Percolator vs. French Press – What’s The Difference?

What’s in the Perfect Cuppa Joe?

Torn between percolator vs. French press? Worry no more, for we have all you need to know. To bring out their fresh and delicious flavors, black teas, all green, white, and herbal teas demand a milder 80°c drenching. 

Additional ingredients include milk, a drizzle of honey, a squeeze of lemon, a sprig of mint, some ice, or even alcohol. You will get a perfect Cuppa Joe if you blend all ingredients as directed in recipes.

What is a Percolator?

A coffee percolator is a specific kind of kettle used to brew coffee by repeatedly passing brew that is either boiling or almost boiling through the coffee grounds while using gravity. This process repeats until you achieve the desired level of coffee strength. 

It is a device for preparing coffee and consists of a pot in which boiling water recirculates through a small chamber that houses the ground beans. You can find the device in many coffee shops and restaurants.

Black Percolator

What is a French Press?

A French press is a device for making coffee; however, you can also use it for other purposes. Other names for this item are press pot, coffee press, and coffee plunger. To prepare coffee with a French press, first, submerge ground coffee in hot water, then press down on the filter to separate the grounds from the brewed coffee. 

The intense flavor and velvety mouth feel of coffee brewed in a French press are both attributable to the fact that it can remove more oils and sediment from the ground coffee than any other method.

French Press and yellow mug

Percolator vs. French Press – The Differences

Let us compare the percolator vs. french press camping in terms of what sets them apart. Using a French press requires more than submerging the ground coffee in water and applying pressure to speed up the extraction process. It has a robust flavor and a full-bodied feel throughout. 

However, it could perform better when brewing vast quantities of coffee. One of the more traditional approaches to preparing coffee, brewing with a percolator, yields excellent results even when used in large amounts. 

You can brew the coffee with the help of steam and grinds. You first put the grounds in the filter, which is (usually) shaped like a donut, and then pour the water in after that. The steam rises, cools as it condenses, and then travels down through the grounds while the percolator heats up.

Differences in Taste

French Press

You will produce a robust and flavorful brew by using a French press. It is reasonable to anticipate that the traditional flavors associated with coffee will come through in their full potency. The delicate and floral characteristics of a coffee do not come through in any way when prepared using a French press. 

On the other hand, if you are looking for something with robust flavors that will pair very well with a shot of cream, then this is most certainly the route you should take. Chocolate and nut flavors, among others, will play a prominent role in the product. In addition, the brew produced by the French press has a “thick” appearance. 

This occurs due to the massive amounts of oil and sediment that find their way into the brew over time. The body of coffee brewed with a French press enables it to hold up well when smothering in additives such as cream, sugar, honey, and butter. This is the case because the body of the coffee is so robust. 

According to many people, the sediment and oil left after brewing coffee in a French press are the greatest part of the experience. Experiment with the small number of variables, most crucially altering the steeping time for the grounds before pressing and pouring the coffee. This may bring out diverse flavors.


Unfortunately, the flavor profile was not a consideration when developing the percolator coffee. Its development was when the most important thing was to produce vast quantities of coffee to get the most out of its caffeine content. There are a variety of percolators that you may use on top of stoves and produce a brew that is flavorful and smooth. 

However, you won’t be able to taste nearly as much of the unique flavor profile the beans offer; instead, your cup will taste like strong coffee. Ignore the electronic devices in favor of traditional brewing methods like the percolator if you’re looking for flavor and want to make coffee. These designs are merely to generate a large quantity of coffee rapidly. 

That has the potential to be a very significant asset. Even though the flavor will suffer significantly, you may hold a coffee party with 20 of your closest friends in five minutes.

Differences in Brew Time

French Press

On average, making a French press takes about five minutes. With this time, you have wiggle room of up to thirty seconds either way. However, if you have already ground your coffee and prepared your water, the average preparation time is only five minutes. 

If you are attempting to make a batch of coffee with a French press, which is not advisable if time is an issue, then you need to double the coffee produced by your French press by five minutes. The process can become quite time-consuming if you prepare more than one pot of coffee using a French press.


The percolator is a system that combines multiple functions into one. Put the grinds in the container, add water, and you’re ready. The amount of time it takes to brew a cup of coffee might range from two to ten minutes on average. 

