awm03January 17, 2008

Thinking of ditching my drip coffee maker for a percolator. Anybody have one they can recommend? Anybody use a stovetop percolator? Also, there are some cool looking retro ones on eBay, many of them aluminum. Does aluminum affect the taste as some claim?

Thanks for any & all input!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ask any coffee-fiend and they'll tell you that's a bad move. A move in the opposite direction of good coffee.

If you want something for novelty, go the vacuum pot route.

If you want something that's better than a standard percolator, look at stovetop moka pots.

If you want something that just works, get an AeroPress.

And if you just want a better drip coffee maker, get a Technivorm.

Anything but a percolator!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 5:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Gosh, joe_b, I like perked coffee. And I did my homework on the 'net: there are lots of others who prefer perked coffee too. It wasn't a big deal for me, so I've lived with a drip maker for many years. But just the other day, I thought to myself, "why am I putting up with this when I'd rather have perked coffee?!" So I'm looking for a percolator! Thanks for the info on the other methods just the same :)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 5:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, you didn't say you were a perc aficionado! ;-)

You should be looking at the Farberware electric percolators -- that's what all of my ol' Swedish relatives have been using since before I became a gleam in someone's eye! They like a nice, meaty cup o' joe, you know what I mean?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 6:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry...I sure agree with Joe...perc coffee is burned....cooked...boiled. The taste is similar to what you would get if you made a pot of drip coffee and boiled it for 5 minutes.....but if that's what you like, why did you get a drip pot?
I think that's why you don't see them offered much any more....however it is easy to make coffee in an automatic perc pot.
Our pioneer forebearers made a "boiled coffee" in those big old enamel ware put the water in the pot...and made a mixture of beaten egg and coffee grounds, dumped it into the boiling pot, let it return to a boil and turned it off...
Why not go to a thift store and see if you can pick one up for a song and try it out before you ditch the drip pot?
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 7:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"but if that's what you like, why did you get a drip pot?"

Because our first one was a freebie, then the 2nd was a Christmas gift from a near-by relative whom we didn't want to offend by discarding it, then when that one died, I bought our 3rd drip machine assuming that percolators were no longer made. And DH likes drip just fine. But frankly, I've always found drip coffee to be a bit watery. Something's missing in the flavor (must be the burnt taste!). I don't recall seeing a percolator at a thrift shop lately. Lots of old Mr. Coffees though. Like cast iron pans, perhaps the perc aficionados scoop them up to market on Ebay or for their own use. Or maybe too many drip fans threw theirs in the garbage.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 9:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Try putting a little extra ground coffee in the basket of the drip pot...
There are lots of old perc pots out there.
Linda C

Here is a link that might be useful: percolators

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 9:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"If you want something for novelty, go the vacuum pot route."

I got a kick out of that--those were standard when I was a kid--made by Silex.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 4:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Farberware still makes a nice percolator in different sizes. Easy to use, easy to clean, not too expensive.

Here is a link that might be useful: Farberware Percolators

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 4:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

teresa, thanks for the link to Kohls. I see they have some great sales going on. If my eBay attempt falls through, then Kohls it is. The sale price on the stovetop model is good.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stovetop model

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 12:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Percolators...that's real trip down memory lane! Drink what tastes good to you, AWM. Those Farberwares look really pretty.

Linda, did the pioneers filter that coffee through their teeth?

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 8:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fori is not pleased

My sister is a percolator fan and makes pretty good coffee. She's also a thrift store fan and says you need to buy several before you get find the one that perks at the proper temperature without keeping it too hot. She also uses quite a bit of chicory...

I do think that coffee that sits in a percolator tastes better than coffee that's sat on a burner for any length of time.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 7:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A follow-up:

I bought a 14 cup aluminum stove top percolator on eBay, an old Sears model, for $20 (price + shipping). Glad I did. The coffee has that taste of something that was missing from my drip maker -- a fuller flavor. I like the retro look too. It goes well with my stainless steel counters.

There were a lot of old style electric percolators on eBay, some were even beautiful. Maybe I'll try for one of those fancy models some day. Would be fun to have at a party.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 9:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lindac need to filter the coffee through your teeth....the egg you beat up grabbed all the grounds and made for crystal clear coffee.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 12:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My only experience with 'boiled cowboy coffee' was when visiting relatives in Montana over 35 years ago. We went to a picnic in the mtns. above their ranch and they 'boiled' coffee in the fire pit in an enamelware pot. When done, it was removed from the fire and a little cold water was poured over it. They waited a few minutes to let the grounds settle and then poured the coffee.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 6:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

awm I'm glad you found a percolater. We have two Corning Ware ceramic stove top percolators and we love them.

Fori, DH is a chicory fan too :)

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 1:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Everybody likes thier coffee differently.

I have collected a number of brewing apparatus.

IMHO - My ss insulated french press makes the best cup of the lot. A glass french press looses the heat too fast

A tradional european star stovetop perk makes a nice rich cup of coffee as well if made right you will get a nice little froth too used these daily. Aluminum is fine.

My Italian parents and grandparents swear by the old electric perks. I have had excellent coffee from them as well as horrid cups.

The neopolitan flip style perk is a pain I usually made a mess

The Bodum Santos vacuum pot made a great cup of coffee but will not stand up to daily use. The plastic and rubber seals will break down. It ia also a pain to clean.

