When it comes to making a good amount of coffee with minimal fuss, the automatic drip brewer is hard to beat. For the past few months, I’ve been brewing at home with a Comandante C40 and a Wilfa Classic Brewer and its been working out great.
Before we get onto the Wilfa, I’d like to tell you about the situations where a drip brewer can be a great new addition your kitchen or office.
I usually get up really early. My brain works better during the first few hours of the day. So most days, I like to get up and straight down to work. I definitely need coffee though. I probably need more than one coffee. I just got up, remember? Getting a brew on with a drip brewer is a simple, hassle-free option that won’t require much thought on my part. Within a few minutes, I’ll be at work, with my mug - and more coffee ready for when I need it. Assuming its turning out to be a good day, I can just get up at some point and pour myself some more delicious coffee.
I’ve been really glad to have the Wilfa when I’m making coffee for more than one person. Before I got this machine, it was usually an Aeropress or a pourover of some sort. Both those methods can result in tasty brews of course, but they do take effort and some concentration. The big downside with more manual methods? - you’re making one coffee at a time. On a lazy Sunday, this is a perfectly agreeable route to go down but when I’m trying to get stuff done or spending time with someone else, then I want good coffee, quickly, for all of us.
On to the Wilfa. These machines all work in more or less the same way. You need to put a filter and some ground coffee in the brewing chamber, add some water to the reservoir and press the button. Some machines give you options to change up some of the variables - flow-rate, temperature, recipe, that kind of thing. The Wilfa doesn’t offer any of these options and it’s one of the things I like the most about it.
It just does one thing. One button, no surprises. Too much control misses the point for me. I want water at a set temperature, at a set flow/pulse rate poured over my coffee. That’s it. That’s enough for me to dial in a tasty brew, just focussing on the quantity of coffee and my grind size.
So, simplicity is good - and the Wilfa shines here. The water reservoir has helpful markings to tell you how much water is in it. My usual routine is to grind 30g of coffee (29 clicks on the Comandante C40). I tend not to rinse filter papers. Some people out there swear that rinsing the paper first is essential, but I’m not one of them - because I like keeping things simple.
So, filter paper in, coffee in, fill the reservoir with 500ml of filtered water and press the button. Thats it. Done. Within 5 minutes, I’ll have delicious filter coffee and then a mug refill for later too. The machine keeps the coffee hot using a ceramic plate. I was initially concerned about this, thinking that a thermally insulated carafe of some kind would have been a better option, but as long as you drink the remaining coffee within around 30 minutes, you’re all good. After that, it starts to take on some extra flavour - and not in a good way.
You can check out our full brew guide here.
A nice touch is how the machine turns the hot plate off after 40 minutes, which is reassuring. Forget about forgetting about it.
There’s one more thing. Whilst I love the fact that the machine is simple and easy to use, there is a feature that has intriguing possibilities. The drip-stopping function can transform the Wilfa into a Clever Dripper style device. Brew your coffee with the valve closed and get a full immersion extraction for the first couple of minutes and then open the valve to filter the coffee into your jug as usual. You’ll need to grind a little differently and I’ve only played around with this a couple of times, but there is definitely scope for making a different style of coffee.
The Wilfa is a well made bit of kit. It looks good, the minimal aesthetic means it will perfectly blend in with the modern kitchen. It’s also simple but in a good way. It does its thing consistently and with minimal input from the operator.
There are plenty of situations where this simple, convenient, consistent coffee brewing routine is exactly what is needed because whatever you’re doing, regardless of how much time you have, or how many other priorities are competing for your attention, you should always drink great coffee. Get yourself a good grinder and some good beans and the Wilfa Classic Brewer will take care of the rest.