Moka Pot vs Percolator – Which Makes Better Coffee?

By Mark •  Updated: 12/10/21 •  10 min read
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The Moka Pot and Percolator are two classic coffee-makers that have been around for a long time and are still extremely popular today.

They are both reasonably priced and simple to use.

They are iconic coffee makers on the market, with a retro allure that is difficult to ignore.

Since the Moka pot and the percolator have similar designs, many people mistake them for one another.

Their function is, however, different. Let’s look at what a Moka Pot and a Percolator are, their process, what sort of coffee they brew, and how they differ.

Moka Pot

Moka Pot vs Percolator
Moka Pot vs Percolator

The Italian Alfonso Bialetti created this basic, simple little coffee pot in 1933.

This traditional coffee machine was also known as a stovetop espresso maker, and while there are now many manufacturers producing Moka pots, Bialetti is still the original creator.

One of the factors for its popularity among coffee drinkers is its low cost, which lets you brew fantastic espresso at home without having to spend a fortune, as most new espresso makers do.

Percolator

You’ll be surprised to learn how old the Percolator is.

Since it has been around for a long time, it is commonly referred to as the antique coffee brewing method

Joseph-Henry-Marie Laurens, a Parisian tinsmith, built the first modern percolator in 1819, based on the notion of making hot water rise via a tube to produce a constant brewing cycle.

It was a technical achievement at the time, and it quickly supplanted the traditional way of heating coffee in a pot.

Its popularity waned after the 1970s, when the drip-coffee machine was invented.

Despite this, the old French invention is still alive and well, with a devoted following.

Moka Pot vs Percolator

What’s The Difference Between a Moka Pot and a Percolator?

What’s The Difference Between a Percolator and a Moka Pot

There are five key differences between a percolator and a Moka pot:

1. Ease of use
2. Price
3. Mechanism
4. Grind Size
5. The brewing process
6. Coffee taste

Let’s at each of these six notable differences in more detail.

#1 Ease Of Use

Both Moka pots and percolators are simple to operate, depending on the model you choose.

Simply fill them with water, put your ground coffee in the basket, and set the coffee maker on the stovetop to work its magic. 

No complicated timers or temperature indicators are required because both pots make a loud sound when the coffee is brewed. These choices don’t need paper filters, so they’re environmentally friendly.

The only things you’ll need are coffee, a pot, and a source of heat.

Some percolators have an inbuilt heating element that makes the process even easier by automatically cooling down when the coffee is ready.

#2 Price

You’re doing more than just making yourself a caffeine-filled beverage every morning when you prepare your coffee. You’re having a good time, and both percolators and Moka pots are a part of it. 

The price of your coffee pot is determined by several criteria, including its size, brand, and many outstanding features. 

Compared to a Moka pot of comparable size, stovetop percolators are frequently less expensive. Even electric percolators are reasonably priced.

A Moka pot will also not break the bank.

The majority of the Moka pots are pricier than the percolator pots. This could be because a Moka pot is more specialized and contains a few extra components. Percolators have a more straightforward design than Moka pots and, as a result, are less expensive.

There’s a chance you’ll be able to find a percolator that costs more than a Moka pot. Nonetheless, Moka pots are usually always more expensive than percolators.

#3 Mechanism

A percolator is a single appliance with a single chamber into which the ground beans and water are poured while making coffee.

On the other hand, the Moka pot is made up of three separate components that function together.

#4 Grind Size

To achieve the best flavor, you will need different coffee powders for other brewing techniques. 

A fine grind is required to get the most outstanding results from the Moka pot.

It is because steam gets into contact with the coffee very quickly, and using a rough grind would result in mediocre, watery coffee.

The percolator requires a coarse grind because the coffee is brewed for an extended period, allowing the large particles to gradually release their deliciousness, allowing you to get better coffee over time.

If you’re using a finer grind, you’ll get a robust and over-extracted coffee.

#5 The Brewing Process

Moka Pot
Moka Pot

Brewing with a Moka pot is a somewhat predictable and straightforward operation.

The brewer employs heated steam to create a strong, rich coffee that’s commonly referred to as “stovetop espresso”—though that’s a mistake.

Start by filling the bottom chamber with water, adding freshly ground coffee to the filter holder, and connecting the entire apparatus.

The Moka pot is then placed on the stovetop to heat the water and create steam.

After 4-5 min, the vapor will have built up sufficient pressure, albeit not as much as an espresso machine, to push the rich coffee up the tube and into the upper chamber, where it will collect.

When you’re ready to stop brewing, simply remove the pot from the heat and pour out the brewed coffee.

Brewing with a percolator is more of a “set it and forget it” method.

As long as the brewer is in contact with heat, this device employs a modest pressure to brew coffee continuously.

To brew your coffee, add your ground coffee and put it in the filter basket towards the top of the percolator, then fill the lower chamber with water.

When you place the percolator over a heat source, boiling water rises the straw and falls over the grounds, kicking off the brewing process.

However, there is one significant difference: percolators do not retain the brewed coffee.

Instead, the coffee drips through the filter and into the lower chamber, where it is heated, re-brewed, and transported back up the straw.

#6 Coffee Taste

The taste test, in particular, is the most significant thing that coffee lovers pay special attention to.

