Brewing enough coffee for everyone if you’re hosting an event is a massive undertaking, so what is the best coffee urn for the job? Let’s help you decide.
Hosting a house party or an event with lots of people? Making coffee for everyone seems like quite a job. Unless you get a coffee urn that is.
But which model? Choosing the right product isn’t easy, especially if you’ve never shopped for one before. I’ve been in your shoes, so I know.
I’ve done some thorough research, and I narrowed it down to a couple of models that give you the best bang for your buck. So, ready to see what features the best coffee urn on the market needs to have? Keep on reading!
If you want to ensure you’re brewing your coffee correctly, check out our guide answering should you use distilled water for coffee?
Best Coffee Urn – Our Top 10 Choices
- Hamilton Beach 40521 Fast Brew Coffee Urn and Hot Beverage Dispenser (Best Overall Coffee Urn)
- SYBO SR-CP100C Commercial Grade Coffee Urn (Best For Event Hosting)
- HomeCraft CU30SS Quick-Brewing 1000-Watt Automatic Coffee Urn (Coffee Urn With The Best Design)
- West Bend 33600 Highly Polished Aluminum Commercial Coffee Urn (Best For Large Groups)
- Nesco Professional Coffee Urn (Simplest Coffee Urn To Use)
- Professional Series 50-Cup Digital Coffee Urn (Best Digital Coffee Urn)
- Elite Gourmet CCM-035 Maxi-Matic 30 Cup Coffee Urn (Budget Pick)
- Perossia Commercial 110-Cup Coffee Urn (Best For Offices)
- West Bend 13550 Coffee Urn (Best for Durability)
- PartyHut 100-Cup XL Coffee Urn Brewing Broiler (Fastest Brewing Coffee Urn)
What To Look For In A Coffee Urn
Coffee urns come in different sizes ranging from 12 to 110-cup capacities.
Just to be clear on the math, when I say cup, I mean five ounces. Most coffee drinkers use larger mugs, but this is the standard measurement as defined by the Speciality Coffee Association (SCA).
So, a coffee urn with a 12-cup capacity is great for smaller households whose members drink a few cups per day. On the other hand, a 110-cup capacity urn is perfect for large offices and big gatherings.
Keep in mind that the bigger the urn, the higher the price. So if you plan on being the main host of family get-togethers, be prepared to spend a bit more.
What’s the point of a large coffee urn if your delicious java goes cold? You’ve got two options.
Some more expensive urns will have an active heating system that can keep your coffee warm until you drink the last drop.
Others will work on the same principle a thermal carafe does. This means they use insulation to prolong the time your coffee stays hot. Depending on the model, your brew can stay hot for up to six hours, but you can expect its temperature to have a steady drop over time.
Internal Filtration System
Most urns come with a removable coffee filter basket. An alternative would be to use disposable paper filters, which are common with older models.
These might be practical for cleaning since you can just toss them in the bin. In the long run, they’re not exactly environmentally friendly.
Steel filters, on the other hand, are reusable, which makes them better for the planet. You need to clean them, but you can just throw most of them in the dishwasher. Check out our round-up of the best coffee filters.
The majority of models on the market are made of metal – either steel or aluminum.
Between the two, aluminum is the cheaper option. It’s also lighter, which is convenient if you’re going to be moving your urn around a lot.
It can’t compare to a stainless steel coffee urn in terms of retaining heat. Plus, a stainless steel urn can last you a very long time, while aluminum is more likely to corrode after a while. It depends on what your needs are and what you can afford.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Personally, I avoid products that are difficult to clean. All the excitement of getting a new appliance dies as soon as I need to wash it.
Ideally, you want to find a model that has dishwasher-safe parts. You won’t be able to fit the body into the dishwasher, but at least you won’t have to wash the filter by hand.
A coffee urn with a decent warranty always wins against one without. Why? Your urn could get damaged during the shipping process or be faulty.
With a warranty, you’re sure to be satisfied with the product, and if you’re not – well, you can always replace it.
How To Pick The Best Coffee Urn
The final decision is up to you, but there are some things to keep in mind.
One of the first considerations is capacity. If you regularly host big events, like conferences, then you’ll need the biggest coffee urn possible. Whereas, someone who only wants to entertain their family a few times a year should get a smaller model.
Your budget will also play a huge role. Although you don’t need to buy the fanciest most expensive option to enjoy good coffee, the cheapest of the cheap won’t last or brew nice java. It’s okay to find a middle ground if you’re limited in how much you can spend.
Finally, aesthetics are somewhat important. If you get an ugly urn or one that doesn’t match you’re decor, it might put you in a bad mood every time you look at it – no matter how great it is in other areas or affordable.
