Really hot! Yeah, we all know coffee gets hot (just ask McDonald’s after their lawsuit!) and coffee makers are probably even hotter.
But have you ever wondered exactly how hot coffee makers get? Are you brewing coffee with the best temperature for the perfect coffee extraction?
Let’s learn what coffee experts suggest and then how each kind of coffee maker brews a great cup of coffee!
The Right Temperature for Coffee Brewing
Two of the leading coffee organizations – the National Coffee Association (NCA) and the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) – recommend an ideal brewing temperature of 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit (around 90 to 96 degrees Celcius).
Not quite to the temperature of boiling water, but close.
Each type of coffee maker needs to reach a temperature within the above range. We’ll explore each type and learn how they aim for the perfect coffee extraction – resulting in delicious coffee.
Common Types of Coffee Makers and Their Temperatures
Drip Coffee Maker
Drip coffee makers are probably the most popular way of making coffee. The coffee machine heats until it reaches the optimal temperature for brewing coffee. Then it drips the water over ground coffee in a filter basket. This is why it’s called a drip coffee maker.
The ideal water temperature for drip coffee is on the lower side of the 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit range. Some coffee makers even stay in the 185 to 195 degrees range!
So we’d say 185 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit is how hot these coffee makers will get.
But don’t worry – you’ll still get great coffee with this lower temperature. Drip coffee makers brew coffee without reaching a boiling point. You won’t need to worry about getting the right temperature here when the machine already does it for you.
Pod Coffee Maker
Moving on to pod coffee makers: these are similar to drip coffee makers except there’s usually less ground coffee in the form of a pod or K-Cup (Keurig cup). The water temperature doesn’t need to be as hot.
Since the coffee maker adds high pressure to force water through the pod for coffee extraction.
Our tests show that pod coffee makers get to around 185 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Just remember that pod coffee makers have a lower ideal temperature for brewing coffee—but make up for this by adding pressure. You don’t always need hotter water or boiling water temperature to brew great coffee.
But make sure you buy from well-known brands that add enough pressure so you avoid under extraction. Hopefully though your coffee maker will handle the entire brewing process for you, no sweat!
You might be surprised to learn that the ideal brewing temperature for espresso machines is the same as for coffee makers: 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. They work similarly to pod coffee makers: by forcing hot water through packed, fine grind size coffee grounds.
Water temperature is actually a huge factor in getting proper espresso extraction and ensuring great espresso coffee taste. Many espresso machines will let you set the brewing temperature how you’d like.
We’d recommend pulling espresso shots with different settings until you find the right pressure and optimal temperature for your own taste preferences. For espresso – a few degrees can make a big difference!
The French press requires you to add coarsely ground coffee and hot water into a glass or metal container. Then after a few minutes (longer for stronger coffee), you press its plunger down to separate grounds from your final brewed coffee.
We suggest a coffee water temperature of around 200 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, on the higher end of the range recommended by the Specialty Coffee Association before.
Because after the several minutes of the coffee brewing process—the brewing temperature drops drastically. The water might cool down below the optimal temperature resulting in under extraction.
Invest in a quality thermometer. So you can get water to exactly 205 degrees Fahrenheit right before brewing time. You can also try waiting about 60 seconds after water boils as a good guess for the best temperature.
Stovetop Coffee Maker (Moka Pot)
A stovetop coffee maker works kind of like a pod or espresso coffee maker, but in the opposite direction. You place the coffee maker with warm water and coffee grounds over a heat source – like a gas stove.
Then the water becomes hot and steam pressure causes it to rise through the coffee grounds until coffee gathers in the top chamber. (Read more about brewing with moka pots here).
The right temperature to aim for is around 200 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. You should listen for a gurgling noise which means coffee is rising through to the top.
Be careful: it’s easy to set the temperature too high so that you get boiling water, bitter flavors, or even burnt coffee! Aim for medium-low or medium heat at most to prevent this.
Interested in Learning More?
Check out our page where we explore more about brewing French press vs pour over vs drip coffee. You’ll learn more about the most common brewing methods.
You might also be interested in learning more about the following:
- safe and convenient coffee makers for your Airbnb
- a programmable coffee maker that lets you control time and temperature when serving coffee
As you can see, all coffee makers try to brew coffee within an ideal temperature range. Not quite hot enough for boiling water, but hot enough to extract a great cup of coffee.
Sometimes it’s up to you – as the coffee brewer – to heat water to the right temperature. In all these cases – we recommend you get water hot enough to reach the top of the range that coffee experts suggest. Around 200 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
Otherwise you should make sure that the coffee maker reaches the right temperature and pressure level to brew coffee that suits your taste buds. But as you can see, brewing temperature doesn’t need to be complicated.
Just make sure your coffee maker is around the suggested temperature range. And you’ll almost certainly get a great cup of coffee!
Lexi is happily married to Bryan and works as an internet marketing consultant. As a lifelong believer of frugal living, she constantly strives to satisfy Bryan’s high-quality food and drink cravings while on a budget. Her favorites include (discounted) pumpkin spice lattes and Costco polish dogs.