Moka pot vs. percolator. What is the difference?

Percolator vs Moka Pot - comparison

Coffee lovers have always argued about which way to make the gods’ black drink is the best. There are many different devices on the market, and each one prepares the brew in a different way.

The main groups are:

  • Coffee makers,
  • Coffee brewers,
  • Coffee presses,
  • Moka pots,
  • Percolators.

Today we will deal with the last two groups which are moka pots and percolators, however, let’s start with this topic: What is espresso at all?

Espresso – a classic little black

What makes this coffee different? For some it will be the starting product in the process of creating great coffee drinks, for others – a sensational, independent coffee that will delight with its power. A stimulating espresso is undoubtedly the most popular type of coffee, which is distinguished by its small size and intense taste.

How is espresso made?

In a pressure coffee machine in which water at a temperature of 90 – 96 ° C is passed under a pressure of about 9 bar through finely ground coffee beans. This process usually takes about 25 seconds. A ready espresso can be an independent drink, it can also be a starting point for creating further coffee specialties. Single espresso is brewed with 7 grams of freshly ground coffee. In the correct preparation process this type of coffee will have a thick foam called crema. The froth of this espresso owes much of its aroma. Thanks to the short extraction time, the caffeine content in the extract is low compared to coffee from a filter coffee machine.

Can I prepare espresso in a percolator?

No. We will not get such coffee either in a percolator or in moka pot. Both devices are used to obtain so-called overflow coffee, the taste of which is less pronounced, but the caffeine content in the brew is higher.

It all depends on the pressure and brewing time!

Both percolator and moka pot do not reach the pressure required to create an esspresso. Instead, they create great stimulating coffee with a delicate taste. What is the difference between them?

How does Moka pot work?

Moka pot is what some people call a coffee maker on the stove. This is quite confusing because moka pot cannot make espresso. Water is placed in the bottom of the vessel, coffee grounds are placed on a perforated platform with a cone attached, which is placed on the water vessel. The finished coffee accumulates in the top tank of the machine. The device is placed over a heat source to boil water. Boiling water creates steam and pressure that pushes steam through the coffee into the upper storage vessel. Moka pot creates a small pressure (about 1-2 bars) to push water through the coffee grounds. However, the pressure is much less than in espresso.

How does the percolator work?

The percolator boils water and drips constantly on ground coffee. It has a separate vessels for storing coffee, so both water and coffee is boiled and constantly dripping on the grounds. The brewed coffee is in the same place where regular water was brewing. Percolators often have a small transparent cap on top so you can see the color of the brewed coffee.

So what are the differences in coffee coming from moka pot vs percolator?

The percolator coffee is more like a French press. The percolators resemble tall, thinner tea pots. They make coffee cups with a high temperature and a long brewing process. Moka is more like Turkish coffee or even espresso because it is subjected to low pressure and the brewing process is one-sided.

Percolators are mainly used for making simple coffee, while moka make (almost) espresso. We receive completely different infusions, both in terms of taste and caffeine content.
Yes, moka pots brew coffee under a certain pressure, but only 1-2 bars. That’s more than most people can generate manually, but it doesn’t match the coffee maker. Modern coffee machines brew at a pressure of 8-10 bars. This is 5-10 times more than the pressure in the moka pot, depending on the machine.

The coffee that moka brews is strong and quite similar to an espresso without having a real espresso machine, but by definition it is not a real espresso.

The taste of coffee

Coffee coming out of moka pot is usually 2-3 times more concentrated than regular drop coffee. The taste is more intense, bold and has a heavy body. Unfortunately, the process of brewing with moka pot can result in the bitter taste of coffee.

That kind of coffee can still be well-balanced, well-rounded and pot, although in general coffee has a deeper, darker taste profile than usual.

Espresso shots are often 5-8 times more concentrated than regular drip coffee. These shots are very intense, full and very aromatic. Like moka pot, they can easily become bitter if you are not careful.

The versatility of the infusion

Both moka and espresso coffee are strong enough to combine with other ingredients to create fun drinks. On this basis, cappuccino, macchiato or other fancy compositions can be made.

However, since espresso is more concentrated, it is also slightly more versatile. The taste is more closely packed and goes on in drinks.
Percolator coffee is better to drink in pure form due to the weaker aroma.

How do I choose the right way of brewing coffee for me?

How do I choose the right way of brewing coffee for me?
There are many variables here and you must try to control each of them. This can be annoying, but also extremely rewarding when you finally discover coffee that is 100% compatible with you.
While for the percolator, we have little effect on the taste of coffee (except for the choice of beans), brewing coffee in moka pot is no longer a piece of cake. So if you want to start to consciously prepare your brew, I advise you to try this method of brewing first and not throw yourself in at the deep end with the preparation of a real espresso. It takes some time to understand the process and learn what to watch for, but once you get the hang of it, the rest will come easily.

However, if you really want to learn how to brew an amazing espresso, it will be a daily challenge. The difference in CO2 content in the beans from day to day can ruin the pleasure of drinking coffee.

So are you ready for the moka pot challenge or do you prefer to save energy on other areas of your life?

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