Drip or Percolated coffee...which is best?

Stove top coffee percolator

Stove top coffee percolator


QUESTION:

Is there a difference between drip and percolated when it comes to taste? Coffee at home is not as good as when I purchase a cup...even from a gas station.

ANSWER:

Yes, there is a difference between coffee from a drip brewer and coffee from a percolator.

Almost every time, the coffee from the drip brewer will taste better.

When you brew coffee, whatever the coffee maker, the water temperature should be slightly below boiling point.

A drip brewer drips hot water through the coffee grinds just once. But percolators keep the coffee in contact with boiling water for an extended period.

In other words, percolators just boil the flavor out of your coffee.

If you love coffee, avoid using a percolator.

NOTE: In recognition of those who love their coffee percolated, read our page about coffee percolators...

Comments for Drip or Percolated coffee...which is best?

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Jun 29, 2014
Old fashion over convenience
by: Neal

I have experimented with different methods and different grinds for some time now and it seems that you just can't seem to beat the old fashioned ways of brewing coffee for flavor.
The best I have found is a method commonly referred to as cowboy coffee, which is kind of similar to perc. It is the oldest and simplest form of brewing. Simply course grind the beans and cook in water just below boiling on the stove for a few minutes then pour thru a strainer. This allows for a strong yet smooth cup of coffee. This is the only method I use now. I have thrown away my coffee makers!

Jun 28, 2014
Buying a Perc !
by: Gary F. in Mich

Your best bet is just look on eBay and you'll find some New old ones out there or gently used !
Personally I think the best brand is West Bend, they still make the big 30+ cup perks the restaurants use, that's right your favorite restaurant coffee was more than likely made in one of those and then they filled up the glass pot ! You can find a brand new one ( 9 cups or less ) for $20 and free shipping, enjoy !

May 03, 2014
re electric perks hard to find? nope.
by: Anonymous

prior comment mentioned that electric percs were hard to find, easy to find at Walmart (which I hate since EVERYTHING, I MEAN EVERYTHING is made in China, NOT DOING THAT!!) or target, or even Kohls. Presto has 2 as does TFal, both are 12 and 6 cups; the Presto 6 cups is REALLY small, the cups are probably measured as 4 or5 oz thus making it only 20 or 24 oz., the other is measured in (I think) 6 os cups, thus making it 36 oz. Easy to find, really. And Amazon has many, as does Sears, on line. riley, elgin il.

Apr 28, 2014
Stove top percolators
by: Anonymous

We have always loved our percolators, but got an automatic 1 cup maker for Christmas and got hooked on it--so much fun that I was drinking far too much coffee a day.

Also, I noticed that my GERD acted up frequently, making me quite ill. So I will be going back to my the perc.

I have an electric perc (hard to find but they are available online) but for good stove top percolator, I have one I got from LLBean. They come in 2 sizes and they are great!

Apr 23, 2014
Coffee maker taste test
by: Anonymous

Back in college what started as a discussion on this topic turned into a debated then an argument. So we decided to set up an unbiased taste-test following the rules of scientific experiments as best we could. The results were overwhelming in favor of the perked coffee, although the drip still did manage an overall "satisfactory" grading. Some of the die-hard drip defendants were genuinely shocked.

Perked tastes and smells better, hands down. But yes, it is a bit less convenient than the drip. Perhaps this is why so many proclaim their love for drip. But replacing filters and replacing the dripper itself, frequently, becomes an unnecessary expense. I have a tin "campfire" perc from 9 years ago and still going great -- ideal for making just one or 2 cups at a time - which is another key to good taste (freshness)

Apr 15, 2014
The "k" stopped working with a friend at my table
by: 5fishes

So I pulled out a cute perculator I'd inherited. Did not understand how to put the pieces together correctly, so my coffee buddy and I had grounds everywhere. It tasted wonderful. The second pot, I made sure to include the basket cover. It's even better and my little perculator just makes 4 cups. In a month, I wonder if I will still be in awe of the flavor enough to deal with coffee grounds. Oh wait, the coffee grounds are a bonus for my compost heap.

