A coffee percolator can be classified as a pot that is used primarily for brewing coffee. The process involves the cycling of water that has a temperature of around 195 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit into the coffee beans to release its aroma and brew it to perception. Coffee percolators are a popular household appliance in the early 1970s, but the invention of electric coffee makers resulted in the decline in the number of percolators manufactured. Users of percolators are pointing out that the resulting coffee from using the equipment is more aromatic compared to the coffee made by electric means.

How to Use a Coffee Percolator
Coffee Percolator

There are two types of coffee percolators – the stovetop and the electric. Stovetop percolators use medium heat from the stove or a campfire and it requires supervision to prevent the coffee from brewing for a longer period. Electric percolators, on the other hand, depends on electric power, and it requires minimum supervision.

What are the advantages of using a coffee percolator?

  • Manual coffee percolators are simple compared to their electric counterparts. The simplest coffee percolators only consist of three major parts and learning how to brew coffee the right way does not require complex skills. You only need to learn how long the coffee should be brewed in water that is within the perfect temperature range.
  • Another advantage of using coffee percolators is its durability. Most coffee percolators are made from stainless steel, and it can last for decades with proper use. The coffee percolators can also be sent to the sink while cleaning it using tougher means.
  • Small amounts of coffee can be brewed using the classic percolators. With the perfect timing, you can create aromatic and tasty coffee using the coffee percolators. Many enthusiasts are still rooting for the classic coffee percolators because they claim that the coffee it creates is better-tasting.
  • Classic coffee percolators can be cleaned easily

How to use a coffee percolator?

How to Use a Coffee Percolator

There are two types of coffee percolators – the stovetop version and the electric version. It all depends on your preference, but this article will be giving you detailed information on how to use these two coffee percolators.

How to Use a Coffee Percolator Stovetop?

When using a stovetop percolator, the first thing that you should do is to think about the amount of coffee that you wanted to brew, and then putting your desired amount of clean water inside the reservoir. Depending on the type of stovetop percolator that you have, accessing the reservoir can be as simple as opening the lid, or removing the basket holding the coffee grounds that will give you access to the reservoir. Most percolators that are being sold in the market can hold around four to eight cups, but others can hold more than that.



The next thing that you need to do is to add the assembly consisting of a chamber and a tube. You might also have to replace the upper basket, but it depends on the model of the percolator that you are using. Most percolators have the same design – the coffee should be placed above the water, sitting on the basket that is filled with holes. A tube extends from the basket down to the water at the bottom. When the water starts to heat up, the tube would move, reaching back to the coffee grounds. This motion would soak the coffee grounds and will build up a soothing aroma. The rich flavor of the coffee would be picked up by this motion, and this process would repeat many times.

How much coffee do you put in a percolator?

After the chamber and tube assembly has been added into the percolator, the ground coffee should be added into the basket. You can use pre-ground beans or freshly-ground coffee, and your choice depends on your preference. The accepted measurement followed by the majority is that for every cup of water, a tablespoon of coffee should be placed inside the equipment. This will create a stronger brew. If you prefer a weaker coffee, place a teaspoon of coffee ground for every cup of water. If you are using a percolator, adjustments on how much coffee is being put inside the machine could be considered.

How does a coffee percolator work?

While the coffee ground sits inside the equipment, start to turn up the heat. Choose the medium heat source for your percolator, and wait for the water at the bottom of the equipment to heat up. The goal here is to make the water hot enough, but not to the point where it starts to boil. Hot water is quick to absorb the coffee beans’ flavor. When the water starts to boil, the absorption process becomes quicker, leading to the creation of a stronger brew. Most people prefer a milder brew, and they need to watch for the water’s temperature and keep it from boiling. Stovetop percolators are designed for stovetops, but you can also use it on campfires. However, never use it inside an oven or in any place where the heat is distributed all over the place because it might destroy the equipment.

Observe the progress of your brew through the glass globe that is located at the top of the percolator. When the water begins to circulate all over the equipment, you would notice that it creates tiny bubbles all around. You would also notice sputtering sounds, which is an indicator that the water is heating up. The water would also become darker, signaling that the coffee is brewing perfectly. When bubbles start to appear while using the equipment on medium heat, it means that the percolating process is at a good pace. Some percolators are designed with plastic clear view globes on top, and coffee experts are warning the people against these types of percolators. They claim that the extreme heat would transfer the taste of the plastic to the coffee, and it is unhealthy and tastes bad.

