Percolator vs moka pot

How A Percolator Is Different Than A Moka Pot

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Percolator vs moka potAt Gathering Grounds we like to think of ourselves as open-minded, each-to-their-own kinds of people. We know that coffee preferences differ according to personal tastes and we don’t judge. Whatever you like, by all means enjoy it, you won’t think any less of you. Except maybe if you percolate. Sorry. At least let us explain…

The Moka Pot

This runs hot water through the beans once the water is hot, yes, but it is just water, and the contact the beans have with that boiling water is short but effective. The brew generates around 1.5 bar of pressure, making a good strong, short coffee that kick-starts your morning, provided you like your brew pretty strong you can get a great cup from a stovetop.

As for the equipment itself, it’s well-designed and practical to use and maintain. The grind for moka is a fine grind, to make sure that as much flavor as possible is extracted during the short brew, but not so fine that it gets through the filter. While it is too strong for some, Moka coffee is hugely popular especially in Europe.

One of the biggest concerns people have with moka pots has to do with their safety. But as we’ve discussed before on this site many safety concerns associated with aluminum vs stainless steel moka pots are mostly discredited.

The Percolator

It’s nearly the same as a Moka Pot, but it has one terrifying difference that goes against everything we at Gathering Grounds know to be the right way to make coffee. It uses boiling coffee to brew coffee, and it does this over and over again. If the name makes it sound a little like something out of a horror film, this is certainly fitting.

In actuality the percolator is supposed to use nearly boiling water to brew but it’s hard to get the temperature right which is why so many people make bad coffee in them. In fact for similar reasons percolators and french presses have this in common – a widespread misuse of the brewing technique.

It is a container, much like a coffee pot which sits on the stove and creates a cycle of water which when boiling is forced up a tube over the coffee, where it cools and ends up back in the boiling chamber, where it continues to circle through the coffee for 5 minutes until the coffee is done (if by done you mean butchered horribly). The grind used is as coarse if not coarser than for French Press, to keep as much of the bean as possible away from the boiling water.

The percolator breaks the boiling water rule, and by keeping the coffee boiling and cooling repeatedly, it overextracts the beans to the point where the cup you get at the end is a bitter tragedy. A wasteful end to beans with potential. If you’ve never tried percolated coffee, please don’t. If your opinion of coffee is based on the percolator method, we can only suggest that you open your heart to the other wonderful brewing methods and see what coffee is capable of. You are missing out on a lot.

But then again there are some people that just like this stuff and to them we say “to each his own”. With all coffee making equipment there is a market and if you are looking for a good percolator then may we suggest you opt for a larger model as they don’t tend to burn coffee as easily.

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