Percolator Vs Drip Brewing – Similarities & Differences

Percolator Vs Drip Brewing - Similarities & Differences

The constant battle between percolator and drip brewing methods has been going on for ages.

Unfortunately, it's a battle that enthusiasts know all too well, and the truth is that both ways have their benefits. 

Coffee purists say it’s all about the taste, while connoisseurs with more experience will tell you how percolators create a richer tasting brew than drip brewers.

The trick to sticking with one method is finding what flavour profile you prefer above all else.

Suppose you’re considering purchasing a drip coffee maker or a percolator eventually. In that case, it’s best if you read through this article to know what to expect from each method so that you’ll be able to make a better decision for yourself.

What is the percolator, and how does a percolator work?

What is the percolator, and how does a percolator work?
If you're a newbie to these types of coffee makers, then the first thing you should know is what the percolator and its brewing process are. 

This is an ancient method, and it was popularly used back in the 60s. 

The percolator works by boiling water until it's forced through ground coffee that's on the top filter basket.

The filter is made of metal, which is usually shaped in a drum or a dome, allowing water to seep through and drip into the pot below.

The taste you'll get from a percolator brew is much bolder than what you'll find when using a drip filter coffee maker.

What is the drip coffee machine, and how does it work?

What is the drip coffee machine, and how does it work?

The drip brewing process is one of the easiest to learn, and it has the most consistent outputs in terms of quality.

It is because a drip coffee maker does not have any moving parts, and they are made of glass or stainless steel.

These machines perform the same way percolators do–i.e. they brew and distribute the water at various levels. You will need to pour water through your coffee grounds.

The only difference is that you will be doing this more frequently with the drip system until the ground coffee is completely soaked and ready to brew.

Comparing the details: percolator vs drip

Comparing the details: percolator vs drip

Brew strength: 

This is one of the differences between both methods. The drip machines will provide you with two options, which are more robust coffee or weaker coffee.

The strong coffee makes the coffee taste bitter and fragile, but the weaker coffee permits the user to have a weaker brew and still get a similar result.
The percolator is a bit different. You can choose your brew strength.

Ease of use: 

If you are new to the drip brewing process, then there’s a chance that you might experience some difficulties using it at first.

However, it will be easy for you to learn the brewing process and perfect it in no time with the percolators.

Brew time: 

The percolator requires a lesser amount of time to get your coffee, which is a good thing because you will not have to wait for your cup of coffee.

The drip machines require approximately 3 minutes for you to get your cup of coffee.

 Coffee temperature: 

Drinking coffee that comes from the drip method can result in your coffee being lukewarm when you are sipping it, which is why you might feel like it’s not as good as coffee served up warm and fresh.

However, percolators will produce a hot cup of joe for your immediate consumption.

Coffee grounds: 

Why Is Freshly Ground Coffee Better

Percolators aren’t able to accommodate more enormous coffee grounds than those that come from some drip machines.

This is why you might find it challenging to adjust more extensive coffee grounds than the percolator holes.


Cleaning and maintaining the percolator can be a lot easier. All you have to do is brew the coffee and then clean it out immediately after finishing.

Meanwhile, the drip machines need a lot of cleaning, and they require more maintenance than their percolator counterparts.

Coffee taste: 

Coffee Taste
Since you can choose your brew strength in a drip machine, the quality of the coffee will be affected. 

For example, if you have selected the weak brew, then the taste of your coffee will be bland and affect the taste of your entire coffee experience.

However, with percolator brewing, you can serve a strong cup of joe without sacrificing the flavour. 


How do you define price?

Prices for drip machines tend to be higher than those of percolators when you consider their features and durability.

However, percolators can cost you less than 100 dollars and still provide the same features as drip machines.

Now that we know the fundamental difference between these two methods of brewing let’s look at the pros and cons of each type.



  • You’ll use less coffee than with a percolator. 
  • It uses a paper filter.
  • It offers consistent results, and you’ll spend a lot of money on it for the best results. 
  • These machines are made with materials that are easy to come across, so they’re very durable too! 
  • They are compact, and they take up a small space in your kitchen. 
  • You can use different coffee grounds for this method, but medium or coarse blends will taste the best.


  • There will be sediment in your cup. 
  • If your machine isn’t working, there’s a chance that you won’t be able to use it for a very long time. 
  • You’ll have to keep it clean and filled with water after each use, or the coffee will taste bitter because of sitting too long on the grounds. 
  • The coffee will taste different from what you’re used to.
  • It takes a longer time to brew coffee than with a percolator. 
  • You won’t be able to use it for camping or when there’s an outage at home.



  • It will produce a richer, more intense flavour than with a drip machine. 
  • It comes with a wide range of flavours to choose from and becomes easier on your wallet.
  • It uses a metal filter
  • It’s cheap and has an affordable price tag.
  • It’s made with materials that are easy to come across, so it’s very durable too! 


