Moka Pot Vs Percolator: What’s The Difference?

The Moka pot vs percolator debate comes down to the sophistication and versatility of the Moka pot vs the convenience and utility of the coffee percolator. 

Moka Pot Vs Percolator
Percolator is just as easy to use as your drip coffee machine but with a more limited range when talking about flavors

Today, we’re looking at two iconic fixtures of coffee brewing: Moka pot vs percolator. 

The Moka pot and the percolator are two of the original modern coffee-making devices. The Moka pot delivers on an espresso-like creaminess but comes with a bit of a learning curve. The percolator is just as easy to use as your drip coffee machine but has a much more limited range when it comes to flavor. 

Let's take a closer look at the Moka pot vs percolator debate.

How Are They Different?

The Moka pot vs percolator argument is a battle of fine distinctions. Let's start with what makes the Moka pot stand out between the two.

The first thing that jumps out about the Moka pot is exactly the type of beverage it will be brewing. Moka pots have a very distinct brew that resembles an espresso.  This coffee brew has a rich and creamy flavor that is ideal for use in any kind of coffee drink that calls for shots of espresso.

Percolators brew your standard cup of black coffee. Before the invention of the automatic drip coffee machine, percolators were the gold standard for coffee at diners and meetings the world over. You'll find the brew from a percolator to be very similar to that from a drip machine. 

How Are They Similar?

If a Moka pot and a percolator are brewing two completely different types of coffee, how can they have anything in common?

The first thing that these two coffee-brewing devices have in common has to do with when they were made. Both the Moka pot and the percolator were invented before electricity was a common household utility. While there are plenty of electric percolators out there today, the traditional model is heated by fire.

This makes both the Moka pot and the percolator great choices for people looking to brew over an open flame or their stovetop.

With both of these devices, you'll have greater control over your final brew than you would if you were using an electric model. Manually adjusting the temperature of your oven or the fire is a great way to stay in control of your coffee brew. 

What's Better About The Moka Pot?

a brand of Moka pot with a cup of coffee beside it
Moka Pot allows you to have finer control in brewing your cup of Joe

The Moka pot stands out for being the clear winner when it comes to the variety of brews you're able to make.

The Moka pot has a brew that is incredibly similar to espresso. This means the Moka pot is your key to unlocking the wide world of coffee drinks.

The Moka pot also allows you to have finer control over your brewed beverage. A properly used Moka pot can yield results that you would only find at the best coffee shop in town.

What's Better About The Percolator?

There are a few things that make the percolator an interesting option when it comes to brewing a consistent cup of coffee.

We mentioned earlier that the percolator was the go-to coffee brewing device before the invention of the electric drip machine. Part of the reason for the success is that percolators are incredibly easy to use.

Percolators are a set-it-and-forget-it device. All you need to do is put your coffee in the basket and your water in the base, apply some heat and wait for your coffee to be ready. Unlike with the Moka pot, there's no risk that you're going to burn your coffee using a percolator.

So, who should get a Moka pot, and who should get a percolator? 

Who Should Get A Moka Pot (And Why)?

If you've been thinking about upping your coffee game, a Moka pot is a great place to start.

While it doesn't technically make espresso, the Moka pot creates a brew that is incredibly similar in its depth and richness. If you're willing to go through a little bit of a learning curve, you'll open up the door to barista-levels of coffee craft.

Moka pots are, let's face it, also really fun to use. You’ll be able to bring home some of those authentic caffè Italia vibes when you get the hang of brewing a great Moka pot. It also comes in different sizes.

Who Should Get A Percolator (And Why)?

percolator coffee maker on a table with a cup of coffee beside it
Percolators coffee makers are the best recommendation to make coffee when having an open campfire

Percolators might have been replaced by the drip machine, but I think they've got some irreplaceable qualities.

Percolators are still the best way to make coffee over an open campfire. If you're an avid fan of the great outdoors, the percolator should be an auto-include in your camping bag.

Percolators also let you replicate an authentic diner experience. Because these devices continuously brew, your beverage will get stronger and stronger until it reaches that nostalgic trucker fuel level of intensity. They come in different sizes too, although arguably they are not as eye-catching as a Moka pot.

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