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How Does a Coffee Maker Pump Water?

Alexis Labadie Profile image

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Updated August 25, 2022

Traditional drip coffee machines feature a water reservoir on one side of the maker and a coffee pot on the other, but how does a coffee maker pump water without a pump? To completely understand, you should follow the water from when you put it in the best coffee maker to the brewed coffee pot.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Drip coffee machines feature water that moves from the water reservoir to the shower head and coffee pot without using an additional water pump.
  • When the water begins boiling, the molecules are propelled up into the tubing inside the machine.
  • The brew head releases the hot water onto the coffee grounds and paper filter before dripping into a coffee pot with extracted flavor.

Water passes through several components of the coffee machine on its way to your cup of coffee, including the water tank, tubes, and showerhead. In addition, the coffee extraction relies on hot water being exposed to your favorite ground coffee beans. For more information, learn how does a drip coffee maker work.

How Coffee Machines Use Water

You provide water to your coffee maker every time you fill your water tank or water reservoir with water. However, you may not understand the journey through your coffee machine after you press the brew button to begin heating water. Simply put, tubing runs hot water from the water tank to the showerhead, which works as you would expect. The drip coffee machine does not actually include a water pump, but espresso machines do. To find out more, read our article on how do you use an espresso machine.

Cold Water

Water starts its coffee journey when you pour cold water or room temperature water into the water reservoir, allowing for more minerals and flavors to be extracted for your coffee beans. This water tank maintains the water source until you brew a pot of coffee, keeping the water at about room temperature.

Insider Tip

For a crisp outer layer on your food, use the convection setting on your microwave for the last stage of preparing your meal.

Once you turn the coffee maker on, you start the heating process for the device. First, an aluminum tube heating element warms the plate under your coffee carafe. Next, the heat emitted by this component causes the cold water to heat up and boil. For more information, check out how to boil water in a coffee maker.

Hot Water

Once the hot water reaches the preferred temperature, the temperature sensor sends a signal that turns the electricity to the heating element off. Then, once the temperature becomes too low again, the heating element activates again.

Because boiling water bubbles and rises, the water passes from the tank into the tubes attached to it. One tube runs from the surface of the coffee machine into the reservoir. The other carries water from the tank into the showerhead of the device. The first tube features a one-way valve, preventing the water from leaking out of your machine.

Delicious Coffee

Instead of a water pump, boiling water creates its own version of a steam pump inside the second tube. First, the liquid travels through the tubing and into the brew head. Then, the showerhead releases the water into the filter basket or cone filter compartment.

You probably have placed a paper filter and ground coffee beans inside this compartment if you’re brewing coffee. The hot water saturates the coffee beans, extracting their delicious flavor and dripping into the coffee pot. If you are interested in a highly regarded machine, read our review of the Techivorm Moccamaster KBG 741.

Espresso Makers with Pumps

Some espresso makers use a water pump to control their water. These pumps pull water from the water reservoir using a tube. The water is heated inside the machine and pushed through the coffee grounds and portafilter using about nine bars of pressure. This machine uses an actual water pump instead of relying on steam and hot water. Espresso makers power either a vibratory pump or a rotary pump. Alternatively, for a brewing method that doesn’t require pumps or tubes, check out how to use a pour-over coffee maker.

Warning

Be careful when you remove your food from your convection microwave. The extra heating element catches some new users by surprise, and they burn their hands.

F.A.Q.S

Does the type of coffee maker make a difference?

Yes, certain coffee makers use different kinds of coffee. Additionally, the extraction process differs with each product, so you may want to experiment with multiple types of coffee makers to find your favorite.


Who invented pod coffee makers?

Single-serve coffee makers were invented by Eric Favre, the inventor of Nespresso.


Why is my coffee maker not pumping water?

You may have a build-up of minerals inside your coffee machine, meaning it should be descaled. Descaling requires that you use a chemical descaler, citric acid, or vinegar.



STAT: The most common method of brewing coffee in the US is the automatic drip coffeemaker. (source)

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