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Home » What is Drip Coffee?

What is Drip Coffee?

Drip coffee is coffee that you brew using an automatic drip coffee machine. Drip coffee is used as regular coffee in daily life, particularly in the United States.

The key benefit of drip coffee is that it’s very easy to prepare and requires no particular brewing experience. It’s also possible to make large batches of coffee with the one brewing cycle, making it a popular choice for use in offices and restaurants.

What you need to make drip coffee

What is the Caffeine Content of Drip Coffee?

The caffeine content of drip coffee is between 115-175 mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup. The exact amount of caffeine will depend on the brew strength and the type of beans used to make the coffee. For example, Robusta beans have 2.2% caffeine, which is almost twice as much as Arabica beans at 1.2% caffeine. Most single origin coffees are Arabica, but you might get Robusta beans in a coffee blend, which will increase the caffeine in your cup of drip coffee.

Some beans are sourced or cultivated specifically for their naturally high caffeine content. These can contain more than five times the amount of caffeine of regular coffee beans. One of the strongest coffees available is Devil Mountain Black Label. Drip coffee made from these beans would contain an incredible 1037 mg per 8 oz serving.

How Many Calories are in Drip Coffee?

Drip coffee contains 2 calories per 8 oz serving, which refers to black coffee served without sugar, creamer or other additives. The calories in coffee come from protein and oils found naturally in the coffee bean. An 8 oz serve of drip coffee contains 300 mg of protein, 36 mg of monounsaturated fats, and 2 mg of unsaturated fats.

How to Prepare Drip Coffee?

To prepare drip coffee you’ll need an auto drip coffee machine. You can also use other equipment such as a coffee scale and a coffee grinder, and a disposable filter if your machine requires it.

Start by determining the coffee amount for drip brewing, based on the number of cups you want to brew. You can do this using a coffee to water ratio calculator. For the most accurate brewing results, you should measure coffee beans by weight, rather than volume. Coffee beans for drip coffee should have a medium grind size. Most pre-ground coffee is a medium grind, so it’s suitable for drip machines, but grinding your beans fresh will give you a better-tasting coffee.

Add your ground coffee to the filter basket and ensure the water reservoir contains enough water for the amount of coffee you’re making. Depending on the machine, you’ll need to select the number of cups, the brew strength, the brew temperature, and optional pre-infusion. Once your settings are programmed, simply press start, and the machine will do the rest.

Drip filter coffee machines work with the same principles as hand drip coffee, also known as pour over. Hot water is made to drip through coffee grounds, extracting coffee from the beans as it passes through. One of the differences between drip coffee and pour over coffee is that latter has an automated process. It also does not provide as much control over the final brew.

It’s important not to confuse drip coffee with Kyoto-style slow drip coffee. Kyoto style is a method of preparing cold brew coffee, using cold water and an extraction time of up to 24 hours.

Is Drip Style Coffee tasty?

Drip style coffee can be tasty, but it isn’t considered to have the same quality of flavour as something like pour over coffee. The answer to the question “is drip coffee good?” really depends on your preferences.

For many people, drip coffee is their preferred way to start the day, and the simple, mild taste is what they are looking for. However, when it comes to drip coffee vs pour over, there is a lack of complexity. Depending on the machine, drip coffee can also be weak compared to other brewing methods. 

What is the difference between drip and brewed coffee?

The difference between drip and brewed coffee is that drip coffee is a specific method of preparation, whereas brewed coffee refers to coffee prepared with any method.

The drip coffee definition is coffee that has been made in an automatic drip machine. The preparation time for drip coffee ranges from around 3 to 10 minutes. The exact time will depend on the number of cups of coffee you are making, the brew strength, and the model of the machine. 

Brewed coffee can refer to coffee made in any coffee maker, including French pour over, espresso machine, percolator, or drip coffee maker. Brewed coffee also refers to coffee made without a specific coffee maker, such as a cold brew or cowboy coffee.

The preparation time for brewed coffee depends on the type of coffee you are making and the coffee maker that you use. Coffee made with an espresso machine takes as little as 25 seconds, whereas cold brew coffee can take up to 18 hours.

For more information, read our complete guide to coffee brewing methods or watch Steven from Home Grounds explain the difference between drip and immersion brewing in this video:

What is the Main Feature of a Good Drip Coffee Maker?

