How To Make Drip Coffee - Master The Art Of Drip Coffee Brewing!

How To Make Drip Coffee – Master The Art Of Drip Coffee Brewing!

Last updated on November 28th, 2023 at 15:01

In this article I’ll talk about how to make drip coffee and get you making the perfect cup of drip coffee.

While drip coffee is a fully automated way of brewing coffee, there are a lot that can go wrong and just as many key aspects that affect the flavor that you have control over to ensure that your drip coffee is 100% perfect every single time!

Keep reading for the details!

How To Make Drip Coffee Like A True Coffee Lover!

The perfect cup of drip coffee happens after a series of events and good practices are adhered to, all of which are very simple and uncomplicated.

One or two are personal choices, the type of filter used and your coffee beans.

The perfect drip coffee, a large part is thanks to the coffee maker of choice as the better the machine, the better the coffee it will produce, this is obvious as the most part drip coffee is an automated process.

I’ll get to making the perfect drip coffee in a moment First, let’s talk about what drip coffee is to ensure that we are on the same page.

How To Make Drip Coffee
A Beautiful Drip Coffee Maker

Read: What is drip coffee?

What Is Drip Coffee?

The definition of drip coffee is defined as a method of coffee brewing that involves the use of a constant flow of fresh hot water over medium-coarse ground coffee beans with the hot water passing through the coffee grounds and through a coffee filter and into a carafe or coffee cup below.

While this describes both automatic drip coffee makers and manual drip coffee makers. For many coffee lovers and experts, drip coffee is made with a drip coffee machine and manual drip coffee is referred to as pour over coffee to make a distinction between the two methods.

For the record, pour over is a magnificent brewing method that is best for specialty grade single origin coffee beans and light roasted coffee beans as the method gets the most total dissolved solids into the brew meaning it is great for light roasts too as it can coax out all the intricate and delicate flavors.

What you gain in convenience with automatic drip coffee you lose in complete personalization compared to pour over (manual drip) coffee as you can’t adjust or control the flow rate or micromanage the water temperature exactly.

The biggest difference between pour over and drip coffee is full control over all the variables and having only limited control.

How To Make The Perfect Cup Of Drip Coffee

There are many factors to consider when brewing the perfect cup of drip coffee. Let’s have a close look at those.

The Drip Coffee Machine

The drip coffee machine is very important and which one you use will determine how good your brewed coffee is.

A good automatic drip coffee machine is SCAA certified which means it will make a cup of drip coffee that is perfect and meets their definition of the golden ratio which is 55 grams of ground coffee per liter of water used.

This is a coffee to water ratio of 1:17.

A SCAA, Specialty Coffee Association Of America Approved automatic drip coffee maker will also be able to reach a temperature of 197.6F (92C) in less than a minute and have a brew time of between 4 and 8 minutes.

For the best quality of coffee brewed, it is best to seek out an SCAA certified coffee maker. They are a little more expensive and will repay you in perfect coffee and due to the enhanced quality of the machines they usually last longer.

The Drip Coffee Machine
A Braun Drip Coffee Machine

Read: How to clean a drip coffee maker

The Quality Of Your Beans

The quality of the beans that you use will make a huge difference to the quality of your final coffee brewed.

This stands true for all brewing methods. Better beans will make better coffee, it really is as simple as that. Coffee brewing is all about coaxing the best flavors out of the coffee beans.

Premium quality coffee beans will produce better coffee than average or regular coffee beans. A good drip coffee machine will get great results from specialty grade single origin coffee beans.

Your Coffee Grinder

The quality of your coffee grinder, the better the quality your coffee grinds will be, which means you will get a better cup of coffee.

If you think the role that your grinder plays is a minor one, you are mistaken.

Absolutely mistaken!

Poor grinders will produce inconsistent grind sizes which will extract at uneven rates and result in an unbalanced cup of coffee.

They may even cause a problem with heat dissipation and “cooking” of your coffee beans while grinding them, resulting in a loss of flavor.

