Hand Drip Coffee (What Makes It Special?)

Hand Drip Coffee

In a nutshell, hand drip is a popular brewing method that uses a paper filter to brew and achieve a flavorful cup of coffee.

There are several ways to do the hand drip method and achieve a tasty hand drip coffee depending on shops and baristas.

Having nearly everything becoming automated and technologically influenced, some believe that conventional ways of doing things are a little more special.

Although several sophisticated machines and equipment are being built to make brewing coffee as simple as counting one to three, we can’t help but see things differently.

Some of us like manually making our coffee since it gives happiness and contentment.

If you’re one of those people, you’ll absolutely adore hand drip coffee.

This article will explain what this coffee is, its benefits, and how to make one yourself.

Let’s get started!

What Is Hand Drip Coffee?

Hand drip coffee allows brewers to express delicate subtleties in the cup with a significant level of freedom.

In many areas of the world, new methods of brewing coffee have emerged. 

The coffee culture is incredibly vibrant in San Francisco, where Selina Viguera is the head barista at Blue Bottle Coffee.

Selena, a Master barista, demonstrated another unique method of preparing your coffee cup: simply letting your coffee drip.

With its expression capability, hand drip coffee is suitable for the majority of varieties, roast levels, and grind levels. 

Another reason why hand drip is a widely popular brewing method is its low initial cost and easy maintenance.

It’s a refreshing alternative to more known methods that require expensive coffee makers and equipment.

What Are The Benefits Of Hand Drip Coffee?

Hand drip coffee gives you freshly brewed coffee with less waste!

A cup of Hand Drip Coffee

It’s just as enjoyable to think about the benefits of hand drip coffee as it is to drink it.

For the majority of coffee drinkers, freshness is highly crucial.

It is standard practice to pre-ground coffee and store it in the cupboard for days before brewing it.

If you want to create great-tasting coffee, it’s best to grind your coffee beans just before you prepare it. This maintains the flavor and retains the fresh aroma produced by freshly ground coffee beans. 

Another advantage of hand drip coffee is that it produces less waste. You just use what is necessary for one cup.

But it’s the concept behind it that’s vital, not the practicalities.

The use of automated coffee makers disconnects you from your cup of coffee.

The brilliance of hand drip and what makes it special is that you have complete control of the process; you can see everything that is going on right under your nose.

Every procedure, every step is made by hand, by yourself.

How Do You Make Hand Drip Coffee?

Hand drip is a brewing method interpreted differently by coffee shops and baristas.

The method illustrated here is only a basic outline of what to do.

The following are the essential items for the hand drip method:

  • a pot with a swan neck for boiling water
  • a coffee grinder and a coffee filter
  • a coffee dripper made of ceramic

Avoid using plastic ones since they alter the flavor of the coffee.

Preparing The Coffee Beans

Choose the beans depending on your specific flavor preference.

The number of grounds and the ground level is determined by the brewing equipment and your preference. 

However, a 1: 15 coffee to water ratio is a handy guideline for rationing. 

So 15 g of coffee grounds for 300 ml of water is an excellent way to start. The ground level may also be adjusted.

The stronger the cup, the finer the grind. The suggested grind level for a drip varies based on the equipment, but it is typically between med-fine and med-coarse.

Preparing The Water

Pouring the hot water.

Water makes up the majority of the substance in a cup of coffee; thus, it goes without saying that water is essential for coffee

Water should be boiled for sanitary purposes.

The temperature of the water is an essential element as it influences the taste of your coffee.  

Brew at a temperature higher to increase acidity and lower to increase bitterness

Distinct taste components in coffee are extracted at varying temperatures, but another element, “time,” also plays a role. 

In addition to the acidity, higher temperatures provide undesirable earthiness into the cup, requiring a shorter brewing time. 

Good bitterness can be extracted at lower temperatures, although it may not be enough. In this scenario, brewing for a more extended period is typically suggested.

Blooming

Initially, a tiny amount of hot water should be distributed evenly to all of the grounds known as blooming. 

It’s an essential step for extracting evenly from all of the grounds. 

If the pour-over begins without blooming, a vast volume of water just passes through one water pathway where the hot water first penetrates the layer of grounds. 

As a result, the coffee grounds would be extracted unevenly.

Uncontrolled water speed is usually the cause of uneven blooming. This is where the specialized drip pot with a small opening comes in handy.

  1. Flatten the grounds in the filter.
  2. Pour the boiling water over the grounds gently.
  3. It is encouraged to use 10% of the whole cup quantity.
  4. It is advised to see only a few drips on the server.
  5. Wait until the grounds stop expanding. This generally takes between 30 to 60 seconds.
  6. To have a richer body, add 1 to 2 minutes of blooming time, lowering the brewing temperature.
  7. Begin brewing within 30 seconds of the grounds shrinking.

Extraction

Finally, upon blooming, the primary extraction begins which is the final but most crucial stage in the brewing process.

Hand Drip Coffee sample photo.

Gently drop the water on the grounds.

When water is dropped roughly on the grounds, it agitates the grounds and extracts undesirable taste. 

