Best Coffee Percolator

The coffee machine has become one of the most important pieces of kitchen equipment today, whether it be in the home or at the workplace, we all love a quick, easy and great tasting cup of Joe.

But what if you are a person who loves the great outdoors and also still wants to enjoy a nice cup of coffee?

You can’t exactly drag your coffee machine around with you, can you?

That is where the old trusty and reliable coffee percolator comes in.

The coffee percolator takes us back to a time when brewing coffee used to be seen as much more of an art.

Some see coffee percolators as being an old fashioned way of making coffee but, while this technique has been around for centuries, it still works with great success and is much the same as using a moka pot.

It seems like another lifetime ago that coffee percolators were all the rage, but they were mainstays in millions of American kitchens from the early 1900’s to the 1970’s.

Unfortunately the rise of better tasting instant coffee and the rise of faster,  more efficient drip coffee makers spelt the beginning of the end for the beloved percolator. 

However, there are still plenty of people around who still enjoy the old coffee percolator.

There is no denying that using a coffee percolator gives off that stunningly beautiful coffee smell, which just leaves us craving coffee more than ever.

Yet there is the slight issue of the coffee becoming over-extracted, which a lot of people are not a fan of.

When it comes to using your ground coffee in the coffee percolator, you do manage to get all the goodness of the coffee, with the good coffee compounds and the delicious flavours disolving into the water.

At the same time though, we also get some of the bad ones too, which is not ideal for the biggest coffee lovers around.

In order to combat this issue, you just have to have the time and patience to keep a watchful eye on your coffee as it is brewing.

Too often, people will walk away and leave it on the stove, only to return when they hear it is boiling.

If you really want your coffee to be perfect, then you really do need to keep an eye on it.

The best way that you can possibly try and stop the over extraction of your coffee, when using a coffee percolator, is to lower the heat of the stove when it is getting too hot, in order to prevent it from boiling.

Alternatively, just make sure that you take it off the before it begins to boil.

Three Potential Buyers of a Coffee Percolator?

Of course, anyone and everyone can buy a coffee percolator if they so wish, but there are three main groups of people who tend to be the biggest fans of the humble percolator.  

Coffee Percolator Devotees

The first group of fans, are a group of people that I have labelled as devotees.

As I mentioned earlier, coffee percolators were incredibly popular for most of the twentieth century.

Tens of millions of Americans were born and raised in households that in part were “powered” by coffee made in percolators. 

And many of these people still love nothing more than a cup of coffee made in a percolator. 

After spending so many of their years growing up with a coffee percolator in their home, it is no surprise that they want to stick with what they know and keep their routine to what has always worked for them.

If it is not broke, then don’t fix it, and so these people see no real reason to change their ways, and why should they.

If they don’t subscribe to the latest trends in the coffee brewing world, such as the K Cups, Nespresso Capsules, or the single serve machines, they why would they choose them over what they know and love?C

Adventurers

The second group of people who are likely to want to choose a coffee percolator over a coffee machine, are those who love the great outdoors and want to enjoy a good quality cup of coffee while sitting around the campfire or during a long day of hiking. 

Coffee Purists

Finally we have the coffee purists, who like to try any and every technique possible in coffee brewing, in their everlasting quest to find that elusive perfect cup of Joe.

A coffee purist will have a number of different machines and contraptions, making different types of coffee with different techniques, and you can guarantee that they will have a coffee percolator in their life.

Advantages of a Coffee Percolator

Coffee percolators have many advantages and in this section I will discuss the six most important. 

Brews at a High Temperature 

The first advantage of coffee percolators is that they brew coffee with water which is almost boiling hot and that is the ideal temperature for coffee to be brewed at. 

This is in complete contrast to many other popular methods of brewing coffee in which the water used to brew the coffee is cooler than this.

These methods include many single serve coffee makers and the pour over method. 

Brews Stronger Coffee

The time that it takes a percolator to brew a coffee, compared to other brewing methods, is quite long.

The increased time that the hot water and the coffee grounds spend together leads to a stronger cup of coffee because the grounds have transferred more of their goodness to the water. 

More Flavor

See point above!

Brewing Control

Coffee percolators are simple machines and this gives a user an incredible amount of control.

The first way in which you can experiment is with the ratio of coffee grinds and water.

Next, with stovetop models you can experiment with the temperature of the hob, which will affect the time it takes the coffee to percolate. 

And finally, you can experiment with the time that you decide to stop the percolation. 

 Many inexperienced users of coffee percolators, wander off after they have turned the stove on and only return to it when they have heard it bubbling away for 15 seconds or so.

This approach 

Wanderlust

Because percolators are such simple machines which do not rely on electricity and because many models are built from durable stainless steel or enamel, they are ideal for coffee nuts who love camping, hiking or the outdoors in general. 

Disadvantages of Coffee Percolators

  • Over-Extraction
  • Temperature Control
  • Slow Brewing Time
  • Difficult to Master
  • Easily Messy
  • Difficult to Clean

Buying Guide for Coffee Percolators

What to Look for in a Coffee Percolator

If you are someone who is not too familiar with a coffee percolator but you are interested in purchasing one, then there are a few things that you will need to look out for and be aware of.

Below is a list of some of the best features which you should bare in mind when buying a coffee percolator.

Type

Percolators come in two main styles- stove top or electric.

Stove top percolators are designed to be placed on a stove and heated via a gas flame or an electric ring.

Electric percolators come with an electrical lead and a wall plug and are powered by mains electric.

Material

Most leading coffee percolators are made from either stainless steel or borosilicate glass.

A much smaller number are made from a coated enamel.

If you are going to use your percolator in the kitchen, then the choice is between stainless steel and borosilicate glass. 

The biggest difference between these two materials is how they look. Will a stainless steel or glass percolator suit your kitchen more?

