All You Need to Know About Coffee Percolators

Coffee percolators are the in thing right now. They help you brew the tastiest coffees possible. Find out all there is to know about coffee percolators, their uses and benefits.

Let’s get started, shall we?

What is a Percolator?

A coffee percolator is a device that uses a continuous cycle of brewing water to make coffee. Until the invention of automatic drip machines, coffee percolators were the most popular method of brewing and enjoying coffee

Coffee percolators are still in use because they can extract some of the volatile compounds found in the beans. The aroma produced by the coffee percolator is highly aromatic, despite a slight compromise in flavor. 

What Does a Coffee Percolator Look Like?

A coffee percolator is made out of a pot with a small chamber at the bottom. The heat source is closest to the chamber. This chamber is connected to the top of the coffee percolator via a vertical tube. The perforated chamber is located just below the tube’s upper end.

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1. Major Types of Coffee Percolator

There are two types of coffee percolators based on ease of use: manual and automated. Automatic coffee percolators sport an internal heating element and use electricity as their primary heating source. Manual Percolators, on the other hand, use external sources of heat. 

Other types of coffee percolators include:

  1. Manual coffee makers
  2. Automatic drip machines
  3. Vacuum coffee machines
  4. Stovetop coffee makers
  5. French press coffee makers

2. Details on the Different Coffee Percolators Available

  • Manual Coffee Percolators

The majority of people still prefer manual coffee percolators. Many coffee junkies respect it as well. It’s also a filter coffee maker or a manual drip coffee brewer. A cone filter holder, as well as a carafe, are included in these coffee percolators. 

A lid for the carafe is found on several of these percolators. Carafes are typically composed of heat-resistant glass, with some having a plastic handle.

  • Automatic Drip Percolator

Automatic drip coffee percolators are the most well-known coffee makers on the planet. It’s sleek and swiftly produces a delicious cup of coffee. It has an automatic shut-off feature and replaceable water tanks. There’s even a pause and serve button on it.

  • Vacuum Coffee Percolator

While making coffee, the elegant vacuum coffee percolator is a sight to behold. It’s especially good for more delicate coffees. Vacuum coffee percolators achieve a temperature balance. It can also brew a delicious cup of coffee in about 30 minutes.

On the other hand, you can find French press coffee percolators almost anywhere. This coffee percolator’s filter will be either stainless steel or nylon. It’s ideal for busy coffee shops and customers who are constantly on the go.

Fun Facts about Coffee Percolators

A physicist first invented coffee percolators! It was completed by Count Rumford, also known as Sir Benjamin Thompson, an American-born British physicist.

He was also a notable soldier who made substantial contributions to the military. Between 1810 and 1814, he is thought to have created the percolating coffee pot. His hatred for tea and alcohol inspired him to invent the percolator and promote coffee’s energizing effects.

Hanson Goodrich, an Illinois farmer, patented the contemporary stovetop percolator that we know today. On August 16th, 1889, he was given a patent with 408707. 

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How Does a Coffee Percolator Work?

  1. Pour in the Coffee

A particular amount of coarse-ground coffee is placed in the top area of the coffee percolator. The appropriate quantity is poured into the chamber of the pot. The heat source beneath the percolator heats the water at the bottom chamber. 

  1. Bring the Pot to Boil

The water at the chamber’s bottom begins to boil, resulting in bubbles. These bubbles rise because the idea is similar to an airlift pump. The airlift pump works based on compressed air as the sole energy source. 

The liquid rises swiftly because the buoyancy of the air is smaller than the density of the liquid. The water gradually rises the vertical tube and out the top. 

  1. Allow to Seep

The perforations on the lid’s top spread the water evenly over the finely ground coffee. The water seeps down through the coffee grinds and into the bottom of the coffee chamber.

The Benefits of Using a Coffee Percolator

There are various advantages to brewing coffee with a percolator. Here are a few of our personal favorites:

  • Great Flavor

The percolation technique produces a rich, full-bodied coffee with a delicious flavor to please any coffee enthusiast.

  • Adjustable Strength

You may modify the amount of time your coffee is allowed to brew to tailor the strength of your coffee. You have more control over the final brew as a result of this.

  • Cost-effective

A percolator is an excellent solution for individuals looking to save money on coffee. It’s one of the most cost-effective methods for brewing coffee at home.

