If you’re in a bit of a rush and don’t have time to read the entire article, we recommend the Hamilton Beach Coffee Urn.
For places that need to serve large quantities of coffee, fast, a coffee urn is a god send. Places like conferences, weddings or other large events. There are urns of all shapes for events of all sizes.
But which is the best coffee urn for you? There are a couple of things that you should consider when asking this question, which we highlighted below. Finding the right coffee urn for the job can be tricky, which is why we’ll talk you through it.
These are the coffee urns that we’ll be looking at:
- What Is A Coffee Urn?
- A Few Things To Keep In Mind
- The Best Coffee Urn – The Reviews
- Final Thoughts
What Is A Coffee Urn?
A coffee urn is basically a very large percolator. It brews a lot of coffee in one go, and keeps it hot for the whole time it’s switched on.
It’s a very simple coffee maker to use. You simply switch it on, fill with water, insert the filter basket, load with ground coffee, put the lid on it and that’s it, you’re ready to go.
They’re normally quite large, made from stainless steel, and suitable for serving lots of people at once.
When Would You Use A Coffee Urn?
Their general purpose is for conferences or events, where you’re hosting for a lot of people. They’re very convenient as it’s a self serving mechanism, allowing attendees to help themselves to coffee when they please.
I used to be a conference supervisor at my old job. We had lots of flasks laid out for people to pour themselves a cuppa. What a pain they were, as they only held, maybe, 8 small cups of coffee. A coffee urn would have really made that job easier!
You don’t have to keep urns for only corporate events though. If you’re having a party, or have a group of people around and making lots of individual coffee is inconvenient, an urn would be perfect.
A Few Things To Keep In Mind
When looking at coffee urns, there are some things you should consider to make sure it’s going to be suitable for the job in mind.
How Much Coffee Can It Hold?
Maybe the most important factor to consider.
What’s the maximum amount of people you’re going to be hosting for? If you cater for the maximum, you’ll have more than enough capacity for the smaller events you’ll host.
There are urns that hold enough coffee for 10 people or 100 people, and for every amount of people in between. If you allocate one coffee per person that should give you a good estimate to how many coffees you’ll get through.
You can easily refill the urn, it doesn’t take long at all and it’s not a lot of hassle, so this can be kept in mind too. Ideally you don’t want to be refilling it too often though.
What Material Is The Urn Made From?
There are a few materials that can be used for a coffee urn. Stainless steel, aluminium and plastic.
Stainless steel is generally considered the best material to use and it retains heat very well. Aluminium is lighter and tends to be cheaper, but doesn’t do an amazing job at retaining heat.
Try to stay away from plastic if you can. It’s certainly the cheapest, but it’s the cheapest for a reason. Unless you’ve got a super low budget, go for stainless steel or aluminium.
The Heating System
You’ve got 2 heating systems to choose from, either passive or active heating.
The passive heating systems are similar to a thermos, where it keeps the coffee hot because it’s insulated.
Active heating systems are by far the most common, and although they might cost a little bit more, they keep your coffee much hotter for longer.
Most of the coffee urns on the market today come with a built in filter basket. It’s only really the old models that may not have one. If you do end up buying an older one you’ll have to purchase some paper coffee filters.
Bear in mind that the urns with built in filter baskets need quite a coarse grind size, to stop the grind from ending up in your brewed coffee.
You also should check to see if the filter is removable to make cleaning nice and easy. It’s also good to remove the filter once the coffee has brewed, to stop it from over extracting. Be careful though as the filter will be super hot!
The Best Coffee Urn – The Reviews
- 45 cup capacity
- Takes 1 minute to brew each cup
- 2 way dispenser
- Removable filter
- Active heating system
- Dimensions: 11.5 x 11.5 x 18.6 inches
- 2 year warranty
The Hamilton Beach is a sturdy, reliable and pretty inexpensive coffee urn. It has the capacity to brew 45 cups of coffee an hour, which is perfect for events with 50 people or so.
Something I noticed as a handy feature is the two way dispenser. It allows you to fill up a cup, but also larger carafes quickly for tables.
This urn also has water markings on the inside which are helpful for pouring an accurate amount of water in. Which we all know is important for the perfect brew!
If you’re looking for a coffee urn that’s a cracking deal where you get the most for your money, the Hamilton Beach isn’t a bad start. It’s quite a lot cheaper than some of the other urns we’re looking at, but does a good job at brewing coffee and keeping it hot.
