These Are the Best High Altitude Coffee Maker Models for a Mug in the Mountains (2023)

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For us coffee lovers, brewing a cup of coffee is a significant part of our morning routines. But if you live at a high altitude, the brewing process gets more complicated.

Whether you’re staying at a mountaintop resort or have embraced a life in the clouds, owning the best high altitude coffee maker can make a world of difference in your coffee quality.

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To help you select a coffee maker that meets your exact needs, we’ve created a list of the top models, with pros and cons for each.

3 BUNN High Altitude Coffee Makers at a Glance

TopThese Are the Best High Altitude Coffee Maker Models for a Mug in the Mountains (1)BUNN CSB3TD Speed BrewSee Deal
These Are the Best High Altitude Coffee Maker Models for a Mug in the Mountains (2)BUNN BX-D Velocity BrewSee Deal
These Are the Best High Altitude Coffee Maker Models for a Mug in the Mountains (3)BUNN CSB2GD Speed BrewSee Deal

Why Do You Need a High Altitude Coffee Machine?

The secret to making an excellent cup of coffee is in the brew temperature. While other variables are important—such as the types of beans you use, or the size of the grind—the brewing temperature trumps everything. You can have the best beans in the world, but if you brew them at the wrong heat level, they’ll taste more bitter and less delicious.

Elevation affects the temperature at which water boils. The standard boiling point for water at sea level is 212°F. For every 500 feet you go up in elevation, the boiling point decreases by approximately 1°F.

For instance, if you’re at 10,000 feet, your water will boil at 192°F.

So even if you have boiling water, the brewing temperature could be way off from what it’d typically be.

These Are the Best High Altitude Coffee Maker Models for a Mug in the Mountains (4)

With a high altitude coffee machine, you can easily compensate for this change, and you won’t have to conduct a science experiment in your kitchen to get the best flavor from coffee. These machines make brewing delicious coffee at high altitudes extremely simple:

4 Best High Altitude Coffee Maker Models

BUNN CSB3TD Speed BrewHigh Altitude Coffee Maker

These Are the Best High Altitude Coffee Maker Models for a Mug in the Mountains (5) Check availability

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When you brew a cup of coffee, you typically need to pour water into the machine and wait for it to heat up. Although simple, this process can take a while to complete. That’s not an issue with the BUNN CSB3TD Speed Brew Coffee Maker. BUNN is one of the few brands that makes high altitude coffee machines, and this one is the best-reviewed model.

The secret to the speediness is that the water stays hot in the stainless steel tank. This feature can be beneficial or a downside, depending on how you look at it.

On the one hand, you get a full cup of exceptional coffee in just a few minutes, and the machine isn’t affected by elevation like standard coffee makers are.

On the other hand, you have to keep the coffee machine on at all times to get that kind of speed for your brewing time. If you need only one or two cups of coffee in the morning, it might not be worth it to leave your device on all night. If you don’t keep it on, the machine isn’t much faster than a standard coffee maker.

Overall, this model is designed for larger groups of coffee lovers, hence the 10-cup carafe that keeps the coffee warm for over two hours without breaking a sweat.


  • Large 50-ounce carafe
  • 900-watt heating element
  • Commercial-grade materials
  • Double-wall vacuum insulated carafe holds temp for over 2 hours
  • Faster than standard coffee makers


  • The power cord is only 3 feet long
  • In some cases, the machine can produce a harsh burnt plastic smell

Behmor Brazen Plus 3.0

These Are the Best High Altitude Coffee Maker Models for a Mug in the Mountains (6) Check availability

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As mentioned, BUNN coffee makers work well at high elevations thanks to their insulated stainless steel chambers. A significant issue with this setup is the amount of electricity needed to keep the water at the right temperature. If you want more control over your brew, you can opt for the Behmor Brazen Plus 3.0.

This coffee brewer has a much more dynamic system that allows you to program the correct temperature at any altitude. We really appreciate the versatility of this machine. You can basically use it anywhere. While BUNN coffee makers are designed for high altitudes, the Brazen Plus 3.0 is a high-quality device in general that also works well at high elevations. Best of all, it has a sleep mode, so you won’t use as much electricity when you’re not brewing coffee.

Another highlight of this machine is the pre-soak setting. An excellent way to awaken the aromas and flavors of your coffee is to soak the beans before brewing. You’ll notice an immediate difference in the quality of your cup when you use the Brazen Plus 3.0.

The only significant downside to this machine is that the carafe isn’t insulated, so the coffee will get pretty cold relatively fast.


