Written by Alexandra

Which one do you choose: the percolator or the French press?

Is a percolator the same as an Italian moka and can you just call a cafetière a French press? The answer is yes. What they have in common is the fact that they are plug-in. In terms of coffee, it is a different story, because the percolator needs a different grinding grade than the cafetière and the end result in terms of coffee taste is significantly different.

Percolator or cafetière?

Percolator Cafetiere
You like to drink espresso Yes No
You prefer a good cup of coffee No Yes
You need a stove Yes No
You need a kettle No Yes

What kind of coffee?

Percolator coffee grind


In a percolator you use a medium-sized coffee grind. Why? An espresso reduction is too fine for a percolator. Espresso machines often work with a high pressure and therefore need a fine grind for some resistance. Otherwise the water would be pushed too easily through the coffee and thus no proper extraction can take place. A percolator, on the other hand, uses only a low pressure and therefore a medium-sized or moose drop is more suitable. The water runs through this more easily. You can buy the coffee in the supermarket, but for the right grind and type of beans you go to a specialty store. Because tell me, that is already half of the fun.

Cafetiere coffee grind


In a cafetière you use a medium to coarse coffee grind. This has to do with the way of making coffee. In the first phase of the preparation process, the coffee is in the hot water. At a later stage you separate the coffee from the water by pushing the sieve down. As a result, coffee grits quickly remain in the water and you do not want that. So remember: the finer the grind, the more grit you will find in your coffee. So look for a type of coffee with the structure of sand, not of powder.


Making coffee with a percolator


Fill the lower part of the percolator with drinking water and place the sieve on top. Then fill it with preferably freshly ground coffee (medium grind). Iron the coffee loosely with your finger, but do not press it. Then the water runs harder through the coffee and that does not benefit the taste. Now it is only a matter of tightening the upper part and putting the percolator on a low heat on the stove. If you have an induction hob, make sure that your percolator is also suitable for this.

Making coffee with a cafetiere


Create coffee from a medium to coarse grind in the cafetière and keep approximately 7 grams of coffee per cup. Then pour boiled water from it, where the worst heat is coming from. By allowing the water to cool for a minute, you prevent the coffee from burning and becoming bitter. Stir in the whole and finish with the lid, so the coffee stays warm. Let the cafetiere stand quietly for 4 minutes. Did you know that you can also use the cafetière for the preparation of fresh tea? Use coarse tea leaves, so you do not drink grit.

The preparation process

Making coffee with an espresso pot


If the percolator on the stove is above a medium fire, the water in the lower part will boil and thus the pressure in that compartment increases. This will push the water upwards. First through the coffee, and then through the pipe in the upper compartment. And that is the blissful moment that a fountain of fragrant espresso is collected in the upper part of the percolator, after which you pour it out immediately.

Making coffee with a french press


The first part of the extraction process that takes place in a cafetière can be compared to drawing tea. The flavors are released in the warm water, and essential oils - which would otherwise remain in a filter - make the coffee thick and spicy. To reinforce this effect, stir everything up. You prepare the coffee for pouring by separating the coffee grounds from the water with the sieve. After 4 minutes, push the plunger down gently with the sieve, so that the coffee residue is separated from the coffee.

The best one for you?

If you want to enjoy a real Italian espresso and also want to feel a bit Italian, a percolator is a good choice for you. You love the traditional way of making coffee, you can appreciate some Italian design and you also have the time. Coffee drinking is an experience for you, a process. No push of a button. If you prefer to drink a large cup of coffee that is thick and spicy, but also a lover of tea, the cafetiere is more for you. The right combination of the traditional feeling of making coffee yourself (without too many buttons) and convenience. Moreover, compared to a percolator, it goes fast.

Article by:
Alexandra Coffee Machine Expert.

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