I’ve already briefly mentioned this topic in at least a few of my articles.
But I’ve never written entirely about it.
After almost two years of doing a coffee blog to help people with brewing coffee at home and talking about amazing brewing methods like AeroPress, French press, pour overs like Chemex, Hario V60, Bean Envy, and even awesome espresso makers like the Minipresso, I’ve kind of neglected something…
I’ve neglected my mission statement.
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My mission at My Home Brewed Coffee is to help people enjoy the art of making coffee at home and get better at it… no matter where they’re at in their coffee journey.
That includes if you’re just using something like Mr. Coffee or Hamilton Beach every day, brewing something like Folgers or Maxwell House or another coffee that’s… mediocre at best.
You could even use an automatic drip machine and make much better coffee, like my favorite coffee for example.
But even then, there’s still so much to explore in the coffee world.
And I’ve mostly catered to the coffee lovers who already are familiar with other brewing methods.
I realize that sometimes I need to write more to my lovely audience (you) about the more simple brewing methods, or why it would be a good idea to transition to others.
So here are some thoughts about it all, why automatic drip machines are so popular and why it’s a good idea to take the leap into a whole new coffee world.
The Convenience Factor
There are reasons why people make bad tasting coffee from an automatic drip machine and never expand their horizons.
But probably the biggest reason is the convenience factor.
This analogy might not be 100% accurate, but just bear with me anyway, because it’s at least an OK portrayal.
We could almost think of it like a microwave… and microwave meals.
An automatic drip machine is kind of like a microwave. No, not exactly like a microwave, but kind of.
You basically just put your stuff in it, push a button and in a jiff, you have your coffee.
Quick and easy!
The coffee you use is like the food that you’re putting in the microwave.
Brewing Folgers, Maxwell House, or any of the low-quality, budget coffee brands is like making the cheapest, greasiest microwave meal you can get.
And of course while many people make them for convenience sake, I think we can all agree that there’s probably not tons of people who do it because they love cheap microwave meals.
We all know that a good, homemade meal from the oven prepared with love is the absolute best!
Nothing compares, really.
In a similar way, if you make coffee with a more ‘manual’ brewing method like AeroPress, pour over or even French press, and you make it with good quality coffee, there’s practically a world of difference.
Although, I should mention, the first step in the whole thing is to ditch the Folgers or whatever other cheap, nasty-tasting coffee there is.
Once you do that, you’re already taking a big step up in your coffee making.
On the site, I review many awesome coffees!
I try to review every coffee that I try, and trust me, I’m honest in my reviews! If I like a coffee, I’ll let you know and recommend it.
If I don’t like it and don’t recommend it, I’m not afraid to let you know.
If you want a great starting point, you can take a look at my review of my favorite coffee here!
The Familiarity Factor
Anyway, the difference between a tv dinner made in the microwave vs. a homemade meal prepared in the oven is the best analogy I can give you to encourage you to consider purchasing something like one of my favorite brew methods, like AeroPress or Chemex.
The convenience factor is a big one, because I think we all enjoy convenience.
And it can be hard to convince someone to trade in convenience!
But in the long run, any other brewing method you can use wouldn’t take much more time than an automatic drip machine.
The kicker is that some do indeed take more attention and ground work – you have to do more than just put the coffee in the flip a switch – but in terms of time it’s all similar!
So in the end, no one can really make an excuse that other brewing methods take so much longer, except maybe French press, which takes about 4 minutes to brew.
It’s just a matter of ease of use and the fact that people love what they’re familiar with!
And hey, I usually do too.
A Few More Things…
I’ll just say right up front here that if you need to quickly and easily make 10 or 12 cups of coffee often, using an automatic drip machine is your best option.
Although, Chemex makes their pour overs as big as 10 cups, so if the time and the tending after it doesn’t matter for you, you could buy the 10-cup Chemex! They have sizes from 3-cup to 10-cup pour overs.
But anyway, there are no other good brewing methods that make that much coffee (12 cups) so quickly and easily like an automatic drip machine.
So, if that’s you, and/or you’re in the place where maybe you’re making bad tasting coffee from an automatic drip machine, as I mentioned in the paragraph above, the first thing you can do is to just make better quality coffee.
