What Is a Dual Boiler Coffee Machine? 

Are you looking for the best coffee maker to upgrade your home café? Read this article to know the answer to “What is a dual boiler coffee machine?”

What Is a Dual Boiler Coffee Machine
A dual boiler coffee machine can heat coffee and milk with its brewing and steaming features

Approximately 82% of American households have coffee makers, leading to double-digit sales of other modern coffee appliances and accessories. Are you looking to find the perfect addition to your home café setup? It’s challenging to pick what machine can offer you an improved coffee experience among the many appliances on the market today. 

A great choice is the dual boiler coffee machine. This equipment can heat coffee and milk with its brewing and steaming features. However, it can also eat up a lot of space. 

Continue reading below to know if this innovative appliance deserves a place in your kitchen.

Coffee Machine Vs. Espresso Machine

Most people think coffee and espresso machines are the same. However, they have different processes and effects on your coffee experience.

Roasting And Grinding 

Depending on the brewing method, most filtered coffee machines use a lighter roast to preserve the beans’ acidity. In contrast, espresso machines opt for darker roasts to produce intense espresso. Espresso shots are usually mixed with milk to make cappuccinos and lattes because it’s stronger than regular coffee.

a hand holding a cup of coffee while the coffee machine is pouring
Depending on the brewing method, most filtered coffee machines use a lighter roast

Course and thick grinds are best for coffee machines. On the other hand, espresso machines use fine pulverized coffee grounds.

Brewing Time

Espresso machines have a short brewing time of 20 to 30 seconds. In contrast, brewing with coffee machines will take five to 10 minutes.

Water Pressure

While an espresso machine uses high pressure to force boiling water through compacted fine coffee grinds in a few seconds, coffee machines are a little slower. In coffee machines, hot water is poured into the ground coffee to soak up all the coffee bean’s flavors and oils. Then it will slowly drip through a filter into a cup.


Coffee machines are budget-friendly appliances but with limited features. Meanwhile, investing in a high-quality espresso machine is worth it if you want to brew a high-grade coffee.

Caffeine Content

a coffee machine pouring coffee in a small cup
Coffee machines have a lower caffeine content of only 95 to 165 milligrams

Since dark roasts are used in espresso machines, a single shot contains 375 to 520 milligrams of caffeine per 225 milliliters. Coffee machines have a lower caffeine content of only 95 to 165 milligrams.

If you want to purchase an espresso machine and also use it for making regular coffee, it’s better to buy dual-purpose coffee makers. Our guide on if you can use regular coffee in an espresso machine might be helpful. 

Coffee Boilers: Dual Boiler Coffee Machines

A coffee boiler is an engine in the coffee machine responsible for heating the water to extract the coffee and steam the milk. It’s critical to making a great cup of Joe. 

There are three types of coffee boilers:

1. Single boiler coffee machine

It has only one boiler to heat water and a switch to change the temperature for steaming milk. 

2. Heat exchanger

It also has a single boiler but a tube inside to boil the water and steam milk simultaneously. 

3. The Dual boilers

It’s an innovative invention that can do what a heat exchanger does with a stable temperature and the ability to brew more drinks.

The dual boilers have separate boilers for steaming milk and heating water for coffee in a single machine. The first boiler is set to a lower temperature and acts as the brew boiler.

The larger one is at a higher temperature and is responsible for being the milk steamer boiler. These two separate boilers will give you complete control over the brewing temperature and offer more consistent extraction. 

Dual boiler coffee machines are designed to cook and steam simultaneously, so there is less time wasted in temperature surfing, waiting for them to balance. Most dual boilers have a Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) that controls temperature resulting in consistent brews. PID lets you adjust the machine depending on the coffee type and water temperature to achieve specific flavor profiles.

How Does It Work? 

The process starts when the water from the tank comes into a pump. Some dual boilers require the water for brewing coffee to twirl first in an Over Pressure Valve (OPV) before going to the boiler to limit the pressure. 

Other brands and models allow the water to flow continuously to the boilers from the pump. From there, the water is boiled to the right temperature for steaming milk or extracting coffee.

Do I Need A Dual Boiler Coffee Machine?

Here are the advantages and disadvantages to help you decide:


  • A dual boiler has more steam power than a heat exchanger.
  • It can be used to experiment with how water temperature affects brewing coffee beans.
  • The faster steaming and extracting process will help make more coffee.
  • It’s one of the best coffee machines for novice and professional baristas.
  • Investing in dual boiler coffee machines can double your capacity and solve service speed issues if you’re a café owner.


  • It’s a large machine and takes up space.
  • Dual boilers coffee machines are expensive and only suitable for café owners and coffee enthusiasts with large budgets.
  • Unlike a heat exchanger, the water pumped into the boilers is mostly stale.
  • It’s easy to use but challenging to maintain.

Buy a dual boiler if you’re fond of making milk-based drinks and espresso shots. It’s the perfect machine for anyone who wants to be able to alter temperatures and values consistency.

Are you searching for ways to reinvent your coffee? Check out our round-up of the coffee products that will change how you see coffee.

FAQs About Dual Boiler Coffee Machine

Are Dual Boiler Coffee Machines Better?

Dual boilers are one of the best coffee machines out there. You can heat water to extract the coffee bean and steam the milk for foaming simultaneously. However, this machine is expensive compared to a single boiler and heat exchanger.

What Are The Advantages Of A Dual Boiler Espresso Machine?

It’s better than any other coffee boiler. Besides brewing and steaming simultaneously, it also offers temperature stability and the capability to brew more drinks back-to-back.

How Does A Dual Boiler Espresso Machine Work?

The dual boiler espresso machine is beginner-friendly and easy to use. The process starts with pumping water from the water reservoir to two separate boilers, the temperature of the first boiler is set up to be suitable for water, and the larger boiler has a higher temperature for milk steam. From there, you can start making your espresso as you usually do.

Do I Need A Dual Boiler?

While the heat exchanger is great for making coffees with milk at home, if you want a high-quality coffee maker that will give you the feeling of drinking coffee from a coffee shop, choose the dual boiler coffee machine. If you’re a starter who wants to experiment with brewing temperature to reach various coffee flavors, it’s worth your money. 


  • Maria Caballero

    Writer and coffee lover, Maria Caballero, is fond of visiting new cafes and trying current trends involving caffeine. She shares amusing experiences to fellow coffee enthusiasts who wants to explore the world of coffee.