Not only that, but depending on how strong you like your coffee, you may take a cup from the spigot at any time during the brewing process. This is a very convenient feature. When batch brewing, the performance of the percolator is not affected. 

It is not unheard of to come across a percolator capable of producing one hundred cups of coffee. Because of this, it is beneficial for making huge quantities of coffee in a relatively short time. This is where it truly shines.

Differences in Ease of Use

French Press

There are only so many things that are simpler than pressing down. There is little room for customization here. Put in your grounds, heat your water, add it, wait, and then press the coffee. Not too difficult.


In most cases, operating a percolator won’t require much effort. After filling the raised filter, add the appropriate or prescribed amount of water and the “on” switch or light the flame. Brewing coffee in a percolator is a hassle-free and simple process that yields a substantial amount quickly.

Differences in Portability

French Press

This is a terrific all-in-one approach, and it is quite portable as long as you have a safe means to transport your press and a way to heat water, and if you have coffee, you have ground correctly.


Most percolators can accommodate a wide variety of coffee grinds; nevertheless, the grind should be on the course side. On the other hand, they frequently call for a stove, a fireplace, or an electrical outlet. 

In conclusion, using a percolator to brew only one or two cups of coffee is likely to waste resources and inefficient system use. Choose something else if portability is essential to you.

Differences in Ease of Cleaning

French Press

There are some people whose presses are more challenging to clean than others, but this is nothing you cannot remedy with approximately five minutes and some exertion.


The only cleaning that you must do is to rinse the urn and throw away the grinds.


Let’s face it. You need to recognize the percolator coffee maker for its nuanced flavor. The overwhelming intensity of the coffee that the brewer produces is what draws in the vast majority of its devoted followers. Aside from the grind setting and the amount of coffee you put in, the electric model only allows a few customization options. 

In principle, you have full control over a version prepared on the stovetop, but in practice, this is not the case. Even while you can adjust the heat level coming from your source, there is yet to be a method to measure this to the point where you can reliably carry out the process again and again. 

If you do not have a separate kettle from the percolator, you can use it to heat water, which is one example of how the percolator can offer some versatility. You have great control over the final cup of coffee you make when you use a French press because you can adjust the variables that affect the brewing process at virtually every stage. 

The proportion of water to coffee, the grind’s size, the water’s temperature, and the amount of time you steep the coffee can all be easily measured and adjusted. However, you need to make the grind size fine or end up with a mouthful of dark coffee. The optimal size is somewhere in the middle. 

You can prepare your cold brew in the brewer by using it as a vessel for steeping the ingredients. This method does not require using a brewer; however, it requires straining, and the mesh filter included with a French press comes in handy for this step. If you utilize a double brewing technique, you can even create coffee that has espresso consistency.

The Pros and Cons of Each Device

The French Press

A French press is the best tool to brew a cup full of flavor. This approach, along with other immersion brewing methods, produces a cup of coffee that is powerful and robust, and it often does a fantastic job of highlighting darker roast qualities. 

A French press is a superior choice for a percolator in producing flavorful and nuanced coffee because of the press’s ability to retain more of the coffee’s natural oils. Even the largest French press can only make around three or four cups of coffee at a time. French presses come in various sizes, determining the maximum amount of coffee produced at once. 

Simply put, they are wonderful for preparing your standard cup of coffee in the morning or brewing multiple cups at once if you have a buddy or two over for coffee. Even though you’ll need a kettle or another pot to heat the water, French presses are inexpensive, making them a strong contender for the least expensive coffee brewing gear. 

They are straightforward, uncomplicated, and straightforward to clean and need little care other than routine cleaning. Lastly, using a French press may require you to time the brewing process, pay attention while brewing the coffee, and observe to prevent the coffee from becoming over-extracted. This is dependent on the recipe that you select.


  • Produces coffee with a rich flavor
  • Brings out the roasted qualities of the food
  • Very inexpensive
  • It is simple to clean.
  • You will not need any maintenance.


  • Can only produce between 2 to 4 cups at a time
  • Require the use of a pot or kettle when in operation
  • While it’s brewing, it requires some attention from you.
  • There are some coffee grounds in your cup.