It might be stating the obvious but stainless steel is a more robust material than glass.

And so, if you have a tendency to be a bit clumsy (I know that I do), stainless steel has got to be your first choice.

Coated enamel percolators were originally designed for outdoor use- just think about some of those Westerns that you have watched with the cowboys sitting around the camp fire. 

It is a tougher exterior than stainless steel, protecting the percolator from all the knocks and scrapes that come with being carried and used “here, there and everywhere!”

Handle

The last thing that you want to happen just as your coffee is ready to pour is to pick up the percolator only to squeal in shock at how hot your hand feels.

Your percolator needs a stay cool or heat resistant handle.

Most models in my comparison have plastic handles which are an almost perfect material because of how heat resistant they are.

The one issue with plastic is that it melts when hot.

If you are ordering a stove top percolator, make sure that the handle is not over a naked flame!

Tight Fitting Lid

A coffee percolator can only work at its best if it has a tight fitting lid which locks the heat in.

And a tight fitting lid is also a necessary safety feature because as you are pouring your coffee, the lid won’t fall off and potentially burn you. 

Clear Knob

This feature might surprise you and it did bewilder me at first.

If you are buying a stainless steel percolator, look for one with a transparent knob on top of the lid.

This is for all you eagle eyed percolator fans out there who like to watch the percolation, step by step. 

Metal Filter

Most top selling models of coffee percolators have highly effective metal filters as standard. 

This is fantastic because it saves you having to buy single use paper filters and if you are taking your percolator on a camping trip, it is one less item that you need to remember to take.  

  • Cleaning: Dishwasher Proof
  • Pouring: An Easy Pour Spout

Key Features of an Electric Percolator

  • Coffee Ready Light
  • Keep Warm Temperature
  • Detachable Cord
  • Stay Cool Plastic Base

Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Coffee Percolator

Details

Features

While the Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Coffee Percolator is a mouthful to say, it also gives you a great mouthful of coffee.

It might not be the most beautiful to look at but it is definitely practical, with the stainless steel casing being accompanied by a stay cool handle.

This coffee maker is easy to use, delivers great flavours and as it is available for a reasonable price, it really is money well spent.

While it is easy to see how this is perfect for those of you who love to go camping, it is also versatile enough that you could also use it at home.

Features

  • Easy-Grip Stay-Cool Handle
  • Design Compliments Any Home Kitchen Set
  • Brews an Impressive 8-Cups
  • Easy to Clean and Dishwasher Safe
  • Durable and Versatile
  • Fixed Filter Basket
  • High Quality Stainless Steel
  • Perfect for Camping
  • Lifetime Warranty

Like it? Buy Here

Euro Cuisine Electric Percolator 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Pot Maker

Details

Features

Rise and shine and start your day the right way, with a perfectly brewed cup of coffee from the Euro Cuisine 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Pot Maker.

The colour and design make it perfect for any home and from the recent reviews it seems like it is also perfect for newbies to coffee percolators.

At $80 it is a bit on the higher end of the market but if you are someone who values the rich and fresh aroma of a morning cup of coffee, then this is still definitely worth the money.

If you want that delicious flavour ready for you in the morning, then you can set it up at night, put on the timer and wake up to a freshly brewed cup of Joe.

Features

  • Rich, Steaming Hot Coffee
  • Keeps the Coffee Warm
  • Glass Peek Knob Top
  • Easy to Pour
  • Easy to Clean
  • Looks Good in the Kitchen
  • Easy to Use
  • Brews 12-Cups of Coffee
  • Drip Free Spout
  • Stay-Cool Handle

Intrigued? Buy one here

Hamilton Beach 40616 Stainless-Steel 12-Cup Electric Percolator

Details

Features

At 12 cups of coffee a time, the Hamilton Beach 40616 Stainless Steel Electric Percolator delivers a nice big batch of fresh tasting coffee.

The price is a bit of a tricky one, since it seems to range from $30 to $50 depending on where you are buying it.

If you can get it for $30 then you have a bargain on your hands.

With the mirror chrome finish, this does not look out of place in any kitchen and, with the the detachable cord, it is easy to put away in the cupboard if you do not want it left out on the side.

Speaking of the cord though, the lead is quite short, which has caused issues for some people, while others have complained about it look “cheap”.

But, at $30 this is definitely value for money.

Features

  • Delicious Hot Coffee
  • Easy to Pour, Drip Free Spout
  • Auto Keep Warm
  • Chrome Mirror Finish
  • Ready to Serve Light
  • Detachable Cord
  • Permanent Filter Basket
  • Easy to Clean
  • Easy to Use

Interested? Find out more

Coleman Stainless Steel Percolator, 12 Cup

Details

Features

The best thing about the Coleman 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator has to be the fact that it is not only perfect for those of you who love the outdoors but it is also perfect for home use too.

Also, while it is promoted as a 12-Cup Coffee Maker, you can actually get 14 cups out of it.

The downside to this Coffee Percolator has to be the fact that it is actually quite fragile and, if you do not read the instructions properly, it is likely that you will experience some sort of crack or break.

As well as that, the grounds filter also leaves a lot to be desired. With that said though, at a price ranging between $30 and $50, you could do a lot worse that this.

Features

  • Brews 14 Cups (More than the 12 advertised)
  • Free Replacement for Broken Parts
  • Made from Stainless Steel
  • Brews a Consistent Cup of Coffee
  • Quick to Brew
  • Easy to Clean
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to Use
  • Perfect for Camping
  • Ideal for the Kitchen

Buy a Coleman 12 cup percolator here

Medelco 1-PK008-BL 8-Cup Glass Stovetop Percolator

Details

Features

If you are someone who is looking for a good coffee percolator for your home, at a good price, then this glass percolator could well be the one for you.

However, if you are someone who is looking for camping coffee, then you are going to want to find something which is stainless steel, so not this.

