the cutest little thermos ever
November 29, 2012 6:53 PM   Subscribe

I take a nice 4-serving Thermos of tea to work every day. It keeps my tea nice and hot all day long. But my little tupperware of milk warms up after a couple of hours. I'd like to find a 4-ounce container that will keep my milk cool, can poor without dripping, and is OK to put dairy in (because according to my Thermos, it's dairy intolerant).
posted by rebent to Food & Drink (23 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
i have one of these, and it does in fact keep the milk for my cereal cold, at least until i use it. i don't know exactly how long it would last frozen to continually keep it cold, but maybe you could find something similar with a thicker gel wall?
posted by koroshiya at 7:03 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I haven't had good luck putting milk into a container to take to work-- it always gets funky no matter what I do. My new tactic is to buy shelf-stable aseptic packs of milk (like a juice box for milk). They cost a little bit more, but it's worth it to not waste milk and not have to wash sour milk out of a yucky container.
posted by bonheur at 7:04 PM on November 29, 2012 [6 favorites]

I too was going to suggest the boxed milk. I can, in advance, tell you that powdered milk is TERRIBLE in tea.
posted by maryr at 7:29 PM on November 29, 2012

Stainless steel Thermos-brand containers are OK for milk, so long as you remember to clean them out every night. I recommend Batman.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:35 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

My thermos-brand thermos states in the instruction booklet not to put any dairy in it. As I have ruined a few containers in the past by doing just that, I'm not planning on taking any chances. But I like Batman too!
posted by rebent at 7:40 PM on November 29, 2012

If you don't mind multiple pieces, I'd say a small glass bottle in a thermos with ice or refreezable ice cubes.

Might even freeze the thermos. I heat steel ones up with boiling water before I put hot food into it.
posted by tilde at 7:46 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

I have always dealt with this issue by putting the milk in the tea when the tea's made. The way I'm reading this injunction is not "do not ever put milk in a thermos ever!!!" but as "it's going to go off if you leave it overnight, duh".
posted by hoyland at 8:00 PM on November 29, 2012

Oh, thought! If you're OK with the double container idea, you could fill it with ice-pack goo - thaw an ice pack then pour it in the thermos with an empty bottle. Then, in the morning, fill the bottle with milk.
posted by maryr at 8:05 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

hoyland, unfortunately, you can't just put the milk in the tea - it basically overcooks the milk as the day goes on. (At least, when I have tried that, it has tasted like burned milk.)
posted by maryr at 8:10 PM on November 29, 2012

When I need a thermos of tea, I make blackcurrant flavoured black tea with sugar instead, because I could never satisfactorily solve the milk problem.
posted by thylacinthine at 8:16 PM on November 29, 2012

Can you freeze milk into ice cubes and bring them in a separate, dairy-friendly (maybe plastic) container? Should stay cool for several hours, and then you can pour in milk throughout the day as it melts...
posted by mochapickle at 8:26 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

frozen milk is almost as bad as spoiled milk.
posted by rebent at 8:31 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Why do you need the milk to be cold?
posted by MonsieurBon at 8:39 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yep, stainless steel thermoses work great. My daughter takes the Barbie variety to school every day. By 3 PM the milk is warm, but at lunch it's OK to drink.
posted by crazycanuck at 8:50 PM on November 29, 2012

So it doesn't turn.

What about those little plastic cups of cream you get at restaurants with coffee? You can buy those in bulk. But perhaps those are even worse than frozen. Heh.
posted by mochapickle at 8:50 PM on November 29, 2012

Here you go, 4 oz glass milk bottle. I suggest you put a one piece sealing cap on it; two piece caps (collar and insert) don't keep it as fresh as long. Well, at least not for breast milk, you're probably using pasturized.
posted by tilde at 9:18 PM on November 29, 2012

Those tend to be cream not milk. Makes a difference. Cream is nice for coffee, but tends to coat the tongue too much with tea. IMHO.
posted by maryr at 9:21 PM on November 29, 2012

The glass bottles probably fit the sippy cup spout that are sold with the nine ounce bottle? I can't say for sure, but it'd be crazy if not.

This brand of steel bottle does have a sippy cap insert that works well, is sold separately; used the 8oz version for my kids.

The reason I mention the sippy spouts are for pouring. The steel kit ones have a silicone flow insert that can be used to moderate the flow. Keep it all mostly upright & you'll be fine.
posted by tilde at 10:04 PM on November 29, 2012

What's wrong with room temperature milk? I take it to work in a little glass bottle. Unless I leave the bottle on top of the radiator or something it's not going to go off during the average work day, and I work in a stuffy, over-heated office (granted, by London standards).
posted by tavegyl at 1:27 AM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

[Unless OP says they are open to other ideas, let's just go and ahead assume they want the milk cool and a container to facilitate that, and go forward with suggestions toward that end. Thanks.]
posted by taz at 5:43 AM on November 30, 2012

Okay, now that I'm on a real computer -

Another consideration, of course, is fitting the matryoshka bottle system together. Given the range of options I mentioned (short glass bottle with sippy lid and cap, squat metal bottle with sippy lid and cap), I'd check measurements carefully ... maybe start with what option you think you want for the milk, then buy a thermos around it, since the milk bottle options are more limited than thermosi.

Speaking of bottle options, I haven't tried this, but how about reusing a small food-safe bottle, such as these from the ginger beer (or something from a local establishement), capped off with these silcone beer savers? I've not used the beer savers (though I have some on order now), but they look like they'd put up with some gentle sloshing. This would give you more options for having a clean bottle ready. This would be most inexpensive (assuming you find a small glassed beer or pop you'd drink anyway and save the bottles).

And if you're going to do a combo of reusable ice and a bottle anyway, no need to actually stash it in a Thermos - put it in a wick-resistant bag with a frozen ankle wrap around it ...
posted by tilde at 5:55 AM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Apologies if I'm stating the obvious, but can't you just put the tupperware of milk in a little insulated bag along with an ice-pack?
posted by callmejay at 12:49 PM on November 30, 2012

Thanks for the suggestions, Tilde - those are some really good ones.

Callmejay - that is totally a logical option, but right now I don't have an insulated bag nor ice pack, and I don't have that much deskspace, so I figure - if I have to buy *something*, might as well buy something that suits my needs exactly, yeah?
posted by rebent at 3:05 PM on November 30, 2012

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