Moka Pot Vs Percolator: Which Brewer is a Better Buy?

Image showing moka pot and percolator, both making coffee, highlighting the debate on the best brew method.

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The Moka pot and the Percolator are the original modern coffee brewing devices.

The Moka pot provides an espresso-like creaminess but comes with a learning curve. A percolator is as easy to use as your drip coffee machine but has a much more limited range of flavors.

Many people think a coffee percolator is the same as a stovetop espresso maker or a Moka pot, but they are very divergent.

Coffee lovers can tell the dissimilarity in the brew’s taste, and even the inexperienced eye can see how the brewing process differs.

Moka Pot Vs Percolator: The Showdown

Comparison of moka pot and percolator brewing coffee, side by side.

In this article, we will compare and contrast Moka pots with percolators. The two are very different despite their outward similarities, so we’ll go line-by-line at no cost to bring you all the details you need to know to choose which one is right for you.

So, read on to understand the difference between a Moka pot and a percolator coffee maker.

What is a Moka Pot?

Coffee beans and a Moka pot on a wooden table. The perfect setup for brewing a fresh cup of coffee.

A Moka pot is a coffee maker that uses steam pressure to brew coffee. It’s a delicious way to make coffee, and it’s also pretty easy to make. Give it a try if you haven’t already.

In a way, a Moka pot is a “stovetop espresso maker.” It’s an excellent choice for those who love freshly brewed espresso but want to avoid the trouble and cost of buying an expensive machine.

  • Produces strong, powerful coffee
  • Easy to use
  • Cheap
  • Simple to clean
  • Only makes tiny batches
  • For some people, coffee is too strong because it is so powerful

What is a Percolator?

Woman pouring coffee into a percolator on a sunny morning.

A percolator is constructed using a “set and forget” approach. As long as the coffee brewers remain heated, this device employs a modest amount of pressure to brew coffee constantly.

The Percolator is filled with water first, and then ground coffee is added to the filter basket at the top. The brew begins by placing the Percolator over a heat source. The boiling water rises over the straw before falling to the ground.

  • Only produces in limited batches
  • For some people, coffee is too strong because it is so powerful
  • Easily gets resentful
  • No command over the beverage

Is a Moka Pot a Percolator?

Two streams of coffee filling glass, one from a Moka pot and another from a percolator.

Technically yes, a Moka pot is a type of coffee percolator like a drip coffee or siphon coffee maker. Because water passes through the coffee grounds during the coffee brewing process, they use pressure instead of steeping it in water like French press coffee or cold brew.

They are usually classified as Moka pot or stovetop espresso makers when purchased.

Coffee lovers prefer the gravity coffee percolator, which differs from the Moka pot in brewing method and coffee taste.

What are the Differences Between a Moka Pot and a Percolator?

Moka pot vs percolator: a side-by-side comparison of two coffee brewing methods.

The Moka pot vs. percolator argument is a battle of subtle differences. Let’s start with what makes Moka pots different between two.

The first thing about a Moka pot is the kind of drink to make. Moka pots have a very prominent brew that is similar to an espresso. This coffee brew has a rich and creamy flavor that is ideal for any coffee drink, from espresso shots.

Percolators brew your standard cup of black coffee. Before automatic drip coffee machines were invented, percolators were the gold standard for coffee at dinners and meetings worldwide. You’ll see brews made from a percolator with a drip machine.

Percolators make batches, usually several full cups of coffee, while a Moka pot makes shots, or at most one cup. Moka pots drain in about a minute, while stovetop percolators take 5-7 minutes or longer for large pots often seen in group settings such as conventions and boardrooms.

Percolators work very well on electric stoves; I’m not fond of Moka pot tools because they take too long to heat up. Percolators will happily sit on low heat for hours, brewing continuously to be ready when you want a cup. That is impossible for Moka pots; they are only for immediate use.

What are the Similarities Between a Moka pot and a Percolator?

