brew guide

How to Make Coffee with a Coffee Maker

When brewing for family and friends, or even yourself, nothing is easier than brewing a pot of coffee with an electric coffee maker. But is it possible to get a good cup of coffee with a home brewer? In this guide, we’ll show you how to brew great-tasting coffee with your automatic coffee maker.

How Do Coffee Makers Work?

Automatic coffee makers simulate a large pour over by pouring hot water over ground coffee within a brew basket and into a carafe. Every automatic coffee maker has 4 key parts: a reservoir, shower head, brew basket, and carafe.

  • Reservoir - The reservoir holds and heats your water. The quality of the heating element will greatly impact the quality of your coffee. Some brewers are better at holding water at a consistent temperature than others. Coffee that is brewed too hot or too cool will have a significant impact on the final brew.
  • Shower head - When the water is heated, it flows through a shower head that distributes it over the ground coffee in the brew basket. The shape of the shower head and its perforations will impact extraction during brewing.
  • Brew basket - The brew basket holds a paper filter that contains the ground coffee. As hot water is poured over the ground coffee, it passes through the filter and exits the brew basket through a perforation on the bottom and into the carafe.
  • Carafe - Finally, your brewed coffee enters a carafe made of metal or glass. Brewers with glass carafes often have a heating element below the carafe to keep the coffee warm. This heating element continues to cook your coffee which will cause it to taste bitter the longer it sits. It’s best to find a coffee maker with a double-walled insulated carafe that will keep your coffee hot without cooking it.

Coffee Maker Coffee Ratio

We recommend a water to coffee ratio of 17:1. This translates to about 10 grams of coffee for every cup of coffee.

Coffee Maker Coffee Grind

We recommend a medium grind with a consistency similar to table salt. Your brewer may overflow if the coffee is ground too fine. Conversely, your coffee will under extract if ground too coarse.

Learn more about coffee grinding on our How to Grind Coffee guide.

Coffee Maker Recipe

  • Water to coffee ratio: 17:1
  • Water: 1020g
  • Coffee: 60g
  • Grind: Medium (table salt)

How to Use a Coffee Maker

  1. Step 1 Add water - Use the graduated markings on the water reservoir to add the proper amount of cold water for the number of cups of coffee you want to brew.
  2. Step 2 - Grind Coffee - Measure out 10 grams of coffee beans for every cup and grind it to a medium grind.
  3. Step 3 - Add filter and coffee - Place your filter within the brew basket ensuring the sides sit nicely against the walls, add your ground coffee and give it a shake to flatten out the coffee bed.
  4. Step 4 - Brew - Turn the brewer on, or enable brew mode, and let the machine do the rest.

5 Best Coffee Makers


Easily one of our favorite automatic brewers due to quality, consistency, stainless steel insulated carafe, and price.



Technivorm Moccamaster is known for its water temperature precision and build quality as well as its aesthetic design.


Ratio Eight

If you’re looking for the ultimate in engineering, aesthetics, and quality, we’d recommend the Ratio Eight.


Ratio Six

The Ratio Six is similar to the Ratio Eight with all the great engineering but a bit leaner and more affordable.


Braun MultiServe

The MultiServe is not lacking in features. It even has a feature for brewing over ice.


Additional Coffee Maker Equipment

Ode Coffee Grinder

Quiet, fast, and small, this grinder is quickly turning into one of our favorite grinders for home.


Hario Scale

The Hario scale is affordable, well-built, and has a built-in timer.