In addition, the layer of coffee grounds is destroyed, and a shortcut to the paper filter is created. As a result, unequal and inadequate extraction would happen.

Move the dropping point constantly.

Regardless of how gently the water is poured on the grounds, the water will dissolve the grounds and ultimately form a loophole through which water may pass without coming into contact with the coffee grounds.

It’s important to circle the dropping point to prevent this. 

Begin from the center of the grounds and work your way out to the rim. But return to the center before you touch the grounds forming a dam at the edge. 

The more water dropped to the center, which contains a thicker layer of coffee grounds, the better.

Do not allow the water to come into contact with the filter paper.

The water that has been poured directly onto the filter paper is transferred into the cup. This might result in insufficient extraction. 

Moreover, the foam floating on the water’s surface contains the undesired lye that degrades cup quality. 

Ensure the water does not go over the dam of coffee grounds before the filter.

Keep a specific volume of water in the dripper at all times.

There is foam carrying the undesired lye on the surface of the water in the dripper. 

If all the water is poured into the server, the undesirable extractions will also be poured into the cup. 

When you have extracted the right amount of coffee, take the dripper from the server while there is still water within. 

Coffee brewing does not take all of the nutrients from the bean; instead, it extracts just the beneficial ones while leaving the undesirable ones in the coffee grounds.

Lastly, adjust the drip speed.

As said before, the brewing time significantly impacts both the cup quality and the water temperature. 

The drip speed is heavily influenced by the dripper, but there are numerous additional aspects to consider. 

First is the size of the grounds. The slower the drip speed, the finer the grind. 

Another factor is water pressure. If there is a lot of water inside the dripper, the water descends into the server more quickly. 

The surface area of the filter that comes into contact with the water is another consideration. 

When there is more water in the dripper, the filter comes into contact with the water, causing the drip speed to increase. 

Just do these and keep everything in mind, and voila, hand drip coffee!

For more detailed instructions, you can watch this video:

Watch the video to learn how to make hand drip coffee!

Hand Drip Coffee Makers

If you wish to try brewing hand drip coffee on your own, here are several manual coffee makers that might help:

Chemex Coffee Maker

CHEMEX is a simple, easy-to-use product with a timeless, stylish design.

All CHEMEX coffeemakers are composed of non-porous Borosilicate glass that will not absorb smells or chemical contaminants.

Because of the unique CHEMEX pour-over design, coffee may be covered and refrigerated for reheating without sacrificing flavor.

All CHEMEX coffeemakers use 5 oz. as a 1 cup measurement.

Kalita Wave 185 Drippers

The Wave Series by Kalita, they claim, is the best coffee dripper on the market.

The flat-bottom coffee bed geometry, patented “Wave” filter, and three-hole design work together to deliver even extraction.

It makes brewing a perfect cup simple and easy.

There are three types to choose from: stainless steel, glass, and ceramic.

However, filters are not included.

Hario V60 Ceramic Coffee Dripper

The V60 ceramic coffee dripper is made and manufactured in Japan.

The long-lasting ceramic body absorbs heat, ensuring a consistent temperature throughout the brewing process.

The cone form enhances coffee with flowery or fruity undertones and the use of spiral ribs provides the most coffee expansion.

The speed of the water which flows through a single large hole can alter the taste of the coffee.

Beehouse, Coffee Dripper

This coffee dripper is also produced in Japan and is designed to handle an adequate amount of ground coffee.

The good thing is, the Melitta and Filtropa filters can fit into the dripper’s base. Another good news, all of the Beehouse products are free of lead.

Indeed, the Beehouse Coffee Dripper is one of the best!

Clever Coffee Dripper 

If you want a large-size coffee dripper with an 8 oz capacity, the Clever Coffee Dripper is one of the best choices.

It includes 100 paper filters specifically made for Clever drippers.

I am particularly impressed by the shut-off valve design that holds the coffee until it’s brewed properly.

The Clever Coffee Dripper is shaped like a standard pour-over dripper and the valve at the bottom holds hot water in the brew cone.

This type of brewer can also be used for immersion brewing.

The Clever Coffee Dripper is easy to use and makes a killer cup of coffee!

Able KONE for Chemex

The Able KONE for Chemex is meticulously engineered and designed to brew a delicious cup of coffee. It provides better extraction and consistent coffee flavor.

The good thing is, the KONE is easy to clean and durable.

Its updated design is effective in preventing the sediments from passing through the filter optimizing the rate of water flow.

This type of coffee filter is best for brewing a small and large batch of coffee grounds.

Final Thoughts

In this new coffee age, coffee-making has genuinely become more scientific. Baristas use ultra-precise scales and timers to measure water, ground coffee, and milk.

Every tiny element and method makes a difference in the coffee of third-wave coffee aficionados.

The old-school approach of hand drip coffee strips your coffee from the odd churnings of a sophisticated machine.

However, hand drip coffee’s thorough and delicate brewing process isn’t for everyone. It is a time-consuming process that might make one think that it’s not worth trying.

But it has something special to offer, just like every other coffee-making process.

Its capacity to give you complete control allows you to tailor your cup of coffee to your taste.

So, what are you waiting for? Try hand drip coffee today!

Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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