Wondering if a coffee maker can boil water? You’ve come to the right place. A coffee maker is a machine of beautiful things, and most importantly, it can help you get your daily caffeine fill. However, indeed there are limitations to the magical coffee maker. It is where we let out curiosity guide us and ask: can a coffee maker boil water?
Coffee makers fail to reach temperatures of 100 degrees Celsius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit, the boiling point of water. Since coffee makers can only reach up to 96 degrees Celsius or 200 Fahrenheit, they will have the capability to boil water.
Do coffee makers boil water and many other things? Here, we find out the limitations and the capabilities of your lovely coffee maker.
What Is A Coffee Maker?
Before we proceed with the intricacies, let us first ask the fundamental question: what is a coffee maker exactly?
According to modern standards, a coffee maker is a machine or an appliance responsible for brewing ground coffee. Coffee makers can be made to work with or without electricity.
Coffee makers have grown out of their old limitations of the past. Not only are they able to brew regular coffee, but some can brew espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, breves, mochas, and other drinks, all in the price and packaging of a single machine.
They indeed are magical machines, after all.
From the French coffee press to the modern drip coffee makers, coffee makers can be manual or automatic. Despite this, coffee makers have always stayed true to their purpose: make coffee.
Because of this, manufacturers have honed their craft and slowly made better coffee makers while still making the overall mechanical and exterior design simple and the inner workings relatively easy to understand.
All coffee makers have at least a reservoir to put water in for use while brewing. Then they have their filters, heating devices, and a drip area.
How Does A Coffee Maker Work? (Do All Coffee Makers Boil Water?)
We have discussed earlier the essential components of a coffee maker. We will now discuss three main types of coffee makers: French presses, Keurig machines, and drip coffee machines. All of these machines work differently with each other.
French Press: How Does It Work?
French presses are among the simplest of coffee makers and require a lot of manual input. Unlike other coffee makers, French presses DO NOT contain heating elements. So if you are going to ask if your French press can boil water, the answer will be a blatant NO.
The French press is an Italian contraption (ironic, I know) that was first patented in Milan, Italy, in 1929. More than 90 years have passed since then, and still, the French press is pretty much used everywhere.
Not only is it a cheaper alternative, but it can create strong yet delicious coffee as well!
How Does A French Press Work?
The French press is a manual machine, so you may need to do almost everything yourself without any automation.
For example, for the French press to work, you might need to insert coffee grounds on top of the French press’ filters. Afterward, the name of the game the French press will be playing is called steeping.
Steeping makes your coffee feel like tea– soaking the coffee grounds in hot water for up to four minutes. Be very mindful of the time as miscalculating the duration will result in robust, aggressive, bitter, and over-extracted coffee, a flavor you would not want to have.
The French press is very versatile and can make cold brew coffee for you. Put the coffee grounds on cold water and leave it in there (do not press it down) for 12 to 15 hours. You can add half and half, milk, or chocolate to the final product as per preference.
What Are the Parts of the French Press?
The French press has six major parts. These are the plunger, the lid, the filter (or filters), the beaker, the base, and the handle. All of these play a significant role within the French press.
The plunger is the handle-like part that allows you to press (hence the name) or plunge the whole contraption into splurging out coffee extract.
The lid covers the entire top part of the machine, while the handle allows you to grip the machine without touching it, an essential part, mainly when the water used inside the machine is hot.
The filters are most often metal and can vary in numbers, depending on the quality of the French press you bought. They are used to separate the coffee grounds from the resulting product, helping you not feel the grounds’ texture in the resulting cup.
The beaker is the main body that holds the water, while the base holds all these parts together.
Again: Can It Boil or at Least Heat Water?
Now let us get back to the main issue at hand: can a coffee maker (or, in this case, a french press) boil water? Although some coffee makers do have heating mechanisms, the french press has none and thus is incapable of boiling (or even heating) water.
If you want to brew hot coffee using a french press, you will need to put already heated water within the beaker. We recommend not using scorching hot boiling water for the french press as this will lead to a higher risk of over-extraction.
