Coffee lovers obsess over brew time. It has to hit the sweet spot where the water extracts all the great flavors out of the coffee without over extracting and making a bitter brew.
In this article we’ll help you discover the heat-up times of popular coffee makers to choose the best one for your needs. Compare drip, espresso, and more. Make your morning brew faster!
The time it takes for a coffee maker to heat water varies widely, ranging from a quick 15 seconds to a more extended period of 15 minutes, based on the kind of coffee maker and brand being used.
Why Heat Up Time Matters
The faster your coffee maker heats the water, the faster the coffee is done. There’s less time between turning on the machine and taking that first, glorious sip of coffee. You might actually have time to savor a cup before you have to leave for work!
We’re all busy in the morning; we don’t have time to sit around and wait for our coffee. We have kids to take to school, we have traffic to beat, we have jobs to get to, and we need to get caffeine in our bloodstream FAST.
But there’s another reason heat up time matters. The length of the brew cycle has a significant effect on the flavor of the coffee. According to the National Coffee Association the ideal length of a brew cycle is 5 minutes for a drip machine, 2-4 minutes for a French Press, and just 30 seconds for espresso.
The reason for this is that the different flavor molecules in coffee dissolve in water at different rates. If the brew cycle is too fast, your coffee will be under extracted. It will taste sour, thin and weak. But if the brew cycle is too long, the coffee will taste bitter.
A fast heating coffee maker doesn’t just shorten your coffee brewing time, it also makes you better coffee. So, how long does it take for a coffee maker to heat up? Well, that depends on which type of coffee maker you’re using.
Types of Coffee Makers and Their Heat Up Time
Drip Coffee Makers
If you only need to brew one cup at a time, a Keurig can be a good choice. But in terms of how long it takes for a Keurig to heat up water, that will depend on the specific model you buy. It can range from about 30 seconds to 5 minutes for a single-serve machine.
Keurig’s secret is two water tanks- the removable plastic reservoir and an inner tank. The water in this internal tank is continuously warmed while the machine is turned on, saving you a lot of water heating time, especially for your second or third cup.
The average time it takes a drip coffee maker to heat water will depend on the specific model you buy, of course.
With a typical Hamilton Beach model, though, you should expect the brew cycle to last from 10-15 minutes.
Breville makes a wide range of quality espresso machines. But how fast do espresso machines heat up? Breville can get heat water to the proper temperature in as little as 3 seconds!
Breville uses a unique thermojet system in all of their machines to heat water, giving them some of the fastest heating times you can find in a home coffee maker.
De’Longhi machines have an average warm up time of 45 seconds before they are ready to brew.
The heat up time for Nespresso ranges from just 15 seconds to 1 minute.
Thermal Coffee Makers
Cuisinart’s thermal coffee makers are popular because in addition to brewing quality coffee, they use an insulated carafe rather than a hot plate to keep the coffee hot. This preserves the flavor of the coffee much better.
The 12-cup programmable thermal coffee maker heats the water and completes a full brew cycle in about 5 minutes- right in the sweet spot for quality drip coffee.
Technivorm Moccamaster is held by many to be the gold standard in automatic coffee makers.
Like the Cuisinart, it can heat water to the appropriate temperature for coffee and complete a full brew cycle in just 5-6 minutes.
Factors Affecting Heat Up Time
It stands to reason that if you heat water first and then add it to your coffee maker, the coffee maker will brew more quickly. This may not be a good idea, though.
If you’re using a coffee machine that already has an ideal brew cycle, you don’t want to speed it up. If you’re using a Keurig, there’s no need to preheat the water since the machine does it for you.
It probably won’t save you much time anyway since you’ll still have to use time to heat up the water before you add it to the coffee maker. Simpler and easier just to add the water as-is.
It takes longer to heat up a larger volume of water. The bigger your coffee maker, the more water you’re heating up, the longer it will take. That’s one reason a Keurig can heat up in what seems like no time at all while a drip maker might take 10 minutes.
