30 Cup Coffee Urn Instructions - How To Use Your Urn!

30 Cup Coffee Urn Instructions – How To Use Your Urn!

Last updated on November 4th, 2023 at 15:27

When you buy a 30 cup coffee urn, the instructions are often vague, missing or difficult to understand and a lot of customers are seeking to find the answer online.

Thankfully, a coffee urn of any size is easy to use. Follow the instructions in this article, and you will be able to make a batch of coffee in no time.

Let’s get on with this article and help you get using your new coffee brewing tool!

What Is A Coffee Urn?

A coffee urn is a large metal container that is specifically designed for making batches of coffee for groups of people and for keeping the coffee hot all day long if necessary.

The majority are electric with a few that run on a gas burner. You will have seen one at a meeting you attended, in a hotel foyer that has coffee readily available.

They save the event or party organizer from constantly making fresh coffee and maintain a certain amount of cups ready for serving and drinking. As the event organizer, you will need to keep an eye on the water level and ensure the urn never becomes empty during the meeting.

Urns are usually self-service with one or more spigots to dispense the coffee. Think of them like big water dispensers, except they make coffee. They come in a wide variety of sizes, typically measured in 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 50, 60, 100 and 200 cups.

What Is A Coffee Urn
A Coffee Urn

Read: Making coffee for a crowd.

30 Cup Coffee Maker Instructions — Get Using Your Urn!

Once upon a time, in every home, not far, far away, the coffee brewing tool of choice was the humble percolator. People from all walks of life used them, as did restaurants, coffee shops and even served up coffee at the office.

Now, the brewing process and love for the art and science of making a great cup of coffee has grown and brought French presses, siphons, Nespresso machines, espresso machines, Chemex, drip coffee makers and other such equipment to be much more common place than they once were.


when it comes to making large amounts of coffee for a party or special event a coffee urn is the ideal choice.

To use your coffee urn properly, you will need easy access to water, good coffee beans, and time to allow it to brew, as well as a watchful eye and pallet for your brew becoming over brewed as nobody likes excessively bitter coffee or a strong coffee taste. You must always keep your coffee urn clean and be aware of what is known as urn burn.

Making Coffee In A 30 Cup Urn Instructions

Making coffee in a 30 cup urn is very easy. Literally there is nothing to it! Nothing difficult at all.

First locate and remove the lid. Inside, you will find a percolator basket / urn basket that is sitting on a central stem. Remove both from your urn.

Now add cold water to the desired water fill line, usually marked by the number of cups to be brewed. On a 30 cup coffee urn, this will be the top line, the maximum.

Now reassemble your urn by putting the basket back on the central stem. Wet the bottom of the basked and add your ground coffee to the basket.

You don’t want too fine a grind size as it will slip through the holes and into the brew and result in a gritty coffee.

The grind size you should be using is a coarse ground, typically the size of sea salt. Too big to fall through the gaps in the filter basket and a good size for a long brew time without resulting in a bitter taste after brewing for too long.

You will still need to be alert to over brewing.

How Much Coffee For A 30 Cup Coffee Urn?

There are a few hard and fast rules for measuring how much coffee you should put in your urn to make your coffee. Few suggest measuring 2 1/2 cups or half a pound (454 grams) of coffee for making 30 cups.

Others use the hard and fast rule of thumb of 2 tablespoons per cup, meaning you will need 60 tablespoons to make 30 cups of coffee in your urn.

The ideal coffee to water ratio is 1:12, which for a 30 x 6 ounce coffee cup size is 450 grams of coffee or one whole pound of coffee bag.

I strongly suggest using your own grinder, scale and measuring by hand immediately before you start brewing for maximum quality and freshness of your brewed coffee. Always use the proper coffee brewing ratio. No guessing, no rules of thumb. What you can measure, you can control.

How Much Coffee For A 30 Cup Coffee Urn
Measure And Weight Your Coffee – No Rules Of Thumb!

How Long Does It Take To Percolate 30 Cups Of Coffee?

The brew time will vary for each individual machine and the coffee urn that you are using. Typically, it will take you 20 to 25 minutes to brew 30 cups of coffee in a 30 cup urn.

Things To Consider When Brewing Your Batch Of Coffee

You have two main critical factors to think of in the brewing process to ensure that you end up with a quality drink at the end of it.

Which Roasted Coffee To Use

Using a quality roast and a good quality bean will end up with a better tasting end product that your customer or party, or event attendees will enjoy.

Dark roasts have a more intense flavor profile and stronger taste to them than lighter roasted beans. Roasts to avoid are espresso and strong French roasts as this intense profile is not to everyone’s liking and an espresso is not possible to be made in a 30 cup urn or a 30 cup percolator.

Using first-rate coffee beans will help you to get excellent coffee as a result.

Brewing Time

As I spoke about earlier, you need to be aware of the brewing time to get great tasking coffee. If you over brew, you will end up with Bitter Coffee. These types of brewers brew at a much higher temperature, and it is unfortunately easier to over brew your coffee.

