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Moka Pot vs Percolator – What’s The Difference?

Ryan Marshall
Last Updated: August 18th, 2023

There is a fair amount of confusion among coffee enthusiasts and even in the coffee industry regarding the difference between how Moka Pots and coffee percolators operate.

Both of these coffee-making devices capture the power of steam to make high-quality coffee beverages, and the Moka Pot is technically a form of percolator by design.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the difference between the Moka Pot vs Percolator, and help you decide if either is the right option for your home coffee-making needs.

Things To Consider Before Buying a New Coffee Maker

things before buying a new coffee maker

When searching for a new coffee maker, many people quickly become overwhelmed as there are dozens of different basic designs to choose from and hundreds of different individual models.

We have hand-selected four of the most important factors when it comes to searching for a new coffee-making device to help simplify the shopping process.

Cost and Budget

Some people assume that the most expensive coffee makers on the market are capable of producing the highest quality when in reality this is not the case. Higher-end machines boast a deeper list of features, but more basic devices are also capable of making very high-quality cups of coffee.

The Moka Pot and other styles of coffee percolators both make for great options when it comes to high-quality coffee on a moderate budget. They both utilize “low tech” designs that use external heating elements to create steam.

When searching for a new coffee-making device, a great place to start is to establish a set budget. Choosing a strict budget and sticking to it during the shopping process is the best way to ensure that you stay on track financially and have enough money left over to buy high-quality coffee beans.

Coffee Style

Another important factor to take into account when choosing your next coffee maker is the style of coffee that you enjoy most. Fans of stronger coffee will enjoy the coffee made by the Moka Pot, while those who enjoy more traditional coffee tend to prefer percolators.

One of the key differences between the majority of coffee percolators and the Moka Pot is the texture of the coffee grounds that are used. The Moka Pot used a combination of finely ground coffee with highly pressurized steam to make a flavorful and unique style of coffee.

Traditional coffee percolators, on the other hand, use medium-ground coffee in combination with steam that is far less pressurized compared to the Moka Pot. The resulting coffee when using a percolator is medium in strength and flavor, which is more similar to drip coffee.

Features and Design

Another important factor to take into account when choosing between different styles of coffee makers is the design of the device and what it is capable of. Those who prefer black coffee or more simple coffee drinks will be better off with more basic models, while others need options with more features.

One of the main factors that set some of the top machines on the market apart from more basic coffee machines is the addition of milk frothers. Milk frothers shoot highly pressurized steam into milk to make the base for lattes, cappuccinos, and other multi-step coffee drinks.

Looks and Style

While the Moka Pot and the majority of coffee percolators on the market are considered to be aesthetically pleasing to most, there are others who do not enjoy the shiny metallic finishes that are often on display with these devices.

There are a handful of different colors and finishes when it comes to both of these devices, but there is not much wiggle room in terms of their shape. Nearly all percolators and Moka Pots will look fairly similar, as their shape is an important part of how they operate.

Presenting the Moka Pot vs Percolator Devices

Moka Pot

Bialetti Express Moka Pot, 6 -Cup, Aluminum Silver
  • The original moka coffee pot: Moka Express is the original stovetop espresso maker, it provides the experience of the real Italian way of preparing a tasteful coffee, its unique shape and the...
  • Made in Italy: it is Made in Italy and its quality is enhanced by the patented safety valve which makes it easy to clean and its ergonomic handle, available in many sizes and suitable for gas,...
  • How to prepare the coffee: fill the boiler up to the safety valve, fill it up with ground coffee without pressing, close the moka pot and place it on the stovetop, as soon as Moka Express starts to...
  • One size for each need: Moka Express sizes are measured in Espresso Cups, coffee can be enjoyed in Espresso Cups or in larger containers
  • Cleaning instructions: The Bialetti Moka Express must only be rinsed with clean water after use, with no detergents, the product is not to be washed with a dishwasher as it will be irremediably...
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The Moka Pot is a traditional Italian coffee-making device that was invented in the 1930s to utilize a unique style of coffee-making using highly pressurized steam. Finely ground coffee beans are used with Moka Pots, which results in a strong and flavorful cup of coffee.

Many people believe the common misconception that Moka Pots are used to make espresso when in reality they produce a very strong cup of coffee. Espresso machines use a significantly higher amount of pressure to extract more texture from the beans compared to Moka Pots.

While it does not produce true espresso, the Moka Pot does make a style of coffee that is highly caffeinated compared to traditional coffee. For this reason, many people choose to enjoy smaller cups of coffee often referred to as “short pours.”


