So, a coffee percolator perhaps is just a name being passed around among the avid coffee lovers. And you’re probably more curious now to know about it?
Whether you need it or not, and what to look for in the best coffee percolator, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will walk you through all the basics you need to know regarding coffee percolators, step by step.
- Editor’s choice – Farberware 50124 Classic Yosemite Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator
- Premium pick – Presto 02822 Stainless-Steel Coffee Percolator
- Best value for money – Cuisinart PRC-12 Classic Stainless-Steel Percolator,
What is a Coffee Percolator?
If we got a dollar each time someone asked us what a percolator is, we’d probably be a millionaire by now. But since that hasn’t been the case, we’ll go ahead and demonstrate the monstrous goodness a coffee percolator is to help take your coffee brewing game up a thousand notches.
So, what’s a coffee percolator you say?
Right off the bat, it’s not a drip coffee maker.
‘Percolate’, as the term suggests, means a liquid or gas to be gradually filtered by passing it through a penetrable surface repeatedly. Similarly, a coffee percolator ‘percolates’ coffee.
To put it simply, a coffee percolator is a coffee-making pot that brews coffee by continuously circulating boiling water through coffee grounds until the desired strength of the coffee is reached.
A coffee percolator usually consists of two layers. The bottom layer contains the water and the top layer contains the ground coffee, covered by a permeable filter paper.
Here you can see more about using a coffee percolator.
Classification Of Percolators
Percolators actually come in different versions and can have different brewing methods.
Different versions indicate the different types of heat sources required to make coffee in a percolator. There are three different versions of percolators available in the market these days.
- Stovetop or Manual Percolator
- Electronic or Automatic Percolator
- Microwaveable Percolator
Stovetop Coffee Percolator Reviews
As the artist Flash Rosenberg says, “I believe humans get a lot done, not because we’re smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee”. And making coffee is what we’ll do with stovetop percolators.
Stovetop or manual percolators obtain heat from an external source. The heat source for stovetop percolators can be campfires, grills, or simply, a stovetop.
Apart from having to remove the pot from the heat source once brewing is done, there’s really not much you have to do.
Stovetop percolators take around 5-8 minutes to brew coffee, this time varies depending on the percolation method (discussed below). Any time over 10 minutes on the stove will burn the brew and make the coffee taste bitter and dry.
Stovetop percolators are loved by campers and explorers of the wild. Primarily because they can be carried around on trips or on visits to campsites and can make a mean cup of coffee, withstanding the harsh environment.
But if you’re not an outdoor enthusiast and would rather not spend time, attention, and effort to indulge in a coffee brewing session, you can sit this one out.
Electric Coffee Percolator Reviews
Electronic or automatic percolators don’t need an external heating source as they already contain an internal heating source. This heating source is electricity.
Electric percolators have more features than their stovetop counterparts and are more convenient to use. All you have to do is plug it in, add water and coffee grounds, then wait.
Perhaps read the newspaper while you’re at it?
Electric percolators usually take 7-10 minutes to brew coffee. Once it’s brewed, the percolators adjust the heat so that the coffee stays at a drinkable temperature.
However, one downside is that you cannot use electric percolators in the absence of a power supply, like when you’re out on camping.
Microwave Coffee Percolator Reviews
A microwave percolator brews coffee in a microwave. Just add the water and coffee grounds, then put it in the microwave.
How is Coffee Brewed in a Percolator?
Percolators can brew coffee in two different ways-
- By gravity
- By pressure
Gravity Type Percolators:
Gravity type percolators continuously circulate the boiling brew through the coffee grounds to reach the required strength of coffee. And they acquire this using gravity.
A gravity percolator’s composition consists of two layers and a vertical tube. The bottom layer holds the water and the top layer holds the coffee grounds.
The coffee grounds are covered with a permeable filter paper. The upright tube goes from the bottom of the pot to the top.
First, the pot is filled up with water, such that the water level is below the base of the top layer. Then the pot is placed on a heat source.
The water gets carried by tube, over the grounds, to the top of the pot. The water then trickles through the grounds, leaving the top layer, and dropping back to the lower layer, forcing more water upward.
This process keeps on repeating itself until the temperature of the liquid reaches its boiling temperature. At this point, the perking stops and the coffee is ready to be drunk.
For a manual percolator, it is important to remove or reduce the heat source at this stage. As brewed coffee will have a bitter taste if it’s left on high heat for too long.
Pressure Type Percolators:
Contrary to the gravity percolator, pressure percolators work by pressuring water to pass through coffee grounds. Such pressure is obtained by boiling the water to form steam.
The steam then creates a pressure that forces the water to penetrate through the coffee grounds, resulting in strong, concentrated coffee.
Components of a pressure percolator are usually made of metals and the pot includes a bottom layer to hold water, a middle layer to hold coffee grounds and an upper layer to hold the freshly brewed coffee.
Some pressure percolators don’t even have the upper layer. For those percolators, there’s a bent tube at the upper part that directly drips the coffee onto a cup.
First, the pot is filled with water and placed on a heat source. As the water starts to boil, steam is generated.
The steam forces the water into the coffee grounds. The seeped coffee is then collected on the topmost layer.
Why Should You Buy a Percolator?
Now, we love to address ourselves as true coffee connoisseurs. And how do we dare say that if we haven’t given percolated coffee a try?
Agreed, percolated coffee has a more bitter taste than other coffee. But, as life passes, you learn to appreciate the bitterness.
Apart from appealing to only self-proclaimed coffee gourmets, a percolator is also a very useful tool for an average coffee drinker.
Lower Price Point:
Compared to other coffee brewing machines, a percolator is cheaper. So, buying it leaves a small hole in your pocket.
Save Counter Space:
A percolator is a compact device that takes up minimal space. A stovetop percolator is light, small, and easy to store away. An electric percolator may not be as light but still is compact and has many features that promote hassle-free storage.
Nothing can stop your love for coffee now, not even low budget or limited storage space!
So, rediscover the robust aroma and taste of percolated coffee with our top choices below.