I heard about these self-heating coffee cups/cans a few years ago, and was eager to try one, but could never find one. I assume they discontinued them due to people burning themselves with their own stupidity. But after a double take in the coffee aisle today I saw Rocket Fuel, a coffee whose packaging is aimed towards six year olds, and that other coffees sneer at in a snobby fashion. But hey, they've got a self-heating version, so I didn't need convincing.
There are two sets of ring pulls on the can, one on top and one underneath. Pulling the bottom reveals this, which apparently is some water, but we can't be sure. Anyway, a firm press on the centre will start off the reaction that makes the heat, as it mixes the water with a calcium oxide deposit tucked away inside the can. There was something slightly unsettling about a chemical reaction producing vast amounts of heat in my hands, but to be honest it was quite boring. No comical bubbling sound, no strange shaking, just the gradual increased heat of the can as I walked home. Finally, after what I guessed was three minutes, I cracked open the top and stared into what this photo implies is an abyss.
But really it was a can of slightly milky, hot coffee. Now, the instructions on the can informed me that the liquid would be piping hot, and it wasn't. But this is by no means a bad thing. Sure, the reaction is cool, but I don't want to stand around for three minutes waiting for it to heat up only to have to wait for it to cool down again. But what I had here was a pleasantly hot, quite strong cup of joe. It certainly has that instant coffee taste, but the ingredients explicitly say it has instant coffee in, so I can't really complain there. All in all it was an interesting experience, and quite a nice beverage. If you're desperate for hot coffee and can't find a Starbucks or Costa anywhere (I guess you live in the wilderness), this is an intriguing alternative.
My rating: 4/5