What is drip coffee, you may ask? That’s normal if you only take your coffee white or black. You’ve probably never explored the coffee drinks on your Starbucks, Dunkin donuts, or Stumptown coffee roasters cafe menu.
Drip coffee is a coffee beverage brewed using an automatic coffee maker. The drip coffee-making process relies on thermally-induced pressure to release oils, flavor, and caffeine from coffee bean grounds. It is the commonest, easiest, and most affordable way of brewing coffee.
The coffee machine used to make drip coffee will determine its quality. Examples of coffee makers you can use to make drip coffee are percolators, French presses, and Espresso machines.
History of Drip coffee
If you want to understand the history of Drip coffee, you should look at the origin of Drip coffee makers.
The first Drip coffee maker was invented by a German called Gottlob Widmann in 1954. Before the invention of the automatic coffee maker, black coffee was brewed using a Moka pot or Percolator device. However, these devices did not require the use of filters. Therefore, the coffee brewed contained residue.
Once the paper filter was discovered by Melitta Bentz, drip coffee became better. The drip coffee machine controlled the whole brewing process, and all you had to do was scoop coffee grounds into it, pour water into its reservoirs, and wait for a nice cup or carafe of coffee to brew.
The use of filters eliminated residue from the resulting brew, making it taste better. That made Drip coffee a popular beverage in cafes and homes.
Soon after Widmann discovered the first Drip coffee makers in Germany, others were invented, leading to today’s electric coffee maker.
Why Is Drip Coffee Called Drip Coffee?
Drip coffee gets its name from the way it is brewed. You scoop the coffee grounds into a filter basket, pour water into a coffee reservoir, and heat it up. Once the water is hot enough, it drips over the coffee grounds, and the resulting brew flows into a carafe, mug, or jug underneath.
You would argue that all coffee drips into a jug, carafe, or mug when being brewed, so every coffee brewed in this way is drip coffee. However, that’s not the case.
What differentiates drip coffee from others like Espresso is the pulling out of coffee from the grounds using gravity. The water soaks into the grounds, makes them bloom, and releases their oils, caffeine, and flavor resulting in a rich cup of joe.
Using an automatic drip coffee machine makes the coffee brewing process easier. You can set the number of coffees you want, their strength, and the time you want to brew the coffee.
According to the Speciality Coffee Association, drip coffee is one of the most acceptable ways of making coffee. That could be because of the availability of great coffee-making machines.
Some common drip machines are the Cuisinart coffee maker, the Technivorm Moccamaster coffee maker, and the Ninja Specialty Drip coffee Maker.
Many of these coffee makers come with a grinder. Machines with coffee grinders make better-tasting coffee because you can use fresh coffee grounds each time you are brewing your coffee.
Difference between Drip Coffee Making and Other Coffee Brewing Methods
Drip coffee is so popular that some people confuse it with other black coffees. Here’s how drip coffee differentiates itself from other coffee brewing methods.
Drip coffee vs. Pour-Over-Coffee
Drip coffee is sometimes confused with Pour-over coffee, but they are not the same. Pour-over coffee takes longer to brew than drip coffee and requires more involvement.
However, you have more control over the coffee-making process when using the Pour-over coffee-making method. You can control the size of the coffee grounds, the temperature of the water, and the brew’s potency.
The Pour-over coffee brewing process involves pouring hot water by hand over coffee grounds in a filter. Underneath the coffee filter is a carafe or mug that collects the coffee beverage.
The size of the coffee grounds and the length of time you pour hot water over them will determine the strength of your coffee. Coffee grounds need enough contact time between the coffee grounds and hot water to produce a rich, flavourful mug of drip coffee.
Therefore, you should focus on slowly saturating the grounds with water to extract all the flavors from the coffee. The slower you drip the hot water over the coffee grounds, the more of the oils and flavor you’ll get out of them.
While you can use the manual process to prepare pour-over coffee, using machines is a better option. Some of the Pour-over machines in the market are The Hario V60 coffee maker, The Mecraft coffee maker, The Melitta coffee maker, and the Chemex.
Drip Coffee vs. Americano
An Americano is a diluted mug of Espresso. It originated from the WWII era when American warfighters were in Italy. The only coffee available at that time was Espresso, which was bitter. The troops decided to dilute it with hot water to make it more palatable. That was the origin of the Americano coffee we have today.
The ratio of water to coffee used to brew Americano in cafes depends on the barista or brewer. However, regardless of the ratio, the main component of an Americano is the Espresso. It is the coffee beverage that contributes to the flavor and crema on top.
Although some people add milk to Americano, it is supposed to be taken without any milk.
Drip Coffee vs. French Press Coffee
Some people confuse Drip coffee for French Press coffee, but they are not the same thing.
French Press coffee is made using a French Press, which is a coffee pot with a plunger. When brewing this coffee, the grounds are steeped in the French Press and the coffee is poured out by pushing the plunger down once it’s ready.
The strength of French Press coffee is determined by how long you brew it and the coffee ground you use. The longer you steep the ground, the stronger your coffee will get.
