The perfect cup of coffee is smooth, rich, deeply flavoured and perfected to meet your own delectable tastes. Whether you prefer a milky white coffee, or a black coffee, airpots are the perfect accessory for any business which provides hot drinks for their customers.
Also called catering flasks or thermos pump pots, airpots are well-insulated, as well as being easy to transport, and are very simple to use for all your members of staff. They can be used for a variety of purposes, including, but not limited to; buffets, cafes, restaurants, events, parties, meetings and even outdoor events. This is because airpots are able to keep either coffee, tea, or other types of hot beverage at a high temperature, for a number of hours. Airpots are also a simple alternative to making your hot drinks fresh every time.
However, as there are so many different varieties of airpots to choose from, it can sometimes be difficult to choose the correct one for your business. So, below is a detailed guide listing some of the commonly asked questions regarding airpots, such as how they can improve the hot drinks making process of your business; the materials they are made from, and how to use them properly.
What is an airpot?
As detailed above, an airpot is typically a form of hot drinks dispenser. It holds the temperature of the liquid it contains for up to several hours, depending on the specific airpot which you choose to purchase. It is specifically designed to maintain a constant and consistent temperature, via its innovative, insulating materials.
Airpots are typically designed to hold coffee for meetings, events, parties, or any other form of social gathering. However, they are also able to hold other hot liquids such as tea, hot chocolate, and even soup. Airpots are wonderfully designed as they make the hot drinks making process quicker and more efficient, working to keep your hot drinks hot for hours without losing or tainting the flavour.
What type of airpot is the most suitable for my business?
If you have chosen to purchase an airpot for your business, it can be quite difficult to choose which one will be the most suitable. On average, there are two different types of airpot: push button airpots and lever airpots.
Push Button Airpots
Push button airpots typically feature a large push button on the top of the container, which you must push down in order to dispense your hot drink. These types of airpots are very easy to use and require minimal effort. They can therefore be used by your customers at events or meetings and do not require a member of staff to pour out each cup of hot drink. This makes them incredibly efficient and quick when you are serving a large quantity of thirsty people or customers.
However, push button airpots do not use the entre pot of coffee, or other hot drink. This is because - unlike lever airpots - they require an amount of pressure in order to dispense the hot drink. The result of this process means that there will always be a small amount of wastage from your push button airpot.
Again, much like the push button airpots, lever airpots are named very aptly. They feature a lever, typically positioned at the bottom of the airpot. Unlike the push button airpots, which typically have the button positioned on the top of the container, Lever Airpots release the liquid when the leaver is depressed.
They require minimal effort to dispense your hot drink, as they allow gravity to let the hot liquid trickle into the cup. However, these types of airpot may require some assistance as, if the lever is not turned off, the entire pot of coffee or other hot drink will spill out until the airpot is empty.
What different types of materials are airpots available to purchase in?
Much like the two different types of airpots detailed above, there are also, typically, two different materials to choose from - glass liners and stainless-steel liners.
Stainless-steel is an incredibly strong and durable material, perfect for airpots which are rigorously used throughout the day. As a result of it being a low carbon steel, containing chromium, stainless-steel is typically able to be heated up to extreme temperatures without buckling or breaking under the extreme heat. This makes it the perfect material to line airpots from, as it must be able to remain strong under extreme heat for up to a few hours at a time.
Stainless-steel also provides a corrosion resistant layer, which means it will not change the flavour of the hot drink contained in the airpot, no matter how many hours it sits there. Additionally, it is also a long-lasting material, that cannot be easily scratched, scuffed or marked. So, even when faced with the most vigorous of pot washing or handling, which will occur on a day-today basis in busbusy environments, it will not be damaged.
Airpots are also available in a glass-lined form. These types of airpots are much more effective at insulating your hot drink while it is inside the airpot, as this type of material maintains heat more effectively than other materials such as stainless-steel. Glass is also a cheaper material to make airpots from - which makes glass lined airpots themselves much cheaper too. This is because glass is not treated in the same way as stainless-steel in order to make it the strong and durable material that it finally becomes.
However, glass lined airpots are much more likely to break than their stainless-steel counterparts, simply because glass is a much more fragile material. This means that, although they are cheaper than stainless-steel and better at insulating too, glass-lined airpots may have to be replaced more frequently than stainless-steel models, and may therefore be more expensive in the long-term.
