ready.
  • Thermal Carafe: Not Visible. Thermal carafes are vacuum-insulated and made of stainless steel. Since you can’t see through stainless steel, no one can glance at the carafe and know if more coffee needs to be brewed. You will have to physically pick it up to determine how much is left and even then, it can be difficult to know how much is left.


  • Glass Carafe: 20 minutes. Coffee is best to drink right after brewing while the flavor and aroma are at their peak. With an open top glass carafe, the coffee remains at its maximum freshness for 20 minutes. If your employees drink coffee at drastically different times, the glass carafe may not be the best option because the coffee doesn’t stay fresh as long compared to a thermal carafe. You could potentially be wasting a lot of coffee.
  • Thermal Carafe: 1 hour. The thermal carafe has a closed, vacuum sealed lid which slows the evaporation process, keeping the coffee fresh for a longer period of time. If your coffee drinkers are staggered throughout the day, a thermal carafe might be the best choice for your office.

Preheating Required?

  • Glass Carafe: No. Glass carafes sit on a warmer plate. The plate heats the carafe, keeping the coffee at the ideal temperature. No pre-heating is required.
  • Thermal Carafe: Yes . In order to keep the coffee at the ideal temperature, you should first preheat your thermal carafe. To preheat the thermal carafe, all you have to do is fill it up with hot water. Let it sit for about 30 seconds, then empty the water. The thermal carafe is then pre-heated and ready for you to start brewing.

Glass vs. Thermal Comparison

Below is a chart comparing the benefits of each type of coffee carafe.

Carafe comparison chart

Ready to make a decision?

Providing coffee to your employees is a true benefit in the workplace. If you would like to learn more about office coffee services, read the Office Coffee Service Buyer’s Guide . If you are ready to get a free price quote on office coffee services for your business, please fill out our form. We can put you in touch with up to 5 sellers who will answer any questions you have and give you free price quotes.

Ready to Shop?

Receive up to 5 FREE price quotes from pre-qualified suppliers.

Get Free Quotes  

Want to learn more?

Telemarketing Service Home looks like you have browser cookies disabled.

We're sorry, but for proper functionality our system requires that browser cookies be enabled. Please enable browser cookies and then refresh this page to get started and receive free quotes from up to five different suppliers.