Percolator vs French Press: Which is Better for You?

Percolator vs French Press: Which is Better for You?

If you’re trying to find an easy method to make coffee, you can’t get a lot more back to fundamentals than the percolator or the French press. You do not require any unique devices, and the makers themselves are less expensive than many. Each approach has its fans and critics, however which one is much better for you?

We have actually lined up some truths and functions to assist you compare these 2 old-fashioned favorites.


There’s something about the coffee percolator that creates pictures of campfires and old log cabins. And it’s certainly an old-fashioned method of coffee making. Very first created in the late 1800 s, it was a substantial enhancement on previous techniques, basically boiling premises in water.

The style these days’s designs stays basically the very same. At the base, you have a water chamber, which likewise holds the brewed coffee. The ground coffee is kept in a metal basket that has actually been perforated to permit the water to stream through. As the water in the bottom is warmed, the pressure formed presses the water up a pipeline in the maker’s center, well tips over the coffee premises. This is why you might see this approach described as gravity percolation.

The percolator went electrical in the 1920 s and stayed popular till drip coffee devices recorded the country’s hearts in the 1970 s. And it’s simple to see why. The difference between percolator and drip coffee makers isn’t simply in the ease of usage, however likewise in the taste.

There is typically a misunderstanding that manual percolators are the very same as Moka pots. They are various developing techniques. You brew coffee in a Moka just as soon as, while the percolator sends out the water through the ground coffee numerous times. This is the trick to its strong brew, however the factor it has a track record for bad-tasting, bitter coffee. We have actually likewise compared the French press with the Moka pot if you’re curious about this Italian coffee pot.


  • Extra-large capacity models available
  • Great for camping
  • No extra equipment required


  • Stovetop models require monitoring
  • Coffee is easily burnt

French Press

The French press is debatably as old as the percolator, however it never ever truly fell out of style in the very same method. Its continued appeal isn’t simply due to alleviate of usage however likewise the full-flavored coffee it produces.

Like the percolator, the French press style hasn’t altered much considering that its development. It basically includes a brew chamber and a plunger with a mesh filter connected. The most popular style has a glass brew chamber, however stainless-steel is likewise popular. You’ll likewise discover that some more costly designs have a double-walled beaker to assist keep heat as the coffee sits developing.

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This produces a complete immersion brew. The coffee premises remain in continuous contact with the warm water for the whole developing procedure rather of making coffee with something like a pour-over maker.


  • Produces rich, full-bodied coffee
  • Consistent brewing results
  • Easy to clean


  • Requires a separate kettle
  • Coffee can contain sediment

Coffee Percolator vs French Press: The Face-off

If you’re somebody who has actually constantly looked with scary at a percolator, you may not believe there’s much of a competitors when it concerns developing coffee with the French press vs percolator. Bear with us; there are some circumstances where the simple perk has its usages.

Percolator vs French Press: Which is Better for You?

Ease of usage

The user-friendliness of a percolator will differ somewhat depending upon whether you choose an electrical design or among the traditional stovetop variations. The stovetop percolator’s style has actually altered bit considering that its innovation and does not have any contemporary innovation that makes it more easy to use.

Utilizing a percolator is reasonably simple– you simply include the water and the coffee and let it brew. However getting the brew temperature level and time right can be challenging. You require the water hot enough so that it reaches the pressure needed to let the steam increase, however not so hot that you’re burning any degree of taste out of your beans. Electric designs take the uncertainty out of the length of time the perking cycle must be, along with eliminating the requirement to enjoy the device while it’s developing. A lot of will change to a “keep warm” mode once the coffee is all set.

The French press has a simpleness of usage that’s tough to match. It needs the least hands-on time of all the manual coffee developing techniques– other than maybe for cold brew. Naturally, it does take some attention to information with variables like the coffee grind, temperature level, and timing to get your perfect cup of joe.

The only thing that can fail here is leaving it to high too long, which will provide you an over-extracted, bitter brew.