  • You’ll use more coffee than with a drip machine. 
  • If your machine isn’t working, there’s a chance that you won’t be able to use it for a very long time. 
  • The coffee tastes better when it’s prepared via a drip. 
  • These machines will take more time to brew, and you’ll need to watch over it while it’s brewing. 
  • You’ll have to keep it clean and filled with water after each use, or the coffee will taste bitter because of sitting too long on the grounds.
Now that you know all the benefits and cons of each brewing method, it's time to choose what you think will suit your needs best.

If you need a camper that brews coffee on the go, then drip is your best bet.

However, one thing about drip machines is that they require more maintenance because they don't use any automatic cleaning process.

So, which one is easier to brew? 

Complete Guide To Coffee Brewing Methods

This will depend on your preferences. If you want to save time, then the drip machine is the right option for you.

But if you dislike bitter coffee, opt for a percolator as it will give you that bolder taste that you are looking for.

Which brewing method is more convenient? 

The drip machine will be more convenient than a percolator because it doesn’t require any effort on your part when it comes to brewing and cleaning up after yourself.

With the percolator, you will have to do a lot of things. First, you'll have to grind the coffee, put it in the percolator and wait for it to finish. Then you will need to clean up after yourself when it's over.

Which method is better for speed? 

Drip machines are better in this category because they can be faster if you just put them on a timer or leave them alone while they brew your coffee for yourself.

But the percolator is still quicker as compared to a drip machine.

Which one is better for your wallet? 

Which one is better for your wallet? 

The percolator is more cost-effective than the drip machine and will allow you to save money because you won’t have to spend as much on it compared to a drip machine.

One thing that might be annoying about the percolator can be its loud noise when it's brewing, which can be annoying for some people.
It's up to you which kind of coffee brewing method you will opt for. If you're a coffee-lover, then you might prefer the one with which you know the process better. 

On the other hand, opt for a drip machine if you choose the convenience and don’t like to do certain things.

Both methods have their pros and cons; it's up to your preferences and taste whether to use one or the other.

Why does coffee taste better from a percolator?

If you have ever looked into it, you would be surprised that the taste of coffee made from a percolator is much better than that of one made from a drip machine.

Coffee produced by a percolator is more aromatic, because the filter catches more of the smell and flavour that gets into your cup.
The grind level in percolators is finer than in drip machines, which allows more oils and flavors to be trapped within the grounds.

Does anyone still use a percolator?

If you are a coffee lover and have the habit of brewing coffee, then you will definitely be familiar with the coffee percolators.

This type of brewing has been in use since the 19th century, but it is not so evident now because of its high maintenance.
However, it is still good to know that there are still people who use this method to prepare their coffee since this process gives a better flavour than other methods.

Does a percolator make good coffee?

The coffee that you are making with the percolator is always the perfect drink for you to savour and savor on.

The reason why this method can give you such a great cup of coffee is because it catches many small particles in the water, which makes it very aromatic. As a result, your coffee tastes fuller and more intense.

How do you make percolated coffee taste better?

It is not that difficult to make your coffee taste better when you use a percolator for brewing.
Also, if you want to enjoy the process of brewing coffee with the percolator, then you need to follow these steps carefully.
Be careful with the grind level, and ensure that your grind is dispersed in the coffee grounds as evenly as possible.
For proper extraction of flavour from coffee grounds, use coarse-grained coffee beans.

Do you use a filter with a percolator?

When you cook coffee with a percolator, the filter is not always included.
However, when you make coffee using a drip machine or an espresso machine, then you need to include a filter for brewing.

Which is better stovetop or electric percolator?

There are also two types of percolator. You can choose between a stovetop and an electric one.

The stovetop percolators are the traditional-styled ones that you can find in some kitchens, while the electric ones will look more like those that have been made up in recent times.

Why does coffee at home not taste as good?

Unlike the coffee at a café that uses the espresso machine, the one at home does not taste as good as it should. Here are some reasons why your coffee doesn’t have this rich flavour.
• The freshness of your beans is essential. If you get them from the supermarket, then their freshness might be questionable. Always use whole green beans and grind them yourself in an electric grinder, so they don’t lose their taste too much.
• The length of time that your coffee sits on the store shelf affects its taste.
• Brewing temperature does matter. If your coffee is too hot, then it will have a bitter taste.

How do you make strong coffee in a percolator?

To make a strong cup of coffee with the percolator, you need to use coarse ground coffee.
• You don’t have to go over the top just to get a rich flavour and strength. If you want a stronger cup of coffee, then it is best that you put more coffee than usual in your filter and grind them coarsely.
• Ensure that your filter isn’t packed tightly, as this will affect how much water can pass through it.
• Also, make sure that you use enough grounds in your filter. You might want to add a bit more so you can get the strength you are looking for.

Final Words

What are some good last words?
I hope we have answered your questions and provided you with the information you were looking for to help you choose which type of coffee maker is right for your home.

The constant battle to find the best coffee maker for you isn’t an easy one, but we hope we solved it for you.

If you still have questions, feel free to leave a comment, and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

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