Monday, January 3, 2011


Percolators are not considered the best appliances for brewing coffee. There are some good reasons for that. The operating principle is to get boiling water (and steam) through the coffee ground placed above the pot, in a basket, until all the flavors have been washed; the resulted coffee flows back into the pot.

Percolator components

  • the percolator coffee pot
  • the lid
  • the funnel
  • the filter basket
  • the filter top
Most coffee experts don't recommend using a percolator, just because with this type of appliance it is very easy to break the rules of accurate coffee brewing, and more likely two of them:
  1. Do not boil coffee.
  2. Do not pass water over the coffee grounds more than once.
However, this doesn't mean it is impossible to make good coffee using a percolator! It just needs to be used correctly:
  • place the percolator on the stove top at medium heat;
  • remove the percolator after the first brewing cycle is done (5-6 minutes, to prevent the resulted coffee from boiling);
  • use coarse ground coffee;
  • sometimes it helps if you can recognize that "done" color of the coffee in the pot (for glass percolators that is);
Still, you can't get anywhere near the espresso-deli using a percolator. These are different brewing methods with different results. Speaking of results, the percolator or urn coffee is stronger and has a bitter taste. Some people just like it that way.
When using a percolator, it is recommended to grind coffee more coarsely. Otherwise, the coffee will be over-extracted, bitter-tasting and will easily precipitate on the bottom of the cup.

Types & Prices

Percolators can be the stove-top type (stainless steel or glass percolators) and the electric type.
The modern percolator is electric and programmable. Sizes also vary. The smallest percolator can brew 1 cup of coffee at a time. The largest - around 12 cups.
Urns are percolators using the same brewing procedure, but of higher capacity. The largest urn can brew over 100 coffee cups at one time.
The most appreciated trade mark for percolators is Farberware. A Farberware percolator sells from $14 (the simplest) to $150 (the 55 cups size urn)


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