Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The greatest thing since the Eggstractor!

I just drank a Wolfgang Puck Gourmet Rich Caramel Latte in a self-heating can by OnTech. I bought it last night on impulse at the grocery store (I still can't resist new consumer product gimmicks), because it sounded so wild.

Basically the idea is, the can heats up using chemical processes instead of using a microwave or other implement, making it great for times when you do not have either a cafe or your own espresso maker with you.

I was a bit leery to try it -- the label claims that the can heats to over 140 degrees -- but I got my nerve up this morning. You have to turn the can over, open a lid, press this little pop button to release the water into a cone of "natural mineral" (limestone). No, the limestone does not contact the coffee -- they are separated by plastic (see the demo on the OnTech page). Then you turn over the can to wait for it to heat up. A little pink button turns white to tell you when it's done.

The opening was the hard part for me. You are supposed to be able to twist the safety cap and pull the pull tab, but I could not get this to work without a lot of force -- the black band is a bit too thick or high on the pull tab for me. So I pulled the pulltab a bit, twisted the cap 180 degrees around the hanging pull tab, then pulled the rest of it through.

I was impressed that it did exactly what it said it would do. The taste is pretty good as well. The two minor faults were a strange chemical-ly smell in the air when the heating process occurs, and the awkward pull tab problem that I describe above. I hope this is not another gimmick that gets killed by lawsuits from exploding lattes or anything.

So, is this the best thing since the Eggstractor? I would go further to say it's better than the eggstractor, which only marginally works. So go buy one for yourself today and try it!

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