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30 January 2007

Coffee Urns

Where would I like my ashes to go when I die? Perhaps, a disused coffee urn or thrown into a coffee mug made in pottery class or even ground with my burr grinder into your coffee bit-by-bit.

Well, I guess a coffee urn needn't sound so somber afterall. A coffee urn is a coffee maker which can make enough coffee to feed a small army. You always see them at church socials and other places. I have to be honest and say, if you are going to make coffee in an urn ensure you are ready to serve the coffee. When I was a waitress, ok server if I'm going to be politically correct, we would set the urn up in advance and about ½ an hour before it was going to be served we would turn it on. You must serve it right away because most coffee urn machines are still boiling the water making the coffee taste faulty, sour and burnt.

Coffee urns generally are filled with water, a huge strainer-type filter is placed on a pole (pole is hollow and runs from center of the base) at the top. The water heats and is either sucked up the pole or boils over the filter and mixed together (with the filter holding in grounds).

Things to look for when purchasing a coffee urn:

* Ensure there is an on and off switch on the front of the coffee urn. Some do not have switches at all and the urn itself is so large that getting to the outlet, when it is full of water, can be daunting.
* Coffee urns can come anywhere from 30 cups to 65 cups. Do your homework and remember they generally take a long time to brew the more you make.
* Coffee urns still require the same amount of coffee. If you are using the small office coffee or restaurant coffee packages ensure you throw in one extra packet. The coffee grounds do not always saturate evenly.
* The coffee urn is hard to clean and will not fit in an average sink to rinse out. If you have a hose it may be better to spray the heck out of it.
* Always put the lid on, most machines will not work without the lid, but trust me, some older machines will spray everywhere.
* Cord length. I have seen many people rent coffee urns to set-up in their kitchen at Christmas. However, the counter space is too small to fit the coffee urn under the cupboards. The host wants the guests to be able to help themselves and wants to use the coffee next to the buffet except.she doesn't have an extension cord and the coffee urn cord will not reach the outlet. Oh my, it turns to complete mayhem.
* Always brew your coffee about ½ an hour before you would like to serve it. It takes a long time and doing it too far ahead of time will burn it and make it taste awful.

If you're in the market for a coffee urn click on the links above to start your search. Remember the above points and for goodness sake, invite me to your shindig. I'll bring the coffee and the coffee urn


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