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The 5 Best Coffee Urn Options For A Caffeinated Crowd

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Despite what the name might have you believe, a coffee urn is not where coffee is laid to rest. Instead, it’s a device that’s capable of brewing extraordinary amounts of coffee in single sessions. Let’s review some of the best coffee urn options for your caffeine needs!

Quick Summary: Best Coffee Urn

Hamilton Beach 45 Cup Coffee Urn and Hot Beverage Dispenser, SilverHAMILTON BEACH 45-CUP COFFEE URN
  • Easy To Fill
  • 2 Way Dispenser For Single Cup Or Continuous Filling
  • Ready To Serve Indicator Light
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HomeCraft CU30SS Quick-Brewing 1000-Watt Automatic Coffee Urn, 30-Cup, Stainless SteelHOMECRAFT 30-CUP COFFEE URN
  • 2 Way Dripless Faucet
  • Reusable Coffee Filter
  • Keep Warm Function
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CRESIMO 101 Oz Thermal Coffee Dispenser - Insulated Coffee Airpot with Coffee Air Pump - 12 Hour Heat Retention/24 Hour Cold Retention- Stainless Steel Coffee Carafe for Hot / Cold Water and CoffeeCRESIMO 101-OZ THERMAL COFFEE DISPENSER
  • Stainless Steel Quality And Design
  • Durable And Easy To Use
  • Clean Up And Refilling Made Easy
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Proctor Silex 45100 100 Cup Brushed Aluminum Coffee Urn, SilverPROCTOR SILEX 100-CUP COFFEE URN
  • Dual Heater System
  • Coffee Level Indicator
  • Brushed Aluminum Finish
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Hamilton Beach Commercial Stainless Steel Coffee Urn, 60 Cup Capacity D50065HAMILTON BEACH COMMERCIAL 60-CUP COFFEE URN
  • Light Indicator
  • Two Way Dispenser
  • Dishwasher Safe
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Hamilton Beach 45-Cup Coffee Urn

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Hamilton Beach is well-known for creating affordable kitchen appliances. As such, it should come as no surprise that we found their 45-cup capacity coffee urn impressive. 

This professional coffee urn is a great medium-sized model that’s neither too heavy nor too small. This moderate option could be the ideal compromise if you’re caught between a compact coffee urn and a massic model. 

Things We Like

  • It has a thick hard plastic bottom to keep countertops safe from burns or heat marks.
  • This model has two heat-resistant handles near the top that make it easy to transport this coffee urn. 
  • The design is one of the simplest and most straightforward, making this device easy to operate.
  • The twist-on lid locks closed to help prevent accidental spills and burns.

Things We Don’t Like

  • This model can be challenging to clean as the brewing chamber doesn’t detach from the base.
  • The brewing chamber is prone to staining, even with regular cleaning.

HomeCraft 30-Cup Coffee Urn

This small stainless steel coffee urn is squat and sturdy, but it’s also one of the more aesthetically pleasing coffee urns we tried. This brew station truly looks marvelous sitting on your kitchen counter, and it’s surprisingly affordable, especially considering its brewing capacity.

The included reusable coffee filter was a nice touch, though we did supplement it with disposable filters. And while many coffee urns struggle to brew other types of beverages, like tea or hot chocolate, this versatile coffee urn handles them easily. 

Things We Like

  • This large-capacity coffee urn is an incredibly affordable option for those watching their budget.
  • It sits high above the countertop, making it easy to pour coffee into cups of multiple sizes.
  • This model comes with a reusable coffee filter to help cut down on paper filter expenses and waste.
  • You can use it to brew multiple types of hot beverages, including tea.

Things We Don’t Like

  • The percolator cap at the top of the device can stain after repeat usage.
  • The heating element can react poorly with some types of tap water, necessitating distilled or filtered water.
  • This model may not retain heat as easily as other options.

Cresimo 101-Oz Thermal Coffee Dispenser

Though this thermal coffee dispenser doesn’t contain a heating element, it’s still considered a coffee urn. Why? Well, it can store and dispense hot coffee, of course!

Still, the Cresimo Thermal Coffee Dispenser does act more like a thermos than a standard coffee urn. Unless you’re using instant coffee powder, you’ll need to use a separate device to brew your joe. 

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Things We Like

  • It is uniquely sized for smaller batches of on-the-go coffee.
  • It can retain heat for an extended period of time.
  • It is protected by a lifetime warranty to ensure your satisfaction.
  • Features a helpful carrying handle that makes transportation easy.

Things We Don’t Like

  • This model doesn’t have any heating elements to keep it warm.
  • Better suited as a large thermos than a brewing device.
  • Lid-placed tap can result in spills and splashes, especially when used with smaller cups.

Proctor Silex 100-Cup Coffee Urn

Proctor Silex might be best known for producing glass dishware, but they’ve also created many kitchen gadgets, including this massive 100-cup coffee urn. If you’re in serious need of vast quantities of freshly brewed coffee, this device could be a dream come true.

