how does drip coffee maker work

How Does Drip Coffee Maker Work? 7 Interesting Facts


How does drip coffee maker work? Most of the coffee lovers like us can not start our day with a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee. Yet we take our humble drip coffee makers for granted.

They are probably our best friends as they always sit ready on the counters to serve a perfect cup to us. Every morning, we put our favorite coffee in the coffee filter and then in the coffee machine. After flipping the switch, we eagerly wait for that first energetic cup of goodness.

However, have you wondered what's happening inside your gorgeous coffee machine? What process is involved in making that classic brew? How does drip coffee maker work?

We can bet most of you will answer 'No' to all these questions. Well, don't feel bad about it as we will tell you each and everything about how a coffee maker works and what processes are involved in making that delicious cup of coffee.

Before discussing the working of the drip coffee maker, let's first make yourself familiar with the main components inside it. Don't be surprised if we tell you that the coffee machine manufacturers are working really hard for more than 30 years to invent this amazing yet simple product.

A drip coffee maker is a straightforward machine that is pretty simple to use and sports very simple components when you look inside it.

You can easily have a look at the basic components of your machine by simply removing its top. You will spot a reservoir, a showerhead, heating elements and the drip area.

Let's discuss the significance of each of these components in brief.

How Does Drip Coffee Maker Work

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What is a Drip Coffee Machine?

If you managed to stumble your way through to this post, because we have such awesome coffee related articles.

Then I had to coffee off what exactly a drip coffee maker is before getting into the components of it. A Drip coffee maker is an automatic machine (you can get manual ones as well) that basically drips water over coffee grounds.

The water is evenly distrubuted so that it allows the coffee to bloom and drip to your flask. A flask can be stainless steel or glass, and the main purpose of the flask is to hold the coffee and heat it.

Glass carafes are not thermally insulated, and when continuously heated it can lead to over extraction of the coffee. Giving it a sour taste, that's why we recommend thermo flasks instead.

Anyway, enough of that quick overview lets jump right in!

What's Inside Your Drip Coffee Machine?

There are a variety of components that make a drip coffee maker work and we've done extensive research to show you the various components.

The reason we wrote this post is because a lot of coffee lovers love a nice drink! However, some of us dig a little deeper to see how a coffee maker works, and to be honest it is really fascinating.

So here are 7 Interesting tips of the main units or componets of a drip coffee machine

how does drip coffee maker work

Drip Coffee Maker Water Reservoir

The first thing you'll find when you remove the top of your drip coffee machine is the reservoir. It is basically a container or a pot that stores the cold water you pour to make your brew.

This container has a hole at the base from which a white tube is connected to the drip area. The main function of the tube is to carry the hot water from the reservoir pot to the drip area.

Moreover, the white tube also helps in cleaning the machine by allowing you to put a cleaning solution through it.

The Drip Area

Drip area is basically a plastic disc where the water from white tube flows through it to the coffee grounds. However, this component is optional and thus it's not available in every drip coffee maker.

Coffee Maker Shower Head

One of the most important aspects of how a drip coffee maker works has to be the shower head. The shower head is responsible for water disbursement over the coffee grounds.

Your drip coffee maker also has a shower head which usually collects the hot water from the white tube and spray this water on the freshly ground coffee.

Drip Coffee Maker Heating Element

You may already get the idea by its name, the heating element heats the water for making the coffee. It is basically a simple aluminum wire which is coiled in the similar fashion of a filament inside a bulb.

It functions by transferring the electric energy to heat or simply heating the water using electric power. It consists of an extrusion that has two sections, one is the resistive heating element which connects to the electricity and other is a water-carrying tube.

The heating element serves mainly two purposes. The first job is to heat the water once it is collected in the reservoir and the second is to keep the brew warm.

The Switch

Almost all the drip coffee makers come with a switch that is used to turn on/off the machine. When you flip the switch on, the heating element converts the electric energy into heat energy and starts heating the water immediately.

As the water boils, its level will rise up into the tube of the drip coffee machine.

Temperature Sensor

There is a temperature sensor in the drip coffee machine that activates according to the preset temperature. It is basically used to maintain the even heat and temperature flow of the heating elements.

To make sure there's no overheating of the heating components, the main switch is joined to the electrical fuses in order to cut the complete power supply when it senses that the temperature is getting very high. Fuses are used for the safety purpose.


Not the plaster or bandaid you use to cover a wound, this plaster has a different purpose in a drip coffee maker machine.

It is nothing but a plastering paste which is used around the coil of your drip coffee machine to make it more strong and study.

One-sided valve

Once you turn on the switch, the water is carried through the one sided valve to the aluminum tube of the coffee maker. Afterwards, it flows through the white tube towards the showerhead and the drip area.

A Little Grease

Grease is used to insulate the heating components really well so that the heat transfer is even and efficient. The heating components are placed between the water tube and the hot plate and this is where heat-conducting lubricants or greases are used.

This was all about the main components of a drip coffee machine. Let's now discuss how it actually functions!

How Does Drip Coffee Maker Work? 

When you fill the cold water in the reservoir, it immediately flows down the machine. Then, the tubing passes the heating element to warm up the plate on which the pot sits and the water itself.

When you turn on the switch, it passes the electric energy to the heating elements and the heat sensor monitor and maintains the temperature and makes sure it doesn't get very high.

When the water starts boiling, it raises the bubble up through the tubing and reaches the shower head where it sprinkles the water on the coffee grounds and extracts the coffee oils while making its way to your coffee cup lined by the coffee filter. And that's how you get your fresh and delicious cup of coffee.

Final Thoughts

A drip coffee machine is also called by the name dripolator. It usually works by adding the fresh cold water into the reservoir that has a thin hole at its base which is connected by a tube.

The tube takes the water to the heating chamber which consists of heating elements that boils the water which is again carried to the showerhead using tubing to the coffee grounds.

This is how you become a proud owner of your freshly brewed coffee. That's all about it. We hope that now you have the answer to "how a coffee maker works"!

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