Coffee has been a substantial part of human culture for centuries, and it’s sure to stay a prominent part of it. People have been brewing the perfect cup of coffee in a variety of ways.
Now, many people use what we know as a traditional coffee maker or even a Keurig. There are some cultures that still use a specific type of coffee pot to make Greek and Turkish coffee. A coffee urn is another coffee-making tool, but what exactly is a coffee urn?
The Coffee Urn
The easiest way to describe what a coffee urn is that it is a coffee maker that can brew a large amount of coffee at once. While the term “urn” in its name gives off a slightly morbid association, there’s nothing morbid about these coffee appliances.
These coffee makers generally have a spout at the bottom of the device so people can efficiently serve themselves a cup of joe. Nowadays, they look like large metal bins of coffee whereas back in the day, they resembled more of an urn.
History of Coffee Urns
If you’re like me, you’ve probably never heard of a coffee urn. So, where did these coffee appliances come from, and are they still used today? Back in the 17th century, the spout used on a traditional coffee pot changed—this seemingly small change brought on the invention of the coffee urn.
The spout was changed to make pouring easier for those serving the coffee. The original coffee urn has a fixed tap on the body of the urn. In the 17th century, when these devices were invented, they resembled the shape of a pear. But by the 18th century, it was shaped more like a vase. The change in form was set in motion by Louis XIV’s court.
People made traditional coffee urns out of brass, pewter, tin, silver, and porcelain. These large coffee makers were designed to make and serve a large quantity of coffee at one time. Typically, people used them to serve multiple households. Many coffee urns are capable of keeping the coffee warm for more extended periods. Not all coffee urns can do this, though.
Nowadays, coffee urns can be heated with propane, electricity, and other fuel sources, depending on the brand.
Coffee Urn v. Other Coffee Equipment
Coffee urns are very similar to other coffee equipment. A coffee urn and a traditional coffee maker will both produce a delicious cup of coffee. But how do coffee urns stand up against the competition?
There isn’t a huge difference between a coffee urn and other coffee equipment for the most part. The biggest difference is the number of cups the coffee urn can make in comparison to other appliances.
A traditional coffee maker can only make about 12 cups at a time, and a Keurig can make one cup of coffee at a time. Most coffee urns can make about 30 cups of coffee in one sitting. There are some coffee urns that can make more than 30 cups at a time. Some coffee urns can make up to 100 cups of coffee at once.
When Should You Use a Coffee Urn?
Coffee urns are the perfect coffee appliance for those who need to serve a lot of coffee to a lot of people. Here are some of the most popular reasons people use a coffee urn.
At Offices and Office Meetings
The best way to make people happy during work or during a work meeting is to give them a steaming hot cup of coffee. If you have a larger number of people in your office, a coffee urn is going to be a great solution.
These coffee devices can serve a minimum of 30 people at once, and you won’t have caffeine deprived people fighting over a cup of coffee while they wait for more to brew.
When Catering an Event
Regardless of whether you’re catering an event in the morning or evening, coffee is one of those drinks at least one person will ask you for no matter the time. Caterers tend to use coffee urns to ensure they have enough coffee brewed to meet the needs of the people they’re serving.
Using a coffee urn means that they’ll have enough coffee made so that they don’t need to brew more quickly and keep others waiting.
When You’re on a Camping Trip
There are some coffee urns that are non-electric that make the perfect addition to a camping trip. You can still use an electric coffee urn if your campsite has access to electricity. When you’re camping with a group of people, you’re going to want to get people their morning coffee quickly. This not only saves you time, but you’ll have fewer angry morning people.
When You Own a Restaurant
Most restaurants offer coffee service regardless of what time of day it is. If you’re opening a restaurant and want to make sure you have enough coffee to meet the needs of your customers, a coffee urn is a great option.
Having a coffee urn will prevent you from having to stop during a customer rush to brew more coffee because you just ran out. Of course, there’s always the chance you’ll run out of coffee when serving from a coffee urn, but it’s less likely.
Where Can You Purchase a Coffee Urn?
If you’re in need of a coffee urn for whatever reason, there’s plenty of places you can find these devices. You can find these appliances at stores that sell household appliances as well as a variety of retailers online.
You can even get some coffee urns at Home Depot! Amazon will probably be your best bet to order a coffee urn because they ship to almost every country in the world.
Even though these appliances can serve a large number of people, they’re not as expensive as you may think they are.
Some are going to cost more than others depending on the material they’re made of and the number of people they serve, but you can find coffee urns for under 100 dollars.
Check out our reviews of the best coffee urns!