The percolator lingers somewhere be nostalgia and old-fashioned, but after a few weeks of using a percolator daily I’m here to say, its a great way to coffee.


Making a percolator is incredibly easy. The tall water kettle is suited for home stove, camp stove, or even campfire, if you have a grill over it or stable area with hot coals.

STEP ONE: when you put the water in the pot make sure it is filled BELOW the basket that holds the grinds. You do not want the boiling water to be soaking the bottom of this basket. It needs to be able to pour through the basket and not have water surrounding it.

STEP TWO: Use a fairly coarse grind of coffee and fill the basket not quite full. Generally you will use a heaping tablespoon/cup of coffee (8 oz. cup). Make sure you do not overfill the coffee basket and leave a little room for it to expand. The fresher the coffee, the more it is going to bloom inside the basket.

STEP THREE: Put the lid on and place percolator on the heat. Here you will want to keep tabs. The goal is to bring it to a boil so the water will percolate up through the percolator, but as soon as its boiling you will need to reduce the heat. High heat until boil, then low steady heat for the next 8-10 minutes.

Depending on the percolator you may see it percolating through the glass top, or just hear it under the lid. Once you are on low heat after the initial boil, you can sit back and enjoy the smell. Breathe it in. Don’t be in a rush.

This is a slower process brew. Give it time. Enjoy the wait. The hot water will continue to rise up through the percolator and fall over the basket of coffee inside, slowly steeping and brewing. It falls through the basket only to circulate back up again. It’s a wonderful process.

STEP FOUR: After you’ve waited the allotted time (at least 8 minutes after turning the heat down), it’s time to pour and enjoy. Note that the handle is likely hot, so grab it with something appropriate. Burning your hand will make your morning considerably more irritating, so avoid this. Yes this is common sense, but it’s likely early, and it’s morning, and you haven’t had your coffee yet, so sometimes we forget. I may or may not know this from personal experience…

STEP FIVE: The beauty of the percolator is it’s easy to keep hot on low heat. Leave it over the fire or on a low simmer. It might get a little stronger if it keeps percolating but you are likely to care.

Like any brew method, play with it. For me, how I fell in love with it, is that I had to learn to give it enough time. In the past I rushed the percolation process, thinking it was more akin to other brew methods that peak around a couple minutes. But this method requires a few more minutes, and once you dial in your coffee to water ratio and time, it’s incredibly easy to make a great pot.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *