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Harnessing The Hotness

I don’t drink coffee. Never have. But everyone else does, it appears, so I might be the only adult not in the target market for an invention that’s getting attention over at Kickstarter. ABC News has the story of a couple of guys named Dave (Petrillo and Jackson) who are raising money to produce Coffee Joulies. In fact, they’ve reached their goal, but they’re taking orders for more as they go into production for reals. What are Coffee Joulies?

Stainless steel coffee beans. No, wait, there’s a point to them.

Now, while I’m not experienced in the ways of hot coffee, I have observed the ritual sip-wince-wait of people whose coffee is just too hot to drink, and we’ve all read those stories about people suing because they spilled their drive-thru coffee on themselves. Here’s the magic: You put a couple of Joulies in your hot coffee and they cool your coffee to drinkable temperature, then release energy as the liquid cools so the temperature remains constant. These things are steel, about the size of an ice cube, and filled with a “non-toxic material” (content: secret, although they say it’s food-based and potable) that regulates the drink’s temperature and keeps it at 140 degrees, which, as someone who likes cold drinks, still seems hot to me. But if that’s the ideal temperature for the rest of yez, and if these things work, your prayers (and post-scalding curses) may have been answered. Clever, although I’m not sure I’d want a big steel bean or two floating in my drink. (They say that if you’re okay with an ice cube in a drink, you’ll be fine with this. I suppose, but still…) And they work in any hot beverage, so if you’re a tea or cocoa aficionado, you, too, can stick steel beans into your drink of choice.


One potential deal-breaker caveat: They’re best with black coffee. They say the things work with cream, but it’s a hit-or-miss thing, and you’ll have to try different methods, like starting with extra-hot coffee, or preheating the cream, or preheating the Joulies. But if you’re using cream and thus cooling down the coffee to begin with, you wouldn’t need the Joulies, would you?

Here’s their promotional video. And if you’re sold on the idea, the Kickstarter page is still up and taking pledges/orders here; $40 gets you five, with each additional set of five costing $35.

HT: ABC News

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5 comments

  • Eileen,

    My guess is the steel, in combination with whatever magic goo is in the middle, would be denser than water.

    My question is how does the magic goo know to stop retaining heat at the 140-degree point? HOW DO IT KNOW?

  • I totally want these. I saw the write-up on Wired and put them on my wishlist. Since then I have had some questions about them and your post is giving me helpful second thoughts about this $40 purchase (which I would want two of so I’d have one set at work): Do they sink or float? If they float, that could be a deal breaker for me. Plus, if one of them bumps into my upper lip when I take a sip, wouldn’t it burn just as much as the original coffee?

  • I saw this on Gizmodo a while back and looked them up on Kickstarter. I liked the idea so much that I backed them at the $100 level. This is something that I could have used when I was serving in the Navy on my submarine. If you haven’t ordered yours yet, go do it now!

  • Flat out brilliant! The concept and the name! I’ve never drunk coffee, either, but am a tea snob and can’t wait to get some of these! The moment of perfection for a hot beverage is small and fleeting. These are one of those inventions that everyone will wonder why no one ever thought of it before. I hope the Daves become filthy rich from this!