The water level window makes it easy to keep an eye on your brew. But if you happen to wander away while it’s at work, you won’t need to worry. That’s because this coffee urn has an automatic shut-off safety feature.

Things We Like

  • It can brew an astounding 100 cups of coffee per brewing session.
  • It is made by one of the most trusted kitchenware brands in the US.
  • It has a water level window to help users keep an eye on what’s happening inside the urn.
  • It shuts off when the water has boiled away to keep users safe.

Things We Don’t Like

  • It’s one of the pricier options and might not fit every budget.
  • The seal surrounding the tap can come loose if you’re not gentle with it.
  • The tap placement is very low on the body of the coffee urn, which can make it tricky to fill your coffee cup without spilling.

Hamilton Beach Commercial 60-Cup Coffee Urn

When you need the best, it’s time to forget the rest. At least, that’s partially how we feel about the larger Hamilton Beach coffee urn. It’s a commercial-grade option that’s a little tougher and slightly larger than its counterparts.

Overall, we felt that this coffee urn had the best-designed base out of all the reviewed models. It allows air to pass beneath the urn, a wise way to diminish countertop burns and marks. But the real cherry on top for us is this device’s two indicator lights.

Things We Like

  • It sits on a raised stand to keep counters clean and safe while also making it easier to fill your cup.
  • It’s a commercial-grade device designed to withstand months or years of daily use.
  • It features two indicator lights: One alerts users that the device is powered on, and the other lets users know that the coffee is ready.
  • It can keep coffee warm for an extended period without any drop in optimal temperature.

Things We Don’t Like

  • The water level window is glass, which may break when exposed to temperature extremes.
  • It doesn’t brew other hot beverages besides coffee.
  • The tap can break off during use if you’re not careful while handling it.

Why Buy a Coffee Urn?

Several different types of devices can help you make a fresh cup of joe. But few are capable of brewing large amounts of coffee at one time. That’s where the coffee urn comes in. 

The primary benefit of owning a coffee urn is the ability to prepare vast amounts of coffee quickly and easily. Additionally, many coffee urns contain warming elements that can keep coffee hot or warm for several hours. 

If you’re planning a soiree or get-together, a coffee urn could ensure that all your guests get a chance to satisfy their caffeine craving. You could also choose a relatively small coffee urn for at-home or at-work use. Either way, you’re sure to have plenty of delicious coffee on tap.

Still, choosing the best possible coffee urn can be challenging if you’ve never owned one before. Fortunately, there are several factors you can look for while browsing for the perfect model.

What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing a Coffee Urn?

Best Coffee Urn

Before you click that buy button, you’ll want to take a few moments to consider what you’re looking for in a coffee urn. But if you’re not exactly sure what you’re looking for, you might end up feeling a little overwhelmed.

Luckily, there are only a handful of factors to think about when selecting a new coffee urn. They include:

  • Size
  • Filtration 
  • Heating
  • Ease of use
  • Cleaning
  • Price

Avoiding buyer’s remorse is as simple as taking the time to consider these factors. But let’s break down these influential aspects to determine why they are crucial to the buying process. Naturally, we’ll start with size.

After all, if you’re planning on serving a group of five, you likely won’t need an enormous coffee urn. Alternatively, if you’re planning on brewing coffee for dozens of people, it might be worth it to spring for the largest possible commercial coffee urn. 

Size

Coffee urns come in a wide range of sizes. Of course, the best size for you depends on your intended usage. Still, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the standard size range for coffee urns.

For example, smaller-sized coffee urns might only brew about 12 cups of coffee. But larger models can produce up to 100 cups in one session. 

Do you know how many teaspoons of coffee you’ve been adding to your coffee maker? If not, you may struggle to figure out just how large a coffee urn you need. Fortunately, a water ratio calculator can help.

A 12-cup model brews about the same amount as the average coffee maker. It could be the best choice for at-home coffee drinking. And if you’re planning on sharing with friends, family members, or co-workers, it might be better to choose a heftier coffee urn.

When in doubt, always choose a size up from what you think you’ll need. This way, everyone can enjoy at least one cup of hot coffee. But, of course, size isn’t the only thing you’ll want to consider when choosing a coffee urn—Filtration is also essential.

Filtration 

Many coffee urns have baskets at the top, just like standard coffee makers. This makes brewing simple, as the only thing users need to do is pour water into the urn and add coffee grounds to the basket. But some coffee urns don’t have a basket or filtration system.

This can be problematic, mainly because the average coffee urn has a tap near the bottom of the device. If your chosen model doesn’t come with a filter or a way to filter the coffee, you might find yourself pouring sludge-like grounds into your cup instead of a delicious drink.

