What Does Prog Mean On A Coffee Maker

In one sentence: “prog” on a coffee maker means that you have a programmable coffee maker!

Usually it exists as a button that is labeled “prog.” But you might see it on a digital screen or it could even be a voice command. Just depends on how fancy your coffee maker is.

We’ll assume going forward that you have a prog button though since this is the most common form.

How to Use Prog

Short Summary

Basically you pick the time when you want your coffee maker to start brewing coffee. Then you can wake up to freshly brewed coffee first thing in the morning.

There’s not much different from self brewing with a regular drip coffee maker. You still follow other pre brew steps: like filling the water reservoir and adding ground coffee. All you need to do is program your coffee maker with pre brew steps.

Keep reading to learn how to use your prog feature!

Example Steps

The prog feature might be a little different on different programmable coffee makers. Be sure to read your coffee maker’s manual.

From the coffee makers we’ve tried though (for example your usual Black and Decker coffee maker), below is the most common brewing process with prog.

Step 1: Add Water, Coffee Grounds, and Filter

Just like for a drip coffee maker, add these all to your programmable coffee maker.

Step 2: Set the Clock

If this is your first time using the programmable coffee maker, make sure to setup the coffee machine clock to the current time. Look for a button labeled “time” or “clock”. Press and hold until you see the current time light flashes.

Note: some machines don’t have a “time” or “clock” button. Instead you can just push the min or hour button at the start.

Then use the hour button and min button to choose the correct time. Press the “time” or “clock” button again to save. Don’t forget to double check the am and pm sign!

Step 3: Use the Prog Button to Set Desired Brew Time

Now we’ll really answer “what does prog mean on a coffee maker?”

Press and hold the prog button. Again after a few seconds you should see the display flash.

the Prog button is the key to a programmable coffee maker

Use the minute and hr button again to choose your desired time to start brewing coffee. Press the prog button again to save.

Step 4: Turn On the Prog Feature

There’s one last step after the prog button. Look for an On/Off or Auto button. Press this button and you should see an indicator light that means the program function is enabled.

press the “Auto” button, the screen shows it’s enabled

Congrats, you will have delicious coffee ready for you at your scheduled time!

Optional: See What Other Features There Are

Depending on how advanced your prog coffee maker is, you might also have these features:

“Auto Off” button turns off the coffee maker automatically

Take advantage of these to maximize your brewing process and retain maximum flavor in your coffee!

Why You Should Choose a Programmable Coffee Maker


Have a cup of coffee waiting for you whenever you’d like. Without having to start brewing yourself and waiting for the long brewing process to happen.

Save time too. You won’t need to brew coffee yourself any longer. No more staring at your coffee machine as it brews.

Fresh Coffee

For many coffee lovers: fresh coffee is better coffee. If you don’t have time for your morning brew then you might be brewing lots of coffee in advance. But when coffee sits on the carafe plate for over several hours, it loses its flavor.

Plan in advance with the prog feature so the coffee maker will start brewing right before you enjoy your cup of coffee.

Forget about reheating coffee or even worse, drinking stale coffee!

Customized and Consistent Coffee

Prog features on some coffee makers will let you choose both:

  1. how much coffee will be brewed at your specified time
  2. how strong your coffee will be

Each time you press the program button, you guarantee the coffee maker will start brewing the perfect cup of coffee for you right when you need it!

Downsides to Programmable Coffee Makers

Need to Prepare Beforehand

You still need to get coffee grounds, a coffee filter, and ideally filtered water ready. Just like for a normal drip coffee maker.

If you use the prog settings to choose a much later brewing time – then your water and ground coffee could lose its aroma and become stale And what happens if you forget about your coffee maker? Your once great coffee will just be sitting there until it loses its flavor.

Higher Upfront Cost

A non programmable coffee maker usually is cheaper than a programmable one. Companies justify their technological improvements by charging more money for features like the prog feature.

You still need to pay for coffee grounds, water, and maybe paper filters. Then the fancier coffee maker usually costs more.

Our pro tip: start out with a Black and Decker coffee maker as your first new coffee maker with the prog feature. They make some of the best coffee makers that are also among the most affordable ones.

Another great mid-range priced choice is are programmable Hamilton Beach coffee makers like this one.


So again, what does prog mean on a coffee maker? Think of it as an investment in the perfect cup of fresh coffee whenever you might need one.

Use the prog feature to select exactly when you want automatic coffee brewing to happen. With our guide you can see this is easy to do. It’s really not much different than a normal drip coffee maker.

Check out a programmable coffee maker ASAP. You won’t regret it!

Bryan Han

By day, Bryan is a software engineer with experience at startups and top software companies. By night, he runs and writes for My Kitchen Sensei. Bryan is especially proud of his cheap excursions to cheap Michelin rated restaurants throughout Asia and in Hong Kong during his exchange there. His favorites include nitro-cold brew coffee and steak.

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