Percolator vs. French Press

Percolator vs French Press

The art of coffee making keeps improving daily. More and more brewing techniques are being churned out to coffee lovers around the world. Funny enough, these methods are widely accepted and have been adopted.

Percolator and French press machines are some of the numerous brewers for making coffee. It is not uncommon to find coffee lovers trying to compare these two equipment to find out which of them makes the best coffee.

Which is the best? Choosing the best among these two is not quite easy . Obviously, both brewers would have their merits and demerits. A side by side comparison is needed to select which one works for you.

So let’s go through the differences between the percolator and French press to see how they can provide fresh, tasty coffee for you.

Percolator vs. French Press

Based on output, the percolator is a better option for making coffee as it produces more cups of coffee per brew unlike the French Press. The French Press offers a much thicker coffee more than that produced by the percolator.

The Working Operation Of French Press And Percolator

Let’s take a look at the working operation of the French press.


Percolator has a water fountain mechanism. The boiled water is pushed upward through a tube when it burns to the coffee basket holding the coffee grounds, then back to the reservoir where it repeats the process.

The water comes up through the funnel to the grounds and returns to the pot until you turn off the heat source, meaning the coffee is continually being recycled through the blend. Hence, the coffee develops a more potent and concentrated taste.

French Press

A French press uses an immersion brewing system. It works by steeping coffee seeds and hot water in a beaker and using pressure to accelerate coffee extraction from the coffee beans. Once the coffee is made, a metal mesh filter is pressed to the beaker’s bottom to set the coffee seeds from the liquid coffee. The metal mesh filter allows the natural oils found in coffee and fine particles to pass through it, giving the coffee a thick body.

Sides By Side Comparison

1.  Differences in the quality of coffee

The French press produces a coffee with a robust classical taste. It is favored by coffee lovers who love to take their coffee strong. You can also pair it with any flavor of your choices like chocolate and nuts. The resulting brew from a French press is usually thick due to the sediments that end in the mixture. However, these sediments are removed with the mesh filters in the French press. Most coffee lovers claim that adding cream, sugar, honey, or butter to the French press brew improves the taste.

Unlike the French press, the percolator produces a strong coffee without any flavor. If you are someone who likes coffee with flavor and additives, then the percolator isn’t the right coffee making machine for you.

Moreover, a French press would give you a richer cup of coffee than the percolator because it has flavors.

2.  Brewing time

The time for coffee brewing varies. The only time-consuming part is the time to ground your coffee bean and heat your water. Even so, the French press has an average brewing time of five minutes

The downside to the French press is that it is not suitable for batch brewing. If you are brewing more than a cup of coffee, you need to brew it multiple times. Hence, it is time-consuming.  

Unlike the French press, the percolator is perfect for batch brewing. In fact, there is a particular design that can produce 100 cups of coffee at once. Also, the brewing time ranges from two to ten minutes

Although in terms of brewing speed, the French press is a better coffee brewing machine.

3.  Ease of use

Both the French press and percolator are pretty straightforward and easy to use. All you have to do for the French press is add your grounds, heat your water, and pour your water into the coffee ground and press. However, in terms of ease of use, the French press is the better machine. The mechanism is relatively easy to understand and operate.

However, the percolator requires skill, supervision, and quick reflex to operate. The screwing mechanism may be difficult to handle.

In terms of control, French press coffee maker beats the percolator.

4.  Supervision

When you prepare coffee with a percolator, you will need to keep an eye on it. You have to supervise the heat settings to ensure that the coffee does not overflow. If you are not careful, you might burn your coffee.

The percolator will need you to pay attention to it so that it ends up alright. However, you can enjoy a high-quality cup of coffee without special supervision with the French press. All you have to do is start brewing. Then, come back in 5 minutes to take your coffee.

5.  Portability

The French are a lightweight brewing machine. Most of the modern French press weighs under 60 oz. Hence, you can quickly move it from one location to another. For this reason, many coffee enthusiasts prefer the French press.

The percolator needs a sophisticated set up to operate. There are two types- the stovetop percolator and the electric percolator. They require a source of power such as a stove, fire, or an electrical outlet.

As a final thought, the comparison between the French press and the percolator as no clear winner. Both coffee makers have pros and cons. Before you buy either the French press or the percolator, you have to be clear about what you want in a coffee maker. If you favor portability and ease, the obvious choice is the French press. Whereas, if you are after a coffee maker that can produce a large quantity of coffee, then the percolator is your best bet.

Do Percolators Make Better Coffee?

A percolator isn’t the best brewer to get the best, in terms of a good coffee because the water doesn’t remain in contact with the coffee ground for a long time. But you would still get a strong cup of coffee

Percolators often expose the coffee grounds to higher temperatures than other brewing methods and may drive already brewed coffee through the beans. Due to this, a percolator may produce over-extracted coffee. Also, percolation removes some of the volatile compounds in the beans. This results in a sweet aroma during brewing, but a less flavorful cup.

However, many percolator users like the percolator’s hotter and stronger coffee. They maintain that this brewing method’s potential pitfalls can be eliminated by careful control of the brewing process.

The quality of coffee from the perforator is stronger than a regular coffee maker. The general idea is that percolators brew stronger coffee because you’re basically getting double brewed coffee.

So if you like your coffee strong, you may well want to try a percolator.

Is Percolator Coffee Healthy?

Percolator produces an unfiltered coffee. Unfiltered coffee is coffee that doesn’t go through a paper filter; either it’s completely unfiltered (grounds directly in water), or it runs through a metal filter, which allows the oils to pass through.

These oils contain two lipid compounds called cafestol and kahweol. High doses of these oils elevate cholesterol and suppress Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) clearance. That is unhealthy as LDL particles stay longer in the blood to be oxidized and form atherosclerotic lesions.

Related Questions

Which Is Better, French Press Or Percolator?

If you are after quantity, the percolator is much better since it can make more cups of coffee than the French Press. This makes it easier to make numerous cups of coffee and a shorter amount of time.

However, if you want a flavored coffee, the French press is the ideal coffee maker for you. It really depends on the drinker. 

How Can I Make Good Coffee With A Perforator?

To make a high-quality coffee drink, use coarse-ground coffee since the contact time is long. The secret to good percolator coffee is not to let it recycle too many times. To avoid over-extraction, monitor carefully, and remove it from the heat before becoming too bitter.

Then you should serve it as quickly as possible since all coffee tastes better fresh and steaming.

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