How Long Does It Take to Brew Coffee? The Ultimate Guide

Waiting is the hardest part, especially when it comes to coffee. While lingering for your cup, you might wonder, “How long does it take to brew coffee?”

Knowing the optimal brewing time will be handy if you want to improve your coffee brewing recipes or buy a new coffee maker. So let’s explore how long various coffee makers brew coffee and why it requires that much time.

How long does coffee take to brew?

Brewing coffee is an art. I am not being pretentious when I say that — making a well-balanced cup of coffee is rather intricate. Although we are keen on getting everything done as soon as possible, you can’t rush a perfect extraction. So, how long does it take to make coffee using different coffee equipment?

Keurig coffee maker

Keurig single-serve coffee makers use coffee pods called K-Cups instead of coffee beans you grind yourself. They are popular machines for making coffee with speed. Keurig will brew you a nice 10-ounce cup of coffee anywhere between 1 to 3 minutes.

But how does a Keurig work o make coffee that quickly? The answer is simple: Keurig produces good coffee in a shorter brewing time by keeping water hot continuously. So when you fill the water reservoir and brew a cup, you won’t drink the water you just added.

Instead, the Keurig machine pushes pre-heated, stored water through the coffee pod and filter to extract the flavors. It then moves the fresh water from the reservoir past a heating element to bring it to brewing temperature and holds onto it for the next cup.

keurig making coffee

Drip coffee maker

Drip coffee makers are easy to use and can prepare a bigger batch of coffee in one go. But how long does a drip maker take to brew coffee?

Since the coffee quantity used in a drip coffee machine is bigger, preparing it takes longer than brewing a cup with a single-serve coffee maker without a carafe. Coffee in a drip coffee maker must soak in hot water for around 5 minutes. Of course, the more coffee you brew, the longer it will take. It may take up to 15 minutes to produce a full 20 oz carafe of coffee.

Drip coffee makers are relatively slow to make a pot of coffee because of how they work. They fill the filter basket with water and soak the coffee grounds as it slowly drips into the carafe. A drip coffee maker may not be incredibly fast, but it can brew plenty of coffee at once.

Espresso machine

Espresso machines are much faster than any other coffee maker that can quickly brew a flavorful, strong shot of coffee. However, speed comes at the cost of quantity. Espresso machines brew only small amounts of coffee at once, so you’ll only get one or two ounces from one brewing cycle.

An espresso machine will heat water nearly to the boiling point. It will then use high pressure to push the water through a filter filled with finely ground coffee.

Since the quantity of coffee it prepares is small, it can make a good cup in only about 20 to 30 seconds. As a result, espresso machines are often considered the fastest way to brew coffee that lives up to the most demanding quality standards.

espresso machine making coffee

Nespresso machine

A Nespresso single-serve coffee maker is what you might get if a Keurig and an espresso machine had a baby. It requires coffee pods, just like a Keurig. However, it also uses pressure to shorten the contact time between hot water and coffee grounds as an espresso machine would.

The heating element on a Nespresso coffee machine will get water boiling incredibly fast. Three seconds is enough time for the device to heat the water to the brewing temperature.

A Nespresso coffee maker takes around 1 minute to brew coffee. Like with espresso machines, this incredible speed is partially due to the small amount of coffee it produces. A Nespresso coffee maker brews one to two shots of strong coffee.


A percolator is an old-style coffee maker you might have seen at your grandparents’. A vertical tube inside the pot directs boiling water to the top, where it seeps through a chamber filled with coarsely ground coffee.

As gravity pulls water through the coffee, it will extract the flavorful compounds and fall back into the main chamber. Once the percolator stops making its signature sputtering noise, you know your coffee is ready for drinking.

A stovetop percolator takes from 5 to 8 minutes to produce full-strength coffee. An electric percolator is slightly slower, but 10 minutes should be enough time to ensure proper coffee extraction.

Despite taking longer, an electric percolator is more convenient as it has a built-in thermostat to prevent coffee from overheating. If you use a stovetop percolator, you need to take it off the heat immediately once it finishes brewing, or your coffee will burn and have a bitter flavor.

percolator brewing coffee on campfire

Moka Pot

A Moka Pot is a classic stovetop espresso maker that brews strong coffee. While it does not reach the high pressure of an espresso machine, buying a Moka Pot is an excellent alternative without investing much money.

Moka coffee maker requires medium-fine grind size coffee that goes into a filter basket. When the coffee maker’s bottom chamber is filled with water, the coffee basket goes on top, and the brewing chamber gets screwed on.

