how do drip coffee makers work

How Do Drip Coffee Makers Work?

Coffee lovers rely on their beloved coffee makers to give them their daily boost of caffeine every morning. There are many different kinds of coffee makers out there, from single-serve drip coffee makers to camping coffee makers to cold brew coffee makers. Perhaps the most popular kind, however, is the classic drip, coffee maker. Drip coffee makers are adored for their speed and convenience In minutes but coffee consumers often take their much-used inventions for granted, rarely wondering “How do drip coffee makers work?” Keep reading to better understand how your beloved drip coffee maker works every morning to deliver your daily caffeine boost!

How Do Drip Coffee Makers Work?: Understanding the Parts of a Drip Coffee Maker

How Do Drip Coffee Makers Work?: Understanding the Parts of a Drip Coffee Maker
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Water Reservoir

The water reservoir is the largest component of your drip coffee maker. You pour water into the reservoir so it can be heated and turned into coffee. The reservoir has a hole at the base from which a white tube is connected to the drip area. The tube carries the hot water from the reservoir pot to the drip area. You can also put a cleaning solution through the tube, making it easy to clean. 

Connected to a hole at the bottom of the reservoir is the cold-water tube. It is connected on one side to a hole at the bottom of the reservoir and on the other side to the tube within the heating element. The tube receives the water that you pour into the machine and passes it along to the heating element. 

Heating Element

The heating element, as the name implies, heats the water from the reservoir. It is activated when you flip the coffee maker’s switch from off to on. The heating element is located on the left side of the appliance’s base and is made up of two parts– a resistive heating element and an aluminum tube to carry the water. 

The resistive heating element is a coiled wire that heats up when supplied with electricity. It is placed between the metal warming plate that sits beneath your coffee pot and the aluminum water tube. The water passes through the resistive heating element via the aluminum water tube. 

The water passes through the heating element via the aluminum tube. The aluminum tube is connected on either end to the cold-water and the white tubes and passes the water along beneath the resistive heating element so that it heats up.

Between the resistive heat element and the warming plate is a white grease that helps distribute the heat throughout the plate to keep the coffee warm.

The one-way valve can be located either in the hole of the reservoir or in the tube of the heating element. It keeps the water in the machine flowing in the right direction.

Drip Area

The drip area is a plastic disc with holes in it through which the water from the white tube travels. The holes control the rate of the water falling onto the coffee grounds below. Water travels from the white tube and lands on the drip area then flows through its holes and onto the coffee grounds. Not every coffee maker has this component, but many do. 

Shower Head

The shower head, sometimes called the faucet, receives the hot water carried by the white tube. The shower head then sprays the hot water onto the coffee grounds. 

Temperature Sensor

The temperature sensor activates according to the preset temperature. It maintains the even heat and temperature flow of the heating elements.

To make sure there’s no overheating of the heating components, the switch is connected to the electrical fuses in order to cut the complete power supply when it senses that the temperature is getting very high. 

How the Coffee is Made

How the Coffee is Made
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Now that you understand all of the parts of a coffee maker, you can begin to understand the coffee-making process. 

It starts by pouring water into the reservoir and scooping in the coffee grounds. The water then moves through the hole in the bottom of the reservoir into the cold-water tube underneath.

The cold-water tube passes the water through the one-way valve into the aluminum tube below the heating element. The water moves part of the way up the hot-water tube inside of the machine.

When you turn the coffee machine on, the heating element starts to heat up. After a few minutes, the water inside the aluminum tube beings to boil. The heat sensor monitors the temperature, preventing the machine from overheating.

The bubbles created by the boiling water push the hot water through the white tube all the way up to the shower head. Then the shower head sprays the hot water so that it can even drip over the coffee grounds.

The hot water saturates the coffee grounds and carries and then falls into the coffee pot as freshly-made coffee.

Machines that Make Coffee Convenient 

Machines that Make Coffee Convenient
Image Source: Unsplash

Although coffee makers are used daily in many households, they are more complicated than they seem. Through the intricate and careful assembly of many different parts, we are able to make delicious coffee that keeps us going from the comfort of our home in almost no time!

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