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  • How to Make Stovetop Percolator Coffee

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    Brewing coffee using a stovetop percolator doesn’t have the best reputation these days. Many so called coffee experts believe this is one of the worst ways to make coffee. However, with a little practice, you can learn to make an excellent stovetop percolator coffee every time.

    How to Make Stovetop Percolator Coffee

    Sure, it is old-fashioned, and definitely nowhere near as convenient. Still, there is something comforting about brewing coffee this way. Maybe it’s the nostalgia of brewing it the way our forefathers did, or maybe it’s just the simple method that is used that is somehow soothing. Whatever the reason, making stovetop percolator coffee is simple, and it is something that every coffee lover should try.

    Why It Has Fallen Out of Favor

    At first glance, you may wonder why a method so simple has fallen out of favor among coffee drinkers around the world. There are a few reasons why that has happened.

    1. The Taste of the Coffee – Many find that coffee made with a percolator can be too bitter and strong for their liking.
    2. It’s Time Consuming – There is no denying that brewing coffee using this method takes a lot more time than other brewing methods. You also must monitor it as you brew, making it very inconvenient in today’s busy world.
    3. It’s the “Old” Method – Making coffee in a percolator is the way many of our parents or grandparents did it. It represents the old way of brewing before technology had advanced enough to give us the superior methods we use today.

    Whether you agree or disagree with the reasons above, the fact is that not many coffee drinkers use this method anymore. Still, there are coffee drinkers out there that swear by this method.

    Making Stovetop Percolator Coffee

    Let’s take a look at exactly how you make coffee using a stovetop percolator. For this method, we will be focusing on stovetop percolators, although you can use electric percolators as well if you want to make things just a little bit easier on yourself.

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    What You Will Need

    Before you get started, let’s gather all the materials you will need to make your “traditional” coffee in your percolator.

    As you can see, this is a pretty basic list of ingredients and tools you will need to make your coffee and they all should be readily available in your kitchen if you are already a lover of coffee.

    Let’s Get Brewing

    Now that you have gathered all your ingredients and materials, let’s get started making your first cup of stovetop percolator coffee.

    Step 1 – Grind Your Coffee

    First, you need to decide how much coffee you want to brew. Remember, you need about one tablespoon of ground coffee per 8 ounces of water. When you grind your beans, make sure you use a coarse ground setting as coffee that is ground to fine can make their way into your water and finally into your cup of coffee.

    Step 2 – Add Your Water

    Add the water for the amount of coffee you plan to make to the reservoir of your percolator. Make sure you match up the amount of water you use with the amount of coffee so your coffee isn’t too weak or too strong.

    Step 3 – Add the Chamber and Tube Assembly

    Most percolators are virtually identical, meaning they all have a chamber for the coffee and a tube assembly that the water percolates through when heated. Once your water is in your percolator add this assembly into your percolator.

    Step 4 – Place Your Grounds in the Basket

    Now add the grounds to the basket of your percolator. Do not go overboard on the grounds. This type of coffee tends to be stronger than other brewing methods already, so don’t add too many grounds. Stick with your ratios and you should be just fine.

    Step 5 – Heat Your Percolator

    Turn your stove on low to medium heat and place the percolator on the heating element. The key here is to heat your water slowly and get it close to the point of boiling without actually causing the water to boil. Adjust your heat in small increments if necessary to increase or decrease the heat if needed.

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    Step 6 – Monitor the Process

    Most percolators have a see-through globe at the top so you can see what’s going on inside your percolator while the water is heated. After a few minutes you will notice it begin to sputter and bubble in the globe. The faster this happens, the hotter your water is. You know you are on the right track when your water sputters and bubbles once every few seconds. Anything faster and your water could be too hot.

    Step 7 – Percolate for About Ten Minutes

    Once it reaches its optimal temperature, allow it to continue percolating for about 10 minutes. Monitor it closely to make sure the sputters stay just a few seconds apart. Remember, if you allow it to percolate for 10 minutes, your coffee will be on the stronger side. If you prefer coffee that is a little weaker, you can reduce this 10 minute time. This may take a little experimentation on your part to find the perfect amount of time for your tastes.

    Step 8 – Remove the Percolator from Its Heat Source and Remove the Grounds

    Once your coffee has finished percolating, remove it slowly from the heat of your stove. Use a towel or oven mitt to make sure you don’t burn yourself. Open the lid and immediately get rid of those used grounds. If you leave them in, they could spill into your cup when you pour your coffee. If this does happen, all is not lost. Just keep in mind that your cup of coffee may have a few grounds in it and your coffee could taste stronger than you intended.

    Step 9 – Enjoy Your Coffee

    Now that you have removed the grounds from your percolator, your coffee is ready to serve. Pour it into your favorite cup along with whatever you like to add to your coffee and enjoy a cup of coffee made the way our grandparents used to make it.

    Percolator coffee has fallen out of style these days, but many serious coffee drinkers swear by this method. While it isn’t as fast as other methods, there is just something pleasing to brew coffee the way our grandparents used to do it. It is easy to do and produces a coffee that is stronger than your average drip coffee maker could ever hope to make.

    If you are looking to expand your coffee horizons, why not give this alternative brewing method a try and relive how your ancestors used to make coffee. You never know, you may actually discover that fancy technological brewers aren’t everything, and you may even prefer your coffee made with a stovetop percolator.


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