  • Produces a style of coffee that is very flavorful and strong
  • One of the most durable designs on the market
  • A great option for those who drink a fair amount of caffeine


  • Only able to make a limited amount of coffee at a time
  • Some people find Moka Pot coffee to be too strong
  • Requires a bit more work each morning compared to other coffee makers

Percolator Devices

Coffee Percolators use a similar process to Moka Pots, and Moka Pots are technically a style of highly pressurized percolator. Regular percolators, however, use far less pressure to make coffee, and a thicker, medium texture of coffee grind is used.

Percolators make for great options for those living in larger households with multiple coffee enthusiasts, as they feature a larger reservoir that is capable of making more cups of coffee at once when compared to Moka Pots.

Faberware is one of the top producers of coffee percolators on the market today, and the Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite is by far their top-selling model. It is capable of making 12 cups of coffee at a time, which is more than enough for a full household of coffee lovers.


  • Simple to operate and very durable
  • One of the more affordable options on the market
  • Makes a mild cup of coffee that is very smooth and flavorful


  • Requires a fair amount of effort to clean and “reset” for the next use
  • Some people prefer a stronger and more flavorful coffee
  • Requires the use of an open burner on the kitchen stove


alternatives moka pot vs percolator

 When it comes to different models and designs of coffee makers, there is no shortage of options on the market today. We have highlighted three popular coffee-making options to help you get an idea of what else is out there in terms of coffee makers.

1. Traditional Drip Coffee Machines

Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker with Auto Pause and Glass Carafe
  • Please refer to user guide or user manual or user guide (provided below in PDF) before first use
  • On/off indicator light lets you know when your coffee maker is on or off
  • Grab-A-Cup Auto Pause stops cycle if you need a cup before brewing is finished
  • Easy cord storage eliminates counter clutter
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The electronic drip coffee machine has been a staple all around the world for many decades, and it is by far the number one selling design when it comes to home coffee makers.

It utilizes an electric heating element to heat water that is then pumped upward and over the top of ground coffee beans.

Mr. Coffee is one of the top producers of traditional drip-style coffee machines, and they have a number of different models to choose from. Their 12-cup coffee maker is one of the top-selling drip coffee makers of all time, and it is a great option for larger households.

2. French Press Coffee Makers

The French Press is one of the most simple and popular designs in the world when it comes to making high-quality coffee at home, and it is a favorite among travelers and those short on space due to its compact design.

The French Press features a cylindrical design that is traditionally made out of thick glass. Ground coffee is added to the cylindrical carafe, and hot water is poured directly over the top of the coffee grounds. A plunger-like filter is then used to force the grounds to the bottom, separating them from the coffee.

One of the leading producers of French Press coffee makers on the market is Bodum, and the Brazil French Press model is one of their top sellers. It offers incredible value at just under $30, as it is very durable and used to make coffee that is very flavorful.

3. Pour Over Coffee Makers

Bodum 11571-109 Pour Over Coffee Maker with Permanent Filter
  • Note: 1)Too coarse a grind, too little coffee, or insufficiently tamping the grounds before brewing can all lead to inadequate pressure for a proper brew. 2)It is important to note that the amount of...
  • Does not trap essential oils of your Coffee in a paper filter, and makes a beautiful slow-brew
  • Includes a Permanent stainless steel mesh filter; no paper filters or capsules needed
  • Mouth-blown borosilicate glass, dishwasher safe
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The Pour Over is a simple design that utilizes an hourglass-like shape and gravity to make very flavorful coffee. Pour Overs have seen a major resurgence in terms of popularity over the past few years, and many people enjoy their simplicity and durability.

Bodum also produces one of the top-selling pour-over devices on the market, which costs less than $30 and is made of high-quality glassware along with a cork section for pouring.

The Bodum company is highly regarded as one of the top producers of kitchen-related glassware in the entire world.

Moka Pot vs Percolator – Conclusion

The Moka Pot and other styles of coffee percolators are great options for serious coffee enthusiasts who prioritize taste and quality each morning.

The Moka Pot produces a cup of coffee that is particularly strong and highly caffeinated, while traditional styles of percolators have greater capacities and make a more mild cup of coffee.

About The Author

Ryan Marshall

Ryan is a full time freelance writer who can most often be found on the disc golf course or local coffee shop when not behind a keyboard. He is an avid traveler and lover of all things sports and outdoors. Ryan is also a certified level one sommelier, and is endlessly curious about the world of high end beverages. Writing about wine, coffee, and other specialty beverages has given him a chance to take a deeper dive into his research, and he loves helping people find the perfect drink for their palates and preferences!

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