Heating Element Type
How do coffee makers heat up water so fast? They have specialized heating elements.
The Technivorm uses a big copper coil positioned beneath the water tank- this way instead of heating up all the water at once it’s only heating up the water around the coil, which then rises up a tube and into the coffee grounds.
The Breville espresso machines use a ThermoJet, basically shooting small volumes of water through the heating element. It’s the same concept as the Technivorm- heating up small volumes of water throughout the brewing process instead of heating up all the water at once.
Coffee makers aren’t really designed to do anything but make coffee. That said, they are very good at heating up water and can often do that more quickly than a burner on your stove, while reaching higher temperatures than your hot water tap.
So, you can use a coffee maker just to make hot water. We wouldn’t recommend using it for tea, though. Tea requires a different temperature than coffee, and brewing tea in a coffee maker will not yield the best results.
Coffee Maker Safety and Health
Very few coffee makers actually boil water, so are coffee makers sanitary? As it turns out, yes. Bacteria and other waterborne pathogens are killed rapidly once water reaches 149 degrees. The actual water temperature in a coffee maker can vary widely from one brand to another. If you’re concerned about sanitation, use a food thermometer to measure the temperature of the coffee as it comes out.
Coffee Maker Temperature
Water for coffee should be heated to between 195-205 degrees. Some brands have their machines certified by the Specialty Coffee Association- these coffee makers all achieve that temperature.
How Do You Reheat a Coffee Maker?
With most machines it’s as simple as turning it off and then turning it on again. That said, it pays to check the owner’s manual, because YOUR machine might be different.
Why Is My Coffee Cold From The Machine?
Your heating element may have given out, or the thermostat is broken. Swapping out the thermostat is usually a cheap, easy task, so try that first (be sure to unplug the coffee maker before doing anything!). If that doesn’t work, it’s the heating element that needs to be replaced.
Comparison and Summary
|Coffee Brewing Method||Typical Heating Time||Example Brands|
|Single Serve Machine||30 seconds to 5 minutes||Keurig|
|Espresso Machine||15-45 seconds||Breville, De’Longhi|
|Nespresso Machine||15 seconds to 1 minute||Nespresso|
|Drip Coffee Maker||10-15 Minutes||Hamilton Beach|
|Thermal Coffee Maker||5-6 minutes||Cuisinart, Technivorm|
If you only need 1 cup at a time, there’s no beating the Keurig for speed and convenience. If you’re brewing coffee for the whole family, or you just drink more than 1 or 2 cups in a morning, then it’s worth spending the extra money on the Cuisinart or the Technivorm.
Coffee maker heat up times vary widely from one brand to another and from one type of coffee maker to another. The best coffee makers can have hot, fresh coffee ready to drink in 5 minutes or less, and that not only improves your morning routine, it also makes better coffee.
How long does it take for a coffee maker to warm up?
Anywhere from 30 seconds to 15 minutes, depending on the coffee maker.
How does a coffee maker heat water so quickly?
Specialized heating elements and designs that allow them to heat only a portion of the water at a time.
Can you use a coffee machine to heat up water?
Yes, you can.
Do coffee machines need to warm up?
Yes, as soon as you turn it on it will begin to warm up.
Does making coffee count as boiling water?
No, not all coffee machines boil water.
How to brew coffee. NCA. (n.d.). https://www.ncausa.org/about-coffee/how-to-brew-coffee
Electrolytes – statpearls – NCBI bookshelf – national center for … (n.d.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541123/
Looking for help with your coffee machine?. DeLonghi. (n.d.). https://www.delonghi.com/en-au/faqs/How-long-does-it-take-the-machine-to-correctly-warm-up/a/4655
Moccamaster USA. (n.d.). The science behind brewing the Perfect Cup of Coffee. https://us.moccamaster.com/blogs/blog/the-science-behind-the-perfect-cup-of-coffeeSeladi-Schulman, J. (2020, September 16). What temperature kills bacteria in water and food?. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/what-temperature-kills-bacteria#bacteria-in-water
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