Now serving: Hot coffee whenever you want, wherever you want. A new technology for selfheating cans has been combined with the coffee drinks created by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck.
The result is a $2.25 latte that, when activated, heats itself to about 145 degrees in about six minutes, according to the California-based firm marketing the 10-ounce drink.
So, conceivably, someone someday could enjoy a Carmel Espresso Latte atop Mount Everest, or a Rich Espresso Latte on a steamy morning down the Amazon. Meanwhile, says Bob Groux, CEO of WP Beverage Partners, the product has a growing fan base among soccer moms, commuters and campers.
"The first month we were probably getting nine or 10 emails a day from consumers," Groux says. "Now we are up to close to a hundred a day. Half are inquiries, the other half are ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’ They are just saying it’s one of the best inventions they have seen in a long time."
And this, says Groux, is with a hot beverage introduced at the onset of hot weather. A hot chocolate version is slated to hit shelves in July.
"Here we are going into the summer months of a product that we thought would be kind of seasonal. . . . But the fact of the matter is people are picking this thing up just like they would on a given winter day."
Another company, OnTech, produces the one-ofa-kind cans that will soon be used for self-heating soups and alcoholic beverages as well.
Consumers activate the cans by turning them over, removing a seal and pushing a button that combines a liquid with the mineral calcium oxide, also known as quicklime. The quicklime, in a cone-shaped compartment inside the can, then heats the coffee in a surrounding compartment. Groux says complaints have been few and primarily based on consumers not pushing the button far enough to activate the quicklime.
The design is unlike the self-heating military meals that use magnesium oxide as a heating agent, the company says.
Groux says his company already was producing a cold version of Wolfgang Puck’s coffees when OnTech approached the firm with its self-heating can. Thus, an idea was conceived, he says.
The latte drinks, now available at Fry’s supermarkets, should soon be seen in convenience stores, according to the company.