The 8 Best Coffee Carafes of 2022

Plus, an expert breaks down the differences between glass and thermal carafes.

Best Coffee Carafes 2022 | Williams Sonoma, Blue Bottle
(Image credit: Future; Brittany Holloway-Brown)

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I never knew how important a coffee carafe was until now. I’m prone to using whatever my mom used, which was just your basic coffee pot we drank from. But, because I’m officially an adult with my own apartment, I’ve decided to invest in the finer things in life—and that means finding the best coffee carafes on the market. 

Turns out, the internet has a lot of opinions about what exactly makes a good coffee carafe a great one. So, I turned to Kat McCarthy—a Specialty Coffee Association Authorized Specialty Coffee Trainer and Professional Level Barista who serves as the New York Training Manager for Lavazza—for all of my questions. Below, McCarthy breaks down exactly what you (and I) should be looking for when shopping for coffee carafes. Happy brewing!

What Is a Coffee Carafe?

Starting off simple here. “A coffee carafe is simply a container or pitcher used to store brewed coffee; generally every automatic drip coffee maker comes with a carafe to brew your coffee into,” McCarthy explains. “Carafes can also be used separately to serve coffee to a group, keep your coffee warm after brewing, or used with a different style of coffee brewer—such as an Aeropress or [a] pour over. Some carafes, such as Chemex drippers, are both a carafe and a hand brew method in one.”

Types of Carafes

Turns out, there are two main types of coffee carafes: glass carafes and thermal carafes, which McCarthy explains are made from double-walled or vacuum-sealed stainless steel.” Like most things, choosing one or the other comes with a slew of advantages and disadvantages. It really depends on what you’re looking for and your specific needs.

Glass Carafes

What Are Glass Carafes?

Think of glass carafes as the slightly less fussy carafe option. They’re easier to keep clean, for one, and McCarthy notes that they “often pour more neatly,” too. Pus, she notes that they “may be cheaper” than thermal options. However, glass coffee carafes don’t stay warm on their own or retain heat, so you’ll need to pick up either a hot plate or a separate burner to keep your coffee hot, which McCarthy says “can lead to a burnt taste.” Plus, they’re easy to break. However, McCarthy does say that there are double-walled glass carafes available that do “provide a small amount of extra heat retention,” despite it not being the same as a thermal option. 

Best Glass Carafes

Thermal Carafes

What Are Thermal Carafes?

Unlike glass coffee carafes, thermal alternatives can “retain heat without an external source,” says McCarthy. This in turn keeps flavors tasting better for longer. Along with being more durable than glass ones, thermal carafes also keep your cold coffee drinks colder on their own, too. 

However, they’re sometimes not as cute as the glass options are. Plus, they may be harder to keep clean because you can’t see inside, and sometimes are pricier. McCarthy also prefers thermal carafes because “the constant heat from a burner under a glass carafe usually leads to a perfectly brewed coffee developing a burnt taste.” To keep your coffee tasting its very best, McCarthy says that she “still hope to use any brewed coffee in a thermal carafe within one to two hours for the best quality and flavors.” 

Best Thermal Carafes

Meet The Expert

kat mccarthy
Kat McCarthy

Kat McCarthy is the Training Manager for the Northeast US with the Lavazza Group. She has been with the company since 2017, training thousands of local staff and baristi on the proper technique and artistry of brewing coffee. She is certified by the Specialty Coffee Association at the professional level in Barista Skills and Brewing, and in 2022 became an Authorized SCA Trainer.

Julia Marzovilla
E-Commerce Editor

Julia Marzovilla is the E-Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she covers everything from the latest beauty and fashion launches and sales to celebrity outfits and news. She also creates shopping guides that span every vertical on the site. Prior to joining the Marie Claire team, she contributed similar shopping stories to sites such as Bustle, InStyle, The Zoe Report, Who What Wear, and STYLECASTER. In her spare time, Julia can be found creating shopping guides for all of her friends, spending too much money on yet another pair of black boots, and cooking in her far-too-small kitchen.