The Best Coffee Urn: Top 5 Reviewed

coffee urn on a table with cups and a flower vase

Short on time? Our top pick is the Hamilton Beach 40521 Fast Brew Coffee Urn.

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.

But 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, both in theory and practice?

Keep on reading.

Best Coffee Urn – Our Top 5 Choices

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. And then I’m struggling with a scorched tongue for the next five days.

That’s why I love this 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. 

If you have a room full of guests waiting to try out your notorious brew, this urn is a godsend. 

It has two heaters that keep your coffee hot, but not scalding. And it stays that way for hours. This means you can take your time and enjoy every sip.

Usually my main issue with steel is that you can see fingerprints everywhere. But this urn has a brushed finish, so this is not an issue. The time you’d otherwise spend polishing the urn, you can now spend on brewing more coffee, for example.

Pros

  • It makes 45 cups of coffee in under half an hour, so your guests don’t have to wait long for their java
  • Two heaters keep your brew at the perfect temperature, so you can enjoy a hot cup of coffee hours after brewing
  • A brushed finish means you don’t have to spend time polishing the urn
  • The coffee basket is dishwasher safe, so you don’t have to scrub it yourself

Cons

  • The faucet is placed a bit high, meaning you can’t pour the last drop off coffee 
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SYBO SR-CP100C Commercial Grade Coffee Urn

In terms of volume, I don’t think you’ll find a larger urn coffee maker than this one. 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.

But, what really blew my mind about this coffee urn is the brewing speed. It only takes 40 minutes to make coffee for 110 people! 

It would take me longer just to arrange the cups. 

It’s not that I’m slow, it’s just that this urn is super fast.  

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. So you can rest assured this purchase will be money well spent.

Pros

  • Brews 3 cups a minute, so you can serve your guests in a short time
  • All stainless steel design is so sturdy, you’ll never have to buy another urn again
  • A 30-day refund and 2-year replacement warranty gives you peace of mind knowing you won’t end up with a faulty product
  • Has a heater, meaning your coffee will stay warm at all times

Cons

  • It’s way too big for most households
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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.

See that lid handle? 

It’s clear and it 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. That’s your cue to grab a cup.

The faucet is drip-free, so your counters will always stay clean. It works on a light push, or it will pour continuously if you keep the handle depressed. That way you can do other things while your carafe fills up.

I love the fact that it has a pedestal base, so you can place it on any surface without worrying about heat damage. 

But 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 those mugs up. 

Pros

  • A drip-free faucet saves you time and effort you’d otherwise spend wiping drops off the kitchen counter
  • A pedestal base allows you to place it on surfaces other than counters, which is great for small spaces
  • The filter is dishwasher safe, which saves you the hassle of cleaning it manually
  • An LED indicator lets you know when brewing is done, so you know exactly when your coffee is ready for pouring

Cons

  • The faucet sits low, so you might not be able to fill a tall mug
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West Bend 33600 Highly Polished Aluminum Commercial Coffee Urn

When it comes to coffee urns, it doesn’t get any 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. 

Now, 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. Like arranging coffee cups, for example.

With such a large container, it’s hard to tell how much coffee you have left. But there’s a level gauge that tells you precisely how much coffee is inside. That way, you know exactly when it’s time for another round of coffee brewing.

This urn is made of aluminum, which makes it lightweight and easy to transport. That’s handy when you’re organizing events away from home. However, this also means the lifespan of this urn is shorter than its steel competitors. 

Pros

  • Features automatic temperature control, so your coffee stays hot for hours
  • The base is heat-resistant, so you can put it on surfaces other than counters without damaging them
  • A dripless faucet prevents spills on your counters
  • An indicator light will tell you when the coffee is done, so you don’t have to check it yourself

Cons

  • With a height of 23 inches, it might not fit under your kitchen cabinets
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Nesco Professional Coffee Urn

For some reason, most coffee urns have a faucet so low, you can only use regular cups to pour your coffee. 

And 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 love 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.

Pros

  • A high-positioned faucet allows you to pour coffee straight into your favorite mug
  • The filter is dishwasher safe, which saves you the trouble of handwashing it
  • A double-walled insulated tank assures your coffee stays hot long enough for you to drink it
  • The serving handle can be pushed down all the way to fill carafes, so you don’t have to stand there for minutes holding it down

Cons

  • The simple design might not match your kitchen esthetic well
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An In-Depth Guide To Buying A Coffee Urn

several coffee urns next to each other

If you haven’t used a coffee urn before, shopping for one might seem like rocket science. 

But aside from a few features you need to look for, there’s nothing complicated about it.

Here’s what you need to pay attention to.

Capacity

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 5 ounces. Most coffee drinkers use larger mugs, but this is the standard measurement as defined by the SCAA.

So, a small 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 gatherings, be prepared to spend a bit more. 

Heating System

What’s a large coffee urn worth if your delicious coffee 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 6 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 is common with older models. 

These might be practical for cleaning, since you can just toss them in the bin.

But in the long run, they’re not as practical. What’s more, 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 them in the dishwasher. Easy!

Material

The majority of models on the market are made of metal – either steel or aluminum.

Between the two, aluminum is definitely the cheaper option. It’s also way lighter, which is convenient if you’re going to be moving your urn around a lot. 

But 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.

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.

Warranty 

A coffee urn with a decent warranty always wins against one without. 

Why?

Because things can happen while your urn is being shipped. Or, you can get a faulty urn that doesn’t work. 

But with warranty, you’re sure to be satisfied with the product. 

And if you’re not – well, you can always replace it.

FAQ

empty coffee cups lined up on a table at an event

If you’ve never used an urn for brewing coffee before, I’m sure you’ve got lots of questions. 

Here are some things you might be wondering about using this appliance.

How Much Coffee Goes Into A Coffee Urn?

Ideally, you want to use ⅓ cup of ground coffee for every 5 cups of coffee you’re brewing. 

And like I mentioned earlier – a single cup is around 5 ounces.

Do You Need To Fill The Entire Urn To Use It?

Don’t worry, 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 ¼ of its size.

How Do You Clean The Urn Body?

This depends on the model, 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 mix hot water and vinegar and use that. 

If you’re unsure, check the manual.

The Final Verdict

As you can see, there are tons of coffee urns on the market, and they all look pretty much the same. 

But, they differ a lot in performance.

In our opinion, the Hamilton Beach 40521 Fast Brew 45 cup urn coffee maker has everything you need. It’s large enough for most households, keeps your coffee hot for a long time, and it’s easy to clean. 

And all that comes at a more than affordable price.

Other models on this list also come pretty close. Whichever you end up getting, you won’t regret your choice.