Clean-up for both of these developing methods, regrettably, suggests handling a load of damp coffee premises. For the maker itself, the French press simply needs washing the glass chamber and mesh filter. For a percolator, you’ll require to ensure that the perk tube and filter basket are kept devoid of premises or residue, which can need a little additional attention.

Winner: Tie. Yes, the French press may be among the simplest handbook makers to utilize, however an electrical percolator makes the whole procedure automated.


Let’s be genuine, the coffee percolator isn’t understood for its subtlety. The electrical variation uses little space for tweaks, beyond the grind and quantity of coffee you utilize. In theory you have total control over a stovetop variation, however in practice, it’s not the case. While you can turn your heat source up or down, there’s no other way of determining this to the point where you might duplicate the procedure properly.

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With the French press, you can change variables at practically every action of the developing procedure, which uses you flexibility in the resulting cup of coffee.

It is a full-immersion approach of developing, which suggests you have total control of just how much contact your coffee has with the water.

The water to coffee ratio, grind size, water temperature level, and soaking time are all quickly quantifiable and adjustable.

The maker itself can be utilized as a soaking vessel for your cold brew. This approach does not need a maker, however it does need straining– which is where the mesh filter of the French press can be found in useful. You can even make an espresso-style coffee if you utilize a technique called double developing.

Winner: French press. The cafetiere secures this round hands-down. Having the ability to change your brew at every action along the method suggests numerous variations in how you make your coffee.


As a developing method that’s been around considering that the late 1800 s, the stovetop percolator isn’t reliant on electrical energy. These makers were produced to be utilized with any readily available heat source and strong adequate to make it through years of usage. A percolator made from aluminum will not be rather as lasting as one made from stainless-steel, however it’s light enough to take a trip with.

Simply prevent any maker made from ceramic or glass for the apparent dangers of damage.

The typical French press isn’t , however it’s not especially beneficial if you wish to brew coffee on the go. The primary problem is that you will require a kettle or another method to heat water. And while some are readily available in stainless-steel, many French presses featured a glass developing chamber– not suitable for pushing into your knapsack.

Winner: Percolator. The truth that you can stick this coffee machine straight over a fire makes it a simple choice when it concerns the French press vs percolator for outdoor camping.

Brew time

Time from bean to getting that fresh cup of coffee in your hand will once again depend upon whether you have a stovetop or electrical percolator. For the very first brew with stovetop, 10 minutes is typically suggested, once you get a feel for the maker, you might wish to decrease this to 6-8 minutes.

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Electric percolators are typically much quicker, with lots of promoting a developing cycle of under 5 minutes. It likewise depends upon just how much coffee you require, as developing 20 cups in an urn-style percolator will certainly take longer than a single cup on the stovetop.

Utilizing a French press will take you around 5 minutes from start to end up. As soon as you have actually included the water to the premises, it must be delegated high for 4 minutes– though this is among the variables you can have fun with.

Winner: French press. There’s very little in between these 2 if you choose the electrical percolator, however the stovetop variation makes it two times as long.


What you’re most likely most interested to understand is, do percolators make great coffee? After all, the developing approach has a bad track record for bitter, tasteless coffee.

Bitter notes in coffee are great if appropriately stabilized.

When done properly, making coffee with a percolator produces an abundant, strong coffee, filling your cooking area with that traditional fragrance that’s tough to withstand.

The French press is likewise understood for producing a full-bodied brew, however not strong in the very same method as a percolator. The absence of a paper filter suggests that the natural oils in the coffee beans come through into the cup, leading to a full-flavored brew with an abundant mouthfeel.

Winner: French press. Vibrant can be lovely, however the more nuanced taste you receive from French press coffee takes the reward.

The Decision

Based simply on our love of fantastic coffee, we’re going to choose the French press here. A lot of coffee drinkers out there will raise an objection to this, and to be reasonable, there are times when the percolator will show to be better. It’s everything about what you’re trying to find in a coffee machine.

Utilize a percolator if:

  • You require to brew big batches of coffee
  • You desire a cleaner cup of coffee
  • You like an extremely strong brew

Utilize a French press if:

  • You desire full-flavored coffee
  • You require a quicker brew time
  • You desire a simpler clean-up

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