Drip brew coffee is one of the most primitive forms of the Pourover. The brewing theory behind drip brew coffee is simple – it involves pouring hot water over coffee grounds in a paper filter. The extraction occurs here, the fresh coffee seeps through the paper filter and is collected in your cup. All ready for consumption.
However simple it may sound, there are several details to take note in order to avoid a bad extraction and a foul cup of coffee. This post will provide you with a Drip Brew Coffee Brewing Guide, some important points to note while brewing using a coffee dripper as well as some Brew Hacks that can save you time, money and effort in the brewing process.
Drip Brew Coffee Brewing Tips
As a beginner, there are several factors you should look out for when brewing coffee using a coffee dripper.
Drip Brew coffee requires a medium-coarse to medium coffee ground size. (read this Coffee Grind Size Guide to get a clearer idea)
You can grind your coffee using a coffee grinder or purchase pre-ground coffee.Ideally, it would be advisable to only grind your coffee right before you brew. But novice hand brewers should start with pre-ground coffee, and focus on the brewing technique first.
If you are purchasing from a coffee distributor, you can ask for a grind size recommendation. A good coffee bean distributor should be able to recommend a suitable grind size.
Coffee to Water Ratio [aka brewing ratio]
Different hand brewers and baristas have their preferred coffee to water ratio. We would recommend a 1:10 ratio for the drip brew. Start with 15 g of coffee grounds and brew with 150g of water.
Pre-infusion is a process that is present in most hand brew methods. It allows the coffee grounds to bloom. And fresh coffee grounds should bloom and produce a layer of bubbles.
During the blooming, CO2 is released from the coffee grounds and wets the coffee grounds thoroughly for better extraction.
Perhaps the most important factor that can affect the taste of the resultant coffee.
During the pouring process, ensure a constant pour rate to allow consistent extraction.
And make sure that water is poured to the middle of the coffee grounds. Do not pour onto the paper filter as some water may flow directly from the dripper to the cup, bypassing the coffee grounds – this will dilute your cup of coffee.
Drip Brew Coffee Brewing Equipment
- Pour over brewing kettle
Comes with a long snout that helps to control the pour of the water.
[Brew Hack: You can use a regular measuring cup with a short snout, but practice control the pour rate before the actual coffee brewing.]
- Coffee Dripper
On which the brewing occurs. There are a few variations in the market – cone shaped coffee drippers popularized by Hario, flat bottom coffee drippers and even the Chemex.
- Paper Filter
Separates the coffee grounds from the coffee, giving you a clean cup of coffee. There are 2 main variations of paper filters – natural and white (bleached). There is little difference to the taste, but some argue that the natural filters produce a stronger ‘paper’ taste.
- Weighing scale
To weigh the coffee grounds and amount of water used.
[Brew Hack: Once you have a fixed brewing ratio, you can do away with the weighing scale. Find a measuring spoon which accurately gives you the amount of coffee grounds and use your measuring cup (from above) to measure out the fixed amount of water required to give you the desired brewing ratio.]
To determine the temperature of water used for brewing.
[Brew Hack: Boil water until steam starts to form, bring it off the boil just before you start preparing to brew. The water should have cooled down to about 95 degree by then.]
Drip Brew Coffee Brewing Guide
- Prepare your paper filter. This usually involves folding in the jagged edges.
- Place your paper filter into the coffee dripper, which is placed above your cup (if brewing for one) or a serving jug.
- Wet the paper filter with hot water. This will rinse the paper filter and get rid of the smell and taste of paper. The hot water will help to warm your cup or jug too. Discard the water thereafter.
- Pour your ground coffee that has been weighed onto the coffee dripper. Shake the coffee dripper to spread the coffee ground evenly in the filter.
- Next, pour some water over the coffee. This is the pre-infusion stage where we wet the coffee and let it bloom. Pour just enough to cover the coffee grounds, and wait for 30 seconds.
- Fresh coffee grounds should bloom, release air bubbles and raise slightly.
- After 30 seconds, pour water slowing in a circular motion, over the coffee. Keep the water level at a maximum of 2/3 of the paper filter height.
- This will take practice, but ideally keep a steady pour throughout the brewing process.
- Stop once you have poured a total of 150g of water (or the amount of water as per your desired brewing ratio)
- Wait for the rest of the water to drain from the coffee dripper. This should take a maximum of 1min and 30 seconds.
- Serve the coffee, with sugar and milk to taste.
Coffee Brewing Summary
Regardless of the coffee brewing method you use, the process of coffee brewing can be summarized in just 3 steps. For new and aspiring coffee brewers, do read our The Ultimate Coffee Brewing Guide to learn more!