Last week a company with an oddly charming website released a self-chilling can that cools a beverage in just over a minute. And I don’t mean chills as in it makes it slightly cooler than it was before — I mean it brings it a whopping 30 degrees lower.
The Chill-Can, which works by way of a CO2 chamber activated by the twist of a knob on the base of the can, is being tested with a new sparkling cold-brew coffee called Fizzics at select 7-11s in the Los Angeles area. It’s not the first CO2-fired self-chilling can, but it’s the first that doesn’t emit HFC-134a, a gas that’s extremely harmful to the ozone layer. The implications are pretty awesome — imagine yourself cracking a celebratory beer after finishing a grueling hike — but there is a catch.
The Chill-Can’s C02 chamber sits inside the can and the liquid floats around it. Because the chamber is so big, the can needs to be big, so you end up with what amounts to a tall boy can that only holds 8.4 fluid ounces, where it should hold 16. The chamber in the interior has to be heavy and tough enough to resist cracking when dropped, adding another dimension to an oversized, overweight packaging conundrum. And at $6 for an 8-ounce can of cold brew, it’s both impractical and unreasonably-priced.
The technology is interesting, and it will almost certainly prove useful for some niche purposes, but this isn’t the final answer to self-cooling canned beverages, and that’s OK.
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