How to Choose the Best Coffee Percolator

Coffee percolators – you either love them or hate them! Those who love them would never have coffee made any other way!  The great thing about percolators is that they make good, hot coffee, in about the same time as a drip coffee machine, and the coffee has plenty of strength. People who don’t like them say that they burn the coffee, but they are pretty quickly shot down by percolator fans. If you are reading this, you probably love percolated coffee, so here are some tips on how to choose one.

Stove Top or Automatic

Stovetop percolators are easy to use and clean, but more difficult when it comes to temperature regulation.  The automatics are…well, just that….everything is automated, including the critical temperature.  One important factor is that when a stovetop model has done its job, you take it off the stove.  Some automatic models have a “keep hot” setting, which can burn the brew. Of course, it is a recurring theme with automatic coffee makers generally, so one must balance the convenience against the risk of burning the brew.

Make and design

coffee-percolatorWhen looking at the model, be sure to read the user reviews.  Some of the most popular makes, which were superb in the old days, have taken a knock in quality in recent years.  You also need to know how fine the sieve is in the coffee filter basket.  If it is not fine enough, many people use filter paper disks to prevent the finer grounds from seeping through, or alternatively, you can use a coarser grind, which may result in some loss of flavor.

Be sure to get a model that is constructed from stainless steel, or has been enameled. Aluminum models tend to alter the flavor, especially as the pot gets older.

Speed of prep and perc

How long does it take to come up to temperature? Once it switches to perc mode, how long before your brew is ready?  The ideal time is about four minutes, which is the same that you need for a french press or a drip machine.

Ease of cleaning

Keeping the pot clean is one of the secrets of making good brews for many years.  But how easy is it?

Here are some tips on how to use your percolator to the best effect, a review of the best stovetop model, and a review of the best automatic percolator.