Things To Consider
Brew Strength & Flavor
The common consensus is that percolators brew stronger coffee because you’re basically getting double brewed coffee on the first go. On the other hand, a drip coffee maker only runs water through once, making a brew that is cleaner and less strong.
This means a few things for you:
- With a percolator, you are going to get a strong, bold coffee
- The percolator’s coffee will likely be over-extracted, meaning you won’t get much depth of flavor
- When using a drip coffee maker, you be able to taste more subtleties in flavor
- The brew from a drip coffee maker will have a lighter and smoother mouthfeel
If you are trying to make coffee for a LOT of people in a relatively short period of time, a percolator is probably the better choice. Some can even brew in the realm of twelve cups at a time.
This is especially helpful if most of your coffee drinkers are just in it for the caffeine and tend to make the flavor with sugar or creamer (or both).
That said, most drip coffee makers can make enough coffee for a couple coffee drinkers. So if you only have 1-2 coffee fans in your house, a coffee maker should be fine.
What really allowed drip coffee makers to overtake the percolator was the convenience factor. These machines, even at their cheapest, automatically regulate heat and brew time, which is a feature you are going to have to pay a pretty penny for on a percolator.
However, percolators tend to be much more affordable overall than drip coffee makers. So if your budget is pretty meager, a basic percolator isn’t going to break your bank.
Both of these options are relatively affordable options for getting an average Joe. If you’re looking for ease of use and depth of flavor, go for a drip coffee maker. However, if you’re looking for something to make big batches or travel with you, consider getting a percolator instead.