Apr 08, 2014
Perc Hands Down !
by: Gary F. in Mich

I just switched back to perc after the drip tank developed a leak. I looked up in the cupboard and seen the tube and basket up there from Moms old West Bend, and remembered I took it into work to make hot water for any of the instant things we use to make. I remembered a box in the garage from those days at work, low and behold I took the lid off the box and there it was. I ran some baking soda through it, rinsed it out and made the best coffee I had in years. The smell wafting out of that pot brought back the memories of me getting up before Dad and plugging the pot in before I woke him up on Saturday morning to go rabbit hunting. You just can't beat perked coffee and never will. And fore those of you who like to wake up during the week and have it done, hook up a cheap light timer to it and set it for 15 minutes before the alarm, who knows maybe that smell will wake you up first ! :-)

Apr 02, 2014
Which is Best?
by: Joey H

Well, I understand what is being said about boiling water. When making a good cup of tea, weather tea, or herbal tea, you don't want to actually get the water TO boiling, you want to stop the process just before.

Why?

Well, when you boil water, you remove free floating oxygen from it. This FF Oxygen, is what helps the water brew the tea leaves, and liberate the oils that make the tea. You can still get a product, but the steeping takes longer, and the taste is slightly different, flatter somehow.

Being said, I don't find quite the same thing in coffee. Honestly, I find drip coffee, to be weak, and inferior, but then that is a matter of MY taste. I personally choose either a french press, using the same water principle, not quite to boil, or prefer Perk in my 9 cup 1970's corning stovetop. One tablespoon per cup, a dash of salt to soften the water (like many diners), and 6 to 10 minutes after first perk. I even sometimes add roasted chicory I grow myself.

Mar 27, 2014
Erroneous information about perc coffee
by: Anonymous

When people say that percs BOIL coffee they are wrong. Boiled water never touches the grounds. The grounds sit about half-inch above the water, even as its boiling. Its elevated in the basket. New electric percs have the same new technology as drips; to shut off when done, adjustable brew strength, adjustable levels/cups wanted, even programmable start times.

Giving out old, worn out info just means people are either not informed of new 21st century items, (check out amazon or Sears) or so hate percs makes me think they have mother- issues that need addressing on the couch! Do your homework before making blanket statements that are not accurate please. M riley.il.

Mar 14, 2014
Old School Brewer
by: Stephen

Percolated coffee is by far the premium method!

Yes, you need to adjust the flame (after you can hear pre boiling) for a perfect(water temp)slow brew.

Once you go old-school...you wont go back!

I wish there were more "stove top" percolator choices available! Has anyone found a good store or online resource?

Enjoy, Stephen

Mar 09, 2014
Perc me, baby
by: Gene

There are quite a few disadvantages to drip coffee at home. One is that you are making the equivalent of coffee tea. The beans are soaked like tea leaves and then you have fairly weak coffee, unless, of course you fill the basket high.
Drip coffee manufactures are not fools. They sell even at the highest level drip makers that will last from 3 months to, if you are danged lucky, 3 years. Even the high end ones do. I know. I dripped coffee for years and found myself buying drip makers quite a darn lot. I even paid for the deluxe $150 kind. Lasted a year.
Percolators last for decades. They cost usually from $45 to $55. Mine has been going now for 21 years, ever since my expensive dripper broke down.
Perking brings out the coffee's bouquet. The aroma that people remember when smelling coffee from percolators was the result of what the French call "nose." You taste with smell, too, and perked is far superior than coffee tea.
You needn't mind too much about grounds. Even drippers don't want them too fine. Percolators can take any cut of beans a brew (brew, not drip) a cup of good joe.

