What Is A Drip Coffee Maker?

What Is A Drip Coffee Maker?

Last Updated on by Daniel Lawrence

Coffee one drink that is consumed daily. Having a drip coffee maker in your home or office saves you a lot of stress from going out to get a cup of coffee for yourself. We’ll be discussing drip coffee makers in this guide. You must take time to go through.

What is Drip Coffee?

The term “drip coffee” may or may not be familiar to you, suffice it to say, I do not doubt that if you’ve ever drunk coffee in your life, you’ve had drip coffee. Simply put, drip coffee is coffee that’s brewed by coffee makers.

Getting a bit more into the particulars of it, you could technically say that something like a French press or a percolator is also a coffee maker, so in this context “drip coffee” will refer to coffee made by an automatic coffee maker, meaning a carafe and a basket full of ground coffee with water hot water dripped on it.

We use the term drip primarily as a means of distinguishing coffee from espresso since espresso is made with coffee and technically coffee itself. Yeah, it can get a bit confusing. Check out our complete guide if you haven’t already.

So why is it called drip coffee? Well, it has everything to do with how the coffee is brewed. In an automatic coffee maker, the brewing process looks something like this:

  • A filter full of ground coffee is loaded into the coffee maker.
  • The water reservoir is filled with water.
  • A heating element heats the water, forcing it upwards.
  • Water flows up to a showerhead and is dripped onto the filter full of ground coffee.
  • Brewed coffee flows out of the basket and into a carafe.

What makes Drip Coffee Different?

Compared to espresso, drip coffee simply relies on thermally induced pressure to send it up to the showerhead, and gravity to pull it down through the grounds. It dissolves considerably less of the coffee’s soluble mass, and the paper filters common to this brew method will trap many of the oils that would otherwise be present in espresso, French press, or percolator coffee.

Brewing coffee this way is uncomplicated, affordable, and thus, incredibly common among Americans to whom “drip coffee” is simply “coffee.”

Important Components Of A Best Drip Coffee Maker


The reservoir is nothing but a container that holds the cold water you pour into the pot when you are going to make your coffee. The reservoir bucket has a hole at the bottom and a white tube connected from the reservoir base to the drip area. The absolute purpose of this white tube is to carry hot water to the coffee maker’s drip area. Additionally, this tube also helps you use cleaning solutions when cleaning your machine. For some coffee makers, you will find the option to remove it.

  • Shower Head:

The drip coffee maker has a shower head that receives the hot water carried by the white tube. Its function is to spray water onto the coffee grounds when hot water reaches the showerhead.

  • Drip Area:

The drip area has a perforated plastic disc where water flows from a white tube and flows through its holes to coffee grounds. The drip area is not available for all drip coffee makers.

  • Heating Element:

The heating element is nothing but a simple wire made of aluminum that is coiled and is quite similar to a filament inside of a light bulb or even the heating element you might find in your toaster. The main purpose of this heating element is to transfer energy from electric energy to heat energy which means raise the temperature of the water using electricity.

When electricity starts to flow through the heating element, it starts getting hot. All coffee machines do not require an electric supply because some coffee makers like 12 Volt coffee makers are specially designed for outdoor use where the electric connection is not available.

This heating element has an extrusion of two sections, one is a tube that allows water to flow through and another is a resistive heating element connected to electricity.

The heating element does two important jobs. The primary job is to heat water after putting water in the water reservoir of the drip coffee maker and its second job is to keep warm the brewed coffee.

  • Plaster:

Plaster is basically a pasty composition and plastering is one of the most useful techniques to make the coil of a drip coffee maker tougher.

  • Grease:

The heating element is usually placed between the drip coffee maker’s warming plate and water tube. Heat-Conducting greases are used for proper electrical insulation that ensures the transfer of heat is done efficiently.

  • Switch:

The modern coffee maker has a switch that turns on and off the power that provides electricity to the heating element. When you turn on the switch the heating element will immediately start to heat the aluminum tube, the water in the tube will begin to boil, and bubbles will rise into the white tube of the drip coffee maker.

  • One way valve:

After that, the water will flow through a one-way valve and into an aluminum tube that is found in the drip coffee maker heating element. Then it goes partially up through a white tube. This all is happening with the help of natural gravity.

  • Sensor:

The temperature sensor turns on and based on the set temperature, is used in the best drip coffee maker to maintain a steady temperature profile of heating elements. To prevent overheating beyond the design temperature at the heating element, the switch is connected to electrical fuses so that it can cut the power off completely when it detects very high temperatures. Fuses work as a safety feature in the drip coffee maker.



The common consensus is that percolators brew stronger coffee because you’re basically getting double brewed coffee on the first go. On the other hand, a drip coffee maker only runs water through once, making a brew that is cleaner and less strong.

This means a few things for you:

  • With a percolator, you are going to get a strong, bold coffee
  • The percolator’s coffee will likely be over-extracted, meaning you won’t get much depth of flavor
  • When using a drip coffee maker, you can taste more subtleties in flavor
  • The brew from a drip coffee maker will have a lighter and smoother mouthfeel

If you are trying to make coffee for a LOT of people in a relatively short period of time, a percolator is probably the better choice. Some can even brew in the realm of twelve cups at a time.

This is especially helpful if most of your coffee drinkers are just in it for the caffeine and tend to make the flavor with sugar or creamer (or both).

That said, most drip coffee makers can make enough coffee for a couple of coffee drinkers. So if you only have 1-2 coffee fans in your house, a coffee maker should be fine.


What really allowed drip coffee makers to overtake the percolator was the convenience factor. These machines, even at their cheapest, automatically regulate heat and brew time, which is a feature you are going to have to pay a pretty penny for on a percolator.

However, percolators tend to be much more affordable overall than drip coffee makers. So if your budget is pretty meager, a basic percolator isn’t going to break your bank.

How to Make Drip Coffee

Growing up, the answer to this question was “1 scoop for every 2 cups,” but I’m guessing that’s not the answer you were looking for. A good place to start is with a ratio of 60g of dry coffee (beans or ground) to 1 liter of water. But let’s do some math and figure out some basic averages.

The average American cup of coffee is 8 oz of liquid, and 1 liter is 33.814 oz. That means that you’re getting just over 4 full cups for every liter (4.22675) to be precise. If you do a bit of rounding, that means that for every 8 oz cup of coffee, you’ll want about 14g of coffee, which is just about 0.5 oz.

Drip Coffee vs. French Press

Another incredibly popular method for brewing coffee, the French press. also differs from a drip in both preparation and flavor. Anyone who has enjoyed French press coffee knows that it is richer and more full-bodied than coffee from a coffee maker. This is due to the absence of a paper coffee filter to trap the flavorful oils that are emulsified from the ground coffee while brewing.

Additionally, French presses make it easier to extract more evenly as the grounds are all submerged in water while brewing. Typically, you’ll grind your coffee, add it to your carafe, pour in your water, stir it to evenly wet everything, and you’re good to go.


If you’re looking for ease of use and depth of flavor, go for a drip coffee maker. When you choose a drip coffee maker, you’ll find that there’s no real learning curve. It’s rare to find a coffee maker of this type that isn’t very simple to use.