Why does coffee stay hotter in a ceramic cup?

Why does coffee stay hotter in a ceramic cup?

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0 thoughts on “Why does coffee stay hotter in a ceramic cup?”

  1. Ceramic mugs do not keep coffee hotter. Studies have shown that the construction of the vessel matter most, and thus a plain ceramic mug is second to the WORST at keeping coffee hot. A paper cup is far better than ceramic, unless you ceramic is double-walled and thus 10x more expensive than standard mug.
    BEST: Vacuum insulated tumblers
    Battery heated mugs
    Double-wall ceramic/glass
    AVERAGE: Paper cups
    Plastic mugs
    Glass or Ceramic Mugs
    WORST: Single-Wall Stainless Steel

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  2. The first reason to choose a ceramic mug over another style is that ceramic holds keeps your drink hotter for longer. Ceramic loses heat at a slower rate than other types of mugs in that ceramic is more porous, meaning conduction occurs slower in ceramic mugs.
    And no matter how well it is insulated, a ceramic mug will never keep your coffee hot as long as a vacuum insulated steel mug. Any good ceramic travel coffee mug has two layers. Ceramic travel mugs that are not insulated are basically like a regular coffee cup. They do not retain heat well.

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  3. In all coffee containers, there will be conduction, convection, and radiation (as well as evaporative cooling.) Heat will be conducted to the vessel, then through it, and then lost by convection to the ambient air around the sides. Evaporative cooling occurs at the top interface between the coffee and the air.
    Styrofoam cups have very low thermal conductivity, as you can tell because you can fill one with scalding hot coffee, and still pick up the cup (it is not hot on the outside). However, to make them cheap, they have a small diameter bottom and a larger diameter top, so that they can “nest” within one another, making them inexpensive to ship and store (you can get 100 cups in a stack 1 and 1/2 feet tall). The problem with this is that the hot coffee is exposed to the cooler ambient temperature, and it evaporates from the large surface, cooling it. Convection currents within the cup will bring the hotter coffee up from the bottom, and the cooling will continue. You will do better by keeping these cups covered when you are not drinking from them.
    Cardboard cups (like Starbuck’s) do not have as low a conductivity as styrofoam, as you can tell because when you pick it up, the outside is hot, so you either have to “double-cup” it or put a bra around. So heat is rapidly lost from the sides. And, like styrofoam, heat is lost from the top, so keep it covered.
    There are plastic cups of many varieties, and the best will be the double-walled type, where the inner layer of gas will keep heat loss by conduction to a minimum, as radiation heat loss is small at these low temperatures. Again, keep the top on.
    There are also metal cups, but here thermal conduction will be a killer.
    Ceramic cups have very low thermal conductivity, so most of the heat will be lost from their surfaces by convection. These usually do NOT have lids/tops/covers, so you lose there.
    There are also “cryogenic” containers..silvery coated interior walls of glass (no radiative heat loss, low thermal conductivity), followed by a vacant space (may even be vacuum so neither conductivity nor convection will play a role). Again…the top. These will be expensive, and can be fragile (glass inner walls).
    My ideal coffee “mug” would be a thick ceramic vessel which is very large around at the lower end, to hold a lot of hot coffee, tapering to a very narrow neck, then opening to a lip wide enough to drink from (with an attached closable top)!

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  4. Hotter than in what?
    It’s probably due to something called “insulating properties” which has to due with the transfer of heat due to conduction.

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  5. Ceramic materials are good insulators, because of this they retain heat or cold better than plastic materials. But there are better materials for insulation, such as styrofoam which is not as durable or as pleasing to look at.

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