What Size Inverter Do You Need For A Coffee Pot?

A simple formula can tell you what size inverter you need for your coffee pot: Find out the coffee maker’s wattage use, and then add 20 per cent on top of that.

Small power inverter on the table inside an RV

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Last Updated on December 3, 2023

Many people simply do not function until they have had their morning cup of coffee. That’s why it is so important to be able to brew a pot of coffee while on the go.

You can run a standard coffee maker or coffee pot from an inverter, but what size inverter do you need?

The answer technically depends on the pot itself. Typically, your standard coffee pot is going to require at least 750 watts of electricity.

A standard 8- or 12-cup coffee maker will require at least 750 watts, but you should probably use a 1000-watt inverter to be safe.

An espresso machine will use even more voltage. Typically, they require 2000 watts of electricity.

How can you find out what size inverter you need?

The key to knowing what kind of inverter you will need to run your coffee maker on the go, through an inverter, is understanding your coffee maker’s wattage and energy needs.

There is a simple formula to use: Find out what your coffee maker’s wattage use is, and then add 20 per cent on top of that. So, if your coffee maker requires 700 watts, you need an 840-watt inverter minimum, which probably means that you need to buy a 1000-watt inverter since they don’t usually come in such odd numbers. If your coffee maker needs 1000 watts, you’re going to need a 1200-watt inverter.

A 1000-watt power inverter from Dewalt.

You can also do the math backwards to find out how many watts your current inverter will support: If you have a 1000-watt inverter, it can run up to an 800-watt coffee maker.

If you’re shopping for a new coffee maker or recently purchased yours, you can just check the box or the owner’s manual to find out its power needs. If it’s older and you no longer have the manual, check the back or bottom of the machine. Sometimes it’s included with the technical information printed on the coffee maker itself. If not, just conduct an internet search for your make and model, and you can find out that way.

Will a 400-watt inverter run a coffee pot?

A 400-watt inverter can’t run a traditional coffee pot. Using the formula above, a 400-watt inverter can only support about a 325-watt coffee maker. You’re unlikely to find a regular-sized coffee maker that only requires that amount of voltage.

That said, there may be ways around it.

The best way to make coffee with a 400-watt inverter is not to use a coffee pot at all. Instead, purchase a small kettle that can boil water. You need to make sure ahead of time that it does not require more power to work.

A gas stove can get you hot water pretty quickly as well.

Once you have boiled water, you can use any number of systems and methods to make coffee: a French presspour-overcowboy coffee, and more.

Other uses for a 400-watt inverter

It is a bit surprising that a 400-watt inverter won’t work for a coffee pot, given some of the other things it can handle, including:

  • A small television
  • Laptop or computer monitor
  • Charging a cell phone, camera, or MP3 player
  • Blender
  • Power tools
  • Small refrigerator

The reason is that to make coffee, you have to generate heat of some kind. Any time that you need heat, you’re automatically going to consume more electricity.

Regardless, whether you buy a small kettle to make the 400-watt inverter work or you spring for a larger inverter, there are still many uses for a 400-watt inverter. Hang onto it and take it along on your next outdoor adventure.

What is an inverter?

An inverter, also known as a power inverter, is a piece of electronic equipment. Put simply, it converts power—usually battery power—from a direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).

A battery isn’t the only source of DC power. Solar cells and certain types of generators are as well. AC power is used by devices that have a traditional power plug.

If you have a solar-powered cell phone charger or if you use a car charger for your phone, you already use an inverter.

Why do you need an inverter for a coffee pot?

Inverters are what you use to utilize electricity when a main source isn’t available. One of the biggest reasons why you might run your coffee pot off an inverter is if you’re camping, or anywhere where you don’t have access to traditional outlets and electricity.

You also might want inverter-fed coffee if you’re on a road trip and don’t want to stop, if you’re setting up a booth at a farmer’s market and know that you’ll be there all day, or any number of other scenarios.

Most recreational vehicles (RVs) come with a fairly high-voltage inverter or generator, though you may need to specify that you want one included if you’re buying new. That way, you don’t have to worry about running most small devices, including a coffee maker.

There once was a pot for coffee so grand,
Requiring watts more than most could stand.
With a hum and a buzz,
It did what it does,
Brewing joy in a faraway land.

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