  • Versatile

 You can use a percolator to make coffee, tea, and even hot chocolate. As a result, it’s a versatile option for any kitchen.

  • Convenience

The percolator is a straightforward, easy-to-use, and clean coffee maker. There’s a low chance of technological difficulties, and it only takes a few minutes of your time.

  • Portable

A percolator is an excellent choice for people who enjoy camping or other outdoor activities. It’s convenient to take with you everywhere you go!

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How to Make Coffee with a Percolator?

To brew coffee with a percolator, follow a few simple steps.

1. Measure the Coffee Bean

Measure and grind coffee beans. Take 20 to 22 grams (two teaspoons) of coffee beans and measure them out. Grind the beans to a medium-coarse consistency, similar to that required for an espresso shot.

2. Boil

In a second kettle, bring water to a boil. Then pour the hot water into the percolator’s base. Place the coffee grounds in the filter basket. Give it a good shake to spread the grounds evenly. Place the filter basket at the base.

3. Screw the spout-equipped top to the Base.

Take caution since the bottom will be hot. To be safe, use oven mitts or a dishrag. 

4. Preheat the Burner

Next, set the percolator on top of the heat source. It is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions

5. Brew Your Coffee

A percolator works by forcing hot water through a tube to soak the coffee grinds using pressure progressively. Keep an eye on the temperature of your water. Reduce the heat if your coffee starts to bubble out the top. Increase the heat if it appears to be slow. 

6. Leave to Seep

Turn off the heat under the percolator. Remove the coffee from the heat source as soon as it has finished percolating.

7. Filter and Enjoy Your Cup of Coffee

Filter the liquid and discard the spent grounds before serving your coffee. 

The Best Way to Store a Percolator

Always store your percolator in a dry and cold location when not in use. This will extend the life of your percolator and prevent it from rusting or corroding in any way.


  • How Much Coffee Should I Use?

It’s tough to answer this question because percolators don’t have clear water and coffee measurements! However, you should only fill your percolator halfway with water as a general guideline (adjusting up or down based on your personal preference). Depending on how strong you prefer your coffee, four teaspoons of ground beans will create roughly 4-6 oz. of brewed joe.

  • How Do I Clean My Percolator?

Always remember to clean up after yourself. A build-up of oils and coffee residues will not only spoil future pots, but it will also serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. Yuck! Use a mild detergent and warm water to clean your percolator, making sure to rinse thoroughly afterward. If there’s any extremely persistent residue, a vinegar solution (1-part vinegar to 1-part water) might be used.

  • What Is The Best Grind Size For My Percolator?

If you’re going to use a percolator, coarsely ground beans are the way to go (which is the total opposite of what you want to do when using a French press). More water will flow through coarsely ground beans, resulting in a stronger and more flavorful drink.

  • How Long Should My Percolator Brew For?

After the percolator has finished boiling, you should let it brew for around 5-7 minutes. This allows more coffee particles to drop to the bottom of the container, preventing over-extraction. If your percolator never seems to get hot enough, try boiling your water on a high heat instead – it will speed up the process and give you a nicer cup overall!

  • Can I Use My Percolator to Make Tea?

While using a percolator to make tea is technically conceivable, it is far from optimal. Percolators are designed to allow water flow in a specific direction; the hot brewed liquid does not mix with the tea leaves, giving you less flavor control.

  • Is It Okay If My Percolator Leaks?

No. A tight-fitting lid is crucial for preventing leaks, so if the liquid is pouring out of the top of your percolator, it’s time to replace it.

  • What is the Difference between a French Press and a Percolator?

While both equipment brew excellent coffee, the effects are rather different! French press is recognized for its extraordinarily rich flavor profiles. The difference in the flavor profile is because it employs coarsely ground beans and does not extract oils as much as percolators, 

On the other hand, Percolators are best at releasing the flavors and producing less acidic brews, making them an excellent alternative for individuals who want a less acidic cup of coffee.

Final thoughts

Nobody said brewing with a percolator was difficult – in fact; many people consider its ease to be one of its advantages! The percolator might be the correct choice for you if you’re seeking a classic coffee brewer that’s still popular today. So go ahead and look at all of the models available; we promise you won’t be disappointed.


Keep reading: Best Vintage Coffee Percolators

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