coffee has been around for years and drip coffee makers are a common kitchen appliance in many American homes. It is also known as filter coffee because it uses a filter (duh!)
Watch any classic movie that features a roadside cafe or diner and you will see a drip coffee machine. You know the scene: the tough guy (usually a guy in classic movies) goes up to the counter and says ‘Coffee, black’ (tough guys don’t say ‘please’)
The woman (usually a woman in classic movies) turns, reaches for the carafe of a classic drip coffee maker and pours a good serving of steaming black coffee into a cup.
The problem with this scene is that the coffee may have been sitting on the heat pad for hours and is probably stewed rather than brewed. But this doesn’t bother the tough guy. He may only have one sip before some trouble, rather than coffee, begins to brew.
Is Drip Coffee an infusion or immersion method?
Drip coffee makers use the infusion method to make the coffee from ground coffee beans. The infusion method is more efficient at extracting the soluble coffee goodies (e.g.
caffeine chlorogenic acids and melanoidins compared with immersion coffee makers e.g. French Press).
The infusion method uses a constant supply of freshwater that drips at a regular rate (which can be adjusted in some coffee makers) into the freshly
ground coffee. It is like coffee taking a shower!
Gravity pulls the water through the ground coffee. Consequently, the coffee doesn’t become saturated and the steady water flow extracts subtle coffee flavors and color.
The resulting coffee is usually a lighter and brighter brew. Infusion
coffee makers also commonly use a filter and this results in less dissolved solids ending up in your brew compared with the immersion method.
The immersion method, as its name suggests, immerses (saturates) the coffee grinds with water and steeps the coffee for about four or five minutes. It is like coffee taking a bath!
The resulting coffee is usually stronger and denser due to more dissolved solids.
Whether infusion or immersion there are a whole host of variables that affect the feel and flavor of coffee such
as type of coffee beans, the roast, the grind, the weight of coffee grounds, the ratio of water to coffee grind, and the brew time.
Electric Drip Coffee Machines
Electric drip coffee makers are cost-effective choices for making coffee. They make good coffee with fewer coffee beans. They are easy to use and parts are readily available.
For example, filters for a drip coffee machine come in a range of sizes and materials. They are typically inexpensive and sold in value packs. You can also buy filters that are Eco-friendly and reusable.
There are many
coffee makers available in the market and it can be difficult to choose the one that is appropriate for you. This is where we can help you. We save you time and effort by doing the research for you!
We researched many electric drip coffee makers and found what we think are the best 10 drip coffee machines for 2020.
Of course, you do not need to agree with our reviews and you probably have your favorite brand. However, for the first time buyer, we hope our reviews can help you make an informed decision when you are ready to buy.
Buying Guide For Choosing Your Automated Drip Coffee Maker
Keep the following points in mind when trying to find the best drip coffee maker for your home. This guide can help you choose the best drip coffee
for your needs and for making delicious coffee.
The Golden Cup Coffee Ratio
We are a professional member of the
Speciality Coffee Association (SCA), and we value their research.
The SCAA recommends a particular coffee to water consistency to bring out the best in your coffee. The recommended consistency is 55 g of ground coffee for every 1 liter (1000 ml) of water (55g/L).
This consistency is usually expressed as a ratio. However, a ratio doesn’t have any units, so we need the same units for each measurement to cancel out.
We have 55 g of ground coffee so we need to express a liter of water as grams. A liter of water is 1000 ml, and 1ml of water weighs about 1 g, hence we have 1000 g of water.
What is the ratio of coffee to water? Just divide 55 g of coffee by 1000 g of water.
g/1000 g = 1/18
The ratio of 1/18 is known as the ‘
Golden Cup‘ ratio and is the SCAA recommended standard for brewed coffee.
This doesn’t mean that you have to abide by this standard all the time. Your taste will guide you in your choice of coffee consistency. You may be happy with a 1/20 or 1/15 ratio. The flavor will also depend on the brew method, the type of coffee, the roast, and other factors.
However, if you get the coffee to water ratio wrong, then it will affect the taste of your coffee.
