While some people may think of drip coffee as plain or boring, it can actually be quite versatile. By using different types of coffee beans, adjusting the grind size, and experimenting with water temperature and brewing time, you can create a wide range of flavor profiles that cater to different tastes and preferences.
Overall, drip coffee is a classic and reliable brewing method that produces a consistently delicious cup of coffee.
Whether you're a coffee aficionado or just starting your coffee journey, drip coffee is definitely worth a try!
What is drip coffee?
The term "drip coffee" refers to a simple and reliable brewing method involving hot water passing through ground coffee beans in a paper or metal filter.
As the water passes through the coffee, it extracts the flavors, oils, and aroma of the beans and drips into a carafe or cup below.
How is drip coffee different than other brew methods?
Drip coffee is the outcome of an 'automatic' coffee maker that uses heat-induced pressure to stimulate water up to the basket's shower head.
As gravity pulls the water down through the basket of grounds, the commonly used paper filters will minimize the oils and residue that are often found in brew methods with more intense flavor profiles like French press and espresso.
What are the benefits of drip coffee?
One of the advantages of drip coffee is its consistency. The water temperature, brewing time, and coffee-to-water ratio can all be precisely controlled, resulting in a consistently delicious cup of coffee every time. Additionally, drip coffee is an excellent option for those who prefer a less intense coffee experience, as it produces a clean and smooth cup with less sediment and acidity.
Convenience - Drip coffee is easy and quick to make. You can set it up and let it brew while you go about your morning routine.
Consistency - Drip coffee makers are designed to produce consistent and evenly brewed coffee every time using the same settings. This means you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee without worrying about variations in flavor or strength.
Affordability - Drip coffee is an affordable option for coffee lovers, as it doesn't require expensive equipment or special brewing techniques.
Low in calories - As discussed below, drip coffee is low in calories, making it a great choice for those who are watching their caloric intake.
Health benefits - Research has shown that moderate coffee consumption may be linked to lower mortality rates when compared with an unfiltered brew or no coffee at all.
>> Read more about the health benefits of black coffee
What is the caffeine content of drip coffee?
The caffeine content of drip coffee can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of coffee bean used, the brewing method, and the strength of the brew.
On average, an 8-ounce cup of drip coffee contains around 95 milligrams of caffeine. However, this can range from 70 to 140 milligrams, depending on the factors mentioned above.
Compared to other types of coffee, drip coffee generally contains less caffeine than espresso and more caffeine than decaf coffee. It's also important to note that caffeine content can vary depending on the size of the cup or mug you use.
If you're looking to reduce your caffeine intake, there are a few things you can do. First, consider switching to decaf coffee or choosing alternative beverages like tea or herbal infusions. You can also reduce your caffeine intake by opting for smaller cups of coffee or diluting your coffee with milk or water.
How many calories are in drip coffee?
When it comes to calories, drip coffee is a low-calorie drink, making it a great choice for those who are watching their caloric intake.
According to Mayo Clinic's Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D., on average, an 8-ounce cup of black drip coffee contains less than 5 calories. However, adding sweeteners or creamers to your coffee can quickly increase the calorie count.
For example, adding 1 teaspoon of sugar to your coffee adds around 16 calories, while 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) of half-and-half may contribute an additional 37 calories. If you prefer flavored creamers or syrups, these can be even higher in calories.
It's important to note that the calorie count of your drip coffee can also vary depending on the strength and size of your brew. A larger cup of coffee or a stronger brew may contain slightly more calories than a standard 8-ounce cup.
How to make drip coffee
The drip coffee brewing process is a simple yet effective way to extract coffee beans' flavors, oils, and aroma using hot water.
While the specific steps may vary based on your brewing equipment, here's a general step-by-step guide to the process:
Grind the coffee beans - Start by grinding fresh coffee beans to a medium-fine consistency. The amount of coffee you need will depend on the number of cups you want to brew.
Prepare the filter - Place a paper or metal filter in the brew basket of your drip coffee maker. If using a paper filter, wet it with hot water to remove any papery taste and to help it adhere to the basket.
Add the coffee grounds - Scoop the ground coffee into the filter. Use a coffee scoop to measure the right amount of coffee per cup of water.
Add water - Fill the water reservoir with cold, fresh water. The amount of water you need will depend on how many cups you want to brew. Make sure to use the correct amount of water as per your coffee-to-water ratio.
Start the brew - Turn on your coffee maker and wait for it to finish brewing. The water will drip through the coffee grounds and into the carafe or cup below.
Serve and enjoy - Once the brewing process is complete, pour the coffee into your cup or mug, and add any desired cream or sweetener.
Similar to any other brewing experience, by experimenting with different types of coffee beans, grind sizes, and brewing ratios, you can create a custom coffee experience that suits your personal taste.
What is the main feature of a good drip coffee maker?
As defined by the SCA (Specialty Coffee Association), a good auto drip coffee maker should have several features that contribute to a high-quality and consistent cup of coffee.
Here are some of the main specifications to look for:
Brewing temperature: The ideal brewing temperature for drip coffee is between 195-205°F (90-96°C). A good drip coffee maker should be able to heat water to this temperature range consistently to ensure proper extraction of coffee oils and flavor compounds.
Water dispersion: The water dispersion system of a drip coffee maker should be able to distribute water over the coffee grounds evenly. This ensures that all of the coffee is extracted evenly and prevents over-extraction in some areas of the coffee bed.
Brewing time: The brewing time of an auto-drip coffee machine should be consistent and allow for proper extraction. Generally, the brewing time should be around 4-6 minutes.
Filter system: A good drip coffee maker should have a quality filter system that can remove impurities and coffee oils while allowing for the proper extraction of flavor compounds. The filter system should be easy to use and clean.
