Months ago, Wolfgang Puck released a line of shelf-stable coffee drinks that were packaged in self-heating cups. The heavily insulated plastic containers had a button on the bottom that, when pressed, caused a small amount of water to be released and mixed with calcium oxide stored in a compartment within the package. Long story short, the reaction between the two caused the temperature of the liquid in the cup to rise to about 140F in only a few minutes. The cups were pricey, but the idea was a good one for people on the go – at least, it seemed like a good idea until the cups started overheating, melting and even exploding. A recall was made and Wolfgang Puck discontinued the product.
Recently, some have decided to venture back into this market. Hillside Coffee has released a line of self-heating coffee and tea drinks using the same company (OnTech) that produced the original Puck cups. Hopefully the company has thoroughly updated and tested their design by now, but it’s still surprising that another coffee company would take a risk on the same product less than a year after the original – explosive – recall.
Somehow, I think that I’ll be sticking with regular coffee and using either a microwave or some other nonchemical means of heating my drinks for the time being. If you’re feeling brave, the Hillside drinks will be sold at Wal-Mart. They sell gloves there, too, just in case.