Some people have complained that the quality of the Medelco 8-Cup Percolator is lacking and that the cap is susceptible to breaking, as well as not being pleased that it is plastic on the inside. But the fact that you can pick one of these up for less than $20 makes it worth the gamble.

Features

  • Lab Quality Borosilicate Glass
  • Heat-Tolerant Stay-Cool Handle
  • High Quality Coffee
  • Dishwasher Safe
  • Brews 8 Cups
  • Thermal Shock Resistance
  • Easy to Use
  • Easy to Clean
  • Durable Pot

Buy a Mendelco glass percolator here

Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker

Details

Features

There have been a few people who have had a few issues with the Presto 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker, with some moaning about the aluminium nut inside, while others have complained about it being too loud.

While these are definitely things to consider, there are also plenty of positives for it.

This coffee maker has a design which is a throwback to the percolators of old, so if you are into the retro things, and you love a fresh tasting cup of coffee, then you should definitely consider this.

The coffee tastes great, it is easy to use, and at around $40 you could do a heck of a lot worse than this. It’s not the best out there but it does a solid job.

Features

  • Makes 12 Cups with Ease
  • Keeps the Coffee Fresh and Hot
  • Durable and Compact
  • Detachable Cord
  • Made of Stainless Steel
  • Low Wattage
  • Auto Brew Ready Light
  • Looks Great
  • Easy to Use
  • Easy to Clean
  • Tastes Great

Buy a Presto percolator here

Coletti “Bozeman” Percolator Coffee Pot – 9 CUP Stainless Steel

The biggest concern you need to know about the Coletti “Bozeman” Percolator Coffe Pot would definitely have to be the amount of people who have complained about it being dangerous. According to the reviews, this vibrates heavily on the stove and is susceptible to breaking quite easily. As well as that, you are only really going to get 4 or 5 cups out of it and, for the price you are paying it is quite expensive.

While this is definitely not a coffee percolator that you should even really consider for use in your home, it is something that you could look at if you are the outdoorsy type. Bear in mind though, that you will need to use it with caution and that at around $50 there are better options out there.

Features

  • Brews 9 Cups of Coffee (if you are lucky)
  • 20 Filters are Included
  • Easy to Clean
  • Good for Camping
  • Permawood Handle
  • Glass Cover Knob
  • Dishwasher Proof
  • No Plastic
  • No Power Cords

Buy a Coletti Bozeman here

Cook N Home 8-Cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Coffee Percolator

Details

Features

Anyone who has ever used the Cook N Home 8-Cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Coffee Percolator cannot deny that it makes a beautiful tasting cup of Joe, full of rich flavours.

Unfortunately though, in order to get that beautiful tasting coffee, you have to endure the issues that come with it.

This pot lacks any form of real durability, the design is terrible, especially the lid and the filters, and it just seems to break so easily.

If you don’t mind putting up with a poor quality pot in order to get a good quality coffee, then this is could be worth your consideration but it is not in the same league as other brands in this price range.

Features

  • Mirror Polished Stainless Steel
  • Retains Heat Well
  • Brews 8 Cups
  • Removable Filter Basket
  • Easy to Clean
  • Tight Seal Lid
  • Drip Free Spout
  • Dishwasher Safe
  • Great Tasting Coffee

Buy a Cook ‘N Home percolator here

Coleman Enamelware Percolator 14-Cup

Details

Features

The first issue you are likely to notice with the Coleman Enamelware Percolator 14-Cup is the fact that there is a major design issue with the lid, which is almost impossible to get on.

After that, you will notice that the basket does not sit right and leans to one side. Then there is the flimsy aluminium material which a toddler could destroy.

It is hard to find anything positive to really say about other than it is not very heavy, so it is easy to use on your camping trips.

The pouring is quite good and the taste is not terrible. At a price in the region of $40 you are better off not wasting your money, as there are many better quality coffee pots than this.

Features

  • Lightweight
  • Brews 14 Cups
  • Quick to Brew
  • Wide Base
  • Good for Camping
  • Double Coated Enamel
  • Easy to Clean
  • Stainless Steel Rims
  • Long-Lasting

Buy a Coleman enamel percolator

Farberware 12-Cup Percolator Stainless Steel FCP412

Details

Features

First things first, this is a dangerous Coffee Percolator, which begins to burn after just a few uses and, if you are not careful, could actually catch fire and do some serious damage. If you want to take the risk of ending up homeless due to a faulty heating element, then that is on you, but this should be avoided at all costs.

There are some positives about the Farberware 12-Cup Percolator but I don’t want to run the risk of talking you into actually purchasing one. For that reason also, I am not even going to give you a feature list. Just avoid at all costs!

Buy a Faberware 12 cup percolator

Best Coffee Brand for Percolator

Why is Koffee Kult the best coffee brand for percolator?

Let’s be honest.

There is no such thing as the best brand of coffee for your percolator or for any other coffee brewing method.

As it all depends on what you are looking for in a brand of coffee.

For most of us it will mostly be about the taste but to lots of other people factors such as ethical standards will play a part. 

In the chart below are coffees from a coffee brand that I think is great.

If you are looking for the best brand of coffee to use in your percolator, then give it some thought.

Let me explain briefly why Koffee Kult are the best brand.

I have chosen Koffee Kult as my favorite coffee brand because;

  • their coffee tastes great and it is very popular. 
  • their range includes ground and whole bean
  • their range includes a variety of blends and roast

There are many different factors that make It all depends on personal taste.You are a keen coffee fan who regularly drinks coffee.

Not content with drinking the easy and instant “crap” that so many of your friends do, you have got yourself a percolator.

And know in your continued hunt for the perfect cup of “Joe”, you are doing a bit of research on the best brand of coffee to use.

Am I right? Or not even close? 

Either way, there is some good news and some bad news when it comes to finding a good coffee brand.

