A simple cup of drip coffee may be one of the most underrated beverages out there. Of course, nothing beats a cup of lovingly brewed espresso. And we get the charms of things like pour-over coffee or the machinations of a Moka pot.
But sometimes, like during a quick break at work, or the end of a long day, you need a decent cup of coffee that brews quickly, doesn’t need 30 minutes to prepare, and simply fills you with that caffeinated warmth and comfort.
Besides that, a manual drip coffee maker is one of the cheapest ways to make a strong cup of coffee. And if you want to up your game and put your coffee maker at home to good use, we’ll tell you how to make drip coffee properly.
What You Need: The Right Components
When it comes to making a slow drip coffee maker (or any kind of coffee really), you get what you give. Because of this, you need good ingredients and the right kind of equipment for a solid brew.
To make a good cup of coffee, you need to start with great coffee beans. If you have a drip coffee maker, steer clear of pre-ground coffee. Get quality coffee beans and grind them yourself.
A medium or dark roast is a good idea, especially if you want a chilled drink like those made with Japanese drip coffee.
If your coffee beans are ground too finely, your coffee will be over-extracted and bitter. You need to strike the right balance with your drip coffee grind size.
On the other hand, if the coffee grains are too big the water will pass through them quickly, resulting in under-extracted coffee that is flat and weak.
For most auto-drip coffee makers, you will need a fine or medium grind based on the kind of drip coffee filters. If you have flat bottom filters, a medium grind with a sand-like texture is best. A medium-fine grind works well with cone-shaped filters.
The Right Ratio:
Unlike espresso, you can make drip coffee without precise measurements. However, you still need the right amounts for a good tasting brew.
The drip coffee ratio is something like one tablespoon of coffee for every cup of water. In other words, you need two tablespoons of ground coffee for every 16 ounces of water.
This might sound like a no-brainer. Any kind of water should do, right? Wrong.
Tap water contains lots of minerals and these alter the taste of your cup of coffee. Filtered water is the best way to go.
Brewing temperature is one of the most important factors when brewing drip coffee or any other brewing method.
The best temperature for drip coffee is between 195- and 205-degrees Fahrenheit. Using a thermometer is the best way to ensure a great cup every time.
The Drip Coffee Maker:
Most people think you can only make a good cup of coffee with an expensive espresso machine. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. You need just a basic automatic coffee maker and not one of the pricier models.
While we suggest avoiding the super cheap ones as they make poor coffee and break down easily. You can get a one cup drip coffee maker or pour over drip coffee maker that is convenient and affordable.
A hand drip coffee maker, like the Blue Bottle drip coffee works because you pour the water over the ground coffee.
Pour-over coffee instructions are easy and you have total control over the process. A drip coffee maker does the pouring for you, so it is a good idea to make sure it does the job well.
How to Brew Coffee with an Automatic Drip Coffee Maker
In this section, we outline how you can make coffee with a drip coffee machine in the fastest and easiest way.
- Grind your roasted coffee beans to the right grind size (medium-fine in most cases).
- Place a coffee filter in the filter basket. All automatic drip coffee makers come with a filter basket located usually right under the brew head (where the hot water is dispensed). Make sure your filter has been rinsed thoroughly.
- Add one tablespoon of coffee to the paper filter for every cup (8 oz) of coffee you want to make. You can a little more or less if you want a weaker or stronger cup.
- Fill the reservoir with cold and filtered water. For every cup of coffee, you want to make, add 8 ounces of water.
- Press the start button to start the coffee maker’s brew cycle. A majority of automatic drip coffee makers will have a simple “start” button that is easy to locate.
- Kill the heat as soon as your coffee is done brewing. This will prevent any burnt or bitter flavors in your brew. The best pour-over coffee method works because after they are brewed, the coffee can settle into its flavor without disruption.
On the other hand, the hot plate of a drip coffee maker overheats the coffee and wrecks the taste. Remove the carafe from the coffee maker as soon as possible.
Customizing Your Cup of Coffee
Here’s how you can make your cup of drip coffee taste much better.
- For a strong cup of coffee, use a finer grind or use 6-4 ounces of water instead.
- For a milder cup of coffee, use a coarser grind, or a smaller amount of coffee.
- If you want a coffee with fruity or floral notes, brew light or blond roast coffee beans.
- If you want a coffee with woody, smokey, or cocoa notes, brew darker roast beans.
- You can also use flavored syrups or dairy to include notes of caramel, toffee, hazelnut, mocha, or vanilla in your coffee.
- Pour your brewed coffee into a thermal carafe instead of leaving it in the glass carafe on the hot plate. Using a hot plate will add an unwanted bitterness as the coffee compounds get burnt and over-extracted.
- Measure your ingredients by weight instead of volume. This will give every cup of coffee a consistent taste and make it taste more like something you would get in a restaurant or coffee shop. Using 15 grams of coffee for every 225 grams of water is a good place to start.
Here we answer questions people often have about brewing coffee with drip coffee makers.
01. How Do You Use Drip Coffee Maker?
Using a drip coffee maker is pretty straightforward. You just have to add the needed amount of ground coffee to the filter basket and pour water into the reservoir. Press the start button and wait for the machine to dispense the brewed coffee.
02. What is a Pour Over Coffee Maker?
The pour-over method involves pouring hot water over ground coffee in a filter. The water drains through the coffee and filter, so the brewed coffee pours directly into the carafe or mug.
This tells us that there isn’t much of a pour-over coffee maker, as you just have to pour hot water from a kettle directly over the grounds.
03. How Do You Make Pour-Over Coffee?
- Bring around 600 grams (20 oz) of water in a kettle to a boil.
- Grind 30 grams of coffee (3 tbsp) until they have the texture of sea salt. Using light or medium roast coffee gives the best flavor for this method of brewing.
- Set a filter in the cup or carafe of your choice. You might have to wet the filter first.
- Add the ground coffee to the filter and gently tap or shake it to level the surface of the grounds.
- Pour just enough water to cover the ground coffee which lets the coffee “bloom.” Then wait 45 seconds. This step allows the carbon dioxide to escape from the coffee which helps improve the overall flavor.
- After the coffee has bloomed, begin pouring the remaining hot water over the coffee in small circular motions. Focus the pouring mostly in the inner circle, pouring near the edges occasionally the grounds keep the grounds wet. For the first pour, add about 7 ounces of water.
- If you pour slowly, you can maintain a constant pour and let it filter at the same rate (which is ideal for the best flavor). Or you can pour in 7-ounce batches at a time. Make sure the grounds don’t dry up.
- After the coffee is brewed, remove the filter and enjoy your drink.
04. How Do You Make Cafe Bustelo in a Drip Coffee Maker?
- Use a drip coffee maker and a washable filter, just like many any cup of coffee.
- Place a rounded tablespoon of the coffee into the coffee maker’s filter. The amount of ground coffee depends on how you like your Café Bustelo.
- Add water to the coffee maker’s reservoir.
- Once you’ve completed the steps above, hit the switch button on the drip coffee maker. Let the brewing begin.
A good cup of coffee takes time, patience, and good ingredients. Once you have the basics nailed down, you can enjoy a good cup of coffee, whether it is a quick cup of drip coffee or a fancy espresso.Knowing how to brew drip coffee will make the bitter office brew much more bearable. Also, once you find out how to make drip coffee, you can put your coffee maker at home to good use.
On chilly days, you enjoy a hot cup of coffee without having to leave the house. So why not give drip coffee a try?