  • Programmable interface
  • Accurate to within 1°F
  • Brews up to 8 cups at a time
  • Pre-soak setting helps extract more coffee flavor
  • Sleep mode helps save power
  • Memory save setting
  • Two-year limited warranty


  • More expensive than other models
  • Carafe doesn’t maintain its internal temperature as well as other machines

BUNN BX-D Velocity Brew

These Are the Best High Altitude Coffee Maker Models for a Mug in the Mountains (7) Check availability

If you want to buy a BUNN coffee brewer but need to save money, the BUNN BX-D Velocity Brew is a great pick. This model’s features are similar to those of the model above, but this machine isn’t quite as robust or resilient. Some users have reported that the heating element can wear down after about a year.

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As with other BUNN high altitude coffee makers, this device works by heating your water in an insulated stainless steel chamber. Because the water is secured, it won’t boil as quickly as it would in other machines at high elevations. Still, you can bring this coffee brewer to the top of the mountain and not have to worry about using an incorrect brew temperature.


  • Durable stainless steel components
  • Makes a cup of coffee in 3 minutes or less
  • Insulated water tank stays at 200 degrees, regardless of elevation
  • Brews up to 10 cups at a time
  • Unique spray head helps deliver better coffee flavors


  • In rare cases, the pot may overflow
  • The spray head may shoot coffee grounds accidentally

BUNN CSB2GD Speed BrewHigh Altitude Coffee Maker

These Are the Best High Altitude Coffee Maker Models for a Mug in the Mountains (8) Check availability

Our final high altitude coffee maker is yet another model from BUNN. The setup and coffee-brewing process are the same, but the BUNN CSB2GD Speed Brew works well for individual servings, not just large batches. For example, you can brew just 20 ounces for yourself if you’re in a hurry.

Another unique feature of this coffee brewer is the drip-free carafe, which reduces the amount of cleanup you have to do after a brew. And there are fewer reports of this device overfilling the coffee pot and leaking. Overall, this BUNN is a good one- or two-person model.


  • Sleek charcoal gray design
  • Holds your water at temp. for faster brewing
  • Spray head helps deliver a better coffee experience
  • Drip-free carafe for fewer messes
  • Brews between 20 and 50 ounces at a time


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  • In rare cases, the coffee may brew at cooler temperatures
  • Some models may emit a chemical smell while brewing

Final Verdict

As you can tell, BUNN has a near monopoly on high altitude coffee makers. We appreciate the speed and efficiency of the BUNN machines, but we also like the versatility of the Behmor model.

The BUNN CSB3TD is an excellent coffee maker option for people who want better-tasting coffee while living at high elevations. If you travel back and forth between high and low altitudes, however, the Behmor Brazen Plus 3.0 is likely a better purchase.


What is considered high altitude coffee maker? ›

The high altitude version of the Bunn BX Coffee Maker is recommended for those who live at altitudes of 5,000+ feet above sea level.

What is high altitude Bunn? ›

Features: BUNN BREWS DIFFERENTLY - The BUNN Speed Brew uses an internal commercial grade stainless steel hot water tank that keeps 70oz of water always hot so you can quickly brew at the flip of a lid. PRESET TO ACCOMMODATE the lower boiling in high-altitude locations (4,000 ft and above).

What is the high altitude on a Keurig? ›

High Altitude ensures your brewer works properly at higher altitudes (5,000 feet). NOTE: In High Altitude mode the temperature is not adjustable. If you attempt to adjust the temperature, the mountain icon will flash indicating that you are in high altitude mode.

What is the highest quality coffee that grows best in high altitudes? ›

According to many coffee experts, the best beans generally grow at an altitude of 4,500 feet or higher and are known as strictly hard beans (e.g., in Costa Rica and Guatemala). These beans are incredibly dense and should have a closed fissure line (the line down the center of the bean) when they're green or unroasted.

Which elevation zone is best for coffee? ›

The Bean Belt

The tropical and subtropical climates found in the “Bean Belt” as well as the abundance of growing regions with elevations of 800-2,200 metres above sea level provide the ideal conditions for growing coffee beans.

What is the difference between high altitude and high elevation? ›

Elevation refers to the height of a point on Earth's surface above mean sea level. Altitude is the vertical distance of a point or object above a reference level, which can be mean sea level or ground level, depending on the context.