Highlighting the similarities Between a Moka pot and a Percolator

Moka pots and percolators require a heat source, have a lower and upper chamber, and make straight black coffee to add milk later.

The percolator and Moka pots are made of stainless steel and polished aluminum. They are durable and can withstand the rigors of home use for years. Both have the same design profile, heat-resistant handles, simple internal mechanisms, and a conductive base for home stoves.

Both use a coarser grind than espresso, although Moka pot coffee is slightly coarser. In contrast, percolators use a coarse grind, even coarser than drip coffee makers.

Both produce strong coffee by the cup and are liberal of bean quality, allowing you to get a lot for your money daily. These are methods made for tough homemade items where you want a jo-to-go rather than expert experience. They are great for dinner parties, barbecues, and when everyone needs coffee.

You can read our reviews on the Best Coffee Grinder for Moka Pot to get the right grinder for your coffee beans.

Who should get a Moka Pot?

Coffee made in a Moka pot is again popular, and with good reason. Consumers are discovering that it produces a distinctive, rich cup of coffee with a delicious flavor profile that is simple to prepare at home.

The Moka pot is the best method for brewing coffee for those who are committed enough to switch from drip coffee makers to better-tasting coffee with more depth of flavor for a more balanced brew.

Because less pressure is used during the extraction process, Moka pot coffee lacks the creamy flavor of pure espresso. It only requires one medium-length expression, which makes it ideal for medium-dark roasts and specialty blends because it prevents uneven extraction.

For coffee enthusiasts who want to bring out the finest in a single bean and a wider variety of tastes, Moka pots are perfect. They allow for much experimentation, particularly the little pots, which are excellent for making small cups that let you test out new beans in modest doses.

Who should get a Percolator?

Drip machines may replace percolators, but they’ve got some irreplaceable qualities. Percolators are still the best way to make coffee over an open campfire. If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, the Percolator should be an auto-include in your camping bag.

Percolator lets you replicate an authentic dining experience. As these devices continue to build, your drink will become stronger and stronger until it reaches that nostalgic trucker fuel level of intensity. They also come in different shapes but are less eye-catching than Moka pots.

Moka Pot Vs Percolator: Which One Should You Buy?

I can’t make that decision for you. Still, I can show you some scenarios so you can see how these brewers might be a better fit for certain coffee preferences or lifestyles.

  • You enjoy camping and making coffee in the great outdoors. Both brewers are easy to use on the trail. Still, percolators are better for caffeinating larger groups of people because you can refill the pot for hours and hours. In contrast, Moka pots only brew a set amount of coffee per session.
  • You want to make cappuccino and americano at home. Moka Pot coffee is concentrated enough to make drinks like cappuccinos and Americanos. Percolators, on the other hand, cannot produce coffee concentrated enough for this.
  • You want to make balanced, fine specialty coffee. The Moka pot allows you to create a rich and balanced shot of concentrated coffee. Percolators, unfortunately, tend to produce bitter coffee that lacks finesse or complexity, largely thanks to ultra-high brewing temperatures.

To brew intense freaking coffee, you have to follow some steps. You can read our article How To Use A Stovetop Espresso Maker to become an expert Moka Pot brewer.

Final Words

A Moka pot and a coffee percolator are great ways to brew coffee on the stovetop. The choice you make between these two kettles depends on what type of coffee you prefer to drink.

If you like a coffee or two or more, then a coffee percolator is for you. You can brew coffee pots with more control over the pot brewing process than a drip machine.

If you like espresso-like coffee or espresso-based drinks, you’ll get closer to that taste by using a Moka pot. While some pots are large enough to make two or four cups of coffee, the most common designs make one tasty shot. Whether you brew some java in a Moka pot or a coffee percolator, you’ll get a strong cup that will satisfy your caffeine fix.

Note that Moka pot coffee is often described as rich and dark. In contrast, percolator coffee can be more bitter without richness. Other than that, it always depends on your preference for which brewer is better.

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