Drip Coffee Maker Anatomy 101
Rise and shine—it’s almost coffee-making time. But before we lay out the steps on how to brew one of the world’s most beloved beverages, let’s explore the fundamental parts of the drip coffee maker:
● Filter basket – The filter basket is where the ground coffee will be placed. This is also where the water will be delivered over the top of the grounds and ultimately defining your drip coffee maker. Simply allowing gravity to push the water through the grinds is what separates this method from others. The basket is usually found above the carafe and will be accessed by either removing the basket or opening a lid to reveal it. The brew basket can hold either a single-use coffee filter or a reusable filter such as cloth or wire mesh.
● Filter – As mentioned above, there are single-use filters made from paper and reusable filters made usually from cloth, mesh, or metal. This is where the ground coffee will be placed before brewing.
● Reservoir – This is where the water used in the brewing process will be poured. Most coffee makers will have indicators for measuring the exact amount of coffee you wish to brew.
● Carafe – More commonly known as “the pot,” the carafe is typically made of glass or metal and is the last stop in the brewing process. It sits below the filter basket and typically has it a lid that will contact some sort of stop-valve to allow the brewed coffee to begin dripping. Always make sure your carafe is clean and in place before starting your brew cycle.
● Warming plate – Not all coffee makers will have a warming plate, and if they do, they will typically be paired with a glass carafe. A warming plate is added to engineer a direct source of heat to keep your brewed coffee hot. But beware—if your coffee sits too long on this plate, the continuous heat will begin to break down the chemical compounds and expedite the evaporation of some of the solution, resulting in a bitter-tasting coffee.
It’s important to identify any additional features on your coffee maker before you start a brew cycle.
For instance, some of the more advanced drip coffee machines on the market come with adjustable temperature settings to let you heat your water precisely. Others allow you to adjust the flow rate, thereby enabling you to choose the perfect contact time between water and coffee. If this is the case, your coffee maker will likely come with instructions for these special features.