The last thing you want to do is to leave your brewing basket in the urn all day. Brew, taste and when you hit the right taste safely remove the coffee basket to prevent over brewing and the dreaded “urn burn”.

Once you have done this, you can allow the coffee inside the urn to remain for as long as necessary.

Coffee Urn Measurements: VIP Details

Unfortunately, in the industry there is no set standard for what defines a cup size. More often than not, the standard cup size used is 6 ounces (180ml).

Personally, in my opinion, a more standard cup size is nearer to 12 ounces (360ml), which is more in line with the size of a soft drink can. Thus, if you are serving 12 ounce cups in a  30 cup coffee urn you will find that it only has the capacity to hold 15 cups of the size that you’re serving.

What Is The Difference Between A Coffee Percolator And A Coffee Urn

Both a percolator and an urn brew coffee in a very similar way. Typically, a percolator is smaller and for home or office use and does not have a spigot for ease of serving. A percolator serves the brewed coffee via a spout.

An urn has a much larger brewing capacity and takes longer to brew. Typically, the coffee is served via one or more spigots.

What Is The Difference Between A Coffee Percolator And A Coffee Urn
A Percolator Is Slightly Different From An Urn

Frequently Asked Questions About 30 Cup Coffee Urn Instructions

How Do You Clean A 30 Cup Coffee Urn?

By the best way of cleaning a 30 cup coffee urn and all coffee brewing equipment for that matter is by using distilled white vinegar.

Using a 50% distilled white vinegar and 50% water solution will get you coffee urn clean, clear and above all free from lime scale and mineral deposit build up.

Simply fill your urn with the solution, give the walls and bottom a good scrub with a steel wool brush and “brew” the solution for an hour and let it sit for another hour.

Drain the solution via the tap/faucet at the bottom of your urn. Then rinse by running 3 to 5 cycles of filling your urn with water and running brewing cycles with fresh clean water and simply flush it out via the faucet/tap. Let it air dry with the urn open.

The coffee basket can be cleaned during the process and then in a dishwashing machine. The central tube can be cleaned with a long pipe cleaner.

How Much Coffee Grounds Do You Put In A 30 Cup Coffee Maker?

The amount of coffee to use for a 30 cup coffee maker is 300 grams of ground coffee or 2.5 cups of coffee. Make sure that your ground coffee is of a coarse grind size. 

Do Coffee Urns Need Filters?

No, a coffee filter is not obliged for use in a coffee urn. You can use a donut-shaped paper filter if you so wish, but it is not an absolute must. The coffee basket acts as a filter.

How Long Does A Coffee Urn Take To Brew?

A good rule of thumb is to calculate 1 minute for every cup of coffee. A 30 cup urn will take 30 mins. Your urn will automatically stop percolating. When it is ready, remove your coffee basket.

How Do You Descale A Hot Water Urn?

The best way to descale a hot water urn is by using a 50% distilled white vinegar solution and 50% fresh clean water. Fill your urn with this solution and heat the water as if you were making hot coffee and let it sit for an hour then drain the solution via the tap at the bottom.

Rinse well with an abundance of water to remove the scent of vinegar and let it air dry.

Can A Coffee Urn Be Used For Hot Chocolate?


your coffee urn can be used to make much more than tea or coffee; you can use it to make delicious hot chocolate too, and very tasty milk chocolate as well.

Can You Leave An Urn On Overnight?

No, it is advised that you switch your urn off overnight, at the very least to prevent a fire hazard. You can buy a timer plug and use a timer to have switched on an hour or half and an hour before you open should you need your coffee to hot upon opening.

What Happens If An Urn Boils Dry?

Your coffee urn is installed with a safety device that prevents it from over heating or operating if not enough water is in it.

Frappé-Ing It All Up – 30 Cup Coffee Urn Instructions

You have right here what you need to know to get the best out of your purchased or rented 30 cup coffee urn and serve top quality coffee. If the instructions for your machine are missing, lost or difficult to follow, you can refer back to this article.

Do you have your own 30 cup coffee urn instructions that can help?

Join our active online coffee community on Facebook/Meta and share your tips, tricks and coffee morning selfies and tasty coffee creations.


Derek Marshall is a coffee expert and a Specialty Coffee Association Certified barista holding the professional certification for coffee brewing and barista skills. He has 20+ years experience of working in specialty coffee shops. He has several authoritative books published about coffee covering topics of specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. His experience as a barista covers 2 decades and counting of working in specialty coffee shops in the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia. Indonesia and Vietnam. He has deep knowledge of the unique coffee culture in each of these nations and specialty beverages requested and brewing techniques and equipment. As a coffee consultant he commands US$50 per hour. Learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew by checking his About Me Page. If you have any questions about coffee, give him a call on +34-639-410-375 or drop him an email Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com. Please state your name and where you are from.

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