Coffee Wars: Percolator VS Drip Battle

If you’re looking to make a delicious coffee at home, this percolator vs drip article has everything you need to choose the very best brewing method.
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Last updatedLast updated: October 07, 2021
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Have you ever searched for the best drip coffee maker and found yourself overwhelmed with not just drip coffee makers but percolators as suggested products too? This happens because the percolator vs drip coffee decision is one every true coffee lover faces. Both of these products have their pros and cons, and it’s hard to make a choice.

To help all you coffee lovers, of which 62% drink coffee daily Trusted Source National Coffee Data Trends Report | NCA USA Since 1950, the National Coffee Association of U.S.A. has commissioned an annual survey of Americans regarding their consumption of coffee and, since 1993, their habits and practices related to espresso and espresso-based beverages. www.ncausa.org , we have looked at each coffee maker type in detail so that you have all the information you need in this guide to pick the right product for you.

Let’s find out which option is the best option for you.

Percolator vs Drip Coffee: Which to Choose?

Two of the most traditional coffee brewers on the market are drip coffee makers and percolators hence the drip coffee maker vs percolator debate. They both are really affordable for most people, easy to use, and both make a good cup of coffee. So, how do you choose between them? Is one type superior to another?

The answer isn’t totally straightforward. The result of using either drip coffee maker vs percolator is a good cup of coffee, but there are enough differences in the coffee and the machines to warrant a choice of either, rather than flipping a coin or simply just choosing the cheapest. In short, if you like a punch-you-in-the-face strong coffee, the percolator is a good choice. It’s the kind of coffee you drink in the morning and start the day, with no mess, no fuss. A drip coffee maker is a good choice if you want more depth and subtle flavor nuances in your cup. It’s more of a coffee you savor and sip as you pore over a good book or sit down for a chat with a good friend.

Percolator

Coffee Wars: Percolator VS Drip Battle

The method for making coffee in a percolator had changed very little since the introduction of the electric percolator in the early part of the 20th century.

The percolator coffee maker is a simple device that has been providing a quick and easy way to get people delicious coffee at home for a long time. It was actually designed at the beginning of the 1800s by Sir Benjamin Thompson Trusted Source How does a coffee percolator work? | Science ABC There are a number of different kinds of brewing machines and straining mechanisms and methods used when making coffee. www.scienceabc.com , a scientist, although it was actually patented and sold by James H Mason in the 1860s. These fantastic devices are often very cheap, although you can buy fancy ones if you want to. They can also be purchased in little portable sizes, interesting shapes, multi-cup sizes, and even for commercial use.

How Does It Work?

A percolator is usually entirely metal and works by holding coffee grinds in a central basket which is covered in lots of filter holes. You then heat water held in the bottom of the device upon a stove or fire from underneath the device. This water, as it heats, then moves through a tube that goes from the bottom through the coffee basket and causes condensation to saturate the coffee grounds. The saturated coffee is then pushed up and out the top of the tube into the brew chamber and back down again, and the process continues until you take your coffee to be poured. This results in a brew that has repeatedly saturated the grounds and brewed the coffee over and over again.

Pros & Cons of Percolators

Any device has its advantages and disadvantages. Speaking of percolators, we found the following:

PROS

CONS

  • Devices come in all shapes and sizes
  • Able to brew large batches for families or in a business setting
  • Easy to use
  • Great for home use or camping use
  • Speedy when making coffee
  • Strong bitter coffee
  • Coffee generally lacks the depth of flavor
  • Coffee is to be consumed within a specific amount of time

Drip Coffee Maker

Drip coffee makers were invented in the beginning of the 1900s by Melitta Bentz Trusted Source Who Invented the Coffee Maker? | WorldAtlas Several techniques were used to make coffee fillers including use of cloth socks. However, it was not until 1908 that Melitta Bentz invented the first drip coffee maker using a coffee filter she had made from a blotting paper. www.worldatlas.com , so they came on the scene a lot later than the percolator when the dripolator vs percolator battle began. She figured out how to make coffee this way by making holes in a tin pot and then lined it with blotting paper, the most rudimental start to one of the most well-known ways to brew coffee in the world now.

Although the drip coffee maker has been around since the beginning of the 1900’s they really took the world by storm in the 1970s when coffee lovers recognized their benefits.

How Does it Work?

Coffee Wars: Percolator VS Drip Battle

A coffee percolator is used for brewing coffee by continually cycling the boiling brew through the grounds using gravity until the required strength is reached.

The drip coffee maker works using different areas to heat, brew, and keeps the coffee heated before it is consumed. The water moves through the beans once, unlike with a percolator where the brewing occurs on repeat, which is why coffee from a drip coffee maker creates a more well-rounded, complex, and light cup of coffee in comparison.

To use the machine, you add water to a reservoir area before placing ground coffee into the basket, which is lined with a paper or metal filter depending on your choice. You can use any kind of coffee grounds to make your cup because the filter stops detritus from getting into your cup. Of course, a fine filter generally works best to fully stop this from happening, especially if you use a coarse grind which can result in grit leakage.

