From preparing luxurious wines for high-end table service to serving steaming hot coffee at a trendy breakfast bar, you'll find that carafes and decanters function as vital tools in all kinds of establishments. Learn how to boost sales and fit these vessels into your operation by becoming familiar with their purposes and significant differences.
Depending on its purpose, a decanter can hold a variety of liquids, making it a highly functional vessel! You can use a glass decanter to aerate and decant wine, as well as to store other liquors like whiskey, bourbon, tequila, vodka, gin, or rum. The dainty, slender shape of a decanter will appeal to customers and add a heightened element of refinement to your winery or fine dining establishment.
Decanters are also commonly used for serving hot coffee in coffee shops, diners, and even convenience stores. The vessel keeps large batches of coffee hot and preserves flavor, encouraging guests to ask for refills. In addition, the portability of decanters allows servers to quickly refill mugs with piping hot coffee and keep guests satisfied, even during rush hour. Coffee decanters are commonly constructed of glass, stainless steel, or thermal stainless steel.
As with a decanter, a carafe’s uses depend on its intended beverage. Glass carafes will quickly become indispensable to your establishment, as they can be used to enhance the presentation of iced tea, water, juices, and lemonade. Glass carafes are also excellent for serving wine, as they elevate its visual appeal. Coffee carafes are typically made of metal and insulated to serve warm, aromatic coffee to guests at large catering events, busy cafes, and popular breakfast bars.
Sommeliers and servers will often pour wine into a wine decanter to aerate it. Adding oxygen to wine, especially to young wines or wines with a complex flavor profile, helps to soften tannins and bring out its unique aroma and flavor.
Sommeliers also use decanters to rid the wine of any sediment that may have collected in the bottle over time. Wine should be aerated and decanted before pouring it into a carafe and serving to guests, as sediment taints its flavor and general appearance.
Wine decanters typically have a flared base, narrow neck for pouring, and flat or slanted top. The size and shape of the vessel varies depending on the type of wine you're serving, so be sure to pick the right decanter for your needs.
|Type of Wine||Time|
|Young red wines (under 8 years old)||
1 - 2 hours
|Mature red wines (over 8 years old)||
30 minutes maximum
|Very old red wines||
No aeration needed
|White wine, rose, champagne, sparkling wines||
No aeration needed - open right before service
Figuring out how to clean a wine decanter or wine carafe can be difficult. It's best to avoid washing your carafe or decanter with dish soap, as dish soap tends to leave behind residue and faint flavors.
|Carafe Capacity||Number of Glasses|
|3 - 11 oz.||
1 - 2 glasses
|12 - 26 oz.||
2 - 5 glasses
|27 - 39 oz.||
5 - 8 glasses
|40 - 64 oz.||
8 - 13 glasses