But before all of that, take a look at the chart below.

It contains some different coffees from the best brand of coffee for your percolator.

You are searching for the best brand of coffee to use in your KK is the best brand because it offers a very wide choice of ground beans and whole beans.

If you are searching for the best brand of coffee to use in your percolator then I have some good news and some bad news.

Let’s start of with the bad news…

Let’s presume that you are looking for the finest brand of coffee because you want the most delicious cup of coffee.

The brand of coffee that you use, is only one of many important factors in creating that golden cup…

And the good news?

The other important factors are easy to follow tips to use with your percolator.

What Makes a Good Brand?

A good brand has a wide range of ground and whole bean coffees.

The finest beans

There are two main types of coffee beans; Arabica and Robusta.

And the most popular coffees contain 100% Arabica beans.

Whole Bean

The best cup of coffee that you will drink will come from whole beans that you have ground yourself.

As long as those beans have not been sitting in the back of a cupboard for the past year.

The freshness of your coffee plays a massive role in the quality of its taste and buying whole beans is the way to do this.

A terrific brand must have a selection of whole bean coffees.

Ground Coffee

Let’s be honest.

Not everyone has the time, equipment or motivation to grind their own coffee.

And so a good brand needs a wide variety of whole bean coffee

Wide Variety

Hang on, I have already mentioned this!

To be clear, what I mean by a wide variety is that the coffee brand has single origin packs (single origin means that the coffee comes from one specific region, such as Colombia) or as blends (packs of coffee that contain beans or grounds from different regions of the world, such as Costa Rica and Ethiopia.)

Roasted Fresh

Coffee is a perishable food item.

As soon as it has been roasted, it starts going stale.

Whole coffee beans take longer to stale than ground beans.

A good coffee brand is very quick to get their roasted coffee on sale

Money Back Guarantee

Any good company knows the importance of having happy customers. One way is to have a no quibble satisfaction guarantee.

Great Feedback

Koffee Kult Medium Roast (Whole Beans)

Details

Features

This is a pack of whole beans, which gives you the control to make your favorite grind.

Medium roast is the recommended level of roast for your percolator.

This bag  is made up of 100% arabica beans.

The cupping notes for this pack are that it has a big body, with a medium acidity and a crisp sweet finish.

This 32 oz. pack is part of Koffee Kult’s Roaster Direct range, which means that these beans have;

*A roasting date on the pack.

*Shipped within 24 hours of being roasted.

How is that for freshness?

Koffee Kult Colombia Huila (Whole Beans)

Details

Features

The next pack of whole beans is a blend from Colombia.

From a mountainous region called Huila.

Interestingly, although these beans are all grown in the same region, this coffee is not listed as “single origin”.

I am not sure if that is just a mistake on the listing.

Here the beans smell like chocolate and have a sweet and smooth taste.

Looking at the feedback, this is a well liked coffee.

Users love the strong aromas coming off the coffee and the smooth and strong flavor that it has without the bitterness.

Many of them are repeat buyers, which is a very good sign.

Koffee Kult Sumatra Mandheling (Ground Coffee)

Details

Features

The first pack of ground coffee in my comparison is a single origin pack from Indonesia.

Grown in Sumatra, the Mandheling variety of beans (named after an ethic group of people) produce lots of flavors including chocolate and liquorice.

It is also the first bag of ground coffee.

The taste is best described as earthy and aromatic, it is mostly sweet with a slight acidity.

This is another very popular coffee.

Users love the deep syrup-like flavor of the coffee and that it has a strong flavor with no bitterness.

Koffee Kult Medium Roast (Ground Coffee)

Details

Feature

This is the same coffee as the first bag in our comparison, but this bag is ground coffee.

As it is ground coffee, in order to keep it fresh, drink it as soon as possible.

Koffee Kult Colombian Decaf (Whole Beans)

Details

Features

This is the first bag of decaf coffee in my comparison.

The beans in the bag are decaffeinated naturally using water instead of chemicals.

You can read more about the process here.

This coffee tastes of cinnamon with a smooth and heavy flavor.

The feedback for this coffee is great.

Users are impressed that a decaf coffee can taste this good.

Koffee Kult Colombian Decaf (Ground Coffee)

Details

Features

Our second bag of Colombian decaf is a ground coffee.

And that is the only difference between the first and second bags.

Best Coffee Grinder for Percolator

In today’s post, I want to think about the question “Which is the best grinder for a percolator?”

And this question builds on a previous article that I wrote about the types of coffee that you use in a percolator.

Astounding as it might sound, choosing the right coffee grinder is thought by many baristas to be the single most important factor in making great coffee.

That is hard to get your head around when most caffeine addicts focus much more on the type and blends of coffee bean or on the method of brew than they do on the buying a great coffee grinder.

So let’s find out what is so magical about these devices…

How to Pick the Right Grinder for Percolator

There are three main types of coffee grinders; 

  • Manual or Hand Grinders
  • Electric Blade Grinders 
  • Burr Grinders

Each one of them has their strengths and weaknesses.

Manual or Hand Grinders

If you have one of these devices, your coffee is ground by hand by turning a handle round and round until your grind is the right size.

There are three different types of manual grinder- wooden, glass and stainless steel.

Advantages of a Hand Coffee Grinder

  • Beautifully Design: compared to other types of coffee grinder, hand coffee grinders are pieces of art.
  • Quiet: there are no loud motors to make a noise.
  • Portable: perfect for campers and adventurers that want fresh coffee wherever they are.
  • More Control: because the grinding takes longer you have more control and more opportunities to check the size of the grind

But it is not all a bed of roses. Manual coffee grinders have their disadvantages as well.

Disadvantages of a Hand Coffee Grinder

  • Effort: manual grinders require more effort as you provide the power!
  • Time:manual grinders take longer to grind.

