Learn How to Make Drip Coffee
Coffee: Man's 2nd best friend. What would we do without it? It's officially the world's most popular beverage, with 450 million cups consumed every day in America alone.
The rich, nutty flavor paired with a jolt of caffeine makes this drink a winning combination to start any day off right.
When made correctly, you get a delicious cup of velvety, bitter drip coffee or espresso. But there is an art and science behind making a good cup of coffee. When done wrong, you end up with weak, lifeless coffee that can taste watery, bland, or overly acidic.
There are many different methods when making coffee, and all of them have benefits. Boiling, infusion, gravitational percolation, and pressurized percolation are used for making espresso.
Slow drip coffee is one of our favorite methods for brewing the perfect cup of coffee. Keep reading to understand the methods behind making drip coffee, how to find the perfect drip coffee ratio, and how the drip method compares to other brewing techniques.
What is drip coffee?
Drip brewing can be done using a gooseneck kettle with a pour-over coffee maker and filters or an electric coffee maker. If you're not sure how to make pour-over coffee, the drip coffee maker is your best bet - it takes a lot of the guesswork out of the process and makes it easy!
Today we're delving further into how to best use your coffee maker at home to make a great tasting drip coffee pot.
In an electric drip coffee maker, water pours into a reservoir, which gets heated and pulled up into the drip area.
What is a coffee dripper?
The coffee dripper sits in the top of the machine, under the lid. It is the cone-shaped plastic area with a hole in the bottom. Finely ground coffee is placed into a paper filter inside. Water sprays out of a showerhead evenly onto the grounds in the filter. The water filters through the grounds, dripping through the hole in the bottom and into the coffee pot below.
Is drip coffee better?
Drip or pour-over coffee is better than other brewing methods from a health perspective. A research study from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that drip coffee is better for your heart's health.
The difference is in the filter. Unfiltered coffee, like in a French press, can slightly improve overall heart health, but when the coffee is filtered, the positive effects are even more substantial.
Consuming filtered coffee can lead to a 12% decrease in the risk of death from heart disease in men, and a 20% decrease in women.
A French press coffee maker doesn't use a fine filter, which allows oils to make their way into your coffee cup. When consumed in high doses, French press coffee can raise the LDL (harmful cholesterol) levels in your body.
As far as levels of caffeine are concerned, the method of brewing is mostly irrelevant. The most significant determining factors for the level of caffeine in your brew are using the proper grind, amount of coffee, and brew time.
Does drip coffee taste better?
The flavor profile of coffee is complex and varies greatly. Coffee lovers describe the general taste of coffee as nutty, chocolatey, and sweet. Still, other beans create a malty, fruity, herbaceous flavor while some are mellow and buttery.
If you like your coffee to have a strong, bitter flavor, the French press may be the better option for you. The French press flavors can be more intense, as the mesh filter doesn't remove the fines or natural oils from the beans.
If you like a clean, mild-tasting coffee, you will be happier with a drip coffee, as the tiny holes in the paper filters remove both the fines and the oils from the end result. Drip brew allows the drinker to experience more complex, delicate flavors, which the strong taste of a press coffee often overpowers.
How much coffee do you put in a drip coffee maker?
The magic number comes down to your caffeine and flavor preference, but there are some general rules to abide by when making a good drip coffee.
You will want to use what's often referred to as the "Golden Ratio" of coffee. Use 1 - 2 tbsp of ground coffee for every 6 oz of water.
We recommend you start with this level, and increase or decrease depending on your tastes.
How should you grind your coffee?
A drip coffee grind can make your morning even better. It's crucial to grind your beans fresh daily - this will give you the best flavor and keep your beans from going stale.
You'll also want to ensure you're using the correct grind on your coffee beans for the best results. Different brewing processes require different grinds, from fine to coarse. We have a full guide on how to grind coffee beans for each one of them.
A fine grind gives good flavor but can introduce too much bitterness into your cup. A coarse grind will be less bitter and sweeter, but can also be a weak, acidic cup of coffee.
For a drip brew, you will want to use a medium-fine grind for your beans. Your goal is that your drip coffee grinds look finer than a grain of sand, but not as fine as the grind for an espresso.
In terms of what you should use to grind your coffee, you have a few different options. The two main types of coffee grinders are Blade and Burr.
- Blade grinders use blades to cut grind the coffee. Although they are inexpensive, they lead to uneven coffee bean particles, which doesn't yield great brewing results.
- Burr grinders use two serrated metal pieces to rotate and crush the coffee. They are available in hand crank or electric versions and have several grind settings. They cost a bit more but give precise and even results.
How to Make the Perfect Pot of Coffee
- Heat your coffee pot by filling with hot water for a few mins. Dump and continue.
- Fill the maker's reservoir to the level you require.
- Open the lid and place a paper filter inside of the machine.
- Measure out your ground coffee. Remember to use 1-2 tbsp for every 6 oz of water. A typical cup of coffee contains about 8 ounces of liquid. So if you're brewing 4 cups of coffee, use 32 oz of water and 5.5 -12 tbsp of coffee.
- Turn the coffee machine on and wait for it to brew.
- Once fully brewed, pour the coffee into a mug and enjoy! Keep any leftover in a thermal pot to keep it warm. It's best to avoid leaving the coffee in the coffee maker's pot on the heating element to keep warm as the heat over time leads to burnt coffee that is no longer in its prime.
Use these tips to brew yourself a cup of coffee with fully developed flavors and a nice hit of caffeine. Once you've mastered the basics, try playing around with grind consistency and water-to-coffee ratio to see which way tastes the best for you!
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