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What is a Drip Coffee Maker

Coby McKinley Profile image

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Updated August 29, 2022

If you’re shopping for a top-tier coffee maker, you’ve probably considered a drip coffee machine. After all, traditional drip coffee makers seem to be a default choice for fresh cups of coffee in your home or office.


  • Edmund Abel Jr. invented the automatic drip coffee maker in 1972 and sold it at retail in the same year.
  • A drip coffee maker is an electric appliance that makes coffee in pre-programmed brew cycles.
  • Automatic drip coffee is not the first choice for flavor, but it is the most convenient option.

So, while you might have seen automatic drip machines before, you may wonder what is a drip coffee maker. Read on, and we’ll walk you through the basics and how to make a delicious coffee with a drip machine.

All You Need to Know About the Drip Coffee Maker

Although there were other inventions prior, the automatic drip coffee maker as we know it is credited to Edmund Abel Jr. He invented the electric drip coffee maker in 1972 and brought it to market months later. When most people mention drip coffee, they are referring to an automatic brewing cycle rather than a manual slow-drip coffee.

Insider Tip

Some drip coffee makers have an increased brewing time for the most decadent flavor possible.

In addition, a classic programmable coffee maker is simple to use if you know all the parts and how they interact. Read this guide to ensure you use the correct brew settings if you’d like more details on what a coffee maker is.

How to Make a Cup of Drip Coffee

A user fills the water reservoir and places pre-ground coffee and a coffee filter in the filter basket. Next, you start the brew cycle by pressing the button on the control panel. Next, the coffee maker’s heating element warms the tank and drips the hot water over the coffee grounds, producing your pot of coffee. Most models also include a hot plate to keep your coffee hot for up to two hours. On the other hand, some models allow you to pause and serve the coffee, which means you can momentarily stop your coffee machine to pour yourself some fresh coffee.

Consider looking at our guide on a pour-over coffee maker if you want a bold flavor and brew strength.

What Type of Coffee Should I Use in an Electric Drip Coffee Maker?

The coffee beans you place in the brew basket are ultimately up to you, but we can give you a few pointers. First, do a medium-fine grind of your coffee before brewing. Then, use about two tablespoons of grounds per cup of hot water you use. Using this ratio, your cup of coffee should have the best flavor possible.


Never use the same coffee filter or grounds for multiple brews. It will diminish the flavor and might add harmful bacteria to your pot of coffee.


What is the best coffee grinder for home use?

Coffee lovers recommend an electric coffee grinder with adjustable grind size. Sometimes, you need your coffee grounds to be a coarser grind than usual. That said, some coffee makers have a built-in grinder for all-in-one functionality.

Does the type of coffee maker make a difference?

While most brew methods deliver a hot coffee, the coffee taste varies from device to device. For example, a cold brew or espresso machine makes a different cup of coffee than an automatic coffee maker.

Why is French press coffee bad for you?

A recent study revealed that unfiltered coffee contains a substance called cafestol that raises cholesterol. Since french press coffee lacks a paper or reusable filter, it has cafestol in it.

Are single-serve coffee makers worth it?

Single-serve brewers are an excellent choice for coffee drinkers on the go. The brew cycles are faster than full-sized machines, and some models come with a thermal carafe to keep your coffee warm.

STAT: A recent study from the Journal of Nutrition showed that 86% of adults over 60 drink coffee at least once per day. (source)

Coby McKinley Profile image