Pros: Relatively inexpensive, no chemicals, good replaced for wine cooler
Cons: Can't handle large wine bottles or 2 liter pop bottles
Recently ChefTalk attended the National Restaurant Show in Chicago and had a chance to meet up with Revolutionary Cooling Systems, maker of the “Cooper Cooler.” While we have seen numerous beverage chillers come to market in recent years, what we really liked about the Cooper Cooler is its versatility. After a month of testing we found the Cooper Cooler to be one of the fastest and most economical ways to chill just about any warm beverage, not just wine!
A little smaller than a bread box (for those of you who remember bread boxes), the Cooper Cooler doesn’t take up much counter space at all. The appliance measures about 13 inches in length and it stands a little over 8 inches in height. Construction is simple with the body made up of a silver plastic base and a semi-clear, dark smoked, convertible top (also made of plastic). The top lifts up so that you can place a wine bottle (750 ml), beer bottle, water bottle or soda can inside. Inside the holding chamber a metal rod with rubber rollers runs down the middle and this is what the beverage rests on. Once the machine is turned on the metal rod spins at a high speed rotating the beverage and cascading ice water onto the surface of the can or bottle.
To cool a beverage all you need to do is lift the top, pour two cups of water into the cooling chamber and two trays of ice cubes. Place your beverage in the cooling chamber and select what type of beverage you want to cool: bottle, can, or wine. There are two options you can select as well. One option is “extra,” which adds extra time to the cooling cycle. This option is simply if you want your beverage a little colder that the regular cycle produces. The second is the “no spin” option which does exactly what is says and does not spin the beverage while cooling. It is the spinning action which allows the machine to cool a beverage in a relatively short amount of time. The reason for the “no spin” option is that the rotation of a wine bottle can ruin the label. The small rubber rollers on the metal rod which spin the beverage will create grooves in the wine label during the cooling process. Definitely not something you would want to happen to an expensive bottle of wine. Although the “no spin” cycle takes longer it is worth it if you don’t want to ruin the wine label.
The cooling speed really is incredible. A can of pop will go from room temperature (70-75 degrees F) in about 1 minute to around 43-45 degrees F. We tested the machine numerous times and always came up with the same results so the cooling is fairly consistent. After several cycles the water temperature will rise and you will have to add more ice. A nice feature is that the Cooper Cooler lets you know when you need to add more ice.
You might be wondering the pop or beer bottle end up spraying soda or beer all over you after being spun around. No, it doesn’t spray. Yes, the bottle or can does spin rapidly, but it is actually only the container that spins. The liquid hardly moves at all. In fact when you cool a bottle of beer you will notice that all the air bubbles stay at the top of the bottle while it spins. What this means is the device cools the beverage without agitating the liquid inside so there is no worry of getting sprayed.
So why do we like this appliance so much? Aside from the fact that it is so easy to set up and use, we like that it is somewhat of a “green” product. With the Cooper Cooler you no longer need the fancy wine cooler plugged in using electricity all the time. The Cooper Cooler is designed for rapid, on demand chilling and it can easily take the place of a wine cooler. It makes it very convenient to stop for a bottle of wine on the way home and have it nicely chilled in a few minutes just before your guest arrive for dinner.
We also feel that this would be an excellent option for wine chilling purposes in a small to medium size restaurant. If you don’t have the fridge space to store 30-40 bottles of wine then just chill them as you need them. All restaurants have ice machines so this would be an easy appliance to have on hand and use as needed.
The only negative thing we can say about this product is that it can’t handle large wine bottles or 2 liter pop bottles. Revolutionary Cooling Systems offers another product called the Vin Podium which we will be posting a review on shortly. That product does handle larger wine bottles and does so with style.
Price-wise the Cooper Cooler retails for around $49.00 which seems a bit high, but not entirely unreasonable. You can purchase one at Amazon or many other sites just by doing a search for “Cooper Cooler.” The Cooper Cooler is highly recommended by ChefTalk.com. It also makes a great gift.