One negative is the fact you can’t remove the power cord when you’re cleaning it, which is a little nerve racking. This makes cleaning a little awkward, but apart from that it’s great value for money!
- Stainless steel
- 10-12 cup capacity
- Double walled thermal insulation
- Pump action pouring
- Easily portable
- Passive heating system
- Dimensions: 16.42 x 6.69 x 6.69 inches
- Lifetime warranty
Although a little on the small side of things for large events, this is the perfect urn/carafe for office meetings, small conferences, job interviews or for a reception.
The Cresimo advertises it has top quality insulation to keep your coffee hot. After 24 hours, even without pre-heating the urn, the coffee will still be warm, which is pretty impressive.
The fact it comes with a lifetime warranty also lets us know Cresimo have faith in the quality of their product, and so should we. They wouldn’t hand out lifetime warranties if they thought it would break after a couple of weeks.
So it’s good at keeping coffee hot and it’s certainly durable, but the downside is that it doesn’t brew coffee. You have to pre-brew the coffee before putting it into the Cresimo. Not a huge problem, unless you have no way to brew a large amount of coffee.
- Stainless steel
- 110 cup capacity (16L)
- 15-20 minutes for 40-100 servings
- Built in filter basket
- Active heating system
- Dimensions: 23 x 14 x 14 inches
- 2 year warranty
The SYBO is a heavy weight in the coffee urn competition. Not only does it look the part of a professional coffee urn, but it comes with certain features to make life that little bit easier.
Firstly it has a viewable water gauge, meaning you don’t have to take the lid off to see how much coffee is left. This is great for conferences as staff can keep an eye on the coffee levels without having to get in the way of the lunch time madness.
There are 3 models to choose from, a 110 cup, 55 cup, and 30 cup model, so no matter how big your event I’m sure there’s a size there to suit.
The materials used to build this coffee urn seem to be really high quality. Everything that touches the coffee is food grade stainless steel, and even after heavy use the interior doesn’t stain.
If you’re wanting to brew a lot of coffee, and to keep it hot for a day or maybe two, then the SYBO is a good choice for the job.
- Stainless steel
- 30 cup capacity
- 2 way dispenser
- Makes one cup a minute
- Great value for money
- Removable filter basket
- Dimensions: 14.37 x 7.48 x 7.48 inches
- 1 year warranty
The Maxi-Matic is another incredibly good value for money coffee urn. It’s one of the cheapest on the market, but also has a large enough capacity for small gatherings and events.
Not only does it hold enough coffee for 30 people, but the active heating element works really well at keeping your coffee hot throughout the day. The interior and exterior are stainless steel, giving the urn a nice finish and high quality build.
The removable brew basket makes it really easy to clean and fill with coffee, and the water levels on the inside allow you to pour in the exact amount of water you need.
One con is that it’s loud. There are quite a few reviews noting that when the urn re-heats the coffee, it makes quite a racket. Some people have also had trouble with the warranty not covering issues.
- 100 cup capacity
- One cup per minute
- Dual heating system
- Built in coffee filter
- Dimensions: 12.56 x 23.46 x 11.73 inches
- 30 day warranty
The Proctor is in the upper end of coffee urns, coming with a larger price tag but also some features that justify it.
It’s got a nice high quality finish with aesthetics that look fitting for any commercial event. The dual heating system is pretty neat. There’s a heater to get the water up to coffee brewing temperature, and once your coffee has brewed, another heater kicks in to keep it steady.
Just in case we take our eye off the ball for a second, the Proctor has a boil-dry protection feature. This means it automatically shuts off when the water in the tank has completely gone.
It also comes with a coffee indicator level, and a dispensing tap which is easy to operate with one hand for convenience.
There are 3 different maximum capacity models to choose from, 40 cups, 60 cups and 100 cups. The only problem I’ve found is that manufacturing flaws aren’t covered very often, as the warranty is so short. The urn has good overall reviews though and is a high quality build for big events.
There are so many coffee urns that come in all sorts of shapes and sizes for any event. When considering all the factors, I’d recommend the Hamilton Beach Coffee Urn.
It does everything a coffee urn should do, and comes with a 2 year warranty. Plus it doesn’t break the bank. There are some expensive urns that may look a little better, but are just as functional as the Hamilton Beach.
We hope this article helped you on your search for the best coffee urn. Let us know which one you went for in the comments!