How can I clean my new airpot not only efficiently, but also effectively too?
Without cleaning your airpot properly, the left-over residue from previous heated hot drinks can contaminate your new pot of hot drink. This is not only a health and safety issue which can potentially harm your customers, resulting in food poisoning or other stomach complaints, but it can also taint the flavour of your fresh pot of hot drinks too. Therefore, cleaning your airpot frequently is a necessary requirement for all businesses.
As a result of the small, and often very intricate areas in airpots, they can unfortunately be troublesome to clean. Unlike espresso machines, and other forms of hot drinks dispensers, airpots can be quite difficult to clean by hand. Therefore, they have a tendency to retain some of the coffee grits, or other contaminating materials from other hot drinks in the crevices of the inside pot.
However, many airpots can be easily cleaned if you know how to do it - all you will need is two very easy to buy ingredients: vinegar and water.
Below is an easily followed step-by-step guide on how to clean your airpots, no matter how small – or large - they might be:
1. Rinse your airpot with hot water, which is usually dispensed from an attachment above, or other hot water source. Make sure that most of the dirt and grit is removed by swilling the water around and removing the bits which you can deal with manually. This should be repeated as many times as necessary, depending on how dirty the airpot is.
2. Add whichever dish detergent your business usually uses and, again, swill this around the airpot. Much like the step above, repeat this as many times as necessary to initially clean the airpot so that it looks clean.
3. Fill the airpot with hot water, like detailed in step 1, and add approximately 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to the water. However, if your airpot is larger than a few liters, additional tablespoons of white vinegar may be required in order to clean the larger airpot thoroughly. Additionally, be careful not to add too much vinegar, as this can sometimes linger in the taste of your first pot of hot drinks inside your airpot.
4. Leave this vinegar and hot water solution to sit inside the airpot overnight - approximately 10-12 hours, or less, depending on how dirty your airpot is.
5. When it has been sat for the appropriate time, rinse out your airpot with hot water once more and clean out any residue which might be left over from any previous hot drinks held inside.
6. Run the hot water through the spout - if it is a lever airpot - to make sure that the grits and any other residue is thoroughly rinsed out.
7. Make a new pot of your chosen hot drink!
Other additional cleaning requirements might be:
1. Make sure that the airpot is cleaned at least once a day – especially if it is used all day long - with a mild dish detergent and hot water. If it is used more than once a day, the step-by-step guide will be more appropriate.
2. If you are able to remove the lid and inner lining, of either stainless-steel or glass, do so when cleaning your chosen airpot each day.
3. Quickly rinse the airpot after each use in order to remove any grits or other leftover hot drinks residue from the pot.
4. Depending on how often the airpot is used, as well as what it is used to keep hot, complete the step-by-step vinegar and water cleaning process anywhere between once a day, once a week, or once a month.
What are some of the advantages of using airpots for my business's hot drinks?
There are so many reasons why airpots are the perfect choice for any type of business which caters hot drinks to its customers. This is because they are not only efficient accessories which make the day-to-day tasks for your staff members much easier, but they are also wonderful for your customers too.
Some of the advantages of using airpots for your business are:
• Airpots help to keep your chosen hot drink hotter for much longer than other forms of insulating containers such as decanters. This is as a result of the glass and/or stainless-steel lining which provides an additional insulating layer for your airpot.
• Airpots are very portable and can be used on any sort of flat surface. This means that they cannot only be used by your members of staff behind a counter or other type of service space, but they can also be used by customers at a self-service area, provided they are supervised by staff of course. They can also be used at various parties, meetings or events, depending on what your individual business provides.
• Unlike some other forms of insulating containers for hot drinks, airpots do not require a warmer and therefore - like the detailed point above - can be used in a wide variety of situations and events. This means that airpots also save space in comparison to other insulating containers.
• Airpots also typically have closed tops with either a push button on the lid, or a lever at the bottom, as detailed above. This means that they are much less likely to spill or burn not only your members of staff, but also your customers too. Additionally, this closed design also prevents any unwanted debris from contaminating your airpot, and therefore the hot drink contained inside.