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What is a Pre-Infusion Coffee Maker

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Updated August 29, 2022

If you’re shopping for the best coffee maker, you might consider using an automatic pre-infusion coffee machine. When making a shot of espresso, coffee professionals roundly recommend the pre-infusion step before a regular brew. Compared to standard espresso extraction, a pre-Infusion “bloom” cycle ensures consistent extraction, resulting in a better-tasting cup of coffee. So, if you’re interested in making tasty coffee, read on to learn what a pre-infusion coffee maker is.

On the other hand, if you’re still learning about what a coffee maker is and how to use one, you’ll need to go back to our beginner guides. Moreover, if you’re asking what is auto-fill on a coffee maker, then you’re not quite ready for this guide yet.


  • A pre-infusion coffee maker uses hot water directly from a water line to soak your ground coffee beans before the standard brewing process.
  • Use a tool to tamp your coffee puck in the flat-bottomed filter basket for even extraction.
  • Proceed with your flow profiling after about 10-15 seconds of pre-infusion.

What You Need to Know About Pre-infusion Coffee Brewers

Like the Bonavita coffee maker, pre-infusion machines make flavorful coffee with a pre-infusion soak of low-pressure water. Keep in mind, that most basic models with a water reservoir will not have a pre-infusion mode. Instead, you need an espresso machine that uses heated water directly from a water line. While pre-infusion automatic machines are expensive, they are renowned for their excellent coffee.

Insider Tip

The ideal pre-infusion time you use is up to you. That said, your espresso shot will have a bitter flavor if your pre-Infusion “bloom” cycle lasts too long.

For more details on what happens after coffee ground pre-infusion, investigate what a pump coffee machine is.

What is Pre-Infusion?

Low flow-rate hot water fills the coffee puck, starting an extraction process that pulls the coffee flavors out of the beans. Through soaking your bed of ground coffee, the coffee has a chance to “bloom” or expand in your flat-bottomed filter basket. The pre-infusion helps negate any potential issues with your coffee by leveling the bean basket and expanding the grounds. Lastly, see our guide to what pour-over coffee is and pre-infuse your pot of coffee for delicious flavor.


Never touch your glass carafe without grabbing the handle. Espresso brewing methods will make your coffee hot.


Which Bonavita coffee makers have the pre-infusion mode?

Every current Bonavita coffee maker has a pre-infusion mode. Additionally, in an industry first, the Bonavita water tank model includes a pre-infusion mode. It’s expensive, but your coffee snob friend will love to visit for countless cups of coffee.

What’s the deal with coffee makers with built-in grinders?

While an all-in-one device sounds nice, you are putting all your proverbial coffee beans in one basket. If any part of either the grinder or automatic drip coffee maker goes bad, you lose both tools. We recommend buying a grinder separately from your machine for delicious coffee.

How do you set the pre-infusion mode?

You can set Bonavita’s pre-infusion mode by holding the power button for five seconds. Then, on some models, you will see a status light or hear a beep. If you want to shut the mode off, simply hold the button again.

How long does the pre-infusion last?

This is a difficult question due to the variables involved, like how many grams of coffee you use and what type of brewing cycle you want to do. We recommend you do several test brews to dial in your brew time and how long you need for complete extraction.

How to pre-infuse coffee grounds?

Coffee ground pre-infusion is not exclusive to a manual espresso machine. You can pre-infuse your coffee for a Chemex or even a drip coffee machine. Simply pour hot water over your coffee beans and saturate them before beginning the brewing process.

STAT: A recent study from the Journal of Nutrition showed that of Americans that drink a single 8oz cup of coffee per day, men outdrank women by 11%. (source)

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