Food & dining

Double Shot

Overnight Coffee Challenge is a gimmick that works

On Wednesday, after I wrote about coffee thermoses, I got a note from Genuine Thermos Brand.

They had a challenge: They bet they could send me a thermos filled with coffee in the mail. And when I opened it the next morning it would taste fresh.

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They call it the Overnight Coffee Challenge.

“We’re so confident in our technology that we ship piping hot coffee overnight to people’s doorsteps across the country,” wrote Tim Holtz, a Thermos brand representative. “When it arrives in the morning, it will still be hot and ready to enjoy. It’s just like if you were to make it at home.”

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This is a gimmick, I thought.

And it is. But it’s a gimmick that totally worked.

When I arrived on Thursday morning, there was a package with a sticker on the outside: “Caution: Hot Coffee.” Inside, cloaked in bubble-wrap, was a 40-ounce vacuum insulated stainless steel double wall beverage bottle (that’s a lot of descriptors that basically mean: heavy duty container that’ll keep stuff at temperature). They pledge to keep beverages either hot or cold for 24 hours.

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According to the tracking information, the package was picked up in Portland, Ore., at 7:20 p.m. (ET). Then, it went to Memphis, and, after a two-hour layover, departed to Dulles, Va. After being sorted, it was placed on a truck and, eventually, arrived in Washington at 7:18 a.m.

There’s a warning inside: Point the thermos away from you when you open it. After all, this thing has been in the air for a while. There’s pressure inside.

When I poured my cup, it was as hot as the fresh coffee I usually make. And when I tasted it, there was little difference from fresh ground beans made right then and there.

One of the reasons it works is that they’re using good coffee, from Portland-based Coava Coffee Roasters. Inside my container was Las Capucas, a bean from Honduras.

But there is something unique about drinking coffee in Washington, D.C., that was prepared in Portland, Ore. And if you think pour-overs take a long time to prepare, how about drinking a cup of coffee 12 hours after it was made?

But it’s a feat of technology, transportation — and the ability of Thermos to make a solid product — that makes this coffee tasting so unique.

Matt Viser can be reached at matt.viser@globe.com.
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