Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Coffee: Machines and Brewing Methods
How many watts?
Stefano's Espresso Care
Repair - Parts - Sales
Factory Authorized &
Trained Technician
www.espressocare.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Coffee > Machines > How many watts?  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 5 last page next page
Author Messages
frenchpressfanatic
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Mar 2004
Posts: 33
Location: Ontario
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Jan 28, 2006, 6:08pm
Subject: How many watts?
 

Hi,

I was just wondering what an ideal wattage range would be when shopping for an auto-drip coffee maker. The Kitchen Aid model that I previously owned (which has since been recalled), was 1350 watts, which is the same as their new ProLine model. The Cuisinart model, which is in my price range and which has been recommended by many consumers on various websites, is only 1025 watts.

Is wattage the most important thing to consider when purchasing an auto-drip coffee maker? Does higher wattage always mean better water temperature control and brew speed in a machine?

Secondly, is the difference in wattage between the above two machines quite significant? Should I assume that the Cuisinart won't perform as well as the Kitchen Aid because of this?

Thoughts?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
cafedj
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Oct 2003
Posts: 653
Location: NC
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bialetti, Aeropress
Grinder: Rocky doserless
Vac Pot: Bodum
Drip: Behmor Brazen
Roaster: Counter Culture
Posted Sat Jan 28, 2006, 6:48pm
Subject: Re: How many watts?
 

The key to good coffee is the temp of the water hitting the grounds, not the wattage rating of the brewer.    Wattage does not directly determine how good the coffee will taste.

Since nearly all drip machines use a warming plate the total wattage rating for the unit will include both the water heating element and the warming plate.  Due to this factor the total wattage rating can't even be used to directly compare brewing times.

When comparing drip machines the wattage is essentially irrelevant.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
matt18
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Jan 2006
Posts: 8
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Jan 28, 2006, 8:28pm
Subject: Re: How many watts?
 

I partially disagree with cafedj.  While I agree that the water temp is a very important factor in obtaining good coffee, I think that wattage of the coffee maker does directly translate to water temp.  More wattage equals more power to boil the water.  Most crappy coffee makers put out about 1000 watts, which will boil the water enough to force it up through the tube, but will not get the temp up to the desired 195-205F.... for that you probably need excess of at least 1200 watts.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
cafedj
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Oct 2003
Posts: 653
Location: NC
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bialetti, Aeropress
Grinder: Rocky doserless
Vac Pot: Bodum
Drip: Behmor Brazen
Roaster: Counter Culture
Posted Sat Jan 28, 2006, 9:02pm
Subject: Re: How many watts?
 

My Krups Moka Brew is only rated at 850 watts.  It heats the water to an ideal temp, and produces outstanding tasting coffee.

Wattage does not control the water temp.  A thermostat does that.  The only thing an increase in wattage may do is heat the water faster to  the temp the brewer is designed for, but it does not control the water temp.

My advice is not to use wattage as a deciding factor between drip machines.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
matt18
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Jan 2006
Posts: 8
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Jan 28, 2006, 9:32pm
Subject: Re: How many watts?
 

a Moka Brew is not an auto-drip coffee maker.  I doubt that you could find any auto-drip with a wattage rating at 850 that brews a decent pot.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
cafedj
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Oct 2003
Posts: 653
Location: NC
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bialetti, Aeropress
Grinder: Rocky doserless
Vac Pot: Bodum
Drip: Behmor Brazen
Roaster: Counter Culture
Posted Sat Jan 28, 2006, 9:55pm
Subject: Re: How many watts?
 

Water temp is not controlled by wattage.  It's controlled by a thermostat and the design of the machine.

Since the hot plate is included in the wattage rating of most drip machines I would bet that the actual water heating element of many drip machines is not much more than 850 watts.  The reason my Krups seems relatively low is because it doesn't have a separate heating element to warm the coffee after it's brewed.

I will concede this, the Presto is rated at 1300 watts, and the Technivorm at 1475, so two of the best traditional drip machines you can get have relatively high wattage ratings.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
matt18
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Jan 2006
Posts: 8
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Jan 28, 2006, 10:05pm
Subject: Re: How many watts?
 

