French Press vs Pour Over vs Percolator

French Press vs Pour Over vs Percolator (Which One is the Best?)

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Have you recently discovered the pleasures of a fresh brew of coffee? Exploring the different brewing techniques could leave you wondering which one is best when looking between the French Press vs Pour Over vs Percolators.

The main differences between French Press, Pour Over and Percolator originates in the brewing method:

the French Press is an immersion brewing technique, the Pour Over is a drip or filter coffee brewing technique and the Percolator use the pressure of the steam to push the water up through the coffee grounds.

As each of these coffee makers has been designed to use different methods of brewing coffee, you can naturally assume the brew result will be different too!

Here is a quick recap of the major differences:

 French PressPour OverPercolator
Brewing MethodImmersionInfusionSteam pressure
Extraction Time4 minutes2 to 4 minutes No longer than 10 minutes
TasteStrong and intenseSmooth and silkyStrong and bold

Let’s go now into further detail about their designs, brewing techniques, and the advantages of using each one.

By the end of the article, you’ll be well informed about making the best pick for your own coffee brewing experience.

The French Press: How Does it Work?

The French press is designed to brew coffee using the immersion technique. This means the coffee grounds are steeped in hot water over a certain length of time. Let’s look at the actual design of the French press to understand how it works.

A typical French press is made up of a glass cylinder and a plunger which includes the filter component. This filter is normally made with metal mesh. By the way, you can find some French press designs on the market with the cylinder component made from stainless steel. It includes insulation to help keep your brew warmer for longer. If you are looking for a French press, we recommend trying the Simpli Press French Press. With a 3 minutes brew time, the Simpli Press makes it really easy to customize the brew and clean the coffee maker.


French Press vs Pour Over vs Percolator


Your favorite coffee grounds are placed at the bottom of the French press and hot water is poured over. The plunger, which is set in the lid, is placed back onto the cylinder BUT the plunger is not pressed down just yet. You have to allow for the steeping of the coffee to take place first.

The immersion technique involves the coffee grounds being steeped in hot water for around 4 minutes. This allows for the flavors to be extracted. Once the set time has ended, you press down the plunger.

Your coffee brew is ready to be poured into your cup or mug. The mesh on the filter will ensure you won’t end up with grit in your French press coffee. Of course, getting the right flavor and strength depends on how much coffee you put into the French press and the steeping time.

The Pour Over: How Does it Work?

The pour-over is also known as drip coffee or filter coffee. If you want to show off your expertise at making the perfect brew, the pour-over is a great way to do it. That is if done manually! Also known as hand brewing, the pour-over technique takes some expertise and flair to get the right flavors and taste.

The equipment used to make pour-over coffee is simple. It entails a dripper device, normally cone-shaped, and filters. You can choose between paper filters or cloth filters. But, make sure the filter fits the dripper device properly. Bunching up the filter to make it fit your dripper will end up in a bad brew of coffee.


French Press vs Pour Over vs Percolator



The dripper device is fitted over your cup or mug. You can even place it on top of a coffee carafe if you’re wanting to make more than one cup of coffee. The filter is placed into this device and you scoop the coffee grounds into the filter.

Now, here is the part which requires some expertise from your side. Pour-over coffee involves the infusion brewing method. This is when hot water is constantly poured over the coffee grounds. The water flows through the grounds, extracting the flavors at the same time. As freshwater is added to the coffee grounds, the more the coffee flavors are extracted.

Bad pouring results in bad coffee! The manual pour over technique requires the water to be poured in such a way it’s not channeled through the grounds in one place. While the dripper device design and filters help to ensure water flows through the grounds, if you’re pouring incorrectly, you’ll lose out on flavors.

We have an in-depth comparison between pour-over vs french press if your choice is between these two brewing methods.

The Percolator: How Does it Work?

The percolator is considered by some coffee drinkers as the old-fashioned way of making coffee. It’s been around for a long time – since the 19th century actually. But it makes an excellent brew of coffee if you like your coffee strong and bold. The percolator lost some popularity when automatic coffee makers entered the market as they require less manual mastery.

The percolator is made up of different parts which include the pot, a thin vertical pipe, a basket that doubles up as a filter, and the lid. Percolators can either be powered by electricity or used on a stovetop which makes them convenient for cowboy coffee over the fire.