Feb 05, 2014
Keep your eye on it
by: Dave

Perc coffee won't be "boiled" it you pay attention & keep your heat adjusted properly. I use drip machines (or stove top dripolators at home), and a small 3-cup Rapid Brew percolator out in the field. Percolators aren't "set it & forget it" devices.

Jan 06, 2014
Elevation matters
by: Anonymous

The big complaint about Perc. is the use of boiling water when the experts say it should be 195-205 degrees. Well, this assumes water boiling at 212 degrees. This is true at sea level, but not at altitude. Where I live the elevation is about 4,000 feet. Depending on the barometric pressure, water boils somewhere between 196 and 206 degrees. Thus, where I live the Perc. method can produce coffee as good as the $300 drip machines.

Nov 18, 2013
Perculation is better.
by: Dan

Percolation allows hot water to rise over the basket and then rain on the grounds. The grounds are coarser, therefore less sediment enters the solution. The basket's bottom should be about 1/4 inch above the boiling water. Nonetheless, both methods(percolation and drip) are secondary in attaining the full-bodied yet mild flavor of a delicious cup of coffee. The grade of coffee bean is primary. If you've ever tasted the highest premium grade of coffee, you know what I'm talking about.

Nov 17, 2013
Percolated is the best
by:

I believe that percolated coffee is the best. I can't stand the new one cup instant tasting coffee. I also drink my coffee without any sugar or cream. The aroma and taste of fresh percolated coffee beats the drip type.

Nov 10, 2013
LOL
by: bob

Hello!! Even with a drip brewer your grounds are in contact with near boiling water during the entire brew cycle. Percolator hands down for coffee.

Nov 03, 2013
Dis-information
by: Anonymous

The coffee detective, or Barney Fife, must be paid by the people who want to sell you a coffee maker several times in your life. Not by the people who want to sell you a coffee maker that will last for decades. He also wants you to drink bland, unflavorful coffee instead of rich, full bodied coffee. He even advertises machines on the web site. Coffee detective should be locked up for pedaling misinformation. BOOK EM' DANO!!!

Oct 17, 2013
Percolator has it by far.
by: Anonymous

I'd say the coffee detective is not much of a sleuth.

Anybody (see the comments to the 'drip coffee is better' ) using both go for the percolated coffee over 85% of the time.

So tell me, where does the Coffee Detective get its facts?

Signed, bemused on Seattle.

Note from the Coffee Detective:

Dear "Bemused",

A percolator is great for making a regular cup of coffee. I use one myself sometimes. But if you want to get serious about tasting the finer flavors and nuances of quality coffees from different parts of the world...in other words, if you want to taste coffee the way a serious wine lover tastes great wines...then you'll need to use a quality drip brewer like the Bonavita drip brewer, or a pour-over method like the Chemex.

Best wishes,

Nick
aka Coffee Detective

Oct 09, 2013
The Ayes Have It
by: Jeff

I bought a Farberware Stove Top Percolator last spring and haven't looked back. In doing the research on which one to buy, I couldn't find one derogatory comment on the flavor of the coffee from any percolator. Some people thought they weren't as quick or simple but as far as taste and aroma of the coffee brewing, I couldn't find anything bad. I think when you read something bad about a percoloator, it's being written by someone who has a stake in selling you another drip-o-matic or the filters. It's a never ending cycle! My stainless steel pot and glass viewing thingee on top(after market, I hate plastic), will be around long after I've been turned to dust. Soooooo, throw away the plastic contraption and get back to cavepeople coffee! It's AWESOME!!!

May 29, 2013
Percolators are wonderful
by: Larry

Percolated coffee has more flavor, pours from the pot much hotter than drip, and just looks cool sitting on your counter. Not to mention the delightful smell and sound of it percolating.

Amazon has a nice selection of modern percolators, and eBay has many vintage pots for sale. You can also find those high quality versions from the 40's, 50's and 60's at estate sales, yard sales and antique shops.