Moreover, french presses are notorious for quickly over extracting coffee grounds due to overly seeping the ground coffee with the hot water.
Get it Drippin’: How Do Drip Coffee Machines Work? (Can a Coffee Maker Boil Water?)
Drip coffee is a general term used for coffee brewed using coffee makers. So if you have drunk coffee ever before (which I fully assume you have), most of it probably identifies as a drip coffee.
Here, we discuss the machinery behind the drip coffee makers, how they conduct such a crucial mission of satisfying your daily caffeine fill, and how they successfully do it every single time.
The Parts Of A Drip Coffee Machine
The mechanisms of a drip coffee machine are easy to understand but are hard to execute. A drip coffee machine can create coffee suited for you through their machine parts and their specific purposes.
Most obviously, since a drip coffee machine uses much more resources and has automated processes, it will contain more complex machinery and parts than the french press coffee maker.
The drip coffee machine has similar parts to the french press, but some can be very different. For example, the french press has the beaker, while the drip coffee machine has the carafe, both having the same purpose: to hold the coffee.
Unlike the beaker, though, the carafe can be detached and used as something in close relation to a pitcher.
Depending on preference, the drip coffee maker has controls that allow it to brew coffee slower or faster. It also has a coffee basket that holds coffee so that the coffee maker can dispense it freely when needed.
The drip coffee maker also has a water reservoir that acts exactly like the coffee basket.
The most defining feature of the drip coffee machine is its ability to heat water. For this functionality, the drip coffee machine has a thermostat and heating elements.
The heating elements are responsible for heating the water itself, while the thermostat regulates the temperature.
Clearing the Mystery: Drip Coffee – How It Works
Despite the drip coffee having many more parts than the french press, it still shares the primary purpose: to brew and make coffee. That is why the drip coffee machine is not that different when it comes to overall philosophy compared to the French press.
First of all, before any of the processes can happen, water and coffee grounds must be loaded into the water reservoir and the coffee basket, respectively.
After using the appropriate configurations for the brew using the controls, the drip coffee machine will start heating the water using the heating element.
What happens after is truly a magical thing. Using the bubbles generated by the evaporated heated water, the water slowly rises up to the top and goes through a “showerhead,” which acts as an outlet to the coffee filter.
After the water reaches the coffee filter, it comes off as real, authentic drip coffee.
Simple And Delicious: The Keurig
The Keurig is another classification of coffee machine that specifically caters to people who want delicious coffee while keeping the process as simple as possible.
Unlike other coffee machines, which require you to assess every batch of ground coffee for the best possible cup of coffee, the Keurig allows you to choose a flavor of your choice, and you will be assured of delicious tasting coffee without a problem.
The Keurig: Can It Boil Water?
So we are back again with the question: “can a coffee maker boil water?”, which in this case, refers to the Keurig. Well, according to Keurig themselves, their highly specialized machines are not built to boil water.
According to Keurig, their coffee makers can only heat water at a maximum of 89 degrees Celsius or 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Fret not, however. Keurig states that this temperature is the ample heat level for brewing tea, coffee, and other beverages.
What Makes The Keurig Work?
The Keurig is a highly unique coffee machine. When using a Keurig, most of the time, you won’t even see coffee grounds. All you use are the K Cup coffee pods, the Keurig, and your steaming cup of coffee. However, how does it achieve such a feat, anyway?
You might not know that the K Cups themselves are like a machine of their own. They are engineered so intricately that you may be surprised by how custom-made each of the K Cups works perfectly with the Keurig.
The Workings Of The Keurig
The Keurig machine may not be able to boil water, but it is a beautiful piece of machine indeed. Here, we look at the secrets of the Keurig machine and how it creates such tasteful coffee.
It All Starts With A Press Of A Button
The process of Keurigs is that it starts when you first press the button. When this happens, water is pumped through pressurized pipes, which have heating elements integrated into them. It is so that the water will be hot enough for brewing.
K Cup, Meet Water. Water, Meet K Cup.
