How to make coffee using a percolator

Coffee is a hot beverage that many people enjoy. It can be made in many different ways, but the most common way is to use a percolator. A percolator uses boiling water and coffee grounds to create steam inside

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How to make coffee using a percolator

In a world dominated by drip espresso makers, single-serve espresso pods, and different fancy coffee-making devices, some old-school coffee-brewing strategies, just like the percolator, have managed to face up to the take a look at of time.

We gained’t deny that the percolator is quaint – You may’ve even seen one dusted off a couple of times in a last-ditch effort to brew beans by the campfire.

Reading: How to make coffee using a percolator

However like tremendous wine, the stovetop percolator has solely improved with age. And when the percolator technique is perfected, this tried-and-true brewing technique produces a significantly stellar pot of espresso.

So, whether or not you’ve by no means used a percolator, otherwise you simply occurred to uncover this relic in your attic, we’re right here to stroll you thru the ins and outs of percolating your beans so you’ll be able to relax and revel in a scrumptious cup of joe.

What Is a Percolator?

red percolator

Consider it or not, earlier than the start of the drip espresso maker, the percolator was the American hero of the coffee-brewing business.

Its creation was meant to raise the coffee-drinking expertise by introducing a brew technique that will produce a cup of joe that was “free of all grounds and impurities so that it is not necessary to use any clearing materials.”

It’s useful to needless to say previous to the beloved percolator, of us have been nonetheless making espresso by dumping espresso grounds into boiling water.

The stovetop percolator modified the sport by providing a coffee-brewing technique that repeatedly cycled sizzling water by espresso grounds utilizing gravity. This technique not solely allowed coffee-lovers to have extra management over the power of their brew, nevertheless it additionally systematically eliminated a lot of the unstable espresso compounds.

The Good, The Unhealthy, The Ugly

You may be questioning why the percolator kind of fell out of favor.

Sadly, the identical innovativeness that aided within the percolator’s rise to stardom, additionally ended up being its achilles heel.

Though the percolator is notorious for delivering a customizable and daring brew, it additionally requires a substantial quantity of effort – particularly when in comparison with a recent drip espresso maker.

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The percolator is consistently exposing your espresso grounds to excessive temperatures, and this fixed recirculation of almost-boiling water means your espresso beans are much more vulnerable to over-extraction.

Over-extraction in the end results in a bitter brew, and if there’s one factor that’ll smash a coffee-drinker’s day, it’s sour-tasting espresso.

In different phrases, this isn’t a laidback brew-method. Mastering the artwork of percolating espresso requires a eager coffee-eye, just a little little bit of babysitting, and a willingness to know correct water temperatures.

All of that stated, the espresso aficionado will nonetheless recognize {that a} percolator is flexible, permits for extra management over the coffee-brewing course of, is extremely sturdy, and delivers a notoriously strong cup of joe (should you’re into that type of factor).

How you can Make Espresso With a Percolator

So, how do you grasp the artwork of percolated espresso? Though the percolator is a bit more difficult than a drip machine, making a tasty cup of percolator espresso is definitely so much simpler than you may assume.

What You Want

  • Espresso (Ideally recent complete beans)
  • Espresso Grinder
  • A Warmth Supply
  • Filtered Water
  • Measuring Cup or Spoon
  • A Percolator

Maintain Your Percolator Clear

It goes with out saying, however you don’t wish to be sipping on day-old espresso residue. All the items of your percolator should be cleaned after every use. Don’t overlook to scrub within the stem!

Use Freshly Floor Beans

We all know there can be occasions the place you’ll be able to’t grind your beans proper on the spot, however utilizing freshly floor, high-quality beans is a significant factor with regards to taste. Grinding your personal beans additionally provides you extra management over the ultimate product – A medium grind will maintain bitterness at bay.

Measure your Espresso and Water

No matter your prefered brewing technique, espresso to water ratio issues. The SCAA’s Golden Cup ratio, 55 grams of espresso per liter of water, is an efficient place to start out.

However consider, the percolator espresso is a notoriously daring brew, so in case your espresso is simply too sturdy, strive decreasing the quantity of espresso and growing the quantity water.

Fill the Percolator with Water

When you wouldn’t usually drink faucet water straight from the spigot, you shouldn’t use it to brew your beans. Add chilly, filtered water to the percolator reservoir.

Assemble the Percolator

Usually, you’ll want to connect the basket (which can be housing your espresso grounds) to the stem. After these two items are assembled, you’ll place them into the pot. When you’ve assembled your percolator accurately, it is best to nonetheless have a lid-shaped piece of the percolator put aside – the basket lid.

Read more: How to use a tea infuser teapot

Not all percolators are created equal, so we advocate you at all times learn the directions that include your pot.

Add the Espresso Grounds

Now it’s time so as to add your pre-measured espresso grounds to the basket and fasten the basket lid. As soon as the basket lid is secured, shut the lid of the percolator.

Time to Brew!

When you’re utilizing an electrical percolator, all you’ll have to do is plug it in and switch it on. Modern, electrical percolators are sometimes autonomous and can cease brewing on their very own.

When you’re utilizing an old school, stovetop percolator, after you add the pot to a warmth supply (i.e. campfire or range), you’ll wish to keep watch over the pot. Percolator professionals advocate commonly checking the colour of the espresso by the glass or plastic knob.

You may as well use this helpful clear knob to test the temperature of your pot. Because the water within the pot begins to warmth up, you’ll see bubbles periodically forming within the knob. Don’t panic – this implies your espresso is brewing.

Conversely, if the effervescent turns into too constant, your espresso is at risk of being over extracted and bitter. That is the place observe and endurance is vital – someplace between too sizzling and never fairly sizzling sufficient is a bubble that’s good.

As soon as your percolator espresso brew is effervescent on the proper price, set a timer for 6-8 minutes. Once more, the brew time boils down to non-public desire, so in case your cup comes out just a little too weak, let your subsequent batch brew for just a little bit longer.

Clear Up

After you’ve efficiently brewed your first batch of espresso, fastidiously take away the percolator from the warmth supply.

Then, pop the pot open and toss out the steaming, percolated grounds. Lastly, shut the lid and pour your self a well-deserved, scrumptious cup of espresso.


No matter you do, don’t get discouraged in case your first batch of percolated espresso wants some fine-tuning. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill, push-of-a-button cup of joe.

Percolating espresso takes time and it’ll most likely take greater than a single try and hone in your percolator expertise. However when you do, you’ll by no means have a look at your drip espresso maker the identical once more.

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