We have been talking about moving up from a small 12 cup decanter style coffee brewer when you need higher volume brewing. We started looking at the major types of brewers to consider:

  • Airpot Coffee Brewers
  • Thermal Server Coffee Brewers
  • Satellite Coffee Brewers
  • Urn Coffee Brewers

So far we have discussed airpot and thermal server coffee brewers. Now we’ll move on to satellite coffee brewers.

Satellite Coffee Brewers

Like airpots and thermal servers satellites are portable containers that keep coffee hot for hours. The difference is that satellites require electricity. This means coffee is always kept a fixed piping hot temperature instead of slowing getting colder like with airpots and thermal servers. The downside is that the constant heating of the coffee can give the coffee a burnt taste just like leaving a decanter of coffee on a warmer for a long time. You also need to buy a warming stand and have an electrical outlet available if you move the satellite off the brewer.

Satellites come in two styles. The most common is an externally heated satellite, like the Curtis Gemini GEM-120A Satellite Coffee Brewer, where the satellite brewer or warming stand has a warmer plate just like a decanter brewer and the satellite sits on the warmer plate. The second style is an internally heated satellite, Like the Bunn Soft Heat BrewWISE DBC Satellite Coffee Brewer, where the satellite has a plug on the back to power an internal heater. The brewer or warming stand has a mating plug to power the satellite. The advantage of the internally heated satellite is that the heater can be better controlled and less heat is used to keep the coffee hot staving off that burnt flavor overheated coffee can get.

Most satellites hold 1.5 gallons of coffee. Some lower end satellite coffee brewers will only brew a 1 gallon batch into the 1.5 gallon satellite but most brewers will brew a full 1.5 gallon batch with either half and full batch or 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 gallon batch settings.

You can get single brew head 1.5 gallon satellite coffee brewers that plug into a standard 120 volt power outlet, like the Bunn GPR Single Satellite Coffee Brewer, but you will be limited to brewing about 5 gallons/hour. This is because you need to wait between brewing full satellites of coffee for the water in the tank to reheat. A 240 volt single head brewer, like the Grindmaster P300E 1.5 Gallon Shuttle Satellite Coffee Brewer, uses more powerful heaters so it greatly reduces the wait time between pots and doubles the capacity to 10 – 11 gallons/hour. A twin brewing head 240 volt satellite brewer, like the Newco GXDF2-15 Dual Satellite Coffee Brewer, will increase capacity to 16 – 19 gallons/hour.

Satellite coffee brewers are popular in convenience stores, other self-service area where customers expect piping hot coffee even during slack times where coffee may sit in the dispenser for longer periods of time. With additional warming stands and satellites its easy to offer multiple varieties and flavors of coffee without worrying about them getting cold.