Best Coffee Urns – Top 10 Insider’s Guide


Like tea and hot chocolate, coffee has an extremely long history with influences in many cultures around the world. They each have their own ideas of what makes the best coffee.

It is said that a farmer thousands of years ago discovered the hyperactive nature of his animals after they had consumed coffee cherries, and from there, the drinking of coffee started to take place.

Since then, humans have devised many means and devices to brew coffee. One of those often overlooked devices is the topic below. If you want to brew Ethiopian Harrar coffee, we have a whole guide dedicated to it!

Coffee Urns – What Are They?!

Coffee urns are usually large vessel that are used to brew large quantities of coffee, while keeping it warm for long periods of time.

The earliest coffee urns appeared in the seventh century, and they were made from a wide variety of materials ranging from silver, porcelain, and pewter.

They were basic mechanisms that consisted of taps on large vessels. The infusion brewing process was developed in France, and coffee urns became more common.

Today, the basic principles of the coffee urn have changed little, though the materials they are made from are usually aluminium or stainless steel now.

Typically, most urns are powered by electricity, though some models are more like huge thermoses that keep the coffee hot without any power source.

Modern Use And Popularity of Coffee Urns

The coffee urn is extremely popular at large dinners and business meetings, because they make life easier for people who don’t have the time to constantly re-brew coffee over and over again. The urn holds just enough coffee for others, while keeping the rest warm for later use.

Coffee urns are popular in the entertainment and hostessing industries, who have more people around who need warm coffee.

The urn’s main benefit is consistency and efficiency, and they are usually set up in hotel lobbies for guests early in the morning. They are also present during large parties, when the crowd wants a large supply of coffee.

How Many People Can Be Served With A Coffee Urn?

The coffee urn comes in various shapes and sizes. The smaller urns can brew up to thirty cups of coffee at a time. The larger ones, normally found at parties or business meetings, can brew up to 100 cups at a time.

If large events or meetings are being planned, it would be a good idea to choose an urn large enough to brew 1 and a quarter cups of coffee per person. However, many people will probably prefer to have more than one cup of coffee during the occasion.

Most people hosting large events, like parties or business meetings, usually invest in more than one coffee urn to meet the requirements of the event. Some coffee urn models require people to make a minimum number of cups to function properly.

How Coffee Is Made In A Coffee Urn

Coffee urns consist of a lid, a brew basket, a spigot for the coffee to flow, a wall plug for the heating cycle, and an internal metal stem.

The first step in making coffee in an urn is to open the lid and lift out the filter basket. Measure the coffee granules into the basket, after inserting a filter paper to the basket.

The best results come from using freshly ground granules, and spring or freshwater for a better tasting brew. For more than 25 cups of coffee, which is the typical amount in a smaller urn, use quite a bit of the ground coffee.

Fill it with water, and turn the urn on to heat the coffee. If the urn comes with a filter basket cover, then put it back over the urn, since it will spread the water evenly over the ground coffee.

The standard brewing time is around forty seconds, though this varies from coffee urn to coffee urn. Some coffee urns do not need a coffee filter, as they come equipped with a brewing chamber for ease of use.

Is The Taste Good Or Bad?

brew your own coffee

The main difference is the quality of the coffee granules. There are shops that provide freshly ground coffee, and the people who sell it know that the more water that passes over the ground coffee, the more flavor it will expel.

The water is also important, as stated above, in the taste. The fresher the water, the better the taste. You should use spring or distilled water, and at the very least, purified water.


Coffee urns come in many shapes and sizes. If you wish to invest in one, do some research. How many people are you expecting at your event? Will you need more than two urns for different people’s tastes? Will you have spring or fresh water to make the taste more appealing?

The good news is you can rent the urns from a variety of sources, though you might want to inquire how much coffee to use for your event first.