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PCM coffee mug 02.jpg
PCM coffee mug 01 (Custom).jpg

Klaus Sedlbauer and Herbert Sinnesbichler, of Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP), think coffee is perfect at 58 degrees C. So they built a coffee mug that automatically maintains that temperature, tending to cool its contents above 58 degrees, and releasing heat below 58 degrees to warm them back up. It works by use of an interstitial phase change material (PCM, Wikipedia) between the aluminum fins, which has a solid-liquid phase change temperature of 58 degrees. Above 58 degrees, the PCM melts and absorbs heat, and below 58 degrees it freezes and releases heat. Supposedly it can keep a cup of coffee at ideal temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

  • Rich

    I hate coffee, and this is a completely over engineered solution that required for too much time to come up with. Yet, I still love this and think it’s cool as hell.

  • StayatHomeElectronics

    I wonder how much you would have to pay for that cup???


    a friend of mine has a similar mug which is just a hollow plastic mug with paraffin in it. The paraffin works (apparently) in the same manner as the PCM in this, just not engineered to that specific temperature.

  • Marcel

    Sodium Acetate inside?

  • jonathan givens

    You could do the same thing with wax. It can be made for different melting points, low of 90 f. to over 200 for monocrystaline wax.