Understanding how much power a coffee maker consumes can aid you to make energy and cost-saving decisions. Coffee makers have come a long way in terms of design, efficiency, and energy consumption.
This article discusses the power consumption by different types of coffee makers and how to reduce the energy cost of your coffee.
How many watts does a coffee maker use?
On average, auto-drip coffee makers use about 550-900 watts and 750-1200 for small 4-5 cups and large 10-14 cups coffee makers respectively. An espresso machine uses about 1000 watts to heat water from the moment it’s switched on. Nespresso machines use 1200-1500 watts.
The amount of power that a coffee maker uses depends on factors such as the type of coffee maker, size of the brew, and dual functions such as frothing milk and grinding coffee.
How Much Power Does a Coffee Maker Use
Electricity, or what we call power, is measured in watts. Coffee makers usually have a power and voltage rating or a voltage and amp rating.
You can compute wattage by multiplying volts by amps. To get amps you divide watts by volts.
According to Energy Star, different types of coffee makers have different input power ratings. The input power rating is the amount of power that the coffee maker uses at the initial startup to perform its core function – heat water and brew coffee.
A coffee maker that has an inbuilt grinder and milk frother will use more watts than a single-function coffee maker. For perspective, stand-alone automatic grinders and frothers use about 100-150 watts and 500 watts respectively.
So a coffee maker with these features is likely to increase its wattage by similar margins.
Premium programmable coffee makers with LED screens and timers are likely to consume more power if left unplugged.
Some coffee makers such as Cuisinarts do not retain water in the heating tank, unlike most Keurig coffee makers that are continuously heating the water in the internal tank.
On the flip side, some Cuisinart coffee makers have an inbuilt coffee grinder that is bound to increase the total watts used.
Fully automatic pump espresso machines use about 1000-1500 watts as compared to steam espresso machines that use 600-800 watts.
How Many Watts Does a Keurig Use?
A Keurig coffee maker uses about 1500 watts to heat water from the initial (cold) start. If the Keurig is not switched off after brewing, it uses 200-400 watts to keep the internal water toasty.
The heating element for the internal tank comes on in pulses over a few seconds at intervals to maintain internal water temperature. However, a Keurig Mini does not keep water in the internal tank as it brews all the water in the cold tank.
How Many Amps Does a Coffee Maker Use?
Home coffee makers (homebrewers) use 5-13 amps depending on the brand and features of the coffee maker. Coffee makers with a lower voltage rating use more amps than the higher rated ones for the same wattage. For example, a Keurig uses about 12.5 amperes to brew coffee from a cold start
The number of amps that a coffee maker uses depends on the voltage and watt rating. In the US and North America, homebrewers and kitchen appliances are rated 110-120V. For example, the Keurig K-Cafe is rated 110V.
Therefore, to use a coffee maker that is rated more than 120V in the US, you need a voltage converter otherwise the coffee maker won’t work.
Coffee makers with 220V and 240V ratings are, usually, meant for the overseas (European and other continents) markets. In most cases, manufacturers make different versions for the American and European markets.
Dual voltage coffee makers can be used both in the US and overseas without using a converter.
A higher voltage rating does not mean more wattage. It means that more energy is transmitted at fewer amperes to deliver the same amount of power (watts).
Do you know there are some coffee makers that use batteries?
How to Reduce the Energy that a Coffee Maker Uses
Here are the tips to reduce the cost of energy for your coffee
1. Type of Coffee Maker
Often times when buying a coffee maker, we rarely factor in the energy consumption of the machine.
- Heating Plate. A coffee maker that uses a thermal carafe does not have a heating plate and can save up to 23 percent of energy as the machine does not need to stay on after brewing. After all, heating plates are likely to cause burnt flavors in your coffee.
- Dual coffeee makers. A grind and brew coffee maker frees you from having to grind coffee but if you are finicky about the amount of energy that it will consume, you can consider using a hand grinder and buying a coffee maker without an inbuilt grinder instead.
- Continuous heating. Coffee makers with internal heating tanks that store water can use up to six times more power to maintain internal water temperature than is required to brew coffee from a cold start. Therefore, buying a coffee maker that does not constantly heat water will lower power consumption. Alternatively, unplug a machine that is constantly heating the internal water and only plug it in when brewing coffee.
- Buy a large coffee maker, 10 cups or more, if more people are likely to be using it. A small coffee maker will have to brew several times to satisfy a large group and this will raise the consumption of power. Similarly, consider purchasing a small coffee maker for 2-4 people.
- Buying a double-boiler espresso machine is pointless if you don’t like adding milk to your coffee as the machine will waste power to heat up the water in the steam boiler.
2. Switch the Coffee Maker Off
Energy Star suggests that switching a coffee maker off within 30 minutes of brewing can reduce power consumption by up to 23 percent.
Some coffee makers have an adjustable auto-off timer that is usually preset to two hours after the last brew. If your coffee maker has a thermal carafe, consider shutting down the coffee maker after brewing.
For coffee makers with heating plates, consider resetting auto-off timing to less than one hour when using the hot plate. Apart from saving energy, you do not want to continue warming the coffee for long as the coffee is likely to taste burnt.
However, for a coffee maker that stores water in its heating tank such as most Keurigs, avoid switching it off if you are likely to use it several times throughout the day as the machine will consume up to 1500 watts every time you switch it on to brew coffee.
Instead, switch the coffee maker off at night when it’s not in use.
3. Brew a Carafe and Refrigerate
Coffee tastes much better when you brew it fresh. However, if you are likely to consume several cups in a day you may want to brew a carafe size and drink it throughout the day.
You may refrigerate the coffee to retain most of its flavors and warm it when it’s time to drink. Unfortunately, if you use a microwave or a hot plate to reheat the coffee, the energy consumption is likely to be similar to brewing a fresh cup of Java.
You may want to read our post on how to refrigerate hot coffee without compromising its flavor.
4. Cold Brew Coffee
Consider alternating between cold brew coffee and a hot brew. Cold brew coffee does need a special coffee maker as you can make it in any container and chill it in the fridge.
You can drink a steaming cup of coffee in the morning and go for the cold brew as the day unfolds. During summer, you can swap the hot brew for a cold brew to keep your power bills to a minimum.
5. Consider Using Manual Coffee Makers
Gradually start brewing your coffee with manual coffee makers such as Chemex, Hario V60, and AeroPress. Manual coffee makers are a great way to develop your coffee-making skills.
The ability to manually control and tinker with the numerous parameters that are involved to make your Joe is both stimulating and gratifying.
An espresso coffee maker uses about 1000 watts, on average, to heat water after it’s switched on. Small (4-5 cups) drip coffee makers use about 550-900 watts whereas the bigger 10-14 cups drip coffee makers use 750-1200 watts.
Actual wattage depends on the type of coffee maker, the inbuilt functions that are used, and the size of coffee that is brewed.
Coffee makers with an internal storage tank that is continuously heating water consume up to six times more power than coffee makers with continuous flow heaters.
You can reduce the amount of energy that your coffee maker uses by:
- switching off the coffee maker when it’s not in use
- brewing a carafe size instead of several single cups
- avoid buying a coffee maker with features that you don’t need
- swapping hot brew for cold brew during warmer periods of the day or during summer
- incorporating manual coffee makers in your coffee routine