How to Make Drip Coffee (Preparations and 6 Easy Steps)

How To Make Drip Coffee

Carefully brewed drip coffee is just heavenly as it provides a perfect balance of flavors and coffee strength. And this is regardless of whether you are making it with an automatic drip coffee maker or the increasingly popular pour over.

Both drip coffee making methods will use the same principle which is squeezing coffee out of coffee grounds placed on a paper filter using hot water. Also, both drip coffee-making methods are quite fast.

In this piece, we will focus more on the automatic drip coffee maker because despite it having been around for a long time, many coffee lovers still seem unable to make the best out of it.

But, the good news is that it is quite a straightforward coffee making method provided you have everything you need, make adequate preparations and also understand what you need to do.

Table of Contents


The first step should always be preparations because in many instances coffee lovers jump straight into the action only to realize they skipped one step or do not have something important.

Besides gathering the things we will list below, another important aspect of the preparation stage is to make sure that you clean up all your coffee making equipment. While it might sound like a no brainer, many people that use a drip coffee machine tend to overlook it.

Hence, before you even think of making drip coffee, you should start by giving the machine a thorough clean up inside out to remove gunk and calcium deposit. And this should be easy as you only need to run a vinegar and water solution (1 part vinegar and 2 part water) through the brewing cycle.

What You Will Need:

  • A drip coffee maker (or pour over like Chemex if you are using the manual method)
  • 6 fluid ounces of filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons (14 grams) of coffee
  • Glass carafe and coffee mug/cup
  • A paper filter

Average Brewing Time: 5 Minutes

Step by Step Instructions

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Pick Good Quality Beans

Although some coffee lovers can easily overlook this step, picking the right coffee bean is a crucial step in making drip coffee and any other coffee type as it greatly affects the taste and brew quality.

While you can always buy pre-ground coffee, whole beans will help ensure you always make your coffee with the freshest grounds. For drip coffee makers, a medium roast will be the best because light roast will give you weak coffee and dark roast can make it a little too strong for your liking.

Step 2: Fill Up Reservoir with Water

Next step is to fill up the water reservoir on your drip coffee made with filtered water. Filtered water does not contain lots of minerals like regular tap water, and this makes it good for coffee-making as it will not affect the taste.

The amount of water you need depends on your coffee maker reservoir size and the amount of coffee you want to make. However, it is important to make sure you get the ratio right because using too much water will give you weak coffee.

But 6 ounces of water for every 2 tablespoons or 14 grams of coffee should give you strong enough coffee.

Step 3: Insert Paper Filter

Now you should open the filter compartment and insert your paper filter. But if your drip coffee maker uses the mesh filter basket kind of filter, you will not need to add any paper filter.

Also, note that there are different kinds of paper filters, and so you should choose one specifically built for your particular coffee maker model.

And before inserting the paper filter, it is always advisable to rinse it with cold water as this not only removes any impurities but can also help get rid of the papery taste.

Step 4: Grind and Add Coffee Grounds

It is always a great idea to grind your coffee beans just before you brew the coffee to ensure you use them when they are as fresh as possible. And here a burr grinder will be the best as it will give you highly consistent grinds.

As for the grind size, what you choose should be based on the filter type you are using to ensure the best extraction.

For flat bottom filters, use medium grinds whose consistency has a texture similar to sand, and for cone-shaped filters, use medium/fine which is just slightly finer than granulated sugar and if you have a permanent filter, a medium grind is perfect.

Once you grind the coffee to your desired grind size, you can now add the coffee grounds to the filter and make sure they are evenly distributed and packed in well.

Step 5: Brew the Coffee

Now that both the water and coffee is on the drip coffee maker, the next step is to do the actual brewing. For most of these coffee makers, it is a straightforward process as you will only need to place a glass carafe below, close the respective chambers and push the start button.

The recommended brewing temperature is around 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, and so how long the drip coffee takes to brew the coffee will depend on how long it takes it to get to this temperature. However, most coffee makers will take around 5 minutes to brew the coffee.

An easy way to tell when brewing is done is to listen to the dripping noise these coffee makers make and once the dripping stops your coffee will be ready.

Step 6: Switch off Coffee Maker and Serve

While some drip coffee makers will switch off automatically, others do not, and so you will need to pay close attention and switch off the machine when it is done with the brewing.

Once the drip coffee maker is switched off, you should pull out the paper filter and discard the used grounds, but be careful when opening the coffee maker as it can sometimes release steam.

The last step is to remove the glass carafe and pour the coffee into your favorite coffee mug and enjoy your brew.


1. Always make sure you use fresh coffee

2. Filtered water will give you a much better brew quality than tap water

3. Make sure your grind size suits your specific filter type

4. Pre-wet the coffee grounds to bloom them before you start brewing


Drip coffee makers are some of the most common and widely used coffee makers. And while some people can downplay the flavors that they provide, in reality, the drip coffee is one of the most flavorful coffee if made correctly.

Making good drip coffee will require you to get various things right from the coffee beans selection to the grind size and both brewing temperature and time.

And with our step by step instructions above to guide you, making the best drip coffee should be a quick and super easy process.

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