There are many ways to prepare your coffee, and in the United States, drip coffee maker VS coffee percolator are the two most popular methods. A drip coffee maker is a machine that uses electricity, creating a smooth and rich-tasting coffee. The coffee percolator, on the other hand, uses a primary heat source to extract the rich flavors of the grounded coffee and mixing it with the water inside. While these two devices make great coffee, both have an advantage and a disadvantage towards the other.

Coffee is a perfect drink to boost your energy during the morning and to keep you awake at night. The majority of cultures around the world have their own style of preparing coffee, and other civilizations like the Ethiopians have been drinking it for years. Coffee made its way to the United States through a series of trade in the 18th century, and today, many Americans have fallen in love with this drink. According to a survey reported by Reuters, 64 percent of Americans admitted that they are drinking coffee every single day. In 2017, this figure is only 62 percent. The total number of respondents is 3,000, and this survey was commissioned by the National Coffee Association.

How does a Drip Coffee Maker work?

Drip coffee makers are introduced a few decades ago. When it was first introduced to the public, many people were curious about how it works and as a result, it sold a lot of units. When brewing a coffee inside the drip coffee maker, the coffee grounds are being sprayed with heated water. The coffee grounds are placed inside the filter basket so that the smaller particles will never reach the container where the liquid coffee is being collected. The heated water passes through the individual beans stored inside the filter, absorbing rich flavor before dripping. The water will pass through the coffee grounds once, which makes the coffee taste less bitter.

Some models include a carafe that is used to prevent the coffee from turning cold easily. This would ensure that the coffee inside the drip coffee maker will stay warm, no matter how long it has been left inside. Because of its electric nature, many drip coffee makers come with different features that can be helpful for someone who is preparing the drink. One of these helpful features would be automatic timers. Using it would automatically start the brewing process. When the brewing process ends, the timer will automatically shut off, and the heat that is used to increase the temperature of the water will eventually turn cold to prevent any injuries.

How does a Coffee Percolator work?

A coffee percolator is very different from the drip coffee maker. When using a coffee percolator, the coffee grounds placed inside it would be repeatedly heated by the passing water. This process is referred to as percolation.

This brewing process would require a metal pot, a metal basket that will be used to hold all of the coffee grounds or beans, and a pump stem that can be found on the central part of the percolator. The pump stem holds the coffee basket, and this is where the water would travel later on. There are two major types of coffee percolators – the first type is the classic stovetop version, which can be placed at the top of the stove to start the percolation process, or can be taken on camping trips and placed above a campfire. The second type is called the electric coffee percolator, and it comes with a cord that will be used to connect it to a power source.

When the stovetop or electric percolator manages to receive a lot of heat from the heat source, the percolating process would begin. As the water reaches the boiling point, it will be forced to enter through the pump stem, making its way to the coffee grounds.

The water that has been transferred to the coffee grounds would fall back to the bottom part of the pot because of the small holes that are placed inside the metal baskets. This process will continue for so many times, and when the device starts to produce a perking sound, it only means that the coffee is ready and the process has ended.

Drip Coffee Maker VS Coffee Percolator 

The Quality of Coffee

The drip coffee maker and the coffee percolator create two different qualities of coffee. When it comes to the drip coffee maker, the coffee it produces is distinct because of its smooth feel and less bitter taste. The reason why it is not that bitter is that the water had to pass through the coffee grounds or the coffee beans once.

The effective filtering system also acts as a barrier for the smaller bits of coffee grounds to enter the chamber where the coffee drips. This is a great quality especially for those who wanted to drink a smooth coffee. However, owners of a drip coffee maker should remember that the quality of their drink will degrade if they do not clean the machine frequently. The best way to clean a drip coffee maker is to mix water and vinegar or water and baking soda and turn it into a solution. Then, pour the solution inside the drip coffee maker, and rinse it with water. This will keep the quality of the finished product.

Percolating a coffee requires a higher temperature. When the percolating process begins, the water is heated, and it goes through a pump stem, and it will pass through the coffee grounds several times. This process will continue for many cycles, and it would produce a bitter-tasting coffee. When the coffee grounds are left inside the coffee percolator for a longer period of time, the coffee produced will start to taste bitter.