Capacity: The capacity of a drip coffee maker should match your needs. A smaller-capacity machine may suffice if you're brewing for a single person. However, a larger capacity machine may be necessary if you're brewing for a family or office.
Programmable features: Some automatic coffee makers offer programmable features such as auto-start, auto-shutoff, and brew strength settings. These features can be useful for those who want to customize their brewing experience and save time.
Overall, a good drip coffee maker should have features that contribute to a consistent and high-quality cup of coffee. By considering these factors, you can choose a machine that suits your needs and delivers a satisfying cup of coffee every time.
The best SCA drip coffee makers
Now that you know what drip coffee is and why it is so popular, let’s look at some of the different machines that enable you to make this type of coffee from the comfort of your home.
Top Pick: Breville Precision Brewer Thermal Drip Coffee Maker
Breville is a brand that has a great reputation in the world of coffee, so it's no surprise they have an SCA-approved brewer on the list.
As well as enjoying strong, conventional drip coffee, the Breville Precision Brewer can also produce cold brew and pour-over coffee, with the attachments being sold separately. Most coffee makers you can purchase today aren’t able to do this, so that’s a real plus.
You can also personalize your cup of coffee to ensure it is just right for you by amending the brew temperature and bloom time. Plus, a thermal carafe ensures your coffee is kept warm for two hours.
Finally, you can use a flat-basket or cone filter, which is perfect for any coffee aficionado who appreciates that different coffee notes can be brought out depending on your style.
Key Takeaway: Our top pick for best drip coffee maker, this versatile coffee maker, offers a range of brewing options, including customizable brew temperature and time, making it a great choice for coffee drinkers who like to experiment with different brewing methods.
- Sleek and modern design
- Both flat and cone-bottom filter baskets are included
- Brew time is fast
- Numerous ways you can make a coffee with this machine
- Complex brewing features for some
- Larger size may take up more counter space
- Only a thermal carafe server
Runner Up: OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker
The OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker is a top pick among SCA-certified automatic drip coffee makers for several reasons.
First, its compact size and sleek design make it a great option for those with limited counter space. Additionally, it features a rainmaker shower head that evenly distributes water over the coffee grounds for optimal extraction and flavor.
The OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker also offers precise temperature control and a programmable start timer, allowing users to customize their brewing experience to their specific preferences. The machine is easy to use, with a simple one-button interface that makes brewing a breeze.
Furthermore, the OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker is designed with durability in mind, with stainless steel and BPA-free plastic construction that is built to last. It also includes a double-walled carafe that keeps coffee hot for hours without compromising its flavor.
Key Takeaway: Overall, the OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker's combination of performance, features, and durability make it a top choice among SCA-certified automatic drip coffee makers, particularly for those seeking a compact and easy-to-use option still delivers a great-tasting cup of coffee.
- Even water distribution
- Precise temperature control
- Programmable start timer
- Double-walled carafe
- Small water reservoir
- Limited brewing capacity
- More expensive than other brewers in the market
- No automatic shut-off
Budget Pick: Bonavita BV1900TS
The Bonavita BV1900TS's precise temperature control, simple design, and large water reservoir make it a top choice among SCA-certified automatic drip coffee makers for those who prioritize optimal flavor extraction and ease of use.
First, the Bonavita BV1900TS is known for its precise temperature control. It has a powerful 1500-watt heating element that quickly heats the water to the optimal brewing temperature of 195-205°F, ensuring that the coffee is brewed with maximum flavor extraction. The pre-infusion mode also allows for optimal coffee saturation and flavor extraction.
Second, the coffee maker has a simple design that is easy to use. It features a one-button interface, and the carafe lid, filter basket, and showerhead are all removable for easy cleaning.
Third, the Bonavita BV1900TS has a large showerhead that evenly distributes water over the coffee grounds, ensuring consistent flavor extraction. It also has a large water reservoir, which can hold up to 8 cups of water, making it a great option for larger households or office settings.
Key Takeaway: This model is known for its precise temperature control and pre-infusion mode, which allows for optimal flavor extraction. It has a simple design and is easy to use.
- Precise temperature control
- Simple design
- Large water reservoir
- Even water distribution
- No programmable timer
- No automatic shut-off feature
- No built-in grinder
- No adjustable brew strength
Upgrade Pick: Technivorm Moccamaster KBGV Select
The Technivorm Moccamaster has a unique brewing process that ensures optimal flavor extraction. It uses a powerful copper heating element that quickly heats the water to the optimal temperature range of 195 - 205°F, and it also has a large showerhead that evenly distributes water over the coffee grounds.
The coffee maker also has a high-quality construction that is built to last. It is made with durable materials such as stainless steel and aluminum and has a sleek, modern design that looks great on any countertop.
A range of useful features makes it easy to use and customize. It has a manual drip-stop brew basket that allows users to control the flow of coffee, and it also has a switch to adjust the hotplate temperature to keep the coffee warm without burning it.
Key Takeaway: The Technivorm Moccamaster's unique brewing process, high-quality construction, and range of features make it a top choice among SCA-certified automatic drip coffee makers for those who prioritize optimal flavor extraction, durability, and customization.
- High-quality construction
- Manual drip-stop brew basket
- Hot plate temperature control
- Quick water heating
- More expensive
- No programmable timer or auto shut-off
- No built-in grinder
- Larger size may take up more counter space
Ready for a cup of coffee?
So there you have it: everything you need to know about drip coffee and how to enjoy a delicious brew!
If you want to enjoy a cup of coffee that will rival what the baristas make, the machines mentioned above won’t disappoint you. Enjoy!