Once the pressurized water is heated enough at an optimum temperature, it will soon meet the K Cup. Remember when I said K Cups themselves are very special? Well, you’ll recognize this peculiarity soon.
When the K Cup is carefully inserted into its chambers, the Keurig will puncture holes on the top of the K Cup to let the hot, pressurized water in. After this, another pin will puncture the bottom of the K Cup to let the “hot water turned coffee” product out.
K Cup Is Unique. K Cup Is Special.
K Cups not only house the ground coffee themselves, but they also store one essential component: the filter. Yes, your K Cups actually contain filters. Every single one of them.
When hot water enters the top part of the K Cup, it passes through a bed of coffee grounds, passes through a filter, then goes through the bottom opening, pouring directly into your coffee mug. Just amazing, isn’t it?
Coffee Maker, Can You Sanitize Water?
A coffee maker is one of many things, but people should really ask if a coffee maker can sanitize water. Answering this query is essential, especially if you are thinking of sanitizing your water with coffee makers. Let us get started finding the answers, shall we?
Can My Coffee Maker Sanitize Water?
Although coffee makers can heat water to near boiling levels, coffee makers cannot kill all possible bacteria and other foreign microorganisms that may cause diseases or infections.
It is why the next time you are considering using unregulated, unsanitized tap water for your coffee, think again. It might be better to help yourself stay safe in the long run.
What Are The Standards For Water Sanitization?
According to the New York Department of Health, the standard for water sanitation using the heating method is that water must be on a “full running boil.”
Remember that no coffee maker can heat water at a hundred degrees Celsius or near 212 degrees Fahrenheit, the boiling point of water. By the first standard alone, the coffee maker’s heated water fails regulations for sanitation.
Since the answer to the question “Can a coffee maker boil water?” is no, keep yourself safe and do not rely on tap water for your coffee.
Other regulations for boiling water for sanitization include the process of retaining the boiling condition of water for at least one whole minute.
However, the New York Department of Health does not recognize boiling water for sanitation as an appropriate sanitation method for chemically compromised or contaminated water. It stands more as a reason not to use your coffee maker as a sanitation tool.
What Can Microorganisms Found In Contaminated Water Make Me Sick?
Waterborne pathogens are a serious concern, especially for countries with less than optimal access to clean drinking water. However, just because you live in a developed, first-world country doesn’t mean you are free from water contamination either.
One of the most problematic and common waterborne pathogens is viruses. Viruses are quite a tricky bunch. Since they are small (less than 0.1 microns), they can pass through some water filters.
Viruses can come in many forms, such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and more. I’m sure that you are very well acquainted with the dangers of the virus. In fact, COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus called SARS-COV-2.
Viruses are easily exterminated by chlorine. However, some viruses are resistant to UV filtration, making ordinary filtration inadequate.
Protozoa are waterborne pathogens responsible for causing diseases such as amoeba. Unlike viruses, protozoa are resistant to chlorine but die off quickly with UV light.
Bacteria is a prevalent pathogen. In fact, in a regular room, bacteria may be found in virtually every inch of space. However, they are easier to eliminate as they can be filtered using water filters with microscopic pores and are not resistant to chlorine.
Having said that, some are resistant to UV. They are responsible for salmonella infections.
The Boiling Questions About Coffee Makers and Water Sterilization
Why don’t manufacturers make coffee makers that can boil water?
While this may appear as a handy add-on to your coffee maker, to be able to boil water, coffee is a very temperature-sensitive product, and increasing the temperature will result in over-extracted coffee.
After all, coffee makers are not built for boiling water but to get you easy access to great-tasting coffee.
What diseases can I contract from poorly sterilized water?
There are many diseases caused by unsterilized water. One of the most common includes typhoid fever, cholera, hepatitis a, and dysentery. Better be safe than sorry!
Can I make ramen using my coffee maker?
Your coffee maker may not be a good water boiler, but they can do other things not related to coffee as well. For example, coffee makers can make ramen, poached salmon, steamed vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, spaghetti, and more!