It is best to set the stove to medium heat for brewing the coffee with a Moka Pot. When the water seeps through the coffee grounds to the top chamber of the coffee pot, lower the heat and wait until the brewing section fills up.

As much as you might be tempted to speed up the brewing process, resist the temptation. Lower heat increases the brewing time. However, it enhances the coffee flavor. The brew cycle can take 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the Moka Pot size and your stove’s heat level.

French press

A French press coffee maker is fast and easy to use, and depending on its size, it can produce enough coffee for a few people.

This brewing method requires coarsely ground coffee and hot water heated in a separate pot or kettle. The optimal water temperature is 190-195 °F (88-90° C). When the water is poured onto the coffee grounds, it is best to give it a quick stir and cover it with the lid. The coffee should steep for about 4 minutes to extract the flavors before pressing the filter plunger down.

The great thing about a French press is that it can make chilled coffee drinks such as iced coffee or cold brew.

But how long does it take to cold brew coffee in a French press? After adding coarse ground coffee and cold water to the coffee maker and covering it with a lid, it must steep in a dark, cool place (such as a refrigerator) for 12-18 hours. The plunger needs to be up all this time.

pouring french press coffee into a cup


AeroPress works similarly to a French press as you plunge the coffee to extract flavor. Its advantage is that it’s a bit faster, and the finished drink has less grit due to the paper filter.

AeroPress requires medium-fine ground coffee and water heated to 175-185 °F (80-85 °C). The ground coffee goes to the bigger cylinder of the AeroPress, and the water is poured over it. After stirring it, the plunger part gets inserted, and it should stay for a couple of minutes before pressing it down over a glass or a mug.

Even though the water temperature for brewing coffee with AeroPress is slightly lower, it produces a cup of fresh coffee faster than most other brewing methods. The AeroPress brewing process takes around 2.5 minutes.

Why does coffee take so long to brew?

The advantage of manual coffee makers is that you can control brewing time yourself. But what if your automatic coffee maker started taking longer and longer to brew a full mug or carafe? The time it takes to prepare coffee can be among the first indicators of the malfunctioning of your coffee machine. Here are the most common issues and tips on how to resolve them.

how long does it take to brew coffee clock and cup

1. Calcium build-up

Most people use tap water to brew coffee, but that’s not often the best idea. Tap water contains calcium and other minerals that gradually build up in your machine’s water tubes and increase the strain on the device. Therefore, it is essential to clean your coffee maker regularly.

You can buy a special coffee machine descaling solution and follow the usage instructions on the package. Alternatively, use a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water.

Fill your coffee maker’s water reservoir with the vinegar-water mixture and run the brew cycle to dissolve the build-up. Afterward, run two cycles of plain water to rinse any leftover vinegar or cleaning solution. It is recommended to perform this process once a month to maintain your coffee machine’s good working condition. It’s also best to use filtered or bottled water to brew coffee. Not only does it contain fewer minerals, but you will also notice the improved taste of your coffee.

limescale sediments

2. Clogged valve

Has descaling your coffee machine not improved the brewing time? In that case, you may have some residue in a valve inside your coffee maker that obstructs the water flow in your coffee machine. You may need to open your device and clean the internal components to solve this problem.

First, check your machine’s manual for instructions on opening and cleaning the valves and other components. It’s essential to be careful when handling the internal parts since they are often fragile. Also, you can expect to void your coffee maker’s warranty if you open it yourself.

3. Wrong settings

Do you have an advanced, multi-setting coffee machine? If your coffee maker is brewing coffee too slowly, you may use the wrong setting. So check the appliance’s settings and adjust them according to your desired coffee recipe.

coffee machine settings

Can you brew coffee for too long?

When you leave your coffee brewing too long, it’s perfectly possible to ruin it. But why does this happen?

Hot water extracts caffeine, oils, carbohydrates, and other compounds from ground coffee beans during brewing. These bioactive compounds are responsible for coffee flavors and strength. The brewing time is one factor that affects how many of those components are in your cup.

When coffee brews too long, it results in over-extraction, and your coffee tastes bitter. However, you can’t rush the brewing process as it will go to the other extreme, and you will have under-extracted watery coffee.

So, how long should a coffee maker take to brew coffee? There is no universal answer to this question, as it depends on the type of coffee maker and the amount of coffee you want to brew. You can experiment with different coffee recipes and brewing methods to find your ultimate way of making tasty coffee. You might be surprised how big a difference adjusting the brewing time could make for the flavor of your cup.

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