I agree that a thermostat "controls" the water temp, but if you aren't getting enough power, then this "control" is pointless.  In most auto-drip brewers, the water heating element and the heating plate are the same thing.   In the case of the difference between the Moka Brew and auto-drip, the main design difference is that heated water is directly introduced to the grounds, as opposed to having to traverse a plastic tube where it can cool down.  To avoid this problem, you need some serious wattage to get the water up the pipe as quickly as possible.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
cafedj
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Oct 2003
Posts: 653
Location: NC
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bialetti, Aeropress
Grinder: Rocky doserless
Vac Pot: Bodum
Drip: Behmor Brazen
Roaster: Counter Culture
Posted Sun Jan 29, 2006, 8:24am
Subject: Re: How many watts?
 

Every coffee maker has enough wattage to get the water to the temp it's designed to brew at.  The key point in comparing machines is not the wattage rating.

A higher wattage will heat the water faster.  It will not determine the water temp, which is the most important spec to be concerned about.

I hate warmer plates, so I have taken my drip machines apart to disconnect the plate element.  Some even have a separate switch for the hot plate.  I would say in most brewers the element that heats the water is separate from the one that heats the plate the carafe sits on.

If you look at the design of the Moka Brew the water is in the bottom of the machine, and must travel up a tube to get to the grounds for brewing.  If higher wattage equalled better brewing the Moka Brew would be terrible.

A simple thought experiment will prove my point about wattage.  You can boil water on your stove using a medium setting or a high setting.  Medium is a lower watt setting.   Both will boil the water, and of course, reach exactly the same water temp.  The medium setting will take longer, but that's the only difference in the final result.  Wattage does not equal water temp in a coffee maker.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
frenchpressfanatic
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Mar 2004
Posts: 33
Location: Ontario
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jan 29, 2006, 10:47am
Subject: Re: How many watts?
 

Thanks for the feedback, guys!

Cafedj, would you recommend the Krups Moka Brew over any of the auto-drip machines? I was thinking about the Cuisinart DCC-1200 12-Cup Coffee Maker, which is in my price range and which received an average of four out of five starts on Amazon, based on 305 user reviews. However, I have also heard great things about the Moka Brew.

Is the Moka brew suitable for brewing 1 or 2 cups, or does it only perform well when making a full pot? Does it have any disadvantages?

Advice?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
matt18
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Jan 2006
Posts: 8
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jan 29, 2006, 10:55am
Subject: Re: How many watts?
 

Regarding your thought experiment, I'm sure you have noticed two things when boiling water:
1) you get air bubbles forming on the bottom of the pan way before the water comes to a boil
2) boiling at medium yields a less vigorous boil compared to the high setting.

In an auto-drip maker, there is a long tube that heats the water.  As soon as some of the water is vaporized (turned to steam), the expansion of resultant air bubble (steam occupies 1600 times the volume of liquid water) pushes water up the tube to the grounds.  As in point 1 above, not all of the water has to be boiling at 212F for this to happen.  You must heat all of the water very rapidly such that once some of the water has vaporized, the rest of the water will also be very close to boiling... this is why you need a high wattage and very powerful heating element.  As in point 2 above and your original point, a low wattage heating element will not be able to heat all of the water as rapidly, and thus you end up subjecting the grounds to inadequately heated water.

In most drip makers, this heating tube is directly in contact with the heating plate, and thus they are the same.  This is true for all standard auto-drip models; although, some more expensive models may have them separate.  If the coffee maker has a separate heating plate, or a clock/timer, bean grinder, milk frother, or some other superfluous gadget, then you have to be careful when comparing wattages.  However, if you are directly comparing standard auto-drip makers, wattage is a very important factor.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 1 of 5 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Coffee > Machines > How many watts?  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Rancilio Silvia - How to
Step by step guide for easy brewing and steaming with the Rancilio Silvia
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.420408964157)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+