And there are so many options, even aside from the coffee that I’ve reviewed.
If you make sure not to brew your coffee weak, and you use delicious, quality coffee, you can certainly make great coffee with an automatic drip machine.
I haven’t said this for a while… but one of my strongest pieces of advice when it comes to brewing coffee is don’t make weak coffee!
Weak coffee is just awful, and neither you nor your friends or loved ones should be drinking it…
Use as least two heaping tablespoons of coffee grinds for every six ounces of water to brew coffee, and you’ll be good to go.
Sometimes I use more than that, but that’s a good starting place.
Take The Leap Of Faith
Since I love making things practical, I’ll give you some practical tips now if you want to broaden your coffee horizons.
I’ve already said it multiple times, but first try switching up the coffee that you use.
It just works wonders.
If you like the taste and the feel that an automatic drip machine does but you want to have a little more control over the brewing and maybe some different nuances of the taste, you can try other pour overs, like Chemex, Hario V60, Kalita Wave, etc.
Although learning pour over is more difficult than some other manual brewing methods, it is worth the learning curve, and it’s an excellent way to make coffee.
After all, automatic drip machines are more or less just automatic pour over machines.
They function and brew the coffee in the same way.
If you want to make stronger coffee than what your automatic drip machine makes, two great options for you would be French press or AeroPress.
French press is honestly a really nice starting point, it’s easy to use, and generally an all around good coffee maker.
It usually yields coffee that is strong, robust, and powerful.
The flavor can sometimes be a little lost in the intensity of the coffee, but still you’ll get good, strong coffee.
It takes a bit longer than most other brew methods, and it’s a bit more difficult to clean than most others, but a nice thing about it is that it’s so simple to use.
It’s quite low maintenance in terms of brewing, you just set it and forget it (until four minutes later).
AeroPress is another amazing choice if you want stronger coffee.
But with AeroPress you can make it as strong or light as you want.
It’s a low acidic brewing method that yields awesome coffee that can be really strong and robust like French press, but with AeroPress you’re not losing any of the flavor.
In fact, quite often I find that AeroPress is the best brewing method to truly get the most out of the flavor of a coffee.
The taste, body, acidity, and so on are usually best brought out with AeroPress.
And you can make the coffee as strong or light as you want.
These are just a few of the reasons why AeroPress is my favorite brewing method.
It’s a very quick brewing method, but it only brews one cup at a time and it is a bit more of a workout using it, because you have to press the plunger down.
But in my opinion, it’s all so worth it.
If you use good coffee and brew with AeroPress, I can pretty much guarantee you that you’ll be amazed, if you’re only used to brewing coffee with an automatic drip machine.
I was pretty amazed myself the first time I used my AeroPress.
I Hope I’ve Convinced You…
Well, at this point, if you’re only used to using automatic drip machines or maybe single serve machines like Keurig or others, I do really hope I’ve convinced you that there are other good coffee making options worth considering!
And I’ll be straightforward about the fact that I make money if you purchase things from Amazon if you use my links on the site, but I don’t just do this to make money!
I greatly appreciate if you purchase through my links so I can make a commission, and at no extra cost to you by the way!
But you can also feel free to just search Amazon or the web for these things on your own too and that’s no problem whatsoever.
I do this to help people, to share my passion for coffee, to get people excited about brewing coffee and perfecting the art and science of it, and hopefully give a laugh somewhere in the process, too.
So either way, no matter how you purchase your coffee, coffee makers, or other coffee gear, I hope this article will help you and encourage you in branching out if you’re just stuck in a rut and want to discover some better options for coffee or home coffee brewing.
I know that when I started making coffee using French press, AeroPress, Chemex, etc and using good coffees like the ones I’ve mentioned in the article… it’s like no matter how convenient it may be to use an automatic coffee maker, I can’t go back!
It has nothing to do with being hipster, which I definitely am not, it’s just about making coffee that tastes stinkin’ delicious!
And on the other hand, maybe you can see that you should just stick with an automatic drip machine because you just needs lots of coffee, quickly and easily… and that’s ok too!
My job is to help either way.
Here’s to you making better coffee all the time… Coffee Cheers!