The machine then heats the water up, and the air bubbles and steam goes through a set of tubes before it gets to the dripping area, where it drips water through the grounds. The coffee is then filtered and goes into the serving chamber.

Pros & Cons of Drip Coffee Makers

As for the pros and cons of drips, here they are:

PROS

CONS

  • Creates a lighter and crisper cup of coffee
  • Perfect for more complex coffee beans
  • Many types can keep coffee warm for you until you’re ready to drink it
  • Versatile in different grounds that can be used with it
  • Many require mains electricity to work
  • They can take up more space on the counter than percolators
  • They sometimes can’t make many cups of coffee at a time unless you spend more on bigger types

Coffee Brewing: What Method Is Better?

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to percolator vs drip coffee and which type of device to buy. Below we have taken a look at the most critical aspects of the different coffee making devices so that you can decide which type suits your needs the best:

Ease of Use

Realistically, although the percolator is easy to use, it isn’t as easy as the drip coffee machine, which is as simple as setting up and pressing a button. Despite this, some people actively enjoy the process of making a coffee with a percolator, as it requires some practice to get right, just like boiling an egg to perfection.

Taste of Coffee

The taste of coffee brewed with a drip coffee machine is smooth and well-rounded, as well as light. This happens because the coffee is only brewed once with the water in the machine.

With a percolator, the brewing process, in essence, happens on repeat, which means that the coffee tastes stronger, more bitter, and less well-rounded. Any nuances the coffee may have are unlikely to come through.
So, if you like a slap around the face from your coffee, a percolator is a great choice. Fussy coffee drinkers and those who like a crisper, more full-bodied cup should opt for a drip coffee maker.

Cost

Percolators come a lot cheaper than drip coffee makers in general, even when the drip coffee maker is a budget version. So if you have a lower budget, a percolator is a good option for home-brewed coffee.

Space

One of the most significant downsides to a drip coffee machine is the space that it takes up. Even the smallest machines are pretty large in size, so they aren’t super great for compact kitchens and tiny homes. On the other hand, Percolators are very light and can be very small, so you can store them anywhere and even take them in your bag with you hiking or camping.

Portability

Coffee Wars: Percolator VS Drip Battle

If you are going on a trip, the percolator is the best option to take with you.

The drip coffee machine can be quite compact, but it isn’t super portable because it needs electricity and is still larger than most people would want to carry around. Instead, the percolator is the best option for travel because it is so light, compact and it doesn’t need electricity to work, just a fire or a stove.

Convenience in Use

Percolators are incredibly convenient but not as convenient as the drip coffee maker. The drip coffee maker is able to control the time you have your coffee ready for and how long it is warm. You can get those features with a percolator, but they would cost you a lot of money. Percolators require time and focus (and often practice) to get the brew right.

Versatility

With a drip coffee machine, you can use any kind of coffee grounds, although, with a coarse grind, you may want to use a metal filter to avoid any detritus dropping through. With a percolator, it is best to avoid fine-ground coffee for the simple reason that it can get through the filter and leave you with a brewed cup full of grounds.

Capacity

In general, with drip coffee makers, you only get 1-2 cups out of one machine. The capacity doesn’t really get much bigger than that unless you invest in a high-quality machine like the Capresso 5 Cup Mini Drip Coffee Maker, which is perfect for households with multiple coffee drinkers who love the delicious flavor of drip-brewed coffee. Even better, if you want to make coffee for a commercial venture or you’re a big coffee drinker at home, the Capresso SG300 12 Cup Coffee Maker makes multiple delicious drip-brewed cups for you all to enjoy.

However, if you have been looking for the best eight-cup coffee maker and are on a budget, then a percolator could be a better option because you can quickly make a lot of coffee for a lot of people. These kinds of products would allow you to make a brew for everybody quickly with minimal fuss, rather than create lots of cups you can serve over time.

Final Thoughts

For anybody who wants to make a delicious coffee at home, the percolator vs drip coffee debate only leaves one conclusion – there’s an option for every taste. If you like a coffee that you can program to be brewed when you wake that is well-rounded, crisp, and clean, then a drip coffee maker is a great idea. For strong, bitter coffee in a flash with minimal counter-top takeover, it’s a percolator.

All you need to do now is purchase the suitable machine for you and start enjoying perfectly brewed coffee right in your kitchen at home.

“Coffee is a beverage that puts one to sleep when not drunk.” – Alphonse Allais

References

1.
National Coffee Data Trends Report | NCA USA
Since 1950, the National Coffee Association of U.S.A. has commissioned an annual survey of Americans regarding their consumption of coffee and, since 1993, their habits and practices related to espresso and espresso-based beverages.
2.
How does a coffee percolator work? | Science ABC
There are a number of different kinds of brewing machines and straining mechanisms and methods used when making coffee.
3.
Who Invented the Coffee Maker? | WorldAtlas
Several techniques were used to make coffee fillers including use of cloth socks. However, it was not until 1908 that Melitta Bentz invented the first drip coffee maker using a coffee filter she had made from a blotting paper.
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