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What Does the 1-4 Function on a Coffee Maker Do?

Coby McKinley Profile image

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Updated August 29, 2022

If you’re looking for the best coffee maker, you need to know how they work. The part you’ll use most on your drip coffee maker is the display and brew-strength control. This function is not available on a pour-over coffee maker, as it works differently. In addition to the 24-hour programmable auto brew function, you’ll also press the 1-4 button on coffee makers. While the other settings are straightforward, what does the 1-4 cup button function on a coffee maker do? Read on, and we’ll clear up any confusion on your way to a cup of coffee.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The 1-4 cup function is a coffee maker setting that reduces the size of your batch of coffee.
  • This setting adjusts the amount of hot water used in your brew, which helps you avoid bitter-tasting coffee.
  • Lastly, this option prolongs your machine’s brew time, so you avoid making weak coffee by improving the flavor extraction. Do this with the best coffee whole beans for maximum flavor in your morning cup of joe.

What does the 1-4 Cup Option Mean on a Drip Coffee Maker?

People often consider the 1-4 cup setting to be another version of what pause and serve mean on a coffee machine. That said, it works somewhat differently from the average programmable coffee maker. Unlike a “Strong” button, the 1 to 4 setting gives you more control over your drink strength and results in a smaller pot of coffee. This function is excellent for making a single-serve batch of coffee taste stronger than simply stopping the cycle early.

On the other hand, if you don’t have a strong function on your coffee machine, you’ll want to know how to measure coffee in a coffee maker, so you don’t get a brew that’s weak or too strong. That said, the simplest way to do this is to use K-cups in a regular coffee maker, as the coffee is conveniently premeasured and ready for immediate use.

Insider Tip

Use the 1-4 option to make a smaller serving in a 12-cup carafe coffee maker.

How does the 1-4 Function Work?

Unlike what the aroma setting does on a coffee maker, the 1-4 cup setting is about a strong brewing cycle rather than a better-tasting coffee. In addition, it works at different speeds, producing a more robust brew cycle than the default setting. Lastly, these brewing temperature adjustments affect flavor extraction from your coffee grounds.

Instead of a typical 10-cup coffee maker brew cycle, the 1-4 button reduces the brew size. In addition, some coffee maker models prolong the brewing process by turning the machine on and off while making your cups of coffee. Most coffee maker instructions describe this as “double-heating” the hot water, using roughly half the average water level.

Warning

If your coffee machine has a 1-4 cup button, be sure to use it to brew a small batch of coffee. If you simply stop your coffee maker early, you’ll end up with a weak brew.

F.A.Q.S

Why is my coffee maker noisy?

If you hear bubbling or gurgling from your coffee maker, it is entirely normal and caused by the unit’s water pump and heating element. Most models make these noises near the end of the brew cycle or when you’ve just started the coffee maker.


Can I turn my coffee maker off and then back on to keep the 2-hour automatic shut-off from activating?

You can reset the auto-off and auto-on functions in this way, but make sure the auto program doesn’t start another brewing cycle.


Why is my coffee maker overflowing?

If you notice overflowing, you’ve overfilled your water tank. That said, if your coffee pot is overflowing, you forgot to empty it before starting a new batch of coffee.


What is the best temperature for brewed coffee?

According to the National Coffee Association, the water that pours over your coffee grounds basket should have a temperature of 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. Invest in a thermal carafe to make your hot coffee last longer.


STAT: In a recent survey from Gallup, 19% of Americans reported drinking an average of two cups of coffee per day. (source)

Coby McKinley Profile image