Who Should Buy One?

Manual grinders are for people who not only love drinking great coffee, but love making it as well.

They are for people who have the time to take that bit longer to create the perfect blend.

These people love detail and have a vast knowledge of all things “coffee”.

My favourite manual coffee grinder

JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder, Conical Burr Mill, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • Built-in adjustable grind selector with over 18 click settings ensures you have 100% precision control over the coarseness of your Pour Over, Drip, Chemex, Cold Brew, French Press, Percolator, AeroPress, Turkish, Espresso, Keurig K Cup, Herb, or Spice grind.
  • No batteries, power, or long plastic cords needed to operate your portable compact coffee grinder, allowing you to travel with and brew freshly roasted ground coffee beans on your next camping, hiking, backpacking, or outdoors trip.
  • Convenient removeable hand crank mechanism consistently eliminates over 90% of the noise that electric grinders produce. Imagine grinding your favorite java roast quietly in an office cubicle or in your kitchen when your loved ones are fast asleep.
  • Crafted with the same essence as traditional Japanese cookware, our patent-pending ceramic combo burrs are design tested through three professional grade inspections to last 5x's longer than stainless steel blades.
  • What Our Amazon Customers Say: "Holy cow is this grinder awesome!" "The only slim coffee grinder for my home!" "Just purchased 3 more for family and friends" "Earns its 5 star ratings and reviews with ease!" "One of the best deals for any coffee lover" "Perfect coffee is back in my life!" 100% Money-Back Guarantee. Order today while supplies last.

Electric Blade Grinders

Electric blade grinders are the most commonly used grinders.

The stainless steel blade looks like a small propeller.

It revolves at a very high speed and chops up the beans,

They are powered by electricity.

Advantages of Electric Blade Grinders

  • Cheap 
  • Fast
  • Small

I think that those advantages are simple and obvious enough to not need a more in depth explanation. 

Disadvantages of Electric Blade Grinders

  • Ugly: Most of these grinders are made from plastic. Need I say more?
  • Consistent Grind: Electric blade grinders do not create coffee grounds that are a consistent size, because the “fineness” of the grounds depends only on how long your grind for.  
  • Coarse Grind: Electric blade grinders do not create quality coarse grounds, because of the limited length of “grind time”.
  • Burns: The electric blades rotate so quickly that they generate heat and this can burn the grounds. 

Who Should Buy One?

Let’s face it, electric blade grinders are not ideal- particularly for use with percolators.

I think that they are tools of necessity.

What do I mean by that?

Electric blade grinders will suit the following types of people;

  • first time “grinders”
  • people on a budget
  • users who don’t have lots of time. 

My Favorite Electric Blade Grinder

Sale
Mueller HyperGrind Precision Electric Coffee Grinder Mill with Large Grinding Capacity and HD Motor also for Spices, Herbs, Nuts, Grains and More
  • CONSISTENT GRINDS EVERY TIME - Unlike many others on the market, the Mueller HyperGrind gives you perfect consistency & precision control over the coarseness of your Javapresse, Pour Over, Drip, Chemex, Cold Brew, French Press, Percolator, AeroPress, Turkish, Espresso, Keurig K Cup, Herb, or Spices grind EVERY TIME!
  • COMPACT & STYLISH - Takes up minimum counter space and can be easily stored in cupboards and drawers but with its great modern Eurocentric styling, you just might want to leave it out in the open.
  • QUALITY ABOVE ALL ELSE - Crafted with the same essence as traditional German precision machinery, our Mueller HyperGrind Precision Grinder is designed and tested through three professional grade inspections to outlast and outperform the competition!
  • ORDER NOW RISK-FREE! - 100% Money-Back Guarantee, no questions asked! Order today while supplies last.

Burr Grinder

There are two types of burr grinders- flat and conical.

They are made from either metal or ceramic. 

A burr grinder has two abrasive surfaces (or burrs.)

One of the burrs moves, whilst the other is stationary. 

The distance between the burrs determines the size of the grounds.

The burrs spin round at high speed, trapping and crushing the beans in between them.

This crushing action is different to the chopping or dicing action of the electric blade grinder.

Crushing is a much better way of producing coffee grounds than chopping- you will have much more flavour and the quality of your cup of coffee will be higher.

However, this quality and consistency comes at a (much) higher price- which comes as no surprise.

But what are the other pros and cons of burr grinders?

Advantages of a Burr Grinder

  • Consistent “ground” size: a burr grinder will produce a batch of grounds that are uniform in size. 
  • Larger batches: Burr grinders tend to be bigger than hand grinders or electric blade grinders and so you can grind larger batches of coffee

Disadvantages of Burr Grinders

  • Price: Burr grinders are much more expensive
  • Size: They tend to be much larger than hand grinders or electric blade grinders. 

Who Should Buy One?

The cost of a burr grinder would put most percolated coffee drinkers off buying one.

But if you love your percolated coffee and money is not an issue then this could be the grinder for you.

Another potential buyer could be a coffee lover that needs to make large batches of ground coffee.

Now, just because you have the perfect grinder for your percolator, doesn’t mean that you will automatically get great tasting coffee.

And if you are struggling to reach the dizzy heights of “coffee perfection” when you use your percolator, you might want to look at changing a few things around a bit.

