How to Use an Automatic Drip Brewer

The automatic drip brewer (sometimes referred to as “drip coffee”) is essentially an automated version of pour-over coffee. It is convenient, easy to use and great for making coffee for a crowd. However, the automatic drip brewer often gets a bad rap for making lousy coffee. This doesn’t have to be the case though, with a decent machine, freshly ground coffee, and few tricks, the drip brewer is capable of making a great cup of coffee.

Automatic Drip Coffee: Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Can make 2-12 cups, which make it one of the best options for entertaining
  • Very convenient to use; add water and some coffee, hit a button and let it brew on its own

Cons

  • Is known for making poor quality coffee
  • Because the user has little control over the process, there is little that can be done to fix bad coffee, thus it is important to invest in a decent machine (see below)
  • They often have a burner that the coffee sits on once it is brewed, these burners often result in scalded coffee, which gives a very nasty flavour

What You’ll Need

An Automatic Drip Brewer

There is a seemingly infinite number of choices when it comes to buying a drip brewer, but not all are created equal. The cheaper models are often plagued by poor design choices and cost saving measures that greatly hinder the machine’s ability to make decent coffee.

The most common problems with auto drip brewers are: incorrect or unstable water temperature; poorly designed shower heads that cause the water to channel through the coffee; the use of low grade plastics that absorb old coffee flavours; and warming plates that burn the coffee.

Find a quality automatic drip brewer that avoids these problems here.

You’ll Also Need

  • Fresh coffee (whole bean is highly recommended)
  • A good quality coffee grinder (if using whole bean coffee)
  • The correct filter for your particular machine

Instructions: How to Make Automatic Drip Coffee

Fill the chamber with water1. Fill the water chamber with enough water to make the desired amount of coffee

Place a filter in the filter basket2. Place a filter into the filter basket

Grind between fine and medium3. Add ground coffee into the filter. Use 1 tbls. (5 grams) of ground coffee per cup of water

  • For best results, grind your coffee immediately before brewing using a medium to fine grind
  • You can use a scale to pre-weigh the coffee beans before you grind them. This will ensure that you grind only as much coffee as you need, thus eliminating waste.

Level the coffee grounds with a spoon4. Spread the coffee grounds around with a spoon so that they are somewhat level

  • The grounds don’t need to be exactly level, but if they are heaped up in a cone shape, water will run down the sides and more water will run through the thin layer of coffee at the bottom edge of the cone than will run through the thicker layer in the middle of the cone. This will result in uneven extraction. To get the best flavour, it is important that the water flow evenly through the coffee.

Press start5. Push start

Let brew and enjoy!6. Let brew and enjoy!

Tips

  • Having a good brewer and using it correctly are important factors in making good coffee. But there are other factors as well; particularly, the freshness of the coffee and the quality of the water. Learn more here.
  • It is important to keep your brewer clean. Auto drip brewers are notorious for collecting old coffee deposits. These deposits will import bitter, unpleasant flavours into your coffee. Pay particular attention to the filter basket, which is where a lot of coffee deposits gather and go unnoticed.
  • If your brewer has a burner, don’t let your coffee sit on it too long. After 15-20 minutes, you will start to notice an unpleasant flavour in the coffee.