Automatic Drip Coffee Maker

The automatic drip coffee maker for domestic use was introduced in 1972 by Mr Coffee and it has been very popular ever since. It produces drip brew coffee (or filter coffee as it is known in Europe).

The coffee maker is very simple to operate. You put cold water in the water reservoir and medium ground coffee in the filter . The coffee maker then heats the water and slowly lets it drip through the coffee grounds.

Automatic drip coffee makers come in different sizes and with different specifications. A higher end model will have a programmable timer, so you can program the brewer to get your coffee ready before you get up in the morning. It may also have a built-in coffee grinder.

Things to consider when choosing an automatic drip coffee maker

Type of carafe: You can have either glass or thermal carafe. A glass carafe allows you to see how much coffee is in, but it has got one drawback. Since the glass carafe is usually heated on a hot plate, the coffee can get bitter if you leave it in the carafe for too long. A thermal carafe coffee maker will keep the coffee warm without burning it.

Capacity of the carafe and the water tank: The capacity ranges from 1 cup to 12 cups. Note that some of the larger size models have a switch that allows you to brew a smaller amount of coffee - that is handy if you are the only coffee drinker in the family and yet need to make large amount of coffee when entertaining friends.

Programmable timer: This allows you to program the coffee maker to start brewing the coffee at a specific time. If you like to wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, then you should get one of these.

Built-in grinder: Freshly ground coffee makes a big difference to the aroma and flavor of the brew. The built-in grinder allows you to put in the whole beans and let the coffee maker take care of the rest.

Dual brewing: Dual brewing station allows you to make two different pots of coffee at the same time (for example regular and decaf).

Type of filter: It's best if the coffee maker uses a cone shaped filter holder. Please see my other page about automatic drip coffee maker filters to decide whether to select paper or metallic filter.

Interrupt (pause and serve) feature: If you cannot wait until the brewing finishes, this feature lets you interrupt the process for a short time - just to pour yourself a cup of coffee.

Water temperature: The ideal temperature to brew coffee is between 195°F and 205°F. Most models do not reach this temperature resulting in weak coffee.

Carafe-sealing lid: This feature aims to preserve the aroma and flavor of the brew in the carafe for longer.

Automatic shut-off: Some models automatically shut off the system some time after the brewing finished. This is very useful if you are the sort of person who is likely to forget to switch things off.

Built-in water filter: Some higher end automatic drip coffee makers have a built-in charcoal water filter that filters the water before brewing the coffee. Depending on the quality of your tap water, it may make a big difference to the taste of the coffee.

Other things to consider:

Further Reading

Best Drip Coffee Maker
Best Thermal Coffee Maker
Grind and Brew Coffee Makers