To see how beautiful and classy these pots can look, check out:

http://www.toastercentral.com/appliance1.htm

Gorgeous. And what a cup of coffee!!

May 28, 2013
Returnign to Electic Percolator Coffe
by: Anonymous

Our drip coffee pot is going out. I decided to return back the the eletric percolator coffee. Such a wonderful smooth flavor.

May 15, 2013
love perked coffee
by: shane

I agree percolators do make a nice more flavorful
cup of coffee I found a westinghouse 1960s percolator recently and roasted some Indian mysore
plantation a beans then used the hand grinder the coffee tasted nicer then what I get from my espresso machine was very surprised love it

Apr 26, 2013
Stovetop Percolator
by: Ed

This is my favorite because it is made of nothing but glass and metal, you can use it even when the power goes out, and you have complete control of the whole perking process. I start with hot water from a kettle, pour it in the percolator pot, place the stem and the basket full of coffee inside, put the lid back on, turn the heat to Medium-high, wait for the first blurps of liquid to splash up and into the glass top, and then SLOWLY turn it back to Low, taking care that the bubbling never gets too slow or too fast. This will keep the temp of the perking liquid a little bit below boiling. Then after it sprays into the glass top and drips down through the spreader, it is cooler still when it finally touches the coffee. So, I disagree with those who say that the temperature is too high with a percolator. Of course, to get this right with the stovetop, it is more labor-intensive, but it is definitely a labor of love. Then there is the joy of watch the water through the glass gradually turn into coffee. It's beautiful. And the smell... ahhh!!! I usually let it go for 10-15 minutes for a really strong, hot cup of coffee.

Apr 25, 2013
Hybrid method
by: Gradivus

I boil the water first, and then after it boils I take it from the stove and pour it into a large carafe that has freshly ground coffee in it. then I stir the coffee/water mixture and after a minute or two (and another quick stir) I pour the mixture, grounds and all, into a drip cone. I like the coffee that comes out. Can anyone see potential taste problems with that method? Isn't that kind of duplicating what a French press does, except with a finer filter and letting it drip instead of pressing it?

Apr 19, 2013
perks of perc
by: Anonymous

A couple weeks ago, the little plastic topper on my electric percolator busted. I had to use the little 4 cup drip that I use for the camper (mostly for tea, soup, and oatmeal).
I am finding that even though I use the same coffee, same amount of coffee, and the same filtered water, the drip coffee is just bitter. UGH! Now I need to add more sugar to compensate.
I will be getting a new topper for my old perc!

Mar 04, 2013
Perked coffee vs Drip
by: Perky

Perked coffee is so much better, i can't believe people think drip is better. I have yet to find a coffee maker that is drip that really produces a great cup of coffee.

Mar 02, 2013
PERK OR DRIP COFFEE
by: Anonymous

your using the wrong bean and the wrong grind, if you use drip grind in your percolator

Jan 31, 2013
perc vs drip
by: Anonymous

We bought a large percolator for a dinner party for a Christmas party that we hosted. The son of our dear friends boasted that percolated coffee does not taste as well as drip and that he should know, because, aside from his masters in English history, he worked as a barrista. I took him on the challenge. We had drip and percolated. Overwhelming the crowd chose the percolated; being smoother and more flavorful with a nice comforting aroma. It stands for reason. Percolation is a time honored way to remove solutes from plant sources. The trick is to never have boiling water touch the bottom of the filter. That is what causes bitterness.

