What Is Auto Drip Coffee - The Definitive Answer!

What Is Auto Drip Coffee – The Definitive Answer!

Last updated on November 13th, 2023 at 14:29

As a coffee enthusiast and coffee blogger, the question of What is auto drip coffee is one that I am most certainly qualified to answer for you and in an easy-to-understand manner that will leave you fully knowing what one is.

I’ll also talk about other important things related to auto drip coffee, including the grind size and coffee to water ratio, to help you brew the perfect cup with your machine.

…If you are too busy, I also give you the details about ordering drip coffee from Starbucks.

Keep reading for the low down on auto drip coffee.

What Is Auto Drip Coffee

Auto drip coffee is the type of coffee machine seen in homes all over America and famed in classic movies from the 1980s and before and American Diners and TV shows like Happy Days.

It is a fully automated means of brewing coffee where the water temperature, flow rate and everything is automatic and controlled by the coffee maker.

It is a method where you have the minimum input in the brewing process, which is very convenient as you can switch your machine on, jump in the shower and by the time you are finished you have a tasty cup of coffee ready and waiting for you.

The term drip coffee is from the process of the water dripping from the faucet (shower head), on to the coffee grounds and through the coffee filter and drips into the coffee carafe below.

Modern versions are the preferred choice for coffee lovers as they are programmable and provide better quality of coffee and can be set to a timer to make coffee as your alarm clock goes off.

What Is Auto Drip Coffee
Auto Drip Coffee Maker

Read: How is pour over different from drip?

Auto Drip Coffee Ratio – What Is The Coffee To Water Ratio For Auto Drip Coffee?

The ideal coffee to water ratio for auto drip coffee is 1:16. This means that you should use 1 part coffee and 16 parts water.


coffee is a very personal thing. How you like your coffee will be different from how another person likes theirs. This is something that you should be prepared to test in order to find out which is best for you.

If you want or need your coffee to be stronger, use a more focused coffee to water ratio, staring at 1:15, then 1:14 and keep adjusting until you get that perfect cup of coffee for you.

Also, if you need a weaker cup of coffee, adjust the coffee to water to 1:17 and moving up to 1:18 until your coffee has that taste that hits the spot for you.

Auto Drip Coffee Ratio
Auto Drip Coffee Ratio

Read: What is drip coffee?

What Is Auto Drip Coffee Grind Size?

Automatic drip coffee makers need to use a medium grind size and may vary slightly depending on the recommendation of the manufacturer. Be sure to read the user guide and check.

The grind size for this beverage also varies slightly depending on the type of coffee filter used. For example, a gold coffee filter will need a medium-coarse grind size.

The manufacturer of the filter will indicate a grind size to be used – as will your taste buds. It is a case of using the golden rule of TAFO – Test And Find Out.

A paper filter will pretty much always require a medium grind size.

The table below is  a reference for different drip coffee filters and the appropriate grind size.

Filter Type

Grind Size

Plastic filter Coarse
Gold metal filter Medium Coarse
Cloth filter Fine
Paper flat bottom (Bunn) Medium
Paper cone (Melita) Medium Fine
Hario paper Medium Fine

The size of the grind is important, as if you use the wrong size, you will end up with a cup of coffee that is either too weak and sour or too strong and bitter. You must use the correct grind size.

Read: Drip coffee

Drip Coffee Starbucks – Is It Possible?

Yes, it is more than possible! Starbucks has drip coffee as an option of the choice of brewing methods available. Of course, espresso is the most popularly used one of them, others are French press, pour over and drip coffee.

How To Order Drip Coffee At Starbucks

Ordering a cup of drip coffee at Starbucks is super simple. To order it just ask for the size of coffee that you want and tag the word drip on the end of it, for example, “Can i have a cup of Venti drip, please?”

From here, you can start to customize your cup of coffee as you wish. A fine example is having extra whip, or with coconut milk and even a vanilla sweet cream. Just ask for your size of drink + drip + customization option.

