how to make percolator coffee

We know that nothing says “good morning” better than a cup of hot, aromatic Joe. When it comes to coffee, each person has their own preferences in terms of strength, sweetness, extra flavor, and aroma. However, all coffee-lovers enjoy fast and simple preparation.

Nowadays, coffee drinkers are devoted to drip brewers and pour-over systems that make their beverage ready within a minute. So, ‘old-fashioned’ methods of preparation, like making coffee with a stovetop percolator, have fallen behind. Some Millennials are even certain that stovetop percolators make the worst coffee.

Why Most People Say No to Stovetop Percolators:

  1. Too strong or too bitter– the inadequate preparation can often produce coffee with a rather strong intensity.
  2. Is it done yet? – the frequent monitoring of the brewing process seems too time-consuming.
  3. Two thousand and late – though some people still enjoy this vintage way of preparing coffee, many others compare it choosing a Blockbuster type of video rental store instead of signing up for an online streaming service, such as Netflix.

These three reasons are usually enough to discourage the majority of people to even try using a percolator. But, ask any coffee aficionado, and they will readily swear that once you acquire the necessary brewing skills, no machine will be a match for the taste and richness of stovetop prepared coffee.

I tend to agree with this notion to a certain degree. Making coffee in this type of percolator is a simple procedure that takes a few more minutes of anyone’s time. Actually, it probably tastes so swell due to that light dash of patience – a rare quality of today’s super-rapid tempo of living. But, I also believe that nothing beats a really good and well-maintained espresso machine.

The 3 Percolator Commandments For Artisan Coffee

  • always use an impeccably clean pot
  • use fresh coarse coffee grounds (packed or home-ground)
  • use clean water, preferably filtered or even distilled

Once you’ve got these necessities covered, take your stovetop percolator and study its anatomy-this would ease the brewing process afterward. Each stovetop percolator has a bottom chamber, a funnel filter with a basket and an upper chamber with a lid on the top.

How to Make a Stovetop Percolator Coffee in 8 Easy Steps:

  1. Pour water into the bottom chamber of the percolator. Plan the number of coffee cups in advance and add water accordingly. Too much water would produce a ‘watery’ coffee while an insufficient amount of water would make coffee too bitter.
  2. Place the funnel filter on the top of the bottom chamber.
  3. Add the coffee grounds in the basket (mind that 1tbsp goes to 8 ounces of water= 6 small cups). Very gently press the surface of the basket with a coffee spoon but be careful not to tamp it.
  4. Put the upper chamber on top and close the stovetop percolator.
  5. Place the percolator on a medium heated hotplate on the stove. You must heat the water slowly and adjust the heat during the brew so the water doesn’t boil. So remember: very hot but not boiled!
  6. Stay and watch how brewing progresses- the water should start sputtering and make bubbles in short intervals. If it gets bubbly fast that means that the water is getting too hot too soon.
  7. Turn off the stove and let it sputter for a few moments. If it percolates around 10 minutes, you’ll get a strong, rich flavor but if it takes less than this time interval, the coffee’s strength would be mild.
  8. Remove the coffee from the stove and make sure you have removed the coffee grounds by opening the percolator and leaving the bottom chamber aside. Pour it into cups and enjoy! You can add milk, sugar or just have it black with your favorite dessert on the side.

A cup of this warm, nostalgia-fragranced beverage would take you back in the everyday lives of your grandparents and let you enjoy the delight of a slow-paced ritual. Moreover, your kitchen, also probably your entire house, would be filled with a smell of fresh ground coffee beans. Sounds tempting, right?

A few extra reasons why you should try stovetop percolator coffee:

Stovetop percolators are environment-friendly since they don’t require filter papers or single-use cups or discs.

High-quality stoves last indefinitely since they are made of stainless steel and can’t break easily. Nor do they require daily, weekly or monthly maintenance.

Campers and wandering adventurers often prefer stovetop percolators because they are practical and reliable. Plus, it is hard to find electric outlets in the forests and mountains so you can plug in your fancy coffee maker.


If you are already a fan of this brewing, you can invite a stovetop percolator newbie friend and treat them with this specialty. Who knows, maybe they will feel enlightened and run to the store to get one.

Also, if you are an affirmed and well-seasoned coffee lover with years of experience but still a stovetop percolator newbie yourself, don’t hesitate to try it! Give up few of those minutes spent on Instagram or Snapchat and there you have it- a moment to indulge your sense in your favorite beverage but this time in a new way.

Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to percolate coffee?

On average, it takes about 5 minutes.

Does a percolator make good coffee?

If you use it right, it can make a really good cup of coffee, even though, it is not the most efficient way of extracting flavor from coffee beans.