Instant Coffee vs. Perculated

bizzylizzyNovember 4, 2002

Does any one like instant coffee? I have an old perculator that makes less than adequate coffee. At work, it's a similarly bad tasting coffee. A place I worked at years ago hired a coffee service company that brought in the perculator, the coffee, and supplies and that was good stuff. Does any one know of a good perculator that ends all perculators to buy for home coffee? Also, what brand of coffee is best? At this point I'm really liking instant. I've been on a quest for good coffee for a long time, and I think I'd pay up to $200 for a good perculator, but again, if any one knows a really good machine I'm interested in any ideas

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Instant coffee is nasty.
I like drip coffee a lot better than perc coffee.....but I think the main reason I feel that way is that it's almost impossible to get a percolator really clean....and those old coffee oils really are nasty!
Linda c

    Bookmark   November 4, 2002 at 10:53AM
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We have an old Farberware percolator that makes good coffee and in about 10 minutes- that is FAST for a perc! Check out their web-site, and a lot of larger department stores carry Farberware.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2002 at 8:24AM
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Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely check out the Farberware perc., I remember a while back seeing an ad somewhere for a coffee machine that supposedly makes coffee at the "perfect" temperature. I guess I agree with that, my own perc. doesn't make the coffee very hot to begin with.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2002 at 9:36AM
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Lizzy, by percolator, do you mean coffee machine, between drip and the old fashion percolator, there is a difference.
For $200 you should get a fabulous machine, check out the Capresso's at Williams & Sonoma.
You could also get a very run of the mill coffee machine for less money and invest in a bean grinder, then get some fabulous italian beans from a specialty shop and get wonderful tasting coffee, IMO !!! With good quality beans and fresh grinding, the machine sometimes becomes irrelevant !

    Bookmark   November 22, 2002 at 7:47AM
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We use only 100% Columbian coffee in our drip coffee maker. We find other types of coffee to be to bitter. In New Zealand most of the folks use instant coffee, but I find it to be very weak. In the fancy resturants they use what they call a plung coffee, where coffee grounds are layed on top of hot water in the plung maker and when you are ready to drink it you push the plunger down forcing the coffee grounds through the hot water to the bottom of the maker, an you pour your freshly brewed coffee (nice, but a little to much work).

    Bookmark   November 25, 2002 at 4:40AM
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Another vote for the Farbeware. Wild horses could not separate me from mine!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2002 at 10:51AM
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Percolating coffee is, in general, not a good way to brew it. Why? Because the brewing coffee itself is heated to a high temperature onthe 'hot spot' just below the center tube, which makes steam that pushes water up the middle and over the grounds in the basket. This heating of the brewing coffee (and not just water) is not a good way to go. It breaks down the aromatic oils.

Drip makers are a good way to go, BUT: you don't want to leave coffe in a carafe that's being kept warm/hot. Again, you're heating brewed coffee and it breaks down the flavor compounds. Best bet is to either brew just enough to drink immediately (small 1-2 cup dripmakers, or drip machines with cone-type filters that can brew smaller quantities easily), or to get a drip maker with an insulated carafe so it isn't heated by a hot plate. Or, you can shut off the machine when the coffee is done. Then, if you want some later just microwave it and it'll be hot and fresh. *Don't* leave it sitting on the heating pad!

Also, be sure to keep drip makers clean. If you don't rinse out the carafe well before filling with water for the next batch, the dilute coffee in the reservoir will burn onto the hot spot (which works like a percolator, except the water just goes thru the grounds once instead of being recycled). Also, minerals in the water can accumulate on the hot spot as well, leading to bad 'machine' flavors. Running white vinegar thru the drip maker can help alleviate this.

The 'plung' (???) method descried above is known as a french press. (freedom press? $^) It's one of the 2 methods I use. Although you are supposed to put the grounds in first, followed by almost-boiling coffee, and stirring well to extract the coffee flavor from the grounds. Then the plunger is depressed after a minute or 2, forcing the grounds to the bottom. This is a 'pure' way of making coffee because you are heating only water, and there's no hot spot to accumulate residue or deposits. Just clean hot water and grounds, as it should be.

The presses aren't much work. I guess you have to turn off the kettle and pour manually, but you have to pour water into a drip maker anyway. And pressing the plunger is not a hassle. Starbucks even offers travel mugs that have a press built into the lid, so you can add grounds and water to the mug, stir, screw on the lid, and plunge a minute later. You can then drink right out of the mug and take it along.

