Coffee Maker Vs Percolator: A Complete Comparison (2021)

If you are a coffee lover, or if you want your homemade coffee to have better quality, you probably know about the traditional drip coffee maker vs percolator – two long-standing and popular coffee makers among home kitchens.

However, it may be difficult to decide between the two. If you are wondering which coffee maker suits your everyday needs, this comparison guide will help you decide which coffee maker you should get.

Coffee Percolators

The coffee percolator has been around for a long time and can seem a little old-fashioned today. Yet, this invention contributed greatly to the history of brewing coffee and is even the foundation of the coffee drip machine. Before coffee percolators, people made coffee by boiling water grounds, which leaves a lot of coffee grounds in the coffee. Percolators allow us to enjoy cleaner coffee for the first time.


A coffee percolator looks like a kettle. Inside this device, there is a perforated basket keeping the coffee above the water and a hollow tube that leads the water to the coffee can carry out the brewing process. Water when being brought near its boiling point is cycled through the coffee grounds. The longer this brewing cycle is, the stronger the coffee will become.

Here is a useful video on how to use a percolator to make coffee for your further information:


  • Easy to use: A coffee percolator is easy to use. All you have to do is to put the coffee into the perforated basket, boil the water, and let the percolator do its job. Thus, there is no need for additional paper filters because the perforated basket will keep all the coffee grounds.
  • Low cost: A percolator is relatively inexpensive. Thus, it can last for a long time.
  • Portability: A percolator is compact; hence, you can bring it anywhere with you and make coffee along the way. This device is perfect for camping.
  • Strong coffee: If you prefer stronger coffee, a percolator is an ideal option. The high heat needed to produce the stream pressure driving hot water to the perforated basket will bring out the metallic flavors of coffee. This flavor is exclusive to this device and can be the main attraction to many fans of the percolator.



  • Burnt coffee: The high heat within this device means if you let coffee sit in a percolator for a long time, your coffee would be over-extracted, which means it can taste either burnt or too bitter. 
  • More effort: This device requires more steps to set up and more attention during the brewing process or else the coffee may end up tasting burnt or bitter.

Coffee Maker

The coffee maker uses the dripping method of coffee brewing. This coffee maker is popular among home kitchens and offices for it can make great coffee and is good at keeping the coffee warm all the time. 


This coffee maker is a convenient device to make homemade coffee. All you have to do is to fill your coffee filter with coffee grounds, put it into the chamber, put water into the tank, heat it to around 200F, and let your coffee brew with the machine for 4 minutes. During the brewing process, hot water will extract coffee from the grounds and drip coffee gradually to your coffee pot.


  • Convenience: With relatively simple steps of preparation and operation, this machine will do all the coffee brewing for you.
  • Simplicity: If a stove percolator needs an extra stove to heat the water and brew your coffee, a coffee maker will not require any additional accessories for its operation.
  • More control over the timing and the temperature: Compared to when you use a percolator, since you are boiling your own water and can adjust the brewing time with a coffee machine, you can have more influence over the taste of your coffee. 


  • Temperature and timing control: It can be hard to adjust the water temperature and the timing when it comes to making coffee with the coffee machine. The temperature has to be kept at 200F at all times for the ideal result. The brewing time is important because a long time can lead to over-extraction of your coffee and a bitter taste while an insufficient time leads to under-extracted coffee and a stale taste. This means this machine also requires a lot of effort and attention.
  • Filter limitation: The filter, which is necessary for this machine, can block the coffee oils and reduce the flavor of your coffee. The flavor profile of the coffee made by this machine will not be as strong and as complete as its equivalent made by a percolator. Thus, using a paper filter in every brew means more trash compared to the self-sufficient percolator. 

FAQs: Coffee Maker Vs Percolator: A Complete Comparison (2021)

Are coffee percolators worth it?

It is up to you to decide whether or not a coffee percolator worth it. If you are a fan of stronger coffee and love this traditional device, you will choose it over everything else no matter what others may say. Yet, if you are looking for a convenient coffee maker that can satisfy your daily coffee need, a coffee drip machine may be a better option.

Can you use regular coffee in a percolator?

You can use the regular pre-grounded coffee for your percolator. However, since the regular coffee is usually grounded finely to fit the normal coffee drip machine, it may result in the sludge at the bottom of your percolators. If you dread this sludge, you may want more coarse grounds for your percolator. Coarse grounds can also give you a stronger coffee taste, which will satisfy the preference of a percolator’s fan.

Does percolator coffee have more caffeine?

The more intense brewing process of the percolator also means that there is more caffeine extraction going on in this process. Hence, a percolator is a perfect device if you want strong and intense coffee. All you have to remember when using this machine is to not leave your coffee there for too long or else it may result in a burnt taste in your coffee.

Read More:

Rice Cooker Vs Crock Pot: Which Will Best Suit You?


Now you have everything you need to know to decide between a coffee maker and a percolator. A coffee maker will make you standard coffee while a percolator gives you stronger-tasting coffee. Consult your coffee preference, pick your coffee maker, and enjoy your homemade coffee. You can thank us later.