My Favorite Burr Grinder

Sale
Ariete -Delonghi Electric Coffee Grinder - Professional Heavy Duty Stainless Steel, Conical Burr - Ultra Fine Grind, Adjustable Cup Size, 15 Fine - Coarse Grind Size Settings
  • CUSTOMIZE YOUR GRIND, with the 15 GRIND SETTINGS you can customize the grind for your percolator, urn, or French Press (coarse), drip coffee (medium), or espresso machine (fine), with the simple push of a button.
  • ULTRA FINE GRIND: Heavy duty conical burr disc allows for ultra-fine grind, and is suitable for Turkish coffee. Sleek designed, will complement any decor and save lots of counter space
  • EASY CLEAN: Automatic locking bean hopper can be removed with beans inside. Grinding head assembly can be easily to clean thoroughly. This professional grade burr grinder is very easy to operate.
  • DeLonghi-Ariete: World famous coffee machine brand, with years of experience, provides you the best on the market coffee grinder for your coffee refreshment.
  • ADJUSTABLE CUP SIZE:Choose the amount of coffee you want to grind with a push of a button, The unit is ETL certified so you can be confident that you're receiving safe, efficient, high quality appliances.

Percolator Brewing Mistakes

If, when you use your coffee percolator, the taste isn’t quite to your liking, then you are making one of three common mistakes;

  • Wrong coffee to water ratio
  • Wrong size of grind
  • Percolation too long

It is important to note that, if you do follow this trouble shooting guide, that you only change one of these elements at a time.

Don’t change the ratio and the size of coffee grind at the same time because then if you still don’t like the result, you will not be 100% sure why not…

Wrong Coffee to Water Ratio

It is recommended that you use 1 tablespoon of coffee grinds to 1 cup of water.

But don’t make the same mistake as I did when I first started to use a percolator.

1 cup of water in coffee terms means 4 oz of water and not 6 or 8 oz!

Wrong Size of Coffee Grind

The best grind size for percolator is a coarse grain- about the same size as the flakes in kosher salt or sea salt.

If your grounds are too fine, then your coffee might be over extracted (or have too much flavour) and taste bitter and hollow.

The reason for this is that the coffee grounds are so small that the water has absorbed too many of the compounds.

If you grinds are too big then your coffee will be under extracted (with little or no flavour) and it will taste sour or salty.

The reason for this is that the coffee grounds are so big that the water can’t absorb enough of the compounds that give off flavour.

But it is important to note that the general size of the grounds is not the only issue “grind related” issue.

There are two other main issues.

Firstly, very often, batches of coffee grounds are not consistently one size- coarse grounds might also contains some medium size grounds or visa versa.

Batches that contain different sizes of grounds will make “bad” coffee because some of the grounds will be under extracted and some over extracted.

Secondly, if the beans have been ground using electric blade grinders then it might be that the grounds have been burnt in the process.

Many electric blade grinders use very powerful motors (in order to get the job done quickly) but this short burst of power can also create so much heat that the grounds are burnt.

Percolation Too Long

The final common mistake that is often made when coffee is made in a percolator is that the percolation process goes on for too long.

This is a hard part of the process to get right because it will differ from percolator to percolator and because it depends on the other factors discussed above such as the size of your coffee grounds and the coffee to water ratio.

The best thing to do is to record the amount of time that you leave your coffee to percolate or “perk”.

If your coffee tastes too bitter, then next time reduce the “perk” time and if is tastes to sour, increase the “perk” time.

Recommendations for “perk” times vary between 5 and 7 minutes.

Verdict

Realistically the best coffee grinder for a percolator is a burr grinder because of the superior quality of grounds that they produce.

But burr grinders are just so expensive that everyone but the most die hard percolator fans will faint at the thought of spending so much.

Manual grinders offer the best balance between price and end product.

They are reasonably priced but will produce a top quality coarse grind that is uniform in size.

But, how many of us have seriously got that much time?! And can we be bothered with the effort?

I fear not.

And so what we are left with is a race to the bottom!

Electric blade grinders are cheap and they grind beans in seconds.

But they look so bland and blah, blah…

But if you really must buy an electric blade grinder, do yourself a favour and get the very best!

What Kind of Coffee Do You Use in a Percolator?

Today I learnt something new.

Using a coffee percolator is one of the most criticised and unpopular ways of making a cup of coffee.

And to think that it is one of my most favourite methods!

Oops…

I found this out as I was researching the answer to the frequently asked question, “What kind of coffee do you use in a percolator?

For those of you who just want some recommendations of the best coffees to buy, the chart below shows my top six. 

Caribou Coffee, Caribou Blend, Ground, 20 oz. bag, Smooth & Balanced Medium Roast Coffee Blend from the Americas & Indonesia, with A Rich, Syrupy Body & Clean Finish; Sustainable Sourcing
Koffee Kult - Medium Roast Coffee Beans, Whole Bean Coffee, 32oz
Kicking Horse Coffee, Three Sisters, Medium Roast, Whole Bean, 2.2 lb - Certified Organic, Fairtrade, Kosher Coffee
AmazonFresh Colombia Whole Bean Coffee, Medium Roast, 32 Ounce
Starbucks Breakfast Blend Medium Roast Ground Coffee, 20-Ounce Bag
Peet's Coffee Café Domingo, Medium Roast Ground Coffee, 12 Ounce Bags (Pack of 2) Smoothly Sweet, Balanced, Bright Medium Roast Blend of Latin American Coffees, with A Crisp, Clean Finish
Brand
Caribou
Koffee Kult
Kicking Horse Coffee
Amazon Fresh
Starbuck's Breakfast Blend
Peet's Coffee
Size
20 oz.
32 oz.
2.2 lb | 35 oz
32 oz.
20 oz.
12 oz. (x2)
Grind
Ground
Whole Bean
Whole Bean
Whole Bean
Ground
Ground
Price
$10.98
$25.99
$29.99
$15.49
$12.69
from $8.98
Caribou Coffee, Caribou Blend, Ground, 20 oz. bag, Smooth & Balanced Medium Roast Coffee Blend from the Americas & Indonesia, with A Rich, Syrupy Body & Clean Finish; Sustainable Sourcing
Brand
Caribou
Size
20 oz.
Grind
Ground
Price
$10.98
Details
Koffee Kult - Medium Roast Coffee Beans, Whole Bean Coffee, 32oz
Brand
Koffee Kult
Size
32 oz.
Grind
Whole Bean
Price
$25.99
Details
Kicking Horse Coffee, Three Sisters, Medium Roast, Whole Bean, 2.2 lb - Certified Organic, Fairtrade, Kosher Coffee
Brand
Kicking Horse Coffee
Size
2.2 lb | 35 oz
Grind
Whole Bean
Price
$29.99
Details
AmazonFresh Colombia Whole Bean Coffee, Medium Roast, 32 Ounce
Brand
Amazon Fresh
Size
32 oz.
Grind
Whole Bean
Price
$15.49
Details
Starbucks Breakfast Blend Medium Roast Ground Coffee, 20-Ounce Bag
Brand
Starbuck's Breakfast Blend
Size
20 oz.
Grind
Ground
Price
$12.69
Details
Peet's Coffee Café Domingo, Medium Roast Ground Coffee, 12 Ounce Bags (Pack of 2) Smoothly Sweet, Balanced, Bright Medium Roast Blend of Latin American Coffees, with A Crisp, Clean Finish
Brand
Peet's Coffee
Size
12 oz. (x2)
Grind
Ground
Price
from $8.98
Details