We are dealing with fractions so a ratio of coffee/water ratio of 1/20, which less than a ratio of 1/18, and would generally give a more insipid tasting coffee. A coffee/water ratio of 1/15, which is greater than a ratio of 1/18, and would give a more bitter-tasting coffee.
The SCAA also recommend other ‘Golden Cup’ conditions for brewing coffee
Use good quality water (there is a standard for this but we’ll not discuss this here)
Appropriate grind size for the brewing method
The time that the
water contacts the coffee during brewing. This is from 1 to 6 minutes. The time of contact varies depending upon the grind size. For drip coffee, using an appropriate coffee grind, about 4 to 6 minutes is recommended. The time of contact is important because it determines the type, and amount, of flavors that are extracted from the coffee. The water temperature should be from 195 to 205°F (90 to 96°C)
During brewing, the water should flow evenly through & around the
ground coffee. Once again this is to ensure a good extraction
Any filter that is used should not affect the brew flavor or the water to coffee contact time
Why bother with all of this technical stuff?
Well, if you are going to invest in a good electric drip coffee maker, then you need to know if it comes anywhere near the recommended brew conditions. If it doesn’t then you are going to end up with terrible tasting coffee.
Watch the next video for an explanation of some of these important recommendations. The video is about 7 years old but it is still relevant.
Brew Basket Capacity
The recommended coffee to water ratio is 1/18 as described above. Consequently, the brew basket needs to have sufficient capacity to hold the required amount of coffee for the number of cups brewed.
If it isn’t large enough, and you use the recommended amount of coffee, then a couple of things can happen
You can’t close the brew basket
When the coffee blooms there is not enough space in the brew basket and it overflows
The result is one heck of a mess and a terrible cup of coffee!
Surprisingly, perhaps, the manufacturers of some drip coffee makers don’t consider the SCAA recommendations and instead recommend their own coffee to water ratio.
This may be due to the design issues (e.g. brew basket not large enough), but it may lead to atrocious tasting coffee.
Do you only need a single cup of coffee in the morning, or you need multiple? Is it just you drinking the coffee, or you have multiple people who need their fix of coffee? Carafes can contain up to 12 cups of coffee. This is great for a family but if it is just you and your partner, then you don’t want to keep the coffee sitting for too long.
Ability To Pause Mid-Brew (To Steal a fast Cup)
One of the advantages of the drip coffee machine is the ability to pause while brewing. Consider this: if the machine is brewing 5 cups of coffee, but you are pressed for time. You pause the machine mid-brew and take one cup of coffee that has been brewed and be on your merry way, while the machine starts again to brew the remaining 4 cups.
Do you have a water filter attached to your water supply? If not, you’re probably making your coffee with
less-than-stellar water, which can affect the brew and taste of your coffee. Don’t waste good coffee with inferior water. Fear not – some coffee machines have a built-in filter that creates a good tasting hot cup of joe.
Thermal Carafe Vs Hot Plate
A hot plate produces heat and high temperatures which makes the taste of coffee bitter. Additionally, it needs to be continually turned on and this consumes more energy.
On the other hand, a thermal carafe (made of insulated stainless steel) keeps the coffee at an ideal temperature of 195-205 °F for up to 2 hours, which helps maintain a much better flavor.
Our suggestion here would be to go with a thermal carafe that ensures your coffee will be hot and not lose taste or aroma after it has been brewed.
BPA, or Bisphenol A, is a chemical used in some plastics and resins. You need to pay attention to what your coffee maker produces and its health implications. Many health specialists suggest that
BPA is linked to some serious health issues. Consequently, it’s recommended to go for a BPA free coffee maker.
The Speciality Coffee Association of America (
SCAA) is a non-profit organization representative of the worldwide Speciality Coffee Association ( SCA).
The SCAA conducts tests on various coffee gear and awards a certificate of approval for compliant coffee machines. If you would like to see a full list of certified coffee machines, you may want to take a look at the list of
SCA certified home brewers (we have two listed in this post).
How To Make Drip Coffee without an Electric Coffee Maker
To appreciate the drip coffee making process let us first look at how you can make drip coffee without an automated drip coffee maker.
