Sunday, July 17, 2005


Wolfgang Puck Self-Heating Latte

While walking through the grocery store today, I noticed a display of the new Wolfgang Puck Gourmet Rich Espresso Latte. This is a self-heating serving of coffee. I saw these mentioned on Slashdot a few weeks ago. Like many, I think it's obscene to make this much environmental impact just to get a hot cup of coffee, but as a gadget freak I really wanted to try it out. So I bought one (Mother Earth, please forgive me).

The instructions are pretty easy to follow, although I had problems. Step 1 is to turn the can upside-down and peel-off the cover, which was not a problem. Step 2 was to push down the exposed button until "colored water drains into the activation chamber." Well, I pressed down as far as it would go, but didn't see any colored water draining. So I spent a couple of minutes trying to figure out what I'd done wrong, and trying various kitchen tools to press down harder, when I noticed that the can was getting hot. So I guess I did the right thing, but just couldn't verify it.

After waiting about seven minutes, I shook the can well and then opened the pop-top. This was problem #2: shaking a can of hot liquid and then popping open the top causes hot liquid to squirt out onto one's fingers. It wasn't hot enough to cause pain, but I did have to wipe off my hands, the countertop, and the neighboring wall. Performing this operation in a moving car might be a bad idea.

Finally, I got to drink it. It wasn't bad, although it was a little sweet for my taste. The taste reminded me of Yoo-hoo. It stayed hot for the ten minutes or so that I drank it. The can only contains 10 oz. of liquid. With all the magic self-heating stuff in it, the can seemed to weigh about the same empty as it did when full.

My recommendation: Don't buy this. Buy a Thermos instead.

I love them. Keep in car for late night long drives home from work, when getting out of the car in Gang Filled L.A. is not safe.
Wish they had a little more product, but a good thing to have just in case....
My latest blog entry on this Wolfgang Puck latte
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