The other good method is also a drip method, using the inexpensive cone-shaped filters and holders. This drip method is also just clean hot water and grounds in a paper or mesh filter. This is the most versatile method, because a cone filter can make a full carafe as easily as a single mug with the same filter. Just change the amount of grounds and water as needed. You can also put the cone filter over a mug for one cup, or an insulated carafe, which keeps coffee hot for a while without burniong it and ruining the flavor.

Just a few coffee options. But a perc-O-lator is probably the *worst* method for making coffee in terms of flavor quality. It is popular because the percolators are simple and work well in large quantities.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2003 at 9:41PM
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Luzianne Coffee is tops!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2003 at 3:49PM
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I really like my Krups coffee maker. It uses paper or metal filters and and insulated caraf, so it's never burnt, like so many times with the Mr. Coffee types. It helps that I got mine on Clearance!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2004 at 1:00PM
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Senseo makes wonderful coffee!
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 9, 2004 at 11:45PM
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I'm a coffee master for Starbucks Coffee corp. I've completed numerous classes and passed the test, so I know a thing or two about coffee. I agree with just about everything that DRMOZE wrote above. Perc's are bad. Move to drip coffee or French Press if you want to really taste the coffee. Paper filters, while easy to use, do remove some of the esential oils that provide the taste of the coffee.

To reference something that New_Zealand wrote above, the coffee that you find to be "bitter" has a higher acid content. You said other coffee's you tried were to weak. Coffee's grown in Latin America, see Starbucks Breakfast Blend and House Blend, are typically higher in acid content which can give a bitter flavor profile. It could also be how your brew. the biggest problem with people who come in saying their coffee is to bitter, is the grind. Imagine a bucket of sand, and a bucket of rocks. Water passes much faster through a bucket of rocks than it does the sand. So if your coffee is bitter, it's probably being over extracted. This is because the water is passing through the grinds to SLOWLY, thus pulling out more of the coffee. Use a coarser grind and I think it will solve your problem. If not, move to a bolder coffee from the African or Asian coffees. I recommend Sumatra (you can get this at any starbucks or grocery store for that matter. Kenya has great coffee as well as Yemen, suprisingly. Although yemen coffee can be a little unpredictable, as they don't have the growing and sorting standards most other countries do.)

So, yeah, loose the perc, get a drip brewer or french press, and enjoy your coffee.

I just realized that the last post on this site was over two years ago. Oh well. Hope someone reads this.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2006 at 10:14PM
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I vote for the Senseo for home use. But at the office I have a Melita plastic cone thing that sits on top of a coffee mug. You put a paper filter filled with coffee grinds in it and then pour the hot water through. Makes a great cup of coffee. Definitely worth the trouble of keeping a can of coffee and filters in my desk.

I'd love to set up a Senseo at the office but I doubt that would go over too great with management.


Here is a link that might be useful: Coffee Pod Primer

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 11:23AM
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[quote]I'm a coffee master for Starbucks Coffee corp[/quote]

LOL I wanted to stop right there but I forced myself through the rest of the post.

Starbucks makes the most ABSOLUTE nasty tasting coffee I have ever tasted.

Sumatra is like the only words you guys know. The stuff is crap.

Really though I would rather drink coffee from Hess Express ANYDAY than to touture myself with your foul tasting toilet water you call coffee.

The only thing you got going for you is atmosphere.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 8:08AM
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I think that the main criterion of good coffee is when there is not only strong aroma but also good taste. Instant coffee has enticing aroma but weak taste. I buy only coffee beans. Javaberry is my favorite, because it is savory, I can enjoy drinking not only smelling.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 7:50AM
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cold soak is the only way to go; the taste can not be beat

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 7:13PM
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I just bought my Farberware electric percolator, and I think it makes much better coffee than any drip coffeemaker I've owned. The temperature of the coffee is so much hotter.
I can't stand coffee that isnt really hot. I will not go back to a drip coffeemaker..ever.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 5:36PM
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We just purchased a Melita Java Percolator. It has made us the most wondeful coffee we have yet to experience. The only difference which I can discern is that it has an extra piece, perforated which sits on top of the coffee holder inside the machine, whicn serves to spray the water evenly over the entire capacity of the main coffee-holder, which could be the reason for it's wondeful and consistant excellent taste. Yes, it is hot , but I love my coffee hot, though not hot enough to burn, and this is wonderful. The stainless steel is excellent, easy to clean and the machine is removable from the base, the current ceasing when the carafe is picked up and then returning when it is replaced.
I bought it to be different, and to try percolator again, and found it to be really quite wonderful.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 3:58PM
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