The time needed: 15 minutes.
How to make a perfect drip coffee without an automated drip coffee maker
Gather your equipment
(a) You need a manual drip coffee maker such as Hario, Bodum, Chemex, Oxo Brew, or a similar coffee maker. The Hario and Oxo Brew are normally used for brewing a single cup of coffee. The Bodum and Chemex coffee makers use carafes for brewing multiple cups of coffee.
(b) A drip funnel. The funnel holds the ground coffee within a paper filter. (c) A filter. The filter can be paper, cloth, or any other filter that you choose. (d) You can also use a fine stainless steel mesh that acts as both filter and drip funnel.
Use your favorite roasted coffee beans
(a) Use freshly roasted coffee beans. The aroma and flavor of coffee beans degrade over time. Try to use
coffee beans that have been roasted within the past two weeks. However, coffee beans can have a storage life of up to 12 months (or more?) depending upon how they are packaged and stored. Consequently, you may be able to use roasted coffee beans that have been stored for longer than two weeks. (b) If you prefer to buy pre-ground coffee, or you grind your coffee in batches, then try and use the coffee within two weeks after grinding.
Rinse the funnel and filter with hot water
(a) Place a funnel containing a filter on top of your cup (Hario or Oxo Brew) or carafe (if Bodum or Chemex)
(b) Pour boiling water over the filter in the funnel (c) Rinse and remove the hot water from the cup or carafe
Measure your coffee beans
You can use 1 tablespoon of coffee beans per cup, but you can vary this depending upon your taste or your preferred coffee to water ratio as described below.
Grind your coffee beans
(a) Use a medium grind.
(b) A burr-type grinder gives you better control of the size of your grind. (c) Pour your ground coffee into the drip funnel containing the filter paper
Use the infusion method to brew your coffee
(a) Heat your water and measure what you need based on the number of cups of coffee you want to make and your preferred coffee to water ratio.
(b) The usual coffee to water ratio is 1:17. That is 1 gram of coffee beans for every 17 grams of water or 1 tablespoon of coffee beans for every 4 fl.oz of water. (c) Wet the ground coffee with hot water (from about 195 to 205°F) and wait for at least 30 seconds. This is the ‘bloom’ step of the infusion method. (d) Add half of the remaining water to the ground coffee in the funnel over about 30 seconds (e) Add the remaining water to the ground coffee in 3 or 4 steps until all the water has been used
Enjoy your coffee!
Drink your coffee from a single cup or pour from the carafe and enjoy!
Oh…don’t forget to clean up! ? ?
If you are interested you can learn to make coffee with
other types of brewing methods. The table below shows some of the common manual drip coffee makers.
How to make coffee with your electric drip coffee machine.
The steps to brewing your coffee with an automated drip coffee machine are similar to the steps above for making drip coffee manually but some of the steps are made easier for you.
The following is a basic procedure that is similar for all automated drip coffee makers but you should check with the coffee maker’s manual as brands may have their own recommended procedure.
Choose your favorite coffee beans or pre-ground coffee
coffee beans then grind coffee beans to medium size Open the brew basket and insert an appropriate filter
Add the desired amount of coffee grinds. Refer to the guidelines above for manual drip coffee makers. The manufacturers may also have their own recommended coffee measurement charts
Fill the decanter (carafe) with cold water to the desired capacity. There is usually a scale marked on the side of the decanter
Pour the measured water from the decanter into the water reservoir
Put the empty decanter back onto the warming plate (if present)
Plug the cord into the electrical outlet and turn on the coffee maker
The brew is complete when the coffee stops flowing through the coffee basket
Your brew will remain hot if you have a warming plate.
You can carefully remove the brew basket when it has cooled and discard the filter paper
As always clean up after you! ?
Advantages of Electric Drip Coffee Makers
Fast brew time.
Easy to clean
Saves you time boiling water, pouring the bloom, and infusing the coffee with water
Disadvantages of Electric Drip Coffee Makers
Not able to brew espresso
Sometimes the drip overflows
The coffee can go stale and lose it’s flavor if left on the warming plate too long