And for those of you that want to buy the best coffee for your percolator, click here

Each of these coffees is described in much more detail later.

But, for now, I want to look in more depth at how to make great coffee using a percolator.

What is a coffee percolator?

A diagram of a coffee percolator (Source: Wikipedia)

Percolation is a process by which a liquid moves (or filters) through a porous substance.

In the case of coffee, it is when steam moves through ground coffee.

A coffee percolator is a sealed “jug” that consists of several compartments.

Source

At the bottom, is a chamber that holds the water.

Sitting above the water is a smaller container that has a vertical tube that sits in the water.

Ground coffee sits in the container and the bottom of the chamber acts like a filter.

How does a percolator work?

This video shows how a coffee percolator works

The video above demonstrates how a coffee percolator works.

The most common type of percolator is stove top.

These percolators sit on an electric ring or gas ring.

As the water in the bottom chamber heats up it will begin to boil and then turn into steam.

When this happens, the steam moves up the tube and enters the top chamber, where it turns back into water.

The hot water spills over the ground coffee and then percolates through the grinds and falls back into the bottom chamber as coffee.

Types of Percolator

Generally, there are two types of coffee percolators;

  • stove top percolators
  • electric percolators

History of the Percolator

There have been three “prototype” coffee percolators that have brought percolators to where they are today.

Prototype #1

Thompson’s coffee pot

Benjamin Thompson invented the first percolating coffee pot, sometime between the 1810 and 1814.

Like many inventions it can trace its roots back to the military.

Benjamin was a British man working in the Bavarian Army and he was a reformer.

He wanted to make soldiers healthier by providing them with an easy way to make coffee, instead of drinking alcohol!

Prototype #2

The second prototype was created by Joseph-Henry-Marie Laurens, a French man, in 1819.

Importantly, Joseph’s pot could be heated on a stove.

Prototype #3

The third and final version was created by Hanson Goodrich, an American farmer, in 1889.

Including a broad base, a central tube and a basket Goodrich’s “invention” was not very different from those of today.

Source

Advantages & Disadvantages of a Percolator

Let’s get the disadvantages out of the way first!

Central to the argument about percolators making “bad” coffee is that the temperature of the water is too high to make great coffee.

Water in a percolator boils (reaches 100 °C), whereas the best coffee is made with a water temperature of 95 °C.

And that 5 °C or (12 °F) makes all the difference.

Other disadvantages to using a coffee percolator are;

  • Over Extraction: this is when the ground coffee and water have been percolating for too long.
  • Messy: percolators, relatively speaking, are harder to clean than other brewing methods.
  • Helicopter Brewing: making coffee in a percolator is not a set it up and leave it method. In order to get the best cup, you need to hover over the stove to watch the process.

However, to prove that making coffee in a percolator it is not all bad news, let’s have a look at the advantages. 

  • Simple & Cheap: There is not much that can go wrong with a percolator and because of this they are very cheap.
  • Economical: Not only is the device cheap, but using your own ground coffee is also a very economical way of making coffee.
  • Eco- Friendly: Unlike modern single serve coffee makers that use plastic “pods” or “capsules” to deliver the perfect “shot” (and then end up in landfill) , percolators just need spoons to deliver the perfect “shot”.
  • Electric Free: Stove top percolators don’t need any electricity to power them. They can be heated on any gas stove which makes them very popular with coffee loving campers and walkers.
  • Compulsive Viewing: If you have a glass percolator then the process of making coffee is a visually awe inspiring event.

How To Use a Percolator

Step 1: Make sure that all the components in your percolator are clean.

Step 2: Pour cold, fresh water into the bottom of the chamber- there should be a “maximum level” mark to show how much water to use.

Step 3: Put the “grounds basket” onto the stem and then “spoon” some coffee grounds into the basket.

A standard measurement is one level tablespoon per cup of coffee- but you can play around (a little) with this measure until the taste is perfect!

Step 4: Place the cover on top of the basket

Step 5: Place the lid on the percolator

Step 6: Gently warm on the hob, until the water starts to “perk”- the boiling noise as the water travels up and out of the stem.

Step 7: Lower the heat and let the coffee perk for about 5 minutes. Experiment with the length of time. If you like your coffee quite bitter, you might want to leave it a bit longer.

Step 8: Take the percolator off the stove.

Step 9: Pour into a cup and enjoy.

If following this method creates a great cup of coffee for you, that is brilliant.

But, there will be many people out there who need to make little adjustments in order to get a cup of coffee that is more to their liking.

In the next section, we will look at some common troubleshooting issues

Troubleshooting Percolators

As with all things coffee, the aim is a perfect cup of “Joe” but sometimes that doesn’t happen.

