Coffee Urns – Make Coffee In Bulk!

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Table of Contents

What Is A Coffee Urn?

A coffee urn is used to preserve coffee like a coffee carafe, but it also brews the coffee as well. Coffee urns are generally much larger than a standard coffee carafe, a standard coffee urn holds 30 cups of coffee!

Coffee urns are basically the combined result of a coffee carafe, and a coffee maker. The other big advantage is the volume of liquid! A coffee urn will usually hold at least 30 cups of coffee. One of the bigger differences between a coffee urn and a coffee maker, is a coffee urn has no moving parts or spouts! 

Coffee urns have a nozzle at the base of the vessel for easy access to the coffee. It will usually have a removable top to the fill the device with water and coffee, there will also be a on-off switch with an warming indicator light. More modern coffee urns are known to have LCD screens as well as buttons to customize the brewing experience.

How Do You Use A Coffee Urn?

The coffee urn is a massive coffee maker, but surprisingly, it is pretty easy to use! It will only require a few steps, and lots of coffee to get it going! But remember it makes coffee in bulk, so it’s probably best reserved for massive gatherings or businesses such as restaurants!

Fill It With Water

25-30+ cups of coffee will take a lot of water, so you will want to take off the lid of the coffee urn or open the access point for the urn, you may also have to remove a coffee filter first. Once it is ready, fill the urn with the recommended amount of water for the amount of coffee you plan on making.

Add Your Coffee

You can’t make coffee without coffee grounds! 2 full measuring cups of coffee are equal to 25 cups of coffee! So if you have 50 people attending your function, you will need 4 cups of coffee in the coffee urn at one time.
The amount of coffee will be entirely dependent on the size of your coffee urn! This Hamilton brand coffee urn can hold 42 cups of coffee, so you will want to plan accordingly!

Start The Brew

Once you’ve added the coffee grounds, poured in the water, and sealed the lid, it’s time to brew. Power on the machine and start the process as described in the instruction manual. Since you are brewing coffee in bulk, it will take some time to brew it. You should expect it to take up to one minute per cup of coffee for the brewing time. So if you are brewing 40 cups of coffee, you will want to brew it at least 40 minutes before the event.

Remove The Coffee Basket

Once the machine has completed the brewing process, it will be in your best interest to remove the coffee basket from inside the machine! This will prevent your coffee from tasting stale or burnt, which can definitely happen if you leave it inside. 

If you’re going to brew that much coffee, you should do everything you can to make it taste good!

Cleaning The Coffee Urn

You should clean the urn after every use so you prevent coffee being left inside. This will also keep new coffee tasting fresh, and it will keep the coffee urn in great shape for next time!

Drain & Scrub The Coffee Urn

You will want to go through the process of draining the urn to make sure it is completely clean and ready to use for next time! Drain the water completely from the coffee urn, then spray some hot water into the coffee urn for good measure. Afterwards, scrub it with a wire brush to make sure it is completely clean.

Cycle The Machine

You will want to run the machine with only water at least once to make sure the whole coffee urn is completely clean. This will also help to get rid of any grounds that may have been left over from the last brew.

Remove And Wash The Coffee Filter

Finally, you will want to take out the coffee basket in the machine and clean it to! Use a rag and your favorite dish soap. Make sure the basket is completely clean of any leftover coffee grounds and then store the machine until your ready to use it again!


You will probably never need to use a coffee urn if you’re an average coffee user. But if you have a big family, and you attend a lot of gatherings, it might not be a bad investment! You can pick a large coffee urn up for under $100. It may a good idea to ask other family members to pitch in for the coffee urn if they’re always coming over anyway!
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