Decent coffee Moka Pots will offer you an espresso-like delicious coffee that is thick and concentrated, which you may drink straight or with milk and creamer.

This is likewise why they are often called stovetop coffee machines. 

The most significant disadvantage is that espresso can be bitter at times; however, this will be offset with the help of using steamed milk to make a mocha or latte or by adding water if you prefer americanos.

If you’re a fan of cappuccinos, you can now make your favorite drink with this coffee.

To make foamed milk, you’ll need a frother, of course.

A little diplomacy is required while discussing Percolator coffee. Although it is a relatively strong coffee, many people complain about its flavor.

The issue is over-brewing, which leads to over-extraction.

It uses exceptionally high temperatures to make the coffee, producing a powerful brew.

It’s also susceptible to excessive extraction, which results in a punchy, bitter brew.

This, on the other hand, is an excellent bonus for coffee drinkers who like to add sweets or creamers. 

Many coffee connoisseurs are convinced that it isn’t coffee and regard brewing it many times a blasphemy.

They have a valid argument because this procedure makes your coffee bitter.

The Moka pot wins in a taste test.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Both coffeemakers are easy to clean; simply remove their parts, discard the remains in the filter, and wash.

Some models can be washed in the dishwasher, but others, particularly percolators, need you to remove the coffee basket from the vertical tube, which can be difficult.

You’ll need to clean your coffee maker thoroughly from time to time to remove stains.

Luckily, unlike many espresso machines, which require costly descaling tablets, a Moka Pot or a Percolator can be cleaned with everyday household items.

The simplest method to thoroughly clean your machine is to mix one part vinegar with one part water.

Simply pour the ingredients into the machine, place it on the stove, and wait for the vinegar to brew.

If required, repeat the process, then run a third round with regular water. Rinse many times to remove the vinegar flavor.

Durability

The Percolator and Moka Pot are both fairly durable, although percolators are more durable due to their simpler mechanism.

Only a direct strike with a bulky item can cause them to break.

Glass percolators, on the other hand, are modern and elegant but are prone to breakage.

Both coffee machines are travel-friendly and can be taken with you wherever you go. They’re the ideal outdoor companion if you like to go camping.

However, you should be careful not to melt the grips of most Moka pots. 

Although they are resistant to heat to some level, subjecting them to direct flames might cause them to burn.

People Also Ask

Is Moka Pot Coffee Stronger Than Regular Coffee?

Is Moka Pot Coffee Stronger Than Regular Coffee

The coffee from a Moka pot is usually 2-3 times more concentrated than traditional drip coffee. It’s powerful, bold, and has a substantial body.

Which One Should I Buy?

If you’re looking for a portable brewer, ideal for groups, I suggest going with a percolator.

The percolator brews large batches of coffee in a single usage while the Moka pot brews a fixed amount of coffee.

On the other hand, go for the Moka Pot if you want your coffee to have that rich, creamy flavor like the cappuccinos.

Percolators tend to have a dark, bitter taste, so they are not suitable for someone who prefers a gentle coffee.

Moka

Pros

  • In just 8 minutes, you can have your coffee ready.
  • Cost-effective
  • Coffee with an espresso-like flavor
  • Cleaning is simple
  • Traditional design in aluminum or steel
  • It’s portable and convenient
  • The majority of models are reasonably priced
  • It’s simple to use
  • It produces a robust cup of coffee
  • Simple coffee-making concept
  • The majority of models are compact and portable.

Cons

  • You can quickly burn yourself because it’s composed of metal.
  • Produces only a small batch of coffee
  • Observation is required for the entire 8 minute period
  • Leftover coffee grounds clog it up quickly
  • Espresso has more acidity and sourness
  • Caffeine levels are high.

Percolator

Pros

  • When the coffee is to your liking, you can turn off the heat.
  • These coffee makers are incredibly long-lasting.
  • Produces a tasty cup of coffee
  • The retro design is pleasing to the eye.
  • Even with non-automatic models, you can still adjust the brewing time.
  • They’re pretty adaptable and can even be used outside.

Cons

  • Your coffee may become bitter if you over-extract the grounds.
  • Maintenance is often a challenge.

Which is Better – Percolator or Moka pot? 

Which is Better - Percolator or Moka pot
Which is Better – Percolator or Moka pot

When deciding which coffee maker to use, keep in mind that the Percolator boils the water as the coffee comes down, which might become bitter if it gets too hot.

If you want a lighter coffee, a Percolator may not be for you.

It’s impossible to say either brewing method is better or worse because everyone’s tastes and demands are different, so deciding between the two boils down to personal opinion.

Final Thoughts

Moka Pot vs Stove Top Percolator
Moka Pot vs Stove Top Percolator

As I already said, it all boils down to personal preference. You should choose the Moka pot if you like your coffee as robust and complex.

The percolator lacks finesse when it comes to brewing, but if you’re trying to caffeinate a tough group of fatigued hikers, a percolator will suffice. 

Both Moka pot and percolators are simple to use, reasonably priced, and need little maintenance.

All you have to do now is find a device that meets your specific coffee requirements.

Mark

G'day from Australia! I'm Mark, the Chief Editor of Portafilter. I'm super passionate about everything coffee-related and love to spend endless hours mastering pulling the perfect shot on my Breville Barista Express. Follow on: Linkedin and Facebook.

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