If you’ve spent any time around coffee culture, you’ve probably encountered two very similar drinks.
Espresso and dripped coffee.
While the two of them requires a fine grind, that’s where the similarities end. In fact, there is more to drip coffee than meets the eye.
In this article, you’ll learn what is a drip coffee and how does it differ from the regular (and more popular) espresso.
Quick Summary : Drip coffee is not very concentrated, requires a delicate brewing process, and is pretty much scarce in European countries.
On the bright side, it also has more caffeine than espresso.
1. Fine Grinds are Best for Dripped Coffee
Automatic drip coffeemakers are handy and convenient, but their inability to moderate temperature or water ratio make them a less efficient way of bringing out the best possible flavor.
One way to combat the inevitable minimization of the natural coffee flavors is to start out with a good grind. In fact, a precise grind can make or make or break a good cup of coffee.
For drip coffee specifically, you’ll want to avoid coarse grinds.
A general rule of thumb is, the finer the grind, the stronger the flavor.
Coarser grinds add an acidic edge to your coffee, so if you’re tired of your morning coffee coming out bitter, consider trying out a different grind.
There are so many different possibilities available nowadays. Just ask around at your local coffee shops.
2. The Extraction Process Brings Out the Coffee Aroma
You’ve undoubtedly used an auto-drip coffee machine at the office or at home.
But if you’re new to experimental coffee brewing, you’re probably not entirely sure what the process entails.
The flavor and aroma of coffee is acquired through the delicate process of extraction, in which the hot water dissolves through the ground-up beans, making all the underlying notes accessible.
3. Dripped Coffee is Less Concentrated than Espresso
When you think of strength, you might think of how bold or strong a cup of coffee tastes, or how much caffeine it sends jolting through your veins.
A strong cup of coffee colloquially refers to a drink with a sky-high caffeine content guaranteed to keep you up at all night.
However, the strength refers to something quite different to a barista. It’s the amount of dissolved compounds in the drink.
Water dominates in a cup of drip coffee, where only 1-2% of dissolved compounds make it through the extraction process. If you want a boost of energy, you might need two cups of drip coffee.
For comparison sake, an espresso comprises of 7-12% dissolved compounds, which makes it much more stronger.
4. Dripped Coffee is Highly Versatile
While dripped coffee is similar to espresso (at least superficially), the lack of crema allows for a richer variety of aromas and flavors to come out.
Despite this classic coffee drink’s reputation amongst coffee snobs as a bit of a bore, it’s an old standard for a reason and allows the creative coffee lover a lot of opportunity to experiment right at home in their kitchen.
This can easily be done using a coffeemaker that can be purchased for cheap at any local stores.
5. Most Single Origin Coffees are Made for Drip Coffee Makers
Even as the French press takes over as the hipster coffee machine of late, the drip coffee maker doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.
It has staying power simply because it’s an old workhorse with a lot of potential.
Most single origin coffee brands are designed to be brewed in this traditional way. Even some of the most prestigious single origin brands, such as Antica Tostura Tiestina’s are intended for drip coffee.
6. Flavored Coffees Taste Even Better When Dripped
If you’re the type to get bored of routine easily, you’re probably a fan of flavour shots.
Whether it’s vanilla, hazelnut, strawberry, or something even more off-the-wall like Aloha Island Chocolate, flavour shots are particularly delicious when you brew them in drip coffee.
The very delicate brewing process allows the flavours to be extracted and translate when poured.
7. Dripped Coffee has More Caffeine
Yes, it’s surprising to hear, but it’s true.
Dripped coffee actually has more caffeine content than your standard espresso. While it’s true that espresso is higher in concentration, there is still technically more caffeine in dripped coffee when you consider the serving size.
It also has a light, refreshing body. So if espresso is too harsh for you, consider making the switch.
8. Dripped Coffee is Pretty Rare in Europe
American expats often find it challenging to adjust to one cultural difference when they first move across the pond.
No, not driving on the other side of the road, although that can be confusing too.
We’re talking about the way Europeans brew their coffee.
It’s almost impossible to find straightforward dripped coffee. Most European cafes will serve nothing but espresso, and that’s fine if you’re willing to ask for yours watered down, but it’s just not the same.
9. The First Dripped Coffee Machine was Invented in Germany
Despite the Europeans’ glaring disregard for a good cup of terrible gas station coffee nowadays, the first auto-drip machine was manufactured in Germany. Back then, it completely revolutionizing the at-home coffee brewing industry.
The Wigomat coffee maker was invented and received its patent in 1954, thanks to an engineering mastermind known as Gottlob Widmann.
Rewind even further into Germany’s coffee history, and you’ll uncover another interesting factoid. In the early 1900s, Melitta Bentz of Dresden came up with the brilliant idea for the coffee filter.
You might recognize her name; she patented her invention and released the first Melitta coffee filters, which are still sold globally today.
10. There is A Golden Ratio
The ratio of coffee to water is crucial. So crucial, in fact, that it can turn people off coffee for life.
If you disliked coffee the first time you tried it, it’s likely because the coffee-to-water ratio wasn’t ideal. Fortunately, in the professional coffee world, baristas understand that the golden ratio should be followed every time.
What’s the golden ratio?
One to two tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water.
If you’re a coffee lover, sometimes you need to fall back on drip coffee. It’s quick, easy, and convenient, and with many of the new roasts available today, it can actually make for a great cup of Joe.
About Ryan Hamilton
Ryan Hamilton is in the process of opening his own roastery after working in a cafe for the past 5 years. He graduated with a degree in English literature and decided to combine his passion for writing with the knowledge he had gained about the coffee industry.