Drip Coffee Machine vs Percolator

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Drip Coffee Maker vs Percolator
Even since the invention of the modern coffee/making apparatus, a dilemma had been raging on regarding the best way to prepare coffee. Doubtlessly, both products will hit you with the same results: a fresh and hot cup of coffee. The two cups won’t differ in quality either but there is the question of what taste they will have. Essentially, you resolve this dilemma by choosing the machine that suits your taste buds the best but you first need to know more about the drip coffee machine and the percolator, respectively.

How does a drip coffee machine make coffee?

We’ll start by explaining how the newer invention makes coffee. A drip coffee machine was first introduced into the market in the first decade of the 20th century and was an instant success, pun intended.
Drip Coffee Machine
Drip Coffee Machine
The first machine basically consisted of a tin cup with holes punched inside it and lined with blotter paper. The core design had remained the same but modern drip coffee machines are much more sophisticated than that. Firstly, they heat up water and then pass it through the machine to saturate the coffee beans inside one time. The beans themselves are stored either in a metal basket or inside a housing unit with paper filters. The paper is there for fine to coarse grind, while a metal filter mimics a percolator and it is intended for those people who like their coffee strong. The popularity of these machines grew exponentially in the first decades of the 21st century because they offer speed and convenience of brewing coffee. Apart from its benefits, a drip coffee machine comes with a couple of downsides as well. Namely, the size of the filters means that you are less flexible when it comes to the size of the beans you throw inside. Some users complain about the poor taste that is usually a result of dirty filters. It is hard to give the final say about a drip coffee maker but we have seen that it uses separate compartments to brew and store coffee. However, due to their size and complexity, they lack mobility and take up a lot of space on the kitchen countertop where people usually keep them.

How does a percolator make coffee?

We now turn our attention to a classic British coffee-making invention that is a century older than a coffee drip machine. Since the percolator is more than two-centuries-old, this means that this concept of making coffee has been tested time after time so you are certain it is reliable.
The simplicity of a percolator’s design lies in the fact that its essential part is a metal basket filter that holds your coffee grinds. In order to make coffee, water is heated from below using a stove or an internal power source so condensation is created above. Once this steam drips down into the basket, it saturates the coffee beans sitting there. Unlike a drip coffee machine that saturates the coffee only once; the water inside a percolator goes back into the pot and relates the saturation cycle over and over. If you are thinking how to make percolator coffee in a home surrounding, then the stovetop is the by far the most prudent solution. A constant heat source guarantees that coffee will be brewed and re-brewed until you pull it away from the heat source. Although it is simple in design, a percolator comes in various sizes and shapes, much like a traditional coffee pot, or for that matter, a teapot. However, nearly all of them can boast portability that makes the percolator the perfect machine to make coffee while on the road. Campers, among others, prefer to bring a percolator out into the wild mainly because of its size and the ability to clean it easily. Of course, this doesn’t mean that larger percolators aren’t used commercially in coffee shops to brew large batches of the dark hot beverage. Having expounded on both machines, the final judgment is on the coffee lover himself/herself. As you might have realized by now, apart from the coffee-making mechanism, the biggest difference between a drip coffee machine and a percolator is the portability of the latter.


  1. KYspeaks says:

    That’s a lot of knowledge in coffee, I just want mine black and not too sour, bring em on!

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