Jan 28, 2013
Oh how wrong you are!
by: Tim

If you "boil" coffee on your stove top, yea, it'll taste like crap! The optimal water temp for a great cup of coffee is around 200 degrees.
If you know anything about the laws of thermodynamics you know that air, as well as water, rise through convection. The "cold" water in the pot is heated on the bottom and forced up through the percolator tube in the middle and it DOESN'T NEED TO BE BOILING TO DO IT! An electric percolator has a thermostat that keeps the water from boiling just like a drip coffee maker does. If you have ever taken the time to watch a percolator work theres NOT a lot of steam rising from the machine, THIS WOULD INDICATE BOILING, and would also indicate a faulty thermostat. Another misconception is that "the water is in constant contact with the coffee". Sorry, not so! The water that has been infused with the coffee is already hot and stays on the top as the cold water on the bottom is pulled up thru the tube. The percolator stops perking when the temperature inside the tube is equal to the temp in the pot. The basket containing the grounds IS NOT in constant contact with the water! It is, if you're stupid, and over filled the pot. YES, some of the infused coffee/water mix is "recirculated" through the grounds. However, that, IMHO, is what adds to the flavor of the coffee and makes a better cup than a drip coffee maker. Also. . . Many drip coffee makers work on EXACTLY the same principal as a percolator! if the water resevour is the same level as the pot how else does it get up to the basket to drip into the pot?
Do a little "detective" work and uncover the mechanical principals of the old outdated percolator!

Jan 19, 2013
How about French press?
by: Alan

It is the consensus of contributors to certain coffee forums -- Coffee Detective, for example -- that percolated coffee is better than drip. The contributors to some *other* forums believe that *drip* is better. How do you guys rate French press coffee?

Jan 17, 2013
Make mine perked, please!
by: Anonymous

In 1975 I received a Farberware 8 cup percolator which was "superfast" at a cup-a-minute brew time. Through the years I 'modernized' and went through many auot-drip machines, having followed the fashion started by Mr. Coffee. About 10 years ago I came upon a like-new circa 1970's Farberware at a garage sale and have never gone back. I might add that just last weekend I gave a vintage (made in Brooklyn) 4 cup Farberware percolator to my stepdaughter (who is an ex-Starbuck's manager), when we celebrated a late Christmas. She was thrilled and maintains the percolators are far superior for flavored coffees especially. I can't say about that because I don't like flavored beans...I can say that since 2006 I have bought 7 vintage Farberware Superfast pots on ebay and at church sales and they are all in daily use by younger people who once thought drip coffee was the only way you could make it. To each his own, right?

Jan 03, 2013
Glass Percolated Coffee
by: Anonymous

Just because technology is introduced, doesn't mean it's better.

Everything comes full circle. And it always amazes me...the basics and the simplest always wins...

I prefer my Pyrex glass peculator.

Nov 23, 2012
Why I like percolated coffee
by: David

1. Less coffee is used with a percolator. Drip coffee makers require more coffee (one of the main reasons coffee manufacturers push the drip method).

2. Percolated coffee is hotter. I have tried many, many drip coffee makers (from the high end ones to the sub-$100 ones) and my main complaint was invariably concerning the temp being too cold.

3. To me, percolated coffee just tastes better. The flavor is richer (albeit somewhat more bitter with certain brands of coffee) and the temp is hot enough after adding a little cream.

The only drawback to using a percolator is they are a little more work to clean up (not much) and if you dont use a filter, there will usually be some grounds in the bottom of the pot (which I avoid by using a small paper filter with a small hole pierced in the middle for the tube).

Nov 08, 2012
Personal taste
by: Alvin

It is really a matter of personal taste based on the flavor and smell you get from the amount of time the water is in contact with the coffee. Percolators can be timed to produce the desirable flavor and taste and so can a stove top drip pot. Both produce a far hotter coffee than electric machines because the electric machine makers are afraid to make coffee makers that get too hot because of liability issues. Find one or several methods that work for you and forget about what the coffee snobs preach because it just their opinions, too.

Nov 08, 2012
Love perc
by: Anonymous

Years ago we only used perced coffee. I don't know how we switched to drip. I guess when drip came out the fad was to switch. Best coffee years ago was from diners which used giant percolators. We have now had several drip coffee makers over the years and I still think percolators make more flavorful coffee. I swear I can taste the paper filter from drip makers. Drip makers only have the water going through the grounds one time not getting the full flavor. Percolators has the water continuously being recycled through the grounds capturing more flavor. So I still prefer the percolator. I haven't tried the Keurig yet. But I doubt it will be better than perced coffee.