Heating

Does your preferred coffee urn have a heating element? If not, you could find yourself boiling vast quantities of hot water just to have some fresh coffee on hand! Additionally, coffee urns without heating elements tend to lose their warmth faster than those with them.

If you’re determined to enjoy the most convenient brewing process, you’ll want to select a coffee urn equipped with a heating element. This way, you can avoid the backbreaking work of pouring boiling water into a tall metal canister. Also, your coffee can stay hot all day long!

Cleaning

While most coffee urns have filters to keep grounds from spoiling the brew, some are filter-free. This can make cleaning your device tricky, especially if you’re working with a large-sized coffee urn.

When shopping for the ideal coffee urn, you’ll want to consider how easy it is to keep your preferred model clean. Even the best coffee urn can become a nightmare if it’s challenging to lift and wash clean.

On the plus side, many coffee urns have a stainless steel exterior. This material is resistant to rust and is easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth. 

Price

Lastly, there’s the issue of price. As you might imagine, larger coffee urns are often pricier than their smaller counterparts. So if you’re looking for a budget pick, you may want to keep your eyes on coffee urns that brew less than 50 cups.

That said, you get what you pay for when buying a coffee urn. An affordable option might be easy on your wallet, but it’s less likely to have attractive and practical features, including indicator lights, heating elements, and water level windows.

The costlier coffee urns might be an investment, but their convenient features and design could make them the better choice. If you’re looking for a durable coffee urn that’s capable of serving more than five people, you may want to opt for the larger and feature-rich coffee urns.

FAQs

How Hot Does a Coffee Urn Keep Coffee?

There are two ways that a coffee urn helps keep coffee hot. The first way is via insulation. So long as the lid of the coffee urn is tight, only a minimal amount of heat can escape.

Still, most coffee urns are made of stainless steel. Just as with many other types of metal, steel can transfer heat. Some coffee urns also have heating elements inside them.

These red-hot components not only help to keep brewed coffee hot throughout the day, but they’re also vital to the brewing process. While it’s possible to brew coffee in a coffee urn that doesn’t have a heating element, it’s often trickier and more time-consuming.

What Is the Difference Between a Coffee Urn and a Percolator?

The difference between coffee urns and percolators is slight at best. Consequently, the terms are often used interchangeably. But there is at least one notable difference between these two devices: Coffee urns have taps, and percolators have spouts!

How Much Coffee Do You Put in an Urn?

The right amount of coffee to put in your coffee urn depends on the size of your device. Each coffee urn has a specific brewing capacity, typically between 12 and 100 cups, meaning that a coffee urn could take between 12 and 200 teaspoons of coffee grounds.

How Long Does It Take To Make Coffee in an Urn?

Brewing times are bound to vary with coffee urns. That’s because coffee urns come in a variety of sizes.

Still, you can follow a few general rules to time and track your brews. Firstly, more oversized coffee urns tend to brew for longer than smaller ones. Secondly, the more water you have inside your coffee urn, the longer it will take to finish brewing.

Generally, an urn can brew a cup of quality coffee per minute. So if you’re using a 12-cup device, you’ll need to wait about 12 minutes. But if you’re using a 100-cup coffee urn, you’re likely looking at an hour wait (or longer).

How Do You Make Coffee in a Big Coffee Urn?

The proper way to make coffee in a big coffee urn varies from device to device. For example, some coffee urns don’t contain heating elements. So if you’re brewing a large batch of coffee in one of these devices, you’ll need to boil your water before or during the preparation process.

Fortunately, quite a few of the larger-sized coffee urns come equipped with heating elements. If you have a heated coffee urn, brewing coffee is as simple as adding cool water to the main chamber and coffee grounds to the basket. 

The user guide that comes with your device can help you avoid mistakes. If you’re unsure how to operate your coffee urn, always refer to this model-specific guide for advice. After all, no two coffee urns are precisely the same.

Final Thoughts

The coffee urns we reviewed today are some of the best in terms of quality, durability, and price. Still, we found that one model surpassed the rest. In our opinion, the Hamilton Beach 45-Cup Coffee Urn is, without a doubt, the best coffee urn. 

This model can brew between 15 and 45 cups of coffee during a single brewing session. And while it might not have a water level window, it does have internal markings to help you pour the perfect amount of water each time. 

And the indicator light at the front makes it simple to know when your coffee finishes brewing. But one of the most impressive things about this coffee urn is its weight. This model weighs less than three pounds, making for easy transportation and cleaning.

Of course, our top pick might not be your cup of tea—And that’s ok! If you’re looking for a smaller and more affordable model, we recommend the HomeCraft 30-Cup Coffee Urn. While it might not brew as many cups as our favorite model, it’s just as easy to use and keep clean.

Are you ready to get brewing? If so, be sure to check out the Hamilton Beach 45-Cup Coffee Urn for yourself and buy one today!

Happy Caffeinating!

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