Drip or Percolated Coffee. Which is Better?

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Drip or Percolated Coffee

With such a wide range of ways to brew coffee. It is expected for any avid coffee drinker to be overwhelmed when asked the question, “Which brewing process creates the best cup of coffee?” We could sit here all day and weigh the pros and cons of each maker and style.

However, there are always two methods in particular that are often compared by the more “traditional” coffee bunch: drip or percolated. Today, these two popular styles will be the two competitors for best coffee, as we go through their brewing cycles, models as well as creations.


The Brewing Methods

In understanding the key differences between these 2, it helps to know the brewing processes of each.

Drip Coffee Methods:

Traditional Machine Method:

This can be made in a variety of ways, the most widely used being the traditional machine.

  • For the machine, all you need is a coffee filter, grinds and water.
  • Begin by placing the filter into the compartment and add your favorite grind.
  • Then, add water into the tank and simply start the machine.
  • The water will heat up and begin boiling. In which the steam will start going through the tube until it reaches the grounds sitting in the filter.
  • The water will saturate the grinds and a brew will begin to slowly drip into the pot underneath.

Manual drip coffee makers

While the machine is considered the most traditional, more and more coffee lovers are now turning to the manual makers. Not only are some models more beautiful to look at on the kitchen counter, but it also gives you that “trendy” coffee shop feel from the comfort of your own home.

  • Similar to the machines. You will need a filter and coffee grinds. However, this time you may need to have your own pot or mug handy.
  • Some manual makers come with a glass cup or pot. While others just supply you with a reusable filter or filter holder to place over a mug. Begin the brew by heating water.
  • As you wait for the water to start simmering. Place your grounds into the filter, similar to the machine style.
  • Once the water is heated, simply pour over the grinds that are waiting in the filter and watch as your brew begins to drip out. 


Percolated Coffee Method

The percolator is one of the oldest ways of brewing , dating back to the mid-1800’s. There are two chambers that make up a percolator, both connected to each other by a tube. The top chamber is where your coffee will be brewed. While the smaller bottom chamber is where the water will boil.


  • To start the process, you first add water to the bottom chamber and the top chamber with grinds.
  • Once the percolator is placed over a heat source and the water begins to boil. It will travel up the tube to the top compartment where the grinds can be found.
  • As the water soaks into the grinds, coffee will slowly begin to drip back down to the bottom chamber, through the same tube the water came up in.
  • This cycle is repeated until the percolator is silent, indicating there is no more left to be brewed.

If you are interested in learning more about percolators, click to find the best coffee percolator for you. 

Things to consider while choosing between Drip or Percolated Coffee

Taste and Strength

When it comes to your coffee, taste preference is obviously one of the top elements to consider. As far as tastes go, drip is typically weaker compared to percolated. With the percolator, the drip cycle happens multiple times, making the coffee more bold and robust. Keep in mind, however, over-extraction, which occurs when the grinds have been overused.

Over-extraction creates an undesirable flavor. As the brew will be very bitter, and is one of the biggest cons with percolators. On the other hand, drip coffee is associated with a lighter taste, considering its singular cycle. 


When it comes to busy mornings, every second counts. This is why it is important the size of brew that can be efficiently created in another major element to consider in choosing your favorite brew method. If you are living by yourself and typically only drink a cup or two every morning, then drip is for you. If you know you are brewing for a large bunch day in and day out, the percolator will deliver for the crowd.


So, ultimately, it all comes down to preference in the final answer to the question:

If you value a singular, quality cup of a day that has a lighter taste, drip coffee is the brew for you. And If you are in a time crunch and you are in charge of providing to the whole house. Percolators will do the trick in delivering large quantities of bold coffee efficiently.

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