Oct 02, 2012
Perked is much better!
by: Anonymous

I had a mid-level Bunn that finally bit the dust when the hot water tank started to boil itself dry instead of going through the drip basket one hectic morning. I had just replaced all the tires on my car, so the budget was a little tight. I remembered a Farberware Millennium 12 cup electric percolator I had received as a wedding present, and hauled it out of the cupboard, hooked it up, and what seemed like five minutes later, had a great pot of delicious, strong but mellow coffee. So I disagree that dripolators are better. My percolator has replaced the bulky counter-hogger. I don't mind waiting a few minutes for my coffee if it tastes so much better. Anyways, I think that if the brief wait bothers someone so much, chances are they're already drinking way too much coffee!

Aug 17, 2012
Perked coffee brings back great memories.
by: Lisa C.

I was married in 1975 and received a Farberware electric percolator for a shower gift. Used it for a few years until it died or I decided to become modern and use a Mr. Coffee. For about 30 years I used drip coffeemakers (ranging from the least expensive to the expensive one with all the bells and whistles). Recently, my most expensive one died after about 7 years and I decided I was tired of it taking up so much space on my kitchen countertop. I decided to go back to the Farberware electric percolator and am delighted with the delicious smell, taste and nice hot cup of coffee. We drink it fast so it doesn't have time to get old and stale. Reminds me of Friday nights back in the 1950's and 1960's when my mother got together with her sisters and there was always a pot of coffee perking and an fresh coffee cake. Not going back anytime soon!

Aug 02, 2012
Yeah for Perculators!!!
by: Dianne P

After years of figuring out how does one make a great cup of coffee... I had a group discussion with my 'restaurant relatives'...some say its the coffee, some say the cup, some say the brew....final answer is the temp of the water is key and you get that by using an old fashioned electric perculator! I bought an old Presto at the Brimfield Antique Fair for $5 and I tell you I get the best cup of coffee ever! Hot and full flavor...house smells great too! The black and decker drip is now marked for the tag sale.

Jul 25, 2012
Definitely perc' !!!I
by: Sarah

my daughter recently offered to buy me a machine for my birthday, but the kitchen I have here in this apartment, you cant place too much stuff.So at local canadian tyre I saw a stove top perc and remembered when I used to visit my brother in the caribbean, he used to have a perc on the stove in the mornings, and that heavenly smell.Just gorgeous.So I thought, why not, that is the old fashioned way.Even coffee growers, thats how they made their coffee, not drip. who better to know how coffee is made and drunk but those that grew the stuff; and I havent looked back since.One to two cups a day and I am 'filled'.Didnt they say recently that coffee has many health benefits.Years ago, they used to say its bad for you.Dont pay attention to all those experts.They change like the wind.

Jul 22, 2012
Percolators Rule
by: Anonymous

"...In other words, percolators just boil the flavor out of your coffee."

Of course a percolator boils the flavor out - out of the bean and into the hot water. This is what it is supposed to do. More flavor goes into the water than with a once through drip. This is why so many people like percolated coffee! It tastes better because it has more taste.

Jul 21, 2012
Perk Vs drip
by: Anonymous

How does recirculateing water over ground coffie take out the flaver?!! Traditionally the purpose of perk pot is for stronger bolder flaver. It's more economical because all the flaver is extracted and you get more coffie out less grounds.

Jul 17, 2012
Leah
by: Anonymous

Every drip coffee maker I've ever owned brewed lukewarm coffee. By the time you added creamer to your cup, the coffee was cold. The machines themselves only seem to last 2 years at the most before they either burn out the element, or the coffee starts to taste funky no matter how much you clean or run vinegar solution through it.

