The Percolator Vs The Espresso Maker

A Strong Start Percolator VS Espresso

So you want something strong, but don’t know which brew to choose?

That can really depend on your personal tastes and how much you’re willing to invest.

Many coffee lovers find that both percolator coffee and espressos can provide a stronger, more intense boost than other brewing methods.

That said, these methods are really quite different!

In order to help you with deciding which option may work best for you, we’re going to take a look into each brewing method.

We’ll also take a look at the results you get from each!

Armed with that knowledge, you’ll know whether an espresso machine or percolator is a better buy for you.

So read up, learn and enjoy!

Percolator: Simple But Bold

pot of percolator coffee


Using a percolator is a very simple process.

The first thing you need to know is that there are a couple of different categories: the stovetop percolator and the electric percolator.

Stovetop percolators are very simple devices that appear somewhat like a kettle.

They are often made from stainless steel, and allow you to add your grounds into a basket which is built in to the device.

Electric percolators work much in the same way, except they don’t require the use of your stove.

Instead, they have a base that is plugged into a wall and used to heat the percolator itself.

In both, the use of a grounds basket ensures that you don’t need to worry about the need to filter the resulting coffee.

Because of their simple design, there are many who prefer percolators to other options out there.

They enjoy having more control over the brewing process.

However, that does mean you’ll need to be able to keep an eye on the water temperature.

Otherwise, you can end up with coffee that tastes overly bitter and burnt.

It is by no means an automatic process, though it is easier than others like Chemex and other pour over methods.

Percolators are truly a great option for those who are looking to simplify the process.


  • There isn’t a need to purchase paper filters.
  • Many find the flavor is rich and delicious.
  • Stovetop options are great for taking camping.
  • Users may appreciate the nostalgia.
  • You get more control over the brewing process.
  • Many percolators come at an affordable cost.


  • There is a risk of burnt coffee as a result of water that is too hot.
  • The flavor can be more bitter.
  • You can sometimes find that sediment makes its way into your cup.


If you want to step away from the more automatic machines, a percolator can be the perfect option.

They’re very easy to take with you on the go, and some are even specifically made for camping purposes.

You will need to keep an eye on the water, but they do make options that can either be programmed to reach a certain temperature, or you can use a thermometer.

There are plenty who come to prefer the flavor of percolated coffee to drip-style and other more common forms.

Unless you feel the need for extra filtering, you can also save money on paper filters by using a percolator.

Espresso Maker: Little Cup, Strong Flavor

Nespresso Inissia


If you’ve been to a coffee shop and had an espresso there, you may find that this type of drink fits your preference.

Using an espresso machine, there are a number of different espresso drinks that you’ll be able to make.

On top of that, making them at home is sure to save money over purchasing them regularly in coffee shops.

One thing that is important to keep in mind is that these are machines, which can be larger and more expensive than a simple percolator.

Luckily, there are a variety of options, such as Nespresso, Breville and Mr. Coffee model options.

Depending on how advanced you want to get, these models can really range in the amount of effort you put in.

With most Nespresso espresso machines, all you have to do is add a capsule, make a couple of selections and the machine handles the rest.

Meanwhile, others can work much more like what you’d find in a coffee shop. With those devices, you’d need to develop more of a skill.

It’s also wise to keep in mind that some of these machines can be rather large and expensive.


  • Often rather aesthetically pleasing.
  • Many are highly automatic.
  • Cleanup is generally very easy.
  • You get delicious espresso with minimal effort.
  • There are a wide variety of models out there at different price points.
  • Can often make espressos for multiple people rather quickly.


  • Many of these machines can be expensive.
  • Some can be bulky and take up a lot of counter space.
  • The machines can be a bit more complicated and harder to fix if parts break.


An espresso machine is the ideal option for those who don’t mind putting a little money into their beverages.

While the machines can initially be rather expensive, most people find that over time they are able to save money over buying espressos in coffee shops regularly.

It’s also a fantastic option if you want something very strong.

Espresso drinks are often on the smaller side, but pack a real punch as far as caffeine goes.

Do keep in mind that you may need to offer up some counter space for some machines!

However, in many cases the delicious results are worth it.

The Coffee

strong coffee


The drinks you can get from both of these devices are quite different.

Generally speaking, the coffee you get from a percolator is going to be pretty standard.

Aside from any changes you may choose to make to the ratio, it’s going to be similar to what you’d get from a drip-style coffee maker.

That said, it can often provide more flavor and a stronger overall taste. Many prefer this to options they’d consider to be “watered-down”.

It’s very much a simple process that creates a strong, flavorful result that you can drink however you choose to.

On the other hand, the beverages made with an espresso machine can be far more versatile.

This really depends on the machine you get and what it’s capable of doing.

In addition, this option is also likely to be far more automatic.

Many find that espresso drinks are stronger and provide more benefits in a smaller cup.

That can be very helpful in getting your coffee boost without consuming a great deal of extra calories.

If you’re new to both of these options, it might be a good idea to try out each, and see which one you enjoy more.


When we think about strength, many of us are considering just how much of a boost we’ll get from a certain drink.

With espresso, you’re going to be likely to get a lot of strength in a much smaller serving.

Based on that, it’s typically the more effective between the two kinds of beverages.

That said, not everyone wants espresso. The drinks can seem overly complicated, the machines can be expensive and some prefer to keep their equipment simple.

In those circumstances, users can turn to percolated coffee to meet their caffeine needs.

Of course, this is going to depend on the roast used as well as how long the percolator can run.

If it doesn’t run long enough, the drink isn’t going to be very strong.

You will also need to make sure that the water can run at the ideal temperature for a longer period of time.

This can take a little more focus than many espresso machines out there!

Cost of Brewing

There are a few different prices that are important to keep in mind.

Initially, the beginning cost of making espresso with an espresso maker can be much higher than the price of getting a percolator.

However, after that point, the pricing levels can even out.

This can of course depend on what you choose to include in your espresso or coffee.

Things like creamers, sugar, milk and other products can increase the overall cost.

Because of that, it’s important to think about which device you’re likely to get the greatest value from.

Both of these options have a lot to offer, but their results can be quite different.

Due to that, the method you choose will be up to your individual tastes.

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Brian Mounts

I have been working in the coffee industry since 2013 and have been a professional online publisher since 2009. I am the current owner of and I love all forms of coffee. I roast my own green coffee beans, grind them, and usually make my own coffee daily in either a french press, moka pot, or a pour over coffee dripper. I am a nut for equipment so many of my articles are reviews and comparisons of best selling coffee brewing accessories.

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