What Is Drip Coffee?

For most of us, coffee is the fuel we need to function and handle the stresses of everyday lives. If you are an avid coffee drinker, the chances are that you have heard of the term "drip coffee" and pondered: what is drip coffee? The following guide will help you answer this question. 

What Is Drip Coffee?

In simple words, drip coffee is coffee made by slowly pouring the boiling water over ground coffee contained in a filter. As the hot water passes through the coffee, it extracts the aroma and taste from the ground beans. Different vessels and types of filters (paper, fabric, or metal) are used to make this type of coffee.

Coffee being hand dripped into a kettle

However, the term also refers to the coffee brewed using electric drip coffee makers. These electric appliances are widely popular amongst the majority of American households since they are efficient and automatic. You are only required to add water and coffee grounds to the machine.

How to Make a Perfect Cup of Drip Coffee

Imagine taking the first sip of the day of your freshly brewed coffee only to discover it is too bitter, or worse, too acidic. The ideal cup of drip coffee has a well-balanced flavor, and the secret lies in the fineness of the grind.

When the grounds are too fine, it results in over-extraction and a bitter taste. Contrarily, coarser ones produce an acidic flavor due to under extraction.

Here is a simple brewing process:

  1. Grind your choice of roasted coffee blend to medium-fine particles.
  2. Place the coffee filter in the filter basket, add the ground coffee and load it into the coffee maker. Ideally, one tablespoon of coffee is enough to make one cup (6 ounces) of rich, full-bodied coffee.
  3. Add clean, filtered, cold water in the dedicated reservoir.
  4. Press the “Start” button to begin the brewing process.

How Is Drip Coffee Different From Pour-Over?

Both pour over coffee and drip coffee are made using similar methods of gradually passing hot water through ground coffee beans to extract maximum flavor. However, while drip coffee is made from an automated machine, pour over is an entirely manual model.

Coffee beans in a filter

The pour over method uses a filter and coffee grounds placed in a funnel, which is then fitted on a designated container. The barista pours hot water over the coffee in timed intervals to control the entire brewing process. Consequently, the longer procedure and dedicated effort yield a more vibrant and vivid flavor profile.  

How Is Drip Coffee Different From Espresso?

The primary difference between drip coffee and espresso is the brewing time and fineness of the coffee grind. Even though espresso has a shorter brewing time, it is much stronger than drip coffee and has a more pronounced flavor profile.   

The coffee beans used to make espresso are ground so finely that they resemble the texture of powdered sugar. Hot water is forced through the coffee grounds at pressure to achieve a robust and syrupy beverage.  Generally, it takes approximately 25 seconds to make the most sublime espresso shot.

On the other hand, drip coffee uses a coarser blend and takes more time to be prepared as compared to espresso. Since the hot water is in contact with the ground beans for a more extended period, as compared to espresso, a cup of drip coffee has more caffeine than a shot of espresso. 

How Is Drip Coffee Different From French Press?

French press is another popular method for brewing coffee, which is more full-bodied than drip coffee for a number of reasons.Hand dripped coffee

First, to brew the coffee in a French press, coarse-ground beans are stirred in hot water and allowed to steep and percolate flavor for 3 to 5 minutes. Secondly, paper coffee filters trap the oils in drip coffee, which emulsifies in French press coffee.

Longer time, even extraction results, and the presence of flavorful oils make a richer,  better tasting coffee.

Related Questions

Is Drip Coffee Better?

In terms of heart health, drip coffee or filtered coffee is better than the unfiltered variety. According to a study conducted by a Swedish university, unfiltered brew was linked to a higher mortality rate than filtered brew.

What Is So Special About Drip Coffee?

The electric drip coffee makers are efficient, convenient, and affordable. The machine controls the entire brewing process with the click of a button so you can get your hands on a steaming cup of goodness in a minimal amount of time.


Brewing coffee is an intricate art form. From choosing your preferred roasting level of light, dark or medium coffee beans, to using the method of making coffee. It requires expertise and skill to create a good cup of 100% Kona coffee, brimming with depth and flavor. However, with the highly convenient and practical drip coffee makers, you can still enjoy a decent cup of coffee without leaving your home or spending too long on the brewing process.