Despite your best efforts, your coffee tastes “errghhh”…

But don’t panic, you just need to experiment a little.

There are three elements to making coffee in a percolator that you can change but it is important that you only change one of them at a time.

Why is that?

Because if you make more than one change at the same time then you don’t know which of the changes has succeeded or failed.

And the three elements are;

  • Ratio of water to coffee grounds
  • Size of coffee grinds
  • Size of coffee grinds

But before we look at these elements I want to show you a coffee taste chart that looks at how the taste changes depending on whether the coffee is under or over extracted (or brewed.)

The three tastes of “brewed” coffee (Source: SenseCuador)

All coffees, even the most expensive, can be under and over extracted.

If coffee is under extracted it will lack sweetness and taste sour or salty and the taste will not linger on your tongue!

If your coffee is over extracted, amongst other things it will taste bitter and dry.

However, a perfect coffee will taste sweet and ripe (labelled “floral”) and have a great finish.

Now that the different tastes of coffee have been explained, let’s explore the three main ways that we can influence the flavour.

Ratio of water to coffee grounds

The first element to change is the ratio of water to coffee grounds.

If your coffee tastes too watery then try reducing the amount of water that you use.

But, if your coffee tastes too bitter, then you might try increasing the amount of water.

Size of Coffee Grounds

If your coffee still tastes “so, so” then the next thing that you can change is the size of the coffee grounds.

The larger or coarser the particles (or grinds) of coffee, the more likely it is that your cup of coffee has too little flavour (under extracted.)

In contrast, the smaller or finer the particles of coffee, the more likely it is that your cup of coffee will have too much flavour (over extracted.)

It is recommended that the size of coffee grinds to use in a percolator are coarse- about the same size as kosher salt.

However, don’t rigidly stick to this advice.

If you think that you can get a better tasting cup of coffee by varying the size of the grind, then experiment!

Length of Percolation

The final element that you might want to change, is the length of percolation.

As was mentioned in an earlier section, the recommended duration of percolation is 5 minutes.

But once again, if you coffee is too sour percolate for longer and if it is too bitter decrease the time of percolation.

What is the Best Roast?

Having looked at how the size of the coffee grounds affects the taste of percolated coffee, it is time to move on and think about the best type of roast to use in a percolator.

Roasted coffee is defined by the shade of brown (or brown/ black) that the beans are after roasting.

There is a coffee color spectrum from light to very dark and the longer a bean is roasted for (or the higher the temperature that it is roasted at) then the darker it will be.

However, none of this is an exact science.

Firstly, raw coffee beans (which tend to be green) vary widely in color depending on where they were grown in the world.

For instance, beans grown in Mexico will be a different shade of green to those grown in Honduras.

Secondly, different varieties of beans will taste differently even if they are roasted at the same temperature and for the same length of time.

There are 4 main categories of roasted coffee;

  • Light
  • Medium
  • Medium Dark
  • Dark

As a great starting point for brewing coffee in a percolator, buying a medium roast is your best bet.

Best Roasts for Your Percolator

Caribou Blend Medium Roast (Ground | 20 oz.)

This is a 20 oz. bag of medium roast ground coffee

Details

  • Medium Roast
  • 20 oz. 
  • Ground coffee

Description

Using only the top 1% of coffee beans, this immensely popular ground coffee tastes sweet, spicy and with a hint of berry. 

As if that isn’t enough, these beans are certified Rainforest Alliance. 

Koffee Kult

This is a 32 oz. bag of medium roast whole bean coffee

Details

  • Medium Roast
  • 32 oz. 
  • Whole Bean

Description

Made by a family owned and artisan coffee roaster, these beans are fresh and are backed by a no questions asked, satisfaction guarantee.

These are 100% arabica beans which provide a smooth and bold flavor with a crisp, sweet finish. 

Kicking Horse Coffee

Description

  • Medium Roast
  • 2.2 lb | 35 oz.
  • Whole Bean

Description

“Wake up and kiss ass” is the motto of Kicking Horse coffee.

Roasted in the Rocky Mountains in Canada, these arabica beans are organic and fair trade. 

Sourced from Indonesia, Central and South America this blend of beans provide an aroma which is like sweet dried fruit and toasted coconut and deliver tastes of sweet tobacco, stone fruits and cocoa.

“Mmmm hmmm”…

Amazon Fresh

Details

  • Medium Roast
  • 32 oz.
  • Whole Bean 

Description

This pack of whole bean coffee contains medium roasted arabica beans from Colombia, which has a subtle citrus aroma and tastes of cocoa and brown sugar. 

Starbucks Breakfast Blend

Details

  • Medium Roast 
  • 1.25 lb | 20 oz. 
  • Ground

Description

The most popular chain of coffee shops in the world sells bags of coffee for you to enjoy at home. 

And this much loved breakfast blend coffee is the perfect way to wake up, with a lively and citrus tang- which is “more toasty than roasty”. 

Peet’s Coffee

Details

  • Medium Roast
  • 12 oz.
  • Ground Coffee 

Description

Don’t be deceived, for this price you get x2 12 oz. bags.

These packets of “Cafe Domingo” contain ground coffee beans from three Latin American countries. 

And these packs are full of fresh coffee as each pack has a “Roasted On” and “Freshest By” date.  

Conclusion

In this post, hopefully I have answered a couple of basic questions about kind of coffee that you should use in a percolator (a medium roast coffee that is coarsely grounded.)

But by going into much more details on certain related topics I have given you a much wider understanding of how coffee percolators work and how they make great tasting coffee.

This should leave you with enough confidence to experiment as you make coffee in your percolator.

To adjust the size of the coffee grinds, alter the ratio between the water and the coffee grinds and to change the duration that the coffee is perking, in order to get closer to that perfect cup of “java”.

Good luck and enjoy the ride!