What is so special about a Bunn coffee maker? ›

The real secret to the success of this 10 cup coffee maker is its internal hot water tank. Unlike most other home coffee makers, the Bunn Speed Brew has a stainless steel water tank that maintains water at 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is considered very high altitude? ›

High altitude = 1500 to 3500 meters above sea level (4900-11500 ft.) Very high altitude = 3500 to 5500 meters above sea level (11500 to 18000 ft.) Extreme altitude = above 5500 meters above sea level (18000 ft.)

Is higher altitude coffee better? ›

Coffee grown at higher elevations tends to be of higher quality, and with that high quality comes more complex flavor notes than coffee grown at lower elevations. The difference in flavor and quality is due to two factors, water and temperature.

How hot does a Keurig get at high altitude? ›

Some Keurig systems, such as the K2. 0 have a specific 'High Altitude' setting. If you live in the Denver, Colorado Springs or surrounding areas then you are most likely at or above 6,000 ft. If so, then water will probably boil at about 200 F or even lower.

Does coffee brew different at high altitude? ›


Cooler mountain temperatures provide a slower growth cycle for the coffee tree which prolongs bean development. This longer maturation process imbues the coffee bean with more complex sugars, yielding deeper and more compelling flavors.

What does the strong setting on a Keurig mean? ›

Answer. The strong button allows you to increase the strength and bold taste of your coffee. Simply press this button at the start of your brew to enjoy a fuller, bolder cup!

Where is the No 1 coffee bean in the world grown? ›


As a nation it's been topping the pops as the world's leading coffee producer for 150 years! Unsurprisingly, given the quantities of coffee Brazil produces, the climate is perfect for growing Arabica and Robusta beans.

Why is Guatemalan coffee so good? ›

The long answer is that due to the high elevation, rich volcanic soil, tropical climate, and lengthy rainy season, Guatemala grows high-quality beans. Families of multiple generations have been involved in the coffee industry in Guatemala, so coffee farms know how to process beans to create the best possible flavor.

What is the difference between Arabica and Robusta altitude? ›

Arabica coffee is grown anywhere upwards of 600+m on mountain tops and tropical environments. Whereas Robusta coffee is grown anywhere from sea level to around 600m. Robusta coffees also produce a harder fruit and thus are not as susceptible to pesky insects.

Which single or grade of coffee bean grows and thrives at high altitudes? ›

Arabica trees thrive at higher altitudes than robusta, typically between 3,000 and 6,000 feet. At these elevations, hot days and cool nights slow down the growth of coffee cherries.

Is Colombian coffee grown at high altitude? ›

Colombia's high altitudes help make it one of the most accommodating places in the world for growing specialty coffee.

What are the pros and cons of high altitude? ›

Living at high altitude has its advantages — namely beautiful scenery, majestic mountains, clean air and inspiring recreation opportunities. But the thin air (with less oxygen) and decreased atmospheric pressure can also be tough on your system, particularly if you're not used to it.

What are the three categories of high altitude? ›

  • High altitude (1500 to 3500 m) The onset of physiologic effects of diminished inspiratory oxygen pressure (PIO2) includes decreased exercise performance and increased ventilation (lowering of arterial PaCO2). ...
  • Very high altitude (3500 to 5500 m) ...
  • Extreme altitude (above 5500 m)

What happens to your body when you move to a higher altitude? ›

Within the first few hours of altitude exposure, water loss also increases, which can result in dehydration. Altitude can also increase your metabolism while suppressing your appetite, meaning you'll have to eat more than you feel like to maintain a neutral energy balance.

Why is my BUNN coffee so weak? ›

Bunn Coffee Maker Makes Weak Beverage

If the pile of grounds is uneven or the filter paper doesn't cover the whole base of the brew basket, it will not extract the coffee properly. Check the Water Temperature – While the coffee maker is turned on, check the water temperature with a thermometer.

Do I leave my BUNN on all the time? ›

A: You must leave it plugged in at all times. It has a tank in it where it keeps the water hot, all the time. If you unplug it, plug it in, and then try to make coffee right away, you will have cold coffee.

Does McDonald's use BUNN coffee makers? ›

Bunn coffee makers are the most recognizable and popular coffee maker brands in the country, trusted by leading chains like 7-11, McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts, Tim Hortons, and so many more.

What is the healthiest altitude to live at? ›

Dr. Elizabeth Egan in her excellent book, Notes from Higher Grounds, shares that “the optimal altitude at which to live is somewhere between 2,100 m (6,900 feet) and 2,500 m (8,200 feet).” Estes Park is in that sweet spot between these two figures, at 7,500 feet above sea level.