French Press vs Pour Over vs Percolator


Water is poured into the pot. Make sure you don’t fill over the top of the vertical pipe. The basket is placed onto the pipe, at the top. Scoops of coffee grounds are placed into the basket and the lid is put on firmly. Depending on which heating method you’re using, the percolator is now put onto the stovetop or switched on.

As the water heats up in the pot, steam is produced. The pressure from the steam pushes water up through the vertical pipe into the basket full of coffee grounds. This creates a “percolation” action as the coffee filters back down into the pot. This cycle continues until the brewing process is done.

The percolation timing is important. If the cycle continues for too long, you’ll end up with strong and bitter coffee. Once you get the hang of it, the percolator can be an easy method of brewing coffee exactly the way you like it.

The Advantages: French Press vs Pour Over vs Percolator

Now you know how each coffee maker works, let’s look at the advantages of each one.

What We Like About the French Press

  • It’s a quick and easy way of making your coffee. This is convenient when you don’t have a lot of time on hand to wait for your coffee to brew.
  • The French press is not expensive unless you go for a fancy design or brand name.
  • You can use pre-ground coffee or grind your own whole beans. Make sure the grind is not too fine though. The coarser grind is best for French press coffee.
  • You have control over the strength and flavor of your brew. You can add as much or as little coffee grounds as you want to. And, if you’re looking for a really strong brew to get you kick-starting the day, then allow the steeping time to stretch out to five minutes. But be warned – if you leave it steep for too long it’ll end up bitter.
  • French presses are easy to clean. Simply remove the grounds, wash with hot, soapy water, and rinse out. Run the plunger under warm water and leave it to dry.

French Press vs Pour Over vs Percolator

What We Like About Pour Over Coffee

  • Once you’ve mastered the pouring technique, you’ll benefit from getting the best flavors out of your coffee grounds.
  • You have control over how strong and flavorful you want your brew to be. But, don’t use a fine grind as you’ll end up with water sitting in the grounds for too long. You also run the risk of overflowing if you continue to pour water. Choose a coarse grind for this type of coffee.
  • It does take time but most coffee aficionados revel in the process of making their own coffee. Nothing quite beats the feeling of crafting your own special blend of coffee and if it takes time, so much the better.
  • Your friends will not only be impressed but they’ll appreciate your brewing techniques when you give them a delicious cup of pour-over coffee!
  • Manual pour-over coffee is one of the cheapest ways of making coffee.
  • The equipment used to make pour-over coffee takes up very little space. You can store them in a drawer, out of the way, without cluttering the kitchen countertop.
  • It’s easy to clean up after making your coffee brew. Toss out the coffee grounds from the filter if you’re using a cloth filter and rinse it out in warm water. If you’re using paper filters, dispose together with the coffee grounds. The dripper device is cleaned using hot water and soap.


French Press vs Pour Over vs Percolator


What We Like About the Percolator

  • If strong and bold coffee is your type of coffee you can be sure you’ll get it when you use a percolator.
  • The percolator is a simple piece of machinery to operate. The steps to brewing your coffee are straightforward once you know how to do it.
  • A percolator can be taken anywhere especially if it’s used on the stovetop. So, if you’re into camping and can’t do without your favorite coffee brew, take the percolator with you.
  • You’ll love the fresh aromas produced during the percolating process.
  • If you’re using a non-electric percolator, you’ll be able to manage the length of time the coffee brews. This gives you better control over the strength and flavor of your coffee. The coarser grind is best for percolating coffee.
  • Your coffee brew will be ready within 5 to 7 minutes depending on how strong you like your coffee.

Use the tips in this video to show you how to make perked coffee while keeping your partner happy!



Final Thoughts

When deciding between the French Press vs Pour Over vs Percolator for your favorite coffee brew, you’ll notice each method is unique. It’s always a personal choice, in the end, so decide which brewing technique appeals to you the most and go for it.

But, then again, you could always test out each one for yourself and then decide which is best. After all, isn’t that what coffee brewing is all about? Experimenting with techniques, flavors, and taste open up a whole new world for coffee drinkers. So, have fun with your coffee!