How long do you percolate the coffee?

Percolate the coffee for seven to ten minutes, depending on how strong you wanted the coffee to be. Weaker brews would require a shorter amount of time, while stronger brews require a percolation that lasts for a minimum of ten minutes. Use a kitchen timer to check how long the coffee is percolating. Once your preferred duration has been reached, turn off the stove.

The last step requires you to remove the percolator from the source of heat. After the percolating process, you may remove the coffee from the equipment, but make sure to use mittens or other protective gear that would keep you from getting burnt. You should open the lid and then remove the basket where the soaked coffee grounds can be found. Start discarding the coffee grounds or you can also recycle it as an option. The most important thing here is that you would never leave any traces of coffee grounds inside the percolator because it can spill on your cup and it might make the coffee stronger. Pour the coffee on your mug or cup and start serving it.

How do you make a coffee in an electric percolator?

Electric percolators work the same way with stovetop percolators, but the only difference is that the process happens quickly and minimal supervision is required. When using an electric percolator, the first thing that you may want to do is to put four to eight cups of water inside the equipment. Then, add the coffee grounds on the basket that is located at the upper portion of the equipment. The coffee to water ratio stays the same with electric percolators. Use one tablespoon of coffee grounds for every one cup of water if you wanted to brew a strong coffee, but if you wanted a weaker on, use only a teaspoon of coffee grounds for every cup of water.

After the water and the coffee grounds are placed inside the equipment, you need to close the lid and start plugging the percolator on an electric outlet. Some percolators are designed with a button that should be pushed when plugged in to start heating the water. Others automatically heat up even without pushing a button. Wait for the water to heat up, and the heating element would start to cycle all over the percolator. This process would start to extract the aroma from the coffee grounds, just like how it happens on a standard percolator.

Set up a timer and wait for at least seven to ten minutes before the coffee completely brews. A stovetop and electric percolators require the same amount of time to brew the coffee. If you want a weaker coffee, brew it for at least seven minutes, but if you wanted a stronger one, brew it for ten minutes or longer. Most electric percolators are designed with an internal sensor that will prevent the water inside from boiling. If your electric percolator does not have this feature, watch it carefully instead. If there are no children inside your home, you can set the timer on the percolator and leave it behind. The machine will do the rest of the work without the need for you to supervise. If you saw steam coming out from your percolator, it only means that the brewing temperature is increasing. You may want to unplug it from the power source and wait for it to cool down.

After brewing, the last thing that you need to do is to unplug your percolator and slowly check the coffee inside. Remove the coffee grounds, and carefully transfer the hot coffee into a cup or a mug. Serve it while it is hot.

Techniques to remember when using a stovetop or electric percolator



  • Use a coffee bean that is smooth and has a low acidity level. This would result in a better-tasting coffee. Using regular coffee beans on a percolator would result in a stronger brew, which can be too bitter for others.
  • Opt for a course grind coffee because its flavor would be transferred faster to the water.
  • Make sure that the water temperature stays at 195 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water reaches beyond this temperature, the brew would become stronger.
  • After the brewing process, make sure that you will allow the coffee to settle. Percolating the coffee would result in a cloudy output, and you need to wait for a few minutes to obtain a coffee free from any particles.
  • Keep the percolating time within seven to ten minutes for the best-tasting coffee.
  • Watch videos on YouTube to get an idea of how coffee percolators work.

Safety reminders:

How to use coffee percolator
  • Use a single coffee percolator per electric outlet. Using two coffee percolators at the same time could increase the charge on the electric outlet.
  • Let the coffee percolator cool down before moving it somewhere else.
  • When cleaning the coffee percolator, make sure that it is no longer hot to prevent you from sustaining burns.
  • Avoid plugging the coffee percolator above the water or in any other type of liquids because you are risking yourself to electrocution.
  • Secure the cord from extreme heat or any possible hazard that might render it unusable.
  • Never leave the coffee percolator with the children because they can get hurt while using the equipment.
  • Make sure to unplug the equipment especially if you are not using it. This will conserve a lot of power.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here