Jun 30, 2012
It can't taste good unless it *smells* good.
by: Alan

I finally figured it out. Most of what we think we are "tasting" we are actually *smelling.* We cannot taste without our sense of smell.

Theoretically, percolating destroys coffee because it continually boils it. It boils the taste -- *and* the *aroma* -- out of it and into the air. That is why your entire house smells so good when a percolator is going; you smell coffee aroma in the air long before you even begin to pour it, let alone drink it.

*Drip* coffee, on the other hand, may contain all of its "taste," but it does not release much of its aroma. Little aroma into your nose results in little effective taste.

So, if you want the best coffee experience, drink *drip* while you are smelling percolated.

Jun 21, 2012
Percolater is waaay better
by: Neighborhoodspiderman

I recently tried percolated coffee for the first time on a camping trip and it was the best I have ever had. I am shocked to see that there are so many on the internet that say "percolator coffee is bad dont try it" but after reading the comments on this page my faith in humanoty has been restored. So many of the old ways were better but are being phased out. Im glad tHat there are still percolator enthusiasts out there like me. Drip coffee, I will never go back

May 31, 2012
Taste vs experts
by: Coffee gourmet

As most experts say, perced coffee is not "not as good as dripped and should be avoided" Well, I guess from all these comments, once again the 'experts' are WRONG !!! Percolated coffee has a taste that is much more pleasing and is the reason people have loved it for years. Would it have not been easier years ago to just boil water and dump it over coffee grounds (as in 'dripped'). Of course it would, just not as tasty. I suppose someone will tell use to just microwave coffee someday...The fact is perced coffee is better...

Apr 28, 2012
i just got a retro GE perc at walmart
by: Anonymous

I love my perc coffee my gram always had n used a farberware perc her coffee was the best.. my mother had mr. Coffee auto drips.. I've had several coffee makers and I finally got a perc.. mmm coffee never tasted so good again. Just like my grammys.

Mar 21, 2012
Percolator slower better and cheaper
by: art

I love my Percolated coffee. I purchased my Corningware electric percolator around 1971. Corningware had a recall on them due to a hanble seperation about 1976. I figured if mine lasted that long why bother. I still use it to this day year 2012. I found that the electric percolator takes a couple of minutes more to finish but uses about 1/3rd less ground coffee to get a good tasting cup of coffee.

Mar 19, 2012
Save money with Percolator
by: Anonymous

I use 1 3rd less coffee in my percolator. That's a great way for me to save $$$.

Mar 19, 2012
I Love My Electric Percolator
by: Anonymous

I have one of those old Corningware recalled for seperating handle, safty reasons. I got it in 1971. It still brews a great pot of coffee in about 9 min..

Mar 08, 2012
Electric pots
by: Carmine

I like the electric pots since they make a quick and predicable cup of coffee. My only problem is forgetting to add the water and burning up the pot.

Feb 21, 2012
Perc Is The Best
by: Bugsy

I have been thru so many drip coffee makers, all brands expensive cheap etc... trying to find that great cup of coffee... So I puchased a westbend eletric percolater OMG! The coffee taste so MUCH
Better....I will never go back to drip......

Feb 05, 2012
Percolator- Boil??
by: Bruce

I have to disagree with your point about percolators. The water never boils in a percolator. The water heats to approx. 180 degrees and because it is somewhat under pressure, it begins to "percolate" through the stem of the percolator. It never gets to boiling point 212 degrees F. The water in a drip coffee maker is heated (approx the same temp)in a similar way-through a heated tube and somewhat under pressure(water expands as it heats) and is expelled and the heated water drips through the grounds. That is why there are different grinds of coffee. Regular for percolators and drip (which is quite a bit finer therefore having more surface exposed to the hot water. I personally prefer Percolated coffee. Drip coffee just doesn't have the "pizazz" that perked coffee does.

Feb 05, 2012
really?
by: GreenMan1313

I really wonder if the author of this article even drinks coffee or if they really just recycled past information into their article. Even old Maxwell House regular blue coffee tastes fantastic out of the old stovetop perc....ofyten times the old ways are better.....