1. Hamilton Beach 40521 Fast Brew Coffee Urn and Hot Beverage Dispenser
Good things might be worth the wait, but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count when it comes to your first-morning cup of coffee.
In my case, the longer I wait, the faster I chug it down. Then I’m struggling with a scorched tongue for the next five days.
That’s why I love the Hamilton Beach 40521 urn coffee maker – it’s one of the fastest out there. It has a 45-cup capacity, and it’s able to make that much coffee in just 28 minutes. Speaking of speed, you might also be curious about how long it takes for coffee to kick in.
If you have a room full of guests waiting to try out your brew, this urn is a godsend. It has two heaters that keep your coffee hot, but not scalding.
Usually, my main issue with steel is that you can see fingerprints everywhere. Since this urn has a brushed finish, that isn’t a problem, so you can spend less time cleaning.
2. SYBO SR-CP100C Commercial-Grade Coffee Urn
In terms of volume, I don’t think you’ll find a larger urn coffee maker than the SYBO SR-CP100C commercial-grade coffee urn. It has a whopping 110-cup capacity, which translates to 4.2 gallons of coffee!
This urn is great for large events and gatherings since you can satisfy everyone’s coffee cravings with a single brew. What really blew my mind about this coffee urn is the brewing speed. It only takes 40 minutes to make coffee for 110 people.
The entire thing is made of 304-grade stainless steel, including the mesh coffee filter. That means this urn is rust-proof and will pass the test of time. If you’re looking for a product that you can pass down to your grandkids, this is it.
There aren’t a lot of things you can be nitpicky about when it comes to this coffee urn. But even if you do find something faulty, you have a 30-day refund and a 2-year replacement at your disposal.
3. HomeCraft CU30SS Quick-Brewing 1000-Watt Automatic Coffee Urn
This 30-cup coffee urn falls into the medium-sized category. That means it’s great for families who enjoy drinking coffee together in the morning.
The clear lid allows you to watch your coffee percolate. That way, you can see what’s going on inside the urn at all times. Plus, there’s an LED light indicator, so you’ll know as soon as your coffee is done brewing.
The faucet is drip-free, so your counters will always stay clean.
I love the fact that it has a pedestal base, so you can place it on any surface without worrying about heat damage. Even with a pedestal, the faucet might be sitting too low for tall mugs and carafes. This means you might have to place it close to the counter edge or on another platform in order to fill it up.
4. West Bend 33600 Highly Polished Aluminum Commercial Coffee Urn
When it comes to coffee urns, it doesn’t get much larger than this. The West Bend 33600 is a 100-cup capacity urn that can satisfy the caffeine cravings of all the guests at your party.
This urn brews a single cup every minute, and you’ll hardly find a faster barista than that. Brewing 100 cups at a time is time-consuming, but you don’t have to check on the process while it’s happening. An indicator light will let you know when your coffee is ready to be poured, so you can spend time doing other stuff while it brews.
There’s a level gauge that tells you precisely how much coffee is left so you know if it’s time to brew more.
This urn is made of aluminum, which makes it lightweight and easy to transport. However, this also means the lifespan of this urn may be shorter than its steel competitors.
5. Nesco Professional Coffee Urn
For some reason, most coffee urns have a faucet so low, you can only use short cups to pour your coffee. Let’s be real – most of us drink coffee from way bigger mugs.
That’s why I like this urn coffee machine by Nesco. Its faucet sits high enough for you to pour coffee into your favorite travel mug.
In terms of looks, this coffee urn reminds me a bit of my mom’s old pressure cooker. It might not be the best-looking appliance in your kitchen, but it earns a spot on this list with its performance.
This is a 30-cup urn, which is great for households with several coffee drinkers as well as offices. It’s made of stainless steel, which means it’s heavy and sturdy. I’m pretty sure with proper maintenance, you’ll pass it down to your kids.
I like the fact that the stainless steel filter is dishwasher-safe, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of washing it by hand. For cleaning the inside of the urn, you can use a damp cloth or sponge.
I also love the gauge on the front. It lets you know exactly how much coffee you have left, so you can time the next brew perfectly.
6. Professional Series 50-Cup Digital Coffee Urn
What a digital coffee urn brings to the table is the option to program your brew. This means you can set the coffee urn to brew at your desired time. That way, everyone in the office can enjoy a hot cup when they walk in.
Not only that, but this coffee urn also has a keep-warm function, which keeps the coffee toasty for up to 12 hours. If you want to reheat the java (which I don’t recommend), there’s an option for that as well.
This urn has a sleek, slender, brushed stainless-steel profile, so it doesn’t take up much space, wherever it’s placed. Even though it’s compact, it has a capacity of 50 cups, which is suitable for medium-sized offices.