It is my opinion that the best type of coffee grinder to use is a ceramic flat burr grinder.

The ceramic material helps to minimize heat transfer while the flat burr gets the best quality of grind and is the most consistent grind size.

It doesn’t end there. You must use the best grinding technique also. Grind in bursts of 5 seconds and rest for 3 seconds. This helps with clumping problems and, to a smaller degree, the heat problem.

Always grind your bean freshly immediately prior to brewing as grinding increases the total surface area that is in contact with air which accelerates their degradation.

Your Grind Size

The size of your coffee grinds is critically important to brewing great drip coffee with your electric drip coffee maker.

The ideal and perfect grind size is medium-coarse. Your own grinder of choice will come with a guide that tells you which size number to use for both the grind size (medium coarse) and the brewing method.

If your grinds are too small, you will increase the brewing time and your cup of coffee will end up being too strong, bitter and over brewed.

This is due to smaller and finer grinds impeding the flow of the water and increasing the contact time between the hot water and the coffee grounds.

Similar can be said of grind sizes that are too large. Your coffee will end up being too weak, watery and sour. The larger sized grinds cause the water to flow to quickly past your coffee grounds and reduce the contact time between the hot water and the coffee.

Use a medium-coarse grind size for auto drip coffee makers.

Coffee Grinder
Great Grinder produce Great Results

Read: Drip coffee

The Type Of Filter Used

The type of filter that you use to make your drip coffee will have an influential role on how your coffee will taste.

There are three main types of filters: a paper filter, a cotton cloth filter and a metal filter.

A paper filter will produce a clean and crisp tasting cup of coffee. It filters out all the coffee oils.

A cotton cloth filter produces bolder tasting coffee that has some of the coffee oils in your cup of coffee, giving it a fuller flavor than the same coffee.

A metal filter will produce a bolder cup of coffee than a cotton cloth filter as all the coffee oils make their way into your cup of coffee.

It is good to have a choice selection of permanent or semi-permanent filters around if you make drip coffee a lot as there will be a time when you miscalculate and run out of paper filters.

Your Water Quality

Coffee, regardless of the brewing method, is 98% water and thus the better the quality of your water, the better your coffee will be.

Use bottled water or filtered water to get the best results.

Don’t use distilled water as the lack of minerals will cause your coffee to be a little flat.

Spring water is good due to the mineral content. Your tap water is good also, just be sure to filter it beforehand.

The Coffee To Water Ratio

The Speciality Coffee Association Of America recommends a 1:17 coffee to water ratio for brewing a perfect golden ratio cup of coffee with drip coffee.

Calculate how much coffee that you want to brew in either ounces of ml and divide by 17, and you will have the exact amount of coffee that you need to use.

For example, you want to brew a 12 Ounce (360 ml) cup of drip coffee. Add 12 ounces (360 ml) of coffee to your water reservoir and add 12 ounces / 17 = 0.70 Oz of coffee.

In metric, 360 ml /17 = 21 grams.

The mass of whole beans is the same as ground coffee. Weight this amount of whole beans and then grind them to a medium-coarse grind size.

Water Quality
Use The Correct Coffee To Water Ratio

The Brewing Temperature

It is important to use the correct brewing temperature for brewing coffee, regardless of what the brewing method is.

The ideal brewing temperature for all coffee is 92C to 96C (195F to 205C).

Regardless of which brewing machine you are using, check that it is capable of brewing within this range.

Above 96C (205F) and you will end up with a coffee that is over extracted and tastes overtly bitter; below and it will under extract and taste slightly sour.

How To Make Drip Coffee With An Automatic Drip Coffee Machine

Making coffee, the perfect drip coffee using your automatic drip coffee machine is easy.

Start by adding the correct amount of water that you want to brew.

Let’s assume that you want to brew two 12 ounces (360 ml) cups of drip coffee, 24 Oz (720 ml) in total.

