How Does a Bunn Coffee Maker Work? Bunn User Guide

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Bunn coffee makers are great if you like to have your coffee brewed as quickly as possible. The reason that a Bunn can brew coffee so quickly — about 3 minutes — is because it keeps water ready at the perfect brewing temperature.

The unit will automatically maintain the temperature of the water in the reservoir tank, so you have to keep the unit plugged in and on for it to work properly. The only time the machine needs to be turned off is if you’re going to be away or if it won’t be needed for days at a time. There’s an off switch that is called the vacation switch; otherwise you can just leave it on.

These coffee makers are much like what you’d see in restaurants, allowing for a speedy brew cycle and piping hot coffee ready as efficiently as possible.

Because they have a different design than most other home coffee makers, you need to be familiar with the specifics of Bunn operation.

So let’s answer the question, “How does a Bunn coffee maker work?” And we’ll also go over how to empty the water reservoir.

Bunn Coffee Maker Instructions

Here we will get into how to use a Bunn machine. One thing that’s important to note is that anytime you close the brew lid, it starts the water flow. So you need to have the decanter in place before you close the lid or you can end up with piping hot coffee running all over your counters and floor, creating a mess as well as a hazard. Freshly brewed coffee is hot enough to cause third-degree burns.

Initial Setup:

These steps are to be completed before you start brewing coffee.

Unit must be unplugged for this process.

First, insert the coffee brewing funnel into the holder using the funnel guides.

Fill the coffee decanter with cold water, lift the brewer lid, and pour the water into the brewer.

Place the decanter on its base. Next, close the lid and wait for three minutes. The internal tank will partially fill during this time.

After three minutes, open the lid, fill the decanter with water, and pour into brewer.

Place the decanter on the base and close the lid.

Water will start flowing from the funnel, so wait for it to stop and then pour it out of the decanter.

Place the decanter back on the base.

Now is the time to plug in the machine.

The vacation switch is located on the side of the machine at the bottom. Press “I” to turn the unit on.

Just wait 15 minutes and the water will be ready to brew.


Place a Bunn coffee filter into the brewing funnel. Add the ground coffee to the filter funnel.

One to two heaping tablespoons per cup of coffee is the manufacturer’s recommendation. (Make sure the coffee is ground for drip brewing.)

Put the brewing funnel in place using the guides.

Add desired amount of cold water.

Place the decanter on the base under the funnel. Turn on the warmer.

Close the brewing lid.

How to Empty a Bunn Coffee Maker

A Bunn machine should be emptied anytime you’re moving the unit, if you’re storing it in an area where it may freeze, or if it isn’t going to be used for an extended time period.

To empty a Bunn coffee maker, first you need to unplug the brewer.

Then, remove the brewing funnel and the spray head. Cool down the brewer by pouring a decanter of cold water into the top of the unit. Put the decanter on the base and then close the lid.

Once the water stops flowing into the decanter you can go ahead and pour that water out, then repeat the process. Once you’ve finished with this stage, place the decanter aside and then go ahead and turn the coffee maker over so that it pours into a sink. Grip the machine by the back as you do this.

Keep tipping until all of the water has drained from the machine. Most of it will flow out of the tube opening of the spray head.

Then, turn the machine back upright and replace the brewing funnel and spray head.


If you enjoy a piping hot cup of coffee or two in the morning, ans you love having coffee brewed in the shortest amount of time possible, then a Bunn is a perfect addition to your kitchen.

The process for how to use a Bunn is a little different, but once you get used to having the hot water already at temperature you may not ever consider using a different coffee maker.

In addition to the faster brew time, many people consider the hot water on demand feature to be a benefit of this machine, which can be utilized for making tea or French press coffee, for example.

Photo by DeaPeaJay

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