The inclusion of a spacious drip tray was a smart move. Splashes happen, so a drip tray is always handy. Speaking of pouring, the urn has a nice non-drip spout which is easy to use and helps with minimizing the mess.
7. Elite Gourmet CCM-035 Maxi-Matic 30-Cup Coffee Urn
Coffee urns can be quite pricey, but affordability is something Elite Gourmet had in mind when designing this model.
First of all, this urn has a 30-cup capacity, which is more than enough for hosting parties at your home. Of course, you don’t have to make the maximum amount of cups each time. The urn can brew anywhere between 15 and 30 cups, depending on your needs.
What’s really impressive about this coffee urn is its speed. It brews one cup per minute, which is surprisingly fast for such a low-cost model.
I also like the fact that all the removable parts are dishwasher-safe, which makes cleaning a breeze. As for the brushed stainless steel exterior, a simple wipe with a damp cloth will get rid of any dirt.
On paper, this coffee urn has an automatized temperature control option that keeps your coffee warm for hours. In practice, that only lasts for about two hours or so. This isn’t a terrible flaw as coffee would taste differently after being heated for hours, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re a slow drinker.
8. Perossia Commercial 110-Cup Coffee Urn
Based on its size and name, it’s clear this coffee urn is designed for large office spaces. To put it into perspective, 110 cups is 4.2 gallons, and is unlikely you’ll need that much java on an everyday basis at home. With that being said, having one of these for parties and large events is also a worthy investment.
This coffee urn really stands out for its quality. Made of 304-grade stainless steel, this model is built to last. Even the coffee filter is made of stainless steel mesh, which means it’s durable and easy to clean.
Not only that, but it saves you the need to use and constantly repurchase paper filters. One feature I really like is the detachable single-cup trigger handle, which allows one-handed dispensing. In case you need continuous pouring for easy refill, simply remove the trigger handle and use the two-way easy pour tap.
The viewable water gauge on the exterior lets you keep track of how much coffee is left inside the urn. In case there’s no more liquid left inside, the boil-dry protection automatically shuts down the heater to prevent any damage.
9. West Bend 13550 Coffee Urn
At first sight, this coffee urn looks like it could last you for decades to come. If you take proper care of it, that might as well be true, as it’s made of sturdy stainless steel.
The first feature that caught my eye was the base. It’s heat-resistant, which allows you to place the coffee urn on any surface. Because of the base, the faucet sits a bit higher, allowing you to pour coffee directly into a taller mug.
The design is pretty simple but functional. The body is double-walled, which means it has excellent heat retention ability. Of course, the urn also has a keep-warm feature, which keeps the coffee hot without burning it.
This coffee urn has a capacity of 55 cups, meaning it’s suitable for larger households and smaller office spaces. It’s pretty fast, as it can brew one cup per minute. The serving light indicates the end of the brewing cycle, so you know exactly when your coffee is ready.
10. PartyHut 100-Cup XL Coffee Urn Brewing Broiler
Large coffee urns are great for having guests over, but they’re usually too big for most households. Typically, the minimum amount of coffee they can make is more than all of your household members can drink in a day.
However, that’s not the case with this model by PartyHut. While designed to make up to 100 cups at once when necessary, this coffee urn can make as little as 20 cups on other occasions.
What’s most impressive about this model is the brewing speed. It makes one cup of coffee in just 30 seconds. This means you’ll have an urn filled to the brim in 50 minutes.
It’s also worth noting that this coffee urn comes with a stainless steel filter. This filter is reusable and easy to wash, so you’ll never have to buy paper filters again. The faucet is dripless and multifunctional, meaning it allows for single-cup serving or for continuous filling for larger serving containers, like carafes.
We thoroughly researched each of these coffee urns. We considered capacity, durability, ease of use, maintenance and cleaning, looks, and price. A wide range of urns was selected to ensure there’s something for everyone.
Why You Can Trust Me
I’ve used coffee urns before so I know firsthand what the make-or-break features are. We consider ourselves coffee snobs at Fluent In Coffee, so sub-par java just doesn’t cut it with us.
Best Coffee Urns: FAQs
How Much Coffee Goes Into A Coffee Urn?
Ideally, you should use a third of a cup of ground coffee for every five cups of coffee.
Do You Need To Fill The Entire Urn To Use It?
You don’t need to make a huge batch of coffee every time you want a cup, but, every urn has a minimum amount it can brew, which is usually around a quarter of its size.
How Do You Clean The Urn Body?
This depends on the model so you should consult the manual, but most urns can be cleaned with a little bit of soap and hot water. Use a sponge to clean the interior. If there’s an odor, you can use a hot water and vinegar mixture.
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