Improving Coffee Experience with Pressure Sensors

Coffee Machines

The quest for a better cup of coffee

Throughout the world, most people start their day by drinking a cup of coffee, either with breakfast or as a standalone drink. Many cannot get their day started without it, as it serves as an energy booster enabling them to tackle the day.

The first thing people enjoy with coffee is the aroma, as a good, freshly brewed cup of coffee is very inviting and activates the senses. Next is the taste. Whether drinking it black or with cream and sugar, coffee quickly becomes an acquired taste that most people crave in the morning, and possibly throughout the day.

As with most consumer staples, the better you can make coffee’s taste and aroma, the more it will be desired. Regardless of whether you are brewing coffee with a simple coffee pod system (e.g., Keurig), traditional coffee machine (e.g., Mr. Coffee) or advanced system that grinds the beans at the time of making coffee (e.g., Jura), two key aspects of making that perfect cup of coffee are temperature and pressure.

Temperature sensors ensure that the coffee is brewed at the optimal heat, while pressure sensors guarantee the finest brewing process is followed. In addition, pressure sensors can be used for the coffee machine cleaning process to make sure the right amount of pressure is being applied to remove all residue.

Espresso machine

Figure 1 – Espresso Machine

How pressure sensors can help make better coffee

Absolute pressure sensors can be used to make better coffee by measuring the pressure at various points in brewing and adjusting parameters of the brewing process accordingly. For example, in an espresso machine, sensors can be used to measure the pressure of the water flowing through the coffee grounds, which is important for achieving the correct extraction of the coffee flavors.

By monitoring this pressure, the machine can adjust the grind of the coffee beans, the amount of coffee used, and the temperature and flow rate of the water to achieve the optimal extraction of the coffee’s flavors.

Pressure sensors can also be used in other brewing methods like French press and pour-over. In these instances, sensors can measure the pressure of the water as it passes through the coffee grounds, allowing the appliance to adjust the amount of water, temperature, and flow rate to optimize the extraction of flavors.

Finally, pressure sensors can be used in the machine’s automated cleaning process. Specifically, the sensor can ensure the correct amount of air, steam and/or water pressure is being applied during the clean cycle to disinfect and properly remove any residue or remaining particles.

Superior Sensor Technology’s Absolute Pressure Sensors

Ideal for improving the coffee experience, Superior Sensor’s ND Series of absolute pressure sensors measure pressure from as low as 15 psia (pounds per square inch, absolute) to as high as 150 psia. Having an expanded operating temperature range to go along with the industry’s lowest noise floor, the ND Series has market leading accuracy within 0.1% of the pressure range.

The ND Series provides a new level of integration combining an advanced piezoresistive sensing element with integrated amplification, ADC, DSP and interface which greatly simplifies design and integration efforts. Key features of the ND Series Absolute Pressure Sensors include:

  • Support for pressure ranges from 15 psia to 150 psia (1.03 Bar to 10.3 Bar)
  • 16-bit resolution
  • Exceptional zero stability
  • Selectable bandwidth filter from 1 Hz to 200 Hz
  • Output data rate at 444 Hz
  • Integrated 50/60 Hz notch filter
  • Silicone gel protection
  • Temperature compensated from -20°C to +85°C
  • Very high accuracy of ±0.1% of the pressure range
  • Total error band (TEB) less than 0.15% of the pressure range
  • Standard I2C and SPI interfaces
  • Optional integrated advanced digital filtering
  • Optional integrated 3-mode pressure safety switch
  • Optional integrated closed loop control

With all these advanced capabilities, the ND Series is more than a pressure sensor – it is a complete pressure sensing sub-system. This highly integrated solution simplifies system development and manufacturing while increasing product reliability.


The ND Series absolute pressure sensors are in production and available through Digi-Key and Mouser.

Similar Posts