You don't need to hand pour-over to get great-tasting coffee at home, all you need is a good simple auto-drip machine. We highly recommend upgrading to one of the Specialty Coffee Association's Certified Brewers if you don't own one already. But even if you don't, you can still make great coffee.
What you need for great auto-drip:
- Specialty-grade whole bean coffee
- A reasonable brew ratio - somewhere between 1:15 and 1:17 (grams coffee: milliliter water), and yes, it's really worth getting a $10 kitchen scale so you aren't guessing.
- A very coarse grind, before brewing
Most people grind far too fine for drip, and that's why the coffee tastes bitter. As explained in our previous French Press post, with pour-over/drip machines, there is constantly fresh water being added to the coffee slurry, which is very efficient at extracting flavor from the grounds. With your typical 5+ minute brew cycle in a drip machine, the coffee will be badly over-extracted if you use the medium grind size that is usually recommended for drip coffee.
Grocery store grinders that have the drip grind size in the middle and French Press grind size all the way coarse have it totally backwards. If you are concerned that the coffee will be too weak if you grind coarse, you can always add more coffee (or use less water), but the flavor won't come out balanced and sweet unless you grind coarse.
Got any questions about brewing? Send us an email and we'll do our best to help!