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How to Make Coffee in a Coffee Maker

Want to brew the perfect cup of coffee in your coffee maker? Follow our step-by-step guide for great results

An automatic drip coffee maker is a common sight in homes and businesses all across the US. A straightforward, classic brewing method, people like drip coffee makers for the consistent, smooth flavor of their brew, the large volume of coffee they can produce and their general ease of use. If you’re a newbie in this world, then worry not – you’ll get the hang of things pretty quickly. Simply follow our step-by-step instructions, and you’ll be enjoying a delicious cup of drip coffee in no time at all.

Below, our quick guide will get you started on how to make coffee in an automatic drip coffee maker.

How to use a coffee maker

Here’s how to use an automatic drip coffee maker in four easy steps:

1. Get your coffee ready

The first thing you’ll need to do when making drip coffee is to prepare your grounds. As is the case for all coffee-making, we suggest using freshly ground coffee to get the most flavorful cup. Whether you’re grinding your own beans or using pre-ground coffee, a medium grind level works best for drip coffee. The general rule of thumb is to use 1-2 tbsp of coffee for every cup you’re making, depending on how strong you like your coffee. If you’re a real aficionado seeking the most consistent results, then you’ll want to weigh out your grounds using an accurate coffee scale, since the same volume of coffee can weigh different amounts as a result of the differences in density of various coffee beans. A tablespoon of coffee should weigh out to approximately 10 grams.

2. Add your water

Once you’ve weighed out your coffee, the next step is to add water to your machine’s water reservoir. Again aiming for flavor perfection, we suggest using filtered or bottled water as opposed to tap water, which contains more minerals and contaminants that may affect the flavor of your brew. However, do note that distilled water is considered a step too far, since its complete lack of minerals hampers flavor extraction. Once you’ve prepared your water, you should add 170ml (5.7fl oz) of water for every 10g of coffee you’re using. A ratio of 1:17 coffee-to-water is generally considered the “golden ratio” by coffee purists, but feel free to experiment if you feel this isn’t for you.

3. Insert the filter

Once your coffee and water are ready, the next step is to open up the top of your machine and insert a paper or reusable filter into the filter basket. A common piece of advice is to “pre-wet” paper filters by pouring a small amount of hot water over them before brewing, to help remove any papery flavor that may make its way into your coffee. Once you’ve inserted your filter and poured your water into the reservoir, add your coffee grounds to the basket.

4. Turn on your coffee maker

Now that all your ingredients are in place, all that’s left to do is to turn on your coffee maker and let it do its thing. Some automatic drip coffee makers may have settings that allow you to control the strength of your brew and other factors, while others will just have a simple on/off switch. In the case of there being more nuanced controls, you can consult your coffee maker’s operating manual for more specific advice. Either way, your coffee should be brewed and ready to serve in around five minutes. A final piece of advice: try not to leave your coffee pot on the heating plate for too long: excess exposure to heat can lead to the development of unpleasant, bitter flavors.

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