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Automatic Drip

Seattle based elementary school teacher Sean Bell found himself one Sunday morning feeling the itch for a freshly brewed cup of coffee to accompany his reading of the New York Times.  Sundays were always a peaceful time for Sean and he found himself in his kitchen looking through his different coffee making appliances.  Although Sean had the finest espresso makers, he turned to his trusty automatic drip coffee maker for that perfect tasting cup of joe.

Although more and more fancy coffee makers flood the marketplace, the most popular type of coffee maker remains the automatic drip coffee maker.  Its popularity stems from the fact that it is easy to use and that it is also an inexpensive appliance.  However, an underrated aspect of the automatic drip coffee maker is that it produces a fine cup of coffee.

The automatic drip coffeemaker can come in two varieties: manual automatic drip coffee maker and electric automatic drip coffee maker.  These varieties of automatic drip coffeemakers produce a comparable quality of coffee.  However, the electric automatic drip coffee maker has a number of features that make it more advantageous.  For one, the electric automatic drip coffee maker contains a separate container for water to be boiled.  Owners of manual automatic drip coffee makers understand that since the heating of the water is not automatic with this device that they are required to make sure that the water is hot enough for proper extraction, which is water heated that it is slightly below boiling temperature.  Additionally, electric automatic drip coffeemakers have a number of features that include:

  • The ability to heat and maintain a water temperature in the 190 to 200 Fahrenheit degree range.
  • Spray heads that allow for the even dispersion of water over coffee grounds.
  • Filter holders that are designed for high extraction.

Despite the differences between a manual automatic drip coffee maker and an electric automatic drip coffee maker, these types of coffee makers share a common design.  An automatic drip coffee maker generally contains a water reservoir, a heating element that boils water to its proper temperature, some sort of filter, and a device that holds the coffee that drips from the filter.  To properly brew a cup of coffee using an automatic drip coffee maker, one must follow these steps:

  1. Measure the proper amount of coffee grounds then place it into a filter
  2. Allot the filter in the automatic drip coffeemaker's filter holder
  3. Pour the recommended amount of water into the coffee maker's water reservoir
  4. Turn the automatic drip coffee maker on and allow it to brew the coffee
  5. Once the coffee has been brewed, sit back and enjoy your fine tasting beverage

With an automatic drip coffeemaker, the water is boiled to the proper temperature and then drips on the coffee grounds into a carafe.  Once this entire process is completed, you will have freshly brewed coffee for your pleasure.  However, one note should be mentioned as most coffee makers are designed for a specific amount of coffee.  It is recommended that when you are brewing coffee that you brew a full pot, as the automatic drip coffee maker is timed and built for maximum use.  Brewing less coffee will result in a change of taste in the final cup of coffee.   On the other hand, many coffee maker manufacturers are producing automatic drip coffee makers that allow the user to change its timing.  As a result, with these coffee makers it is now possible to brew only 2 to 3 cups of coffee using a 10-cup automatic drip coffee maker without altering the taste of the coffee.

There are numerous advantages of using an automatic drip coffee maker as your main coffee brewer.  Its simple use and low cost may be its main features but the automatic drip coffeemaker also produces a clear, light-bodied coffee that is free from some of the oils and sediment found in other types of coffee makers.  The coffee that is brewed using an automatic drip coffeemaker is one that contains great flavor.  The fact that it takes approximately 7 to 10 minutes to brew 6 cups of coffee with an automatic drip coffeemaker makes it one of the quickest coffeemakers to brew a cup of coffee.

However, there are some minor disadvantages to the automatic drip coffee maker.  Coffee lovers recommend that very fine or coarse coffee grinds be used with this type of coffeemaker.  Depending on how fine the coffee grinds one use with their automatic drip coffeemaker, there may be some moments where the coffeemaker may clog-up.  However, this is a rare occurrence that can easily be avoided.  Additionally, the automatic drip coffeemaker does not produce a coffee as hot as the percolator coffee maker, although coffee aficionados frown upon the use of percolators.  One thing that automatic drip coffee maker users have to remember is that although most automatic drip coffeemakers contain a heating element, it is recommended that the carafe should not be left on heat fro longer than 30 minutes.  It is recommended that the left over coffee should be poured into a pre-heated thermal carafe for future use.  On the other hand, many coffee manufacturers are now producing automatic drip coffee makers that circumvent this problem, as these coffeemakers brew directly into a thermal carafe.