The Percolator

Percolators provide a method of brewing that is less refined than other methods, and although you can time the brewing process, the end product could be more predictable. 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that percolators aren’t ideal for producing coffee rich in flavor and bringing out the bean’s roast characteristics. The device’s design initially facilitated the production of large amounts of caffeinated coffee in a short amount of time. 

Percolators come in a variety of sizes, similar to French presses. Still, most can brew six to eight cups of coffee at once. Because some larger models can produce even more, percolators are the best option for rapidly making large quantities of coffee. When you have multiple guests, whether friends or family, they come in especially handy.

Percolators are also relatively inexpensive, although most cost a little more than the least expensive French presses. They are almost as simple to clean, but you will need to focus more on the thin tube that the steam travels up, as this can catch residue on the walls over time. Other than that, they are almost as simple to clean as regular showerheads. 

It is unnecessary to perform any maintenance on percolators other than cleaning them after each use. However, unlike the French press, which requires you to stir or press the grounds at specific intervals throughout the brewing process, percolators only need you to pay attention to the coffee and remove it from the heat once it has reached the desired strength. 

Even though percolators don’t produce rich coffee or a particularly nuanced flavor profile, they are somewhat forgiving if you remember to remove them from the heat at the appropriate time.


  • Can make large quantities at once
  • An excellent choice for when you have guests over.
  • Very inexpensive
  • There is no requirement for any additional apparatus
  • There is no maintenance required beyond cleaning
  • Requires less attention while brewing.


  • Produces inconsistent results
  • Does not create coffee with a very delicious taste
  • Making it more challenging to clean

How to Decide Which One is Best for You

When preparing coffee, the French press and the percolator are two of the oldest pieces of equipment ever to exist because of the ease with which you can use them and their convenience. 

The brewing process with a French press and a percolator are highly different, although the two devices have very similar appearances. As a result, the coffee produced with these two devices tastes very differently.

You need to know a few things about how these coffee brewing machines function and, more significantly, how the coffee you may make with each one tastes if you are trying to decide between the two available ways. 

However, neither approach is superior to the other; hence, the answer to the question of which one is more suitable for you and your requirements for your coffee depends entirely on your preferences!

French presses produce coffee that is richer in flavor and more subtle. In addition, they are pretty consistent, which makes them an excellent choice for people who want to derive the greatest pleasure possible from the flavor of their coffee. 

However, because they can only produce a limited amount at once, they are not the best choice for preparing coffee for more than one or two people simultaneously. Although they create coffee with less flavor and consistency than other methods, percolators help make large amounts of coffee for gatherings with several people or when you have many guests over. 

They are perfect for simultaneously brewing multiple cups of coffee at once. You should have a solid comprehension of these two coffee brewing techniques by this point. We hope that by providing a list of both the benefits and drawbacks of each, we have made it easier for you to choose the type of coffee that will best meet your requirements.

Coffee percolator

In Conclusion

When deciding between french vs. percolator, there are a few things to remember before making a decision.

If portability and simplicity appeal to you, consider purchasing or using a French press. Some people find it simpler to use a percolator, but others find it simpler to use a press, which is also significantly more portable. However, if you wish to prepare a large quantity of coffee, you should use a percolator; however, you should be aware that this method is less portable.

Second, the press will be a much better option if you want a cup of coffee with a true flavor profile that you can talk about and discuss. The type of coffee that you can produce using a press is just unattainable with a percolator. However, making a considerable quantity using a press takes significantly more time. 

If you are planning on entertaining a large group of people who are not concerned with the taste of the coffee in their cup, you should use a percolator rather than a press.

We will go with a French press for this situation because we are huge fans of excellent coffee. There will be many coffee consumers who disagree with this, and to be honest, there are situations in which the percolator will prove to be more helpful than the drip coffee maker. It all depends on the features that are most important to you in a coffee maker.

Use a percolator if:

  • You will need to make coffee in huge quantities.
  • You desire a cup of coffee that is free of sediment.
  • You enjoy a pretty potent brew.

Use French press if:

  • You are looking for coffee with a robust flavor
  • You will require a shorter brewing period.
  • You desire a less arduous cleaning process.