What is the fastest way to adjust to high altitude? ›

  1. Drink Lots of Water. As you gain altitude, your body tends to lose water and salt faster than you're used to. ...
  2. Reduce Your Exercise. ...
  3. Get Enough Sleep. ...
  4. Limit Your Alcohol Intake. ...
  5. Increase Your Potassium Levels. ...
  6. Protect Yourself From the Sun. ...
  7. Consume More Calories. ...
  8. Consider Taking Acetazolamide.
Mar 21, 2017

How can I prevent altitude sickness in Colorado? ›

Top 9 High Altitude Tips
  1. Stay below 7,000 feet the first day (the city of Colorado Springs is 6,035 feet above sea level.)
  2. Give your body time to adjust (there are lots to see and do at lower altitudes.)
  3. Avoid strenuous exercise on the first day.
  4. Limit alcohol intake. ...
  5. Drink more water. ...
  6. Always travel with a companion.

Does high altitude coffee have less caffeine? ›

Does altitude affect caffeine? As a general rule, caffeine levels decrease as the altitude increases. Conditions at low altitudes are tough.

What does coffee taste like at high altitude? ›

This is because, generally speaking, coffee grown at very high altitude (1,500 metres, or 5,000 feet above sea level) is associated with the most prized flavours: florals, stone fruits, high acidity, even spiciness.

What is the strongest coffee method? ›

Espresso is considered the strongest coffee brewing method. The strongest ratio is reached at 1:2, however some people prefer ratios of extraction not as concentrated or strong as 1:3 which are more commonly used in cappuccinos or lattes.

Which Keurig makes the hottest coffee? ›

Brew temperature
Keurig ProductTemp After Brewing
1. K-Elite161 °F (default setting can be increased)
2. K-Latte175 °F
3. K155 OfficePRO161 °F
4. K-Cafe175 °F
1 more row
May 14, 2021

Which Keurig models have temperature control? ›

Keurig K-Elite Single Serve K-Cup Pod Maker with with Strength and Temperature Control, Iced Coffee Capability, 12oz Brew Size, Brushed Silver (Renewed)

What does high altitude brewing mean? ›

As altitude increases, the boiling point of water decreases. The practical effect of this is that your boil-hops additions boil at a lower temperature, which results in lower hops utilization. So at altitude, you may actually need more hops to achieve a given bitterness than a brewer at sea level.

What is the name of coffee grown at high altitudes? ›

Arabica coffee grows best at high altitudes, has a much more refined flavor than other species, and contains about 1% caffeine by weight. As the name indicates, robusta coffee is a robust species, resistant to disease, with a high yield per plant.

What temperature is high altitude coffee? ›

As a result, the optimal temperature range for high-altitude coffee beans is between 64-73 degrees and can reach temps as low as 59 degrees. High altitude is considered anything between 1,800 and 6,300 feet above sea level for coffee trees.

What is the best temperature to steep coffee? ›

Is There a Perfect Coffee Brewing Temperature? According to the National Coffee Association, the ideal water temperature for extraction is between 195°F and 205°F, which is a little below the boiling point of water — 212°F. What's handy about this temperature range is that it works across all brewing methods.

Should you shake K cups? ›

Shake the K-Cup® pack before brewing. 3. Fill a 16 oz tumbler with ice and place under brewer. Note: We suggest you avoid glass as hot liquids may cause glass to crack.

Why is my Keurig not making good coffee? ›

The Keurig may not be brewing if the machine was overfilled or the wrong pods were used. Another culprit could be debris, again, having clogged the needle. Empty the drip tray. Use a cup under the dispenser and try to brew after you're sure that there's the exact recommended amount of water in the reservoir.

What is high altitude brewing? ›

The primary effect of brewing beer at high altitude is that it lowers the temperature at which water and wort boils. While water boils at 212 F (100 C) at sea level, the boil temperature drops about 6 F (3.2 C) for every 3200 feet (1000 m) of altitude.

What is considered a high altitude? ›

High altitude = 1500 to 3500 meters above sea level (4900-11500 ft.) Very high altitude = 3500 to 5500 meters above sea level (11500 to 18000 ft.) Extreme altitude = above 5500 meters above sea level (18000 ft.)

What is the difference between low and high altitude coffee? ›

The altitude at which a bean is grown has an affect on the beans flavor. Coffee grown at higher elevations tends to be of higher quality, and with that high quality comes more complex flavor notes than coffee grown at lower elevations. The difference in flavor and quality is due to two factors, water and temperature.


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