Calculate how much coffee beans you will need to grid. In this case it is 24 Oz (720 ml) divided by 17, which is 1.41 Oz (42.35 grams) of coffee.

Add 1.41 Oz (42.35 grams) of whole coffee beans to your ceramic flat burr coffee grinder and grind to a medium coarse grind size. Grind in bursts of 5 seconds and rest for 3 seconds. Add your freshly ground coffee to your coffee filter.

Switch on your Automatic drip coffee machine and wait for it to brew your 24 Oz (720 ml) of coffee into your carafe.

In approximately 4 to 6 minutes, your coffee will be ready. Serve and enjoy.

How To Make Drip Coffee Stronger

There are a few ways in which you can make your drip coffee stronger. By far the most common and most convenient way is to add more coffee and use a more focused coffee to water ratio of 1:15 instead of 1:17.

You can also brew a coffee that has a stronger and bolder flavor by using a different type of filter. A metal filter will produce the strongest and boldest tasting coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Make Drip Coffee

How Much Coffee Do You Put In A Drip Coffee Maker?

A good drip coffee to water ratio is 1:15 to 1:17 and thus for a 240 ml (8 Oz) cup of coffee between 14 grams and 16 grams (0.5 Oz) or 1.5 scoops of coffee.

What Is The Mix For Drip Coffee?

The mix, or better expressed as the coffee to water ratio, or just the coffee ratio, for drip coffee, is 1:17 for a perfect golden ratio as set by the SCAA, the Specialty Coffee Association Of America and 1:15 if you want a stronger cup of coffee.

How Many Scoops Of Coffee Do You Need For Drip Brew?

In terms of scoops to be used in a cup of automatic drip brew coffee, assuming a regular coffee strength is shown in the table below.

Amount Of Water Coffee Serves
10 Oz (300 ml) 1.25 scoops. 2 Cups (5 Oz).
15 Oz (450 ml) 1.75 scoops 3 Cups
20 Oz (600 ml) 2.5 Scoops. 4 Cups
25 Oz (750 ml) 3.25 scoops. 5 Cups
30 Oz (900 ml) 3.75 scoops. 6 Cups.

Should You Add Milk To Drip Coffee?

The decision to add milk to drip coffee is your own personal choice and will depend on your own personal coffee taste and the coffee drink that you want to make.

The addition of milk or cream will enhance the texture and the sweetness of your drink.

What Is The Ratio Of Milk To Coffee Drip?

How much milk you add to your drip coffee, also known as brewed coffee, depends on how you like your cup of coffee to be and the type of coffee you are making, be it a café misto or a café au lait.

If you are just simply making a drip coffee with milk, start with a milk to coffee ratio of 1:2.

Do You Use Boiling Water For Drip Coffee?

No, you should never use boiling water for brewing any coffee. When you use boiling water, you’ll end up over extracting the coffee and end up with a coffee that is too bitter and with burnt notes.

You can boil your water and let it cool for 30 seconds, then use it.

The ideal temperature range for brewing coffee is 92C to 96C (195F to 205F).

How Long Should Drip Coffee Be?

The brew time for drip coffee should be 4 to 5 minutes. Any longer and you will end up over extracting your coffee and end up with bitter coffee.

Why Is My Drip Coffee Bitter?

If your drip coffee is bitter, it means that you have over extracted and end up with too much total dissolved solids in your coffee.

The cause one or more of the following reasons:

  • Using too much ground coffee.
  • The water temperature was too high.
  • Brew time was too long.
  • Grind size was too small.

To remedy your bitter drip coffee problem, adjust as necessary.

Final Thoughts – How To Make Drip Coffee

If you have read this far, you know exactly how to make drip coffee and make it absolutely perfectly and aligned with the SCAA golden ratio for this method. In short, if you follow what I have discussed and outlined in this article, you will have an amazing drip coffee every single time.

Join our cool coffee community and share with fellow members your drip coffee creations and the amazing new beans that you are using! Find us on Facebook/Meta.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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