It’s cheaper and easier to make French Press coffee than to make Drip coffee. Some of the coffee machines used to brew French Press coffee are the Secura Stainless Steel French Press machine and the Espro Coffee French Press P7 machine.
Drip Coffee vs. Espresso Coffee
Drip coffee and Espresso coffee are both black coffees. However, Espresso coffee is made by passing hot pressurized water through finely-ground coffee beans at atmospheric pressures of up to 15 atmospheres (ATMs).
Such a high pressure produces coffee with a slightly bitter taste, an intense aroma, and dense foam on top called crema. The reason for the bitterness is the dark roast oily coffee beans used to brew Espresso that are ground to a fine consistency.
On the other hand, Drip coffee is brewed using medium to finely ground coffee beans. The coffee beans are of a light to medium roast. The water to make drip coffee is also passed through the coffee grounds for a longer period, which extracts more of the oils and flavor, resulting in a rich coffee flavor.
Although Espresso seems to have more caffeine than Drip coffee, that’s not the case. Hot water is in contact with the grounds for a longer time when brewing drip coffee, which extracts most of the caffeine from it than what you get from a shot of Espresso.
Espresso is best prepared using an espresso machine. Some of the Espresso appliances in the market are the Barista Breville Espresso machine and the Ultima Capresso Machine.
Tips for Making the Best Drip Coffee
There are several benefits to preparing drip coffee. One of them is that it’s easy to prepare, especially when using an automatic drip coffee maker.
You can also brew a large batch of coffee using the drip coffee-making process as opposed to other methods such as Espresso brewing.
If you master tips on making excellent drip coffee from home, you’ll never have to buy it from the coffee shop again. Here are some to keep in mind.
- Use a fresh paper filter every time you make drip coffee to preserve the brew’s flavor; otherwise, re-using a paper filter leaves a lingering taste in the coffee.
- Drip coffee pods are also another good option for brewing Drip coffee. They don’t leave residue in the coffee, and they are packed to produce an exact quantity of good quality coffee.
- You don’t always have to take your Drip coffee black. There are different flavors of drip coffee available. Some examples are Hazelnut Drip coffee and Caramel Drip coffee, among others.
- Medium grind coffee grounds make the best Drip coffee. You can expect 8 oz cups of rich drip coffee from 14 g of coffee grounds.
- To increase the flavor and oils, you get from your coffee grounds, soak them in water for up to 5 minutes before brewing your coffee.
- The quality of water you use to brew your coffee will impact its taste. Your tap water could be high in minerals (hard water), have a metallic taste, or contain chlorine. Water for brewing coffee should be slightly alkaline to balance out the flavor of the coffee beans.
- You may use a water filter or distillation device to purify your coffee brewing water. The proper ratio of coffee to water is 1.5 tablespoons of coffee ground for each cup of water.
- The temperature of the water you use to brew your drip coffee also determines the kind of coffee you get. The colder it is, the less flavor and oils it will extract from the coffee grounds.
- Steeping coffee grounds in cold water only works when making cold brew because it requires a long extraction process.
- Over boiling, water will also get rid of a lot of oxygen, making your brew flavorless and bitter. The right water temperature for brewing coffee is 205 degrees Fahrenheit or 96 degrees Celsius.
With those factors in mind, you can now brew an excellent cup of Drip coffee. Here is a recipe.
A Simple Recipe for Making Drip Coffee
Automatic Drip coffee maker
Medium roast coffee beans
- Grind the fresh coffee beans to a medium-grind consistency using a burr grinder. Avoid using pre-ground coffee because freshly ground coffee beans produce the best coffee.
- Place a fresh paper filter into the machine’s filter basket and scoop some coffee grounds into it. You may use 2 ounces or 57 gms of coffee grounds to make four cups of coffee using 32 ounces of water.
- Fill the water reservoir of your drip coffee maker with water to the desired level. Turn the coffee machine on and brew it to your preferred strength.
- Once your drip coffee is brewed to perfection, pour it into a pre -warmed coffee mug and enjoy.
- Avoid re-heating the coffee in your drip coffee maker and brew a fresh batch each time; otherwise, re-heating it will result in a burnt-tasting brew.
That’s a short guide on Drip coffee. Now you can tell the difference between drip coffee and other kinds of black coffee. You can also brew a nice cup of drip coffee from home instead of spending all your money in coffee shops anytime you need good coffee.
To ensure you always have the best drip coffee, invest in a good quality automatic drip coffee maker. Remember to descale it regularly with vinegar to remove any mineral water buildup.
It’s also important to wash your coffee maker with hot water, vinegar, and soap every week to eliminate any lingering bacteria, especially in the drip tray, carafe, and water reservoir.
Keep the tips we’ve shared in this drip coffee guide in mind when brewing your coffee to make the best brew. There are also many coffee recipes you can try online once you master how to make a basic cup of drip coffee. Therefore, there’s much to look forward to when it comes to making Drip coffee.