The main feature of a good drip coffee maker is that it creates a good cup of drip coffee, but you should also take into consideration the build quality, user-friendliness, and price.

According to the Specialty Coffee Association, the best drip coffee makers should allow for 55 grams of coffee per one litre of water, reach 92 C within one minute, and have a contact time between water and coffee of 4-8 minutes. 

Features you might look for on a good drip coffee maker include the ability to adjust the brew temperature, the rate of flow, the brew strength and the option to add a pre-infusion cycle. A drip coffee maker with a thermal carafe, rather than a hotplate, will allow you to keep your coffee warm without negatively affecting the flavour.

drip coffee in carafe

What are the Benefits of Drip Coffee?

The benefits of drip coffee compared to other coffee drinks include the ease of preparation and the ability to make large quantities at once. Drip coffee also offers the same health benefits as other styles of coffee including an increase in energy, reduced risk of disease, and aiding weight loss.

Some of the benefits of drip coffee include:

  • Easy to prepare – most drip coffee makers only require you to fill them up and press start.
  • Batch brewing – drip coffee machines allow you to prepare up to 12 cups of coffee with a single brew cycle
  • Increased energy – the caffeine in coffee provides a temporary increase in physical energy, stamina, and concentration.
  • Reduced risk of disease – coffee consumption has been proven to reduce the risk of some diseases including colon cancer, depression, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  • Aids weight loss – coffee can help you lose weight by increasing your metabolism while at the same time reducing feelings of hunger.

Related: Cold brew vs drip coffee.

When to drink drip coffee?

You can drink drip coffee at the same time you would drink any other kind of coffee. Due to coffee’s caffeine content, most people drink drip coffee in the morning to increase alertness. 

To get the best effect from caffeine, scientists recommend drinking coffee when your levels of cortisol are at their lowest. Cortisol is the body’s fight-or-flight hormone that temporarily increases energy and endurance. For most people, cortisol levels are at their highest around 8am-9am, 12pm-1pm, and 5:30pm-6:30pm, so coffee should be consumed outside of these time slots.

Can drip coffee be iced?

Yes, drip coffee can be iced to enjoy as a cold drink in summer. This is done by pouring hot drip coffee over a glass of ice directly before serving.

Combining ice with drip coffee will dilute the taste and strength of the coffee as the ice melts. To counteract this, you might wish to brew your drip coffee at a higher strength. Alternatively, you can make ice cubes out of brewed coffee. These coffee cubes will not dilute the flavour of drip coffee as they melt.

It’s not recommended to chill drip coffee by placing it in the refrigerator. Leaving coffee to sit for extended periods of time allows the coffee to oxidise. Oxidation will affect the taste of your coffee, resulting in a sour or flavourless brew.

Can drip coffee be reused?

No, the grounds you use to make drip coffee should not be reused. You won’t be able to get coffee with the same intensity of flavour.

The drip brewing process works by passing hot water through ground coffee. As the water comes in contact with the coffee grounds, it dissolves the water soluble compounds in the beans, adding flavour to the brewed coffee. After the brewing process, very few of these compounds remain in the coffee grounds, so they are not suitable for reuse.

Can you use drip coffee in an espresso machine?

No, you can’t use drip coffee in an espresso machine because it isn’t ground to the correct fineness.

Drip coffee is made with medium ground coffee. Espresso machines require coffee that is a fine grind. If you use medium ground coffee in an espresso machine, the water will flow through the portafilter too quickly. This reduces the contact time between the water and the coffee grounds and doesn’t allow for full extraction. The resulting coffee will have a sour and watery taste, and will lack crema.

Can you use drip coffee in cold water?

No, you can’t use drip coffee in cold water to make cold brew coffee because the grounds are the wrong fineness.

Drip coffee is made with coffee ground to a medium grind, but cold brew is prepared with extra coarse ground coffee. Cold brew is prepared using an extended extraction time and requires coarse grounds that will extract at a slower rate. The medium grind coffee used for drip coffee will extract too quickly, creating a bitter, hollow tasting coffee. Medium grind coffee can also clump together in the cold water and be more difficult to filter out.

Kashmir Brummel
Growing up in a coffee-free household, the discovery of the Moka pot as a teen was something of a revelation. I’ve now upgraded to the AeroPress for my daily brew, with a Hario V60 on hand for lazy weekend mornings.

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