The stronger brew created by the coffee percolator resulted in many people abandoning the device for the modern drip coffee maker. However, there are still people who wanted to drink a percolated coffee because of its strong flavor and high coffee quality.

The Taste of Coffee

Personal preference is a major factor when it comes to the taste of the coffee. For those who wanted to drink black coffee that has a strong brew, the coffee percolator would be the right device for them. The coffee created by a percolator would also contain a high dose of caffeine which can give you an extra source of energy.

On the other hand, those who prefer light or medium-brewed coffee that is not that bitter should choose the drip coffee maker. The taste of the coffee changes also with the size of coffee grounds or beans that are placed inside the percolator or the drip coffee maker. The larger the size of the beans or the coffee grounds, the less bitter it will be.

Which one is more affordable?

When talking about the price, many people thought that coffee percolators are cheaper. However, there are drip coffee makers that can be purchased for a cheaper price. Some percolators can be purchased from $8 to $20, and that is for the simpler ones. For a more complex percolator, you are looking at a $20 to $200 price tag. The same thing happens when buying a drip coffee maker. The cheapest on the market is sold for only $10. Those which are noted for their quality are sold for $20 to $50. But the high-end ones, which have a lot of controls, can be purchased for $30 to $500. Those who wanted to buy bean-to-cup brewers would also need to shell out $5,000.

Which one is more popular?

Before the drip coffee makers were introduced to the market, the coffee percolator was an extremely popular product. Most homes have a percolator, and people are using it for making strong-brew coffee. When the drip coffee makers entered the market in the 1970s, many people opt to choose the latter because it has more controls, and the coffee is created to have a milder taste.

Today, coffee percolators remain popular for campers and travelers, while homeowners would choose the drip coffee makers because of its convenience and ease of use.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use drip coffee in a percolator?

If you are pertaining to the coffee beans or the coffee grounds – the answer is an astounding yes. You can use drip coffee in a percolator because the drip coffee refers to the machine itself, and not the coffee beans or the coffee grounds.

Does percolator coffee taste better than drip coffee?

The answer to this question depends on the person who is drinking coffee. It all boils down to each one’s preferences – if someone wanted to drink a smooth-tasting coffee that does not have that strong bitter taste, they can go for a coffee made by a drip coffee maker. On the other hand, if someone wants to drink coffee that has a strong flavor and aroma, then they should use a stovetop or electric percolator.

What makes the best coffee – drip coffee maker or percolator?

If you wanted to drink a coffee with a smoother texture and has a less bitter taste, the coffee made by the drip coffee maker would be the best choice for you. On the other hand, if you are up for a bitter-tasting coffee, you should choose the ones created inside coffee percolators. This question, just like the previous one, depends on the preferences of an individual. However, when looking at the sales figures, the drip coffee maker sells more units than coffee percolators. This could prove that the majority of Americans do not want to drink coffee that is very bitter.

Is coffee percolator better than a coffee maker?

If you are a coffee enthusiast who wanted to preserve the original ways on how to prepare coffee, then the answer is yes – coffee percolators are better. However, if you are looking for the most cost-effective coffee makers on the market, you would choose a drip coffee maker instead.

Most Americans are buying the drip coffee maker because it is cheaper and it does not require a lot of time to prepare. This would mean that the drip coffee maker is better compared to a coffee percolator when talking about the value of money. For the taste, the drip coffee maker also takes the crown because it does not produce extremely bitter coffee.


Many people around the world will continue to drink a coffee regardless of how it is prepared. Offering a cup of hot coffee to someone is an act of hospitality, and it is highly encouraged. If you are a coffee enthusiast, show the public how coffee was prepared decades ago using coffee percolators and let them try it out to see if a new individual would develop an interest.

On the other hand, if you wanted to drink coffee from a drip coffee maker, you can search the internet for the most affordable ones in the market. There are many options to choose from, and a lot of features are also introduced in the last decade for everyone to enjoy their cup of coffee.


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