Coffee Brewers

Commercial coffee brewers are categorized by brew volume or vessel type and include decanter, thermal and shuttle.

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Coffee brewers provide an essential beverage service to foodservice operations. These machines heat water to between 195 degrees F and 202 degrees F. Although operators can use the hot water to steep tea, true connoisseurs of this beverage may consider the maximum water temperature too low. Brewers also have water faucets to supply hot water for different applications, such as producing oatmeal, soup and hot chocolate.

Operators installing new coffee machines have to take into consideration water conditions. Treat water for taste, odor and mineral deposits with proper filtration. Regularly change water filters to prevent buildup. Also, check brew levels to determine whether there is scale on the brew tank since it will reduce the amount of water inside.

Coffee brewers are generally categorized by brew volume or the vessel into which the beverage is brewed. For example, decanter types brew into glass decanters, thermal coffee brewers brew into large servers, and satellite or shuttle brewers brew into non-thermally insulated servers.

Cafes are less likely to use single-cup capsule brewers, which provide between 6 and 20 ounces of coffee at a time in 30 to 50 seconds, since these operators typically use shuttle brewing systems, which brew into 1.5-gallon containers or shuttles. A standard twin shuttle brewer can produce approximately 10 shuttles per hour, or approximately 160 12-ounce cups per hour. With optional heating elements, productivity boosts up to 20 shuttles per hour or 320 12-ounce cups per hour.

Consultant Q&A: Ignacio Goris, president, Labor Guru, Miami

Keeping coffee urns and bulk brewers spotless and in optimal condition has a significant impact on the overall quality and freshness of the coffee. The type of unit and water quality will determine the amount of maintenance a coffee brewer will require. Coffee brewers typically last from 7 to 12 years but can last as long as 25 years, depending on how the operators care for the units.

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