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FAQ About French Presses and Percolators

There are few greater pleasures in life than finely brewed coffee in the morning. Not to mention in the afternoon, and at night. Ok let's face it: good coffee is welcome any time of day. But unless you plan on giving big coffee chains half your paycheque, you're going to need a home brewing coffee maker. French press and percolators are the most popular coffee brewers in the world, so let's answer some frequent questions about them.

What's the difference between the French press and the coffee percolator?

The biggest point of differentiation between a French press and percolator is that a percolator heats the water before brewing while a French press is filled with hot water. This means the resulting coffee is going to be hotter coming out of percolator, but that's not always necessarily for everyone. The French press also takes longer to brew, as the water passes through the beans, and your coffee is poured at a more temperature-regulated.

As opposed to the percolator's easy plug-in and pour process, French presses are manually operated with a push-down mechanism. This gives you more control to adjust variables and get the coffee exactly the way you like it.

What should I look for when buying a French press?

Choosing a French press is easy and you'll find a massive amount of selection out there. You're probably going to choose between glass and plastic, which might factor into how clumsy you are in the morning before that first cup of java. Make sure you get the right press for whether you are a coffee or tea drinker. Check to see if the tea press is built for loose tea or tea bag steeping or both.

What should I look for when buying a coffee percolator?

Percolators come in three versions -- stovetop, microwave, and electric. The electric percolator is by far the most popular for its convenient plug-in and pour system. These percolators do not require monitoring and will notify you when coffee is ready to go. Stovetop percolators are placed over a cooktop burner and can deliver a great tasting hot beverage. However, you have to keep an eye on them not to boil over. Same with microwave percolators, which is actually the most energy efficient of the three.