For example:

“Can I have a venti drip with vanilla sweet cream, please?”

It is that easy.

Drip Coffee Starbucks Price – Is It Expensive?

No, Starbucks drip coffee is not expensive, and certainly not when compared to the other “liquid cakes” available at the world leading coffee conglomerate.

Depending on your location, the price of a tall (12 oz, 360 ml) will cost you US$1.95 to US$2.15 at the current prices.

Frequently Asked Questions About What Is Auto Drip Coffee

The best grind for an automatic drip coffee maker is a medium grind. This may vary slightly to a medium coarse (in very rare cases) depending on the exact model of the automatic drip coffee machine. Usually a gold metal filter will require a slightly coarser grind.

To ensure that you use the correct grind size, consult the user manual for both your drip coffee maker and the filter basket if you are buying a new filter basket.

The biggest difference between drip and auto drip coffee maker is the amount of effort required. Manual drip, also known as pour over coffee, is a method that gives you full control over all aspects of the coffee brewing method.

The result is a great tasting coffee, a much better one that extracts all the complex, delicate and intricate flavors, when compared to an automatic coffee brewer, which makes a good, clean and crisp tasting coffee.

An automatic drip coffee requires little effort and makes great coffee with predictable consistency every time. Modern automatic drip coffee makers are programmable.

The term auto-drip coffee is in reference to automatic drip coffee makers that have automatic control over the temperature, brew time and flow rate of the hot water when brewing your coffee.

You have very little manual input in the process of brewing the coffee, hence the word “auto’ as everything except manually filling the machine with filtered water and coffee is automatic. The brewing process involves the dripping of the coffee into your coffee pot, hence the term drip coffee.

The amount of coffee to use for your automatic drip coffee maker will depend on how much coffee you are making. The best way of calculating is to use the coffee to water ratio of 1:16.

This means that you use 1 part of coffee for 16 parts of water. The best way of measuring is to use a digital coffee scale. If you are making a good-sized cup of coffee that is the equivalent of a Starbucks grande (16 oz), use 1 Oz of coffee and 16 ounces of water.

Is Drip Coffee The Same As Ground Coffee?

No, ground coffee is the physical coffee grounds that are almost powder-like (depending on the grind size), they are what you pour your coffee on. Drip coffee is a method of brewing coffee where the name is from the dripping action of the coffee from the machine and into your coffee carafe. 

Once. You cannot use your coffee grounds over and over again. If you were to do that, for whatever reason, you would only succeed in getting a weak and watery cup of coffee that tastes a little sour.

Don’t just throw your coffee grounds in the bin! You can upcycle them to help improve the soil in your garden, as they make a great fertilizer.

What Does Auto Mean On A Coffee Maker?

The word auto on a coffee maker means automatic. It is on automatic coffee makers that have an internal pump. Using the button yoru machine will automatically brew you a cup of coffee.

Why Is Drip Coffee Better?

Drip coffee is perceived as better due to being able to produce a cup of coffee that is clean, crisp and has a well-rounded taste. It’s also very convenient as you can press a button and have a cup of coffee ready. as you get on with some other task like taking a shower or doing your makeup or whatever it may be.

You can even pre-set your machine to brew a cup of coffee just as your alarm goes off.

Final Thoughts – What Is Auto Drip Coffee

Knowing what you know about what is auto drip coffee, you can make a decision if this is the type of coffee maker that you want to use or not. It is also worth considering how often you are likely to use it as there is no point in buying a device that you won’t use at all that often.

At the very minimum, if you have an early start at the office then you can take advantage of the timer facility and have a cup of coffee brewing just before your alarm goes off. That is what I call convenient.

Is drip coffee for you? or is it another brewing method?

Join our online coffee community on Facebook/Meta and let us know, join in and discuss the different models and get feedback from members.

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 Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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