More known as the electric coffee maker, the automatic drip coffee maker completely change the coffee world in 1968. This article tries to answer this question: what is an automatic drip coffee maker? To do so, let’s tackle this 5 main parts:
- A little bit of history and definition…
- Do you want to know how it works?
- How to use it?
- Advantages / disadvantages
Let’s get started!
It smells coffee in the kitchen… Let’s go back in the past…
Sorry to disappoint you but we are not in grandma ‘s kitchen, the plan is to get to know this amazing woman who was a great inventor: Melitta Bentz!
She was the first to invent the coffee filter in 1908. The story goes, she used her son‘s notebook blotting paper as a filter. She ended up patenting her discovery and now, the coffee filter method is used worldwide! But her invention didn’t use electricity!
This is only in 1968 that Vincent Marotta designed the first automatic drip coffee maker! He absolutely wanted to create an easier and more efficient way to brew coffee that’ why he recruited two engineers Edward Able and Erwin Schulze to help develop his concept: they named it: Mr. Coffee!
Party? My bad! You said different parts…
You won’t use many parts while using an automatic drip coffee maker. Most of the time, it will be the lid, the filter basket, the carafe and the On-off switch button. Below I added an image describing the main constituents of this type of coffee maker.
Mainly made in glass, the carafe could be fragile but easy to replace. You will often see volume graduation on it which allow you to check how much coffee is left over!
You will find two types of filters in the market: permanent coffee filters or paper coffee filters.
- Paper filters
Really easy to use, you will consume one per brew. One big advantage is that you just have to throw away the paper filter containing the used coffee after the brewing process is finished. You can definitely buy them in big volume if you find some promotion because you can keep them for a long time!
A package of paper filters cost around 3 dollars. (Prices can vary!)
Sometimes, you will have problems to find the size of the paper filter adapted to your automatic drip coffee maker.
To finish, they produce the cleanest cup of coffee by straining out all the suspended material as well as, any oils that may have ended up in the brew.
- Permanent filters
One of the main advantages of a permanent filter is to save money! Indeed, you might spend 10 dollars to buy one, but after brewing the equivalent volume of 3 paper filters package, you will start to save. However, you will have to rinse it and clean it after each use! ;). Forgetting to do it will allow oils to build up and become rancid.
They are usually sized to feet your coffee maker, but just purchase one designed for your model, it will avoid bad surprises!
Permanent filters only remove the larger pieces of the ground coffee.
Curious? Let’s see how it works!
A good figure is always better than a long paragraph, enjoy 7 steps process described below!
How to use an automatic drip coffee maker!
- About coffee
It’s recommended to start with a 60g/L ratio. You can always adapt it according to your taste if you feel like it! Before changing the volume of coffee you have been using, you might want to change the grind size first, it should modify the flavor of your cup!
- About Grind size
A medium grind size is a good start to brew your coffee. You can grind the bean more coarsely if you plan to brew one Liter of coffee or more.
- Brewing process
- Grind and weigh your coffee (always make sure to respect the water/coffee ratio you prefer )
- Add the filter paper in the basket. Rinse it under a hot tap.
- Add the coffee ground inside the brewing basket.
- Fill the water reservoir with low mineral water.
- Turn on the machine, and keep an eye on it. If some coffee is not getting wet, give it a stir with a spoon.
- Wait until it finishes.
- Enjoy your coffee.
- Rinse it and clean it!
NB: Don’t forget to throw away the filter with the coffee residue. Rinse and clean the brewing basket.
Blurp… Blurp… Amazing pros and cons coming right away!
Automatic drip coffee maker takes away a lot of steps in the brewing process and it also adds a lot of repeatability which is great! To make the best of it, you should definitely check how much coffee you use and how much cold water you put into the machine and that’s pretty much it. (Change the grind size first if you are not satisfied with the flavor of your cup).
It’s pretty easy to use, some of them are programmable which could be useful. In the end, don’t expect to brew a really tasty cup of coffee with this type of machine, but if you are not a coffee expert and still enjoy coffee in the morning, this type of coffee maker should be perfectly fine.
A lot of domestic filter coffee machine (especially cheaper models) doesn’t make good coffee… Some models don’t heat the water to the correct temperature. If you plan on buying one, try to avoid automatic drip coffee maker with any hot plate: your coffee can overheat and it will result with a really bad cup. Thermal carafes are preferred (check this article).
One last thing, before buying your model, check if it has been certified to reach the correct temperatures. Two recommendations:
- Specialty coffee association of America certification
- European coffee brewing center certification.
I hope you guys, enjoyed this article, as usual feel free to add any comments below!
Have a good one!