I love my vietnamese individual drips but they rarely see the light of day

Right now I am on the old autodrip with a built in timer due to need for convinience.

almost any pot can make a decent cup of coffee as long as you use the right ground in the right proportions and fresh cold water.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 4:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

kenzo, when it comes to coffee making, you are The Voice Of Experience :)

"awm I'm glad you found a percolater. "
Thanks, chiroptera mama.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 7:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is an old thread but still relevant to anyone considering a perc (it shows up on Google :-).

Here's my 2 for the benefit of anyone looking into this. I feel compelled to post because there is so much misinformation floating around:

I think it boils down to whether or not you believe that a perc MUST boil coffee. We are told by those in the know that boiling coffee is bad. In reality, however, whether stovetop or electric, boiled coffee is not inevitable from a percolator.

I purchased my first perc, a 12-cup Presto, about three years ago. It brews at 195°F using an 800-watt element. The coffee experts will tell you that this falls in the ideal brewing range. Most automatic drip coffeemakers, according to a Cooks Illustrated 2008 coffeemaker comparison, do not reach proper brewing temperatures until late in the brew cycle, if at all. So in reality the perc method is no worse than the popular drip coffeemakers, and perhaps even better suited for some. (One drawback is simply the need to remember to unplug it  there's no auto shutoff on your average electric perc!)

Much of what passes for "percolator wisdom" probably harkens back to an earlier era in which inexpensive Robusta pre-ground coffee was the norm on grocer's shelves. Today we have so many more choices! Moreover, many of the electric percolators of old "slow brewed" the coffee, taking 20 minutes or longer to brew 12 cups. Contrast that with today's percolator, which keeps pace with your average automatic drip coffeemaker: 1 cup per minute.

Poor recollections of bitter perc coffee may have more to say about the technique than the method. For instance, one way to ruin perc coffee is to leave the grinds basket in place to "keep warm". Just like a drip coffeemaker, keeping the coffee warm for an extended period will cause the flavor to deteriorate. A thermal server is the better option for fresh brewed coffee no matter how you prefer to make it.

I believe that good coffee is mostly a matter of good technique, clean equipment and fresh water/beans. It is quite possible to give even the most respected coffee brewing method a bad name if you don't master the skill (French press, Chemex, what have you). The perc is no different. There are good products on the market and there are those who know how to use them.

So why consider a percolator? Here were my personal reasons:

-- BPA and phthalates, implicated in both breast and prostate cancer, made headlines some time back for appearing in certain types of plastic, even to include baby bottles (which, like coffee, are also heated). A stainless steel percolator is the solution to concern over plasticizer exposure.

-- Frustrations pertaining to dribbling spouts on glass carafes. A percolator may resolve this common drip coffeemaker annoyance (the PRESTO I mentioned features an elongated teapot type spout).

-- Drip brewed coffee is lukewarm in no time, especially if one adds milk, cream and sugar. The percolator brews hotter, so no need for a microwave nearby. Again another problem the perc resolves.

-- Unable to justify doing as Cooks Illustrated recommended: Purchasing the no-frills Technivorm, a coffee trade endorsed automatic drip brewer built in the Netherlands that retails over $240. For $70 or less  my PRESTO was about $45 on sale at Sears  an electric percolator will land you in the same "ideal" coffee brewing temperature range for far less money. (In a classier looking form to boot.)


There are a lot of good reasons to revisit the modern percolator. Those who bash them are those who haven't tried them  at least not one built in this decade!

The best advice I can offer readers is to try a percolator for yourself and form your own conclusions. You might be in for a pleasant surprise!


Writer, chef and food critic Michael Ruhlman prefers the perc:

The owner of the Coffee Geek website eschews the percolator. See his comment here:

Oh, and one last note: I do not work for a perc manufacturer. I just couldn't believe how inaccurate the "boiling rhetoric" is in contrast to the reality of my first electric perc and have taken it upon myself to help set the record straight. Thanks for reading!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 3:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow, I can't believe this thread is still around! Just wanted to say I still have -- and enjoy -- the old stove top percolator I bought two years ago. I use it on my ceramic cooktop, turning the heat up to medium-high to get the perc going, then turning it down to low to complete the percolating. When done, I turn the heat off. The coffee is hotter than my old drip (which DH insists on keeping because it's faster) and stays surprisingly hot for a long time just leaving the percolator on the burner. The coffee does NOT taste bitter and has a fuller flavor. A slower process, but worth it. The only drawback is that the aluminum has created a black spot on my ceramic burner that will not come off. It's the nature of aluminum, high heat, and ceramic burners, which is why I only use medium-high heat now to start the percolating.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 11:13AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
cooks essentials talking microwave
I don't know if I should post this here or on the cooking...
best (semi-pro) brand pots and pans for induction
hello we are renovating our kitchen and now it will...
Need a double boiler for induction cooktop
I need a 3 piece set: the bottom pan (induction ready),...
Kitchenaid Stand Mixer
I have read threads in here from people who love their...
White film/Oxidation on Wusthof Handles
I recently bought a set of Wusthof Classic Ikon knives...
Sponsored Products
Deep Blue 2-Qt. Coffee Percolator
$22.99 | zulily
Baxton Studio Espresso Modern Nightstand
Stovetop Espresso Maker - Wood Handle - Freud
$125.00 | HORNE
Hamilton Beach 40616 12-cup Percolator
Royal Blue 2-Qt. Percolator
$14.99 | zulily
Coffee Percolater by Seletti
$53.00 | Lumens
Farberware Classic Accessories 8-cup Yosemite Percolator
Elite Platinum Stainless Steel 12-Cup Percolator
$39.99 | zulily
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™