How Can You Choose the Best Drip Coffee Maker?

Coffee can be prepared in a variety of ways. Dripping (sometimes known as filtering) is one of them. The quality rivals even that of the espresso and some allow can even surpass that quality. You can buy a percolator (English dripper) cheap. But what are the differences and on which principle does they work?

How Percolators Work

In simple terms, it is simply hot water running through the ground coffee, through the filter, and collecting in a cup whilst grabbing all the coffee has to offer, on the way. A similar principle is used in the preparation of espresso, but instead of a physical force (gravity), pressure is used. The filtration process is associated with German Melitta Bentz, and Melitta brand filters are still available for purchase today. We see the renaissance of drip coffee company Hario, whose Hario V60 has become an iconic product for contemporary coffeemakers. You can enjoy coffee from a V60 in all better-quality cafes as an alternative to espresso.

Coffee in a paper filter

Coffee in a paper filter

How Percolator Coffee Tastes

Some growers say that their coffee tastes best when prepared through a dripping maker. An example of this is one of the most expensive coffee in the world, the gem, Jamaica Blue Mountain. It comes with a recommendation to use the drip method. There are also those who drink percolator coffee because they find espresso too strong.

The Different Types of Percolator

In general, we can divide the drippers into manual and electric. Both types have pros and cons.

Manual Percolators

This category includes all coffee making facilities that let coffee drip using the help of physics. Just pour water 93 degrees Celsius and wait until the water drips through the filter. Category also includes the Hario V60, Chemex and, of course, the Vacuum pot. Recently, we can also find coffee maceration using the cold brew method.

Glasses containing coffee made using the cold brew method.

Glasses containing coffee made using the cold brew method.

How much does it cost? As well as the brand and patent, you will pay mainly for the material used. Glass, steel and porcelain ones will always be more expensive then plastic ones. It’s easy good to see this from the Hario V60. You can buy the plastic variant from £5.00, whilst the steel variant will cost from £37.

PositivesNegatives
Low price per cupTaste of paper
Simple operationNeed to buy filters

Tips for Preparation

Preparing drip coffee is actually the same as that for the Chemex.

  1. You shouldn’t use hard water for preparation. It is ideal to first use a water filter for the water you will use.
  2. When using a paper filter, rinse it with hot water first.
  3. The coffee should of course be fresh and ideally one kind. The ideal ratio of coffee to water is 7g to 125ml.
  4. The coffee must be ground in the correct grinder. If the coffee is too coarse or soft, the coffee will taste bad.
  5. The water should be heated to 93 degrees Celsius.
  6. The water should be in the funnel for about 30 seconds (until you see bubbles forming). The start to swirl the water in a circular motion.

Electric Percolators

Instead of using manual devices, we can entrust electricity to heat the water. The dry coffee is situated in the upper container (mostly plastic) and filters into the pot below. Most machines also take care of keeping the water constantly warm. This comfort, however, will cost us a little more – the Russell Hobbs Buckingham, with a five-cup capacity, costs £34.99.

Some people say that automatic percolators use too much electric (newer percolators have an automatic shut down after a certain period of inactivity), and that everything is automatic and nothing can be regulated, that you must gamble everything in a slot machine which won’t ever pay out. On the other hand, you have a great amount of coffee which doesn’t have to be served all at once. Also, you don’t have to buy paper filters.

PositivesNegatives
A great deal of coffee
Initial costs
Coffee stays warm
Higher electricity costs (older models)
Doesn’t need to be served immediately
The process of brewing cannot be controlled
No need to change filters

What to look out for before buying

First you need to answer two questions – how much coffee you actually drink, and how often you drink coffee. If you drink a lot of coffee and often throughout the day, you can probably afford to go for an electric percolator which will keep the coffee fresh and in large quantities.