Jan 19, 2012
Percs seem better to me
by: Anonymous

I love my percolator... I'm glad others on this site disagree with this post as well.

Jan 06, 2012
Percorlator or Drip?
by: scottae316

The editor of this site and other experts claim that modern electric percolators boil the water. This makes absolutely no sense. If this were so, the only thing coming up the tube would be steam which is the result of water being boiled. If you watch the glass top of a percolator you will see it is WATER, not steam. Yes, it may boil at the bottom but as it travels up the tube and comes in contact with the lid you it turns back to liquid. Just think for a moment, how long would it take to make coffee if it was steam and not water. A little common sense will tell you that this is a myth. Now if one has an expensive drip machine that has precise temperature control and a good spray nozzle (like a Bunn) it would do an excellent job if you used non-bleached filter papers. But the vast majority of coffee makers do not have precise temperature and spray nozzle control.

Dec 18, 2011
Drip is a waist
by: Anonymous

I am going back to our percolated coffee maker. We have tried various drip makers, and all seem to have a bland taste. Most were absolute coffee waisters, with poor saturation. I am tired of the amount of coffee needed in a drip to make a good full tasting cup of joe. Each time in the past when we went back to percolated, the taste was better, and our coffee bean consumption went down. As far as getting the right amount, coffee blend, and grind, this needs to be done with drip or percolated. The aroma is the icing on the cake with a percolator, and a good hot cup is also nice, without the use of a microwave.

Dec 16, 2011
Perked coffee is hotter
by: Anonymous

Doesn't anyone agree that perked coffee is and remains much hotter than the drip

Dec 14, 2011
Prefer to Perc for sure!
by: Anonymous

I bought a perc by the advice of my mum. She said it makes the best cup of coffee. I had to try it! I purchased one online and it came in a couple nights ago. I love my coffee, I really do but this perc... out of this world good! I don't know how to explain it other than if you don't perc you don't know good coffee! The color, the richness, the scent, there isn't anything like it. Brewed seriously just tastes like flavored water but perc coffee is truly full bodied. It's like chocolate milk thick but it's coffee. You can't do better, I urge you to try it, I'll never go back to brew :)

Sep 25, 2011
No WAY
by: Anonymous

Are you kidding me? Percolated coffee retains all of the oils, all of the flavor. Nothing beats a good cup of percolated coffee in the morning (or any other time of day). Drip coffees are weak coffee flavored water in comparison!

-A proud coffee snob

Jul 03, 2011
A good perk is best!
by: Larry

I have a coffee group that is devoted to vacuum pots. While they made do a good job if everything is just right, I also love to try other kinds. I have had many versions of drip pots. Some I rather like just for what they are. But after discovering that some very old early perks that used alcohol or were heated on a solid fuel range worked so well if watched carefully I expanded to some newer electric types I found on ebay or sales.
Here is my experience which I often retry to prove to my self its correct. I could name at least four bean coffees that I have ground reasonably fine which in a drip pot made awful coffee. I was really going to give up on them. However when I ground them more like perk pots need, more coarse, and then used a quality mid 50's or 40's perk, the results were amazing, enough so I would never have guessed that it was the same beans. That hooked me on trying many percolators. Most stove tops including the popular pyrex ruined the taste in my book. But the mid century rather deco Sunbeam when working correctly is a terrific producer of all sizes of pots of good coffee. I am currently testing out a Dormeyer pot which is pretty fair but I am disappointed in the construction compared to Sunbeam. Bottom line is the best pots in their day knew what they were doing, many standard "Plug In" perks from the 20's on up will make wretched tasting over cooked coffee. As will many later with bad thermostats. If your persistent I think you will find that a good electric perk can be a wonderful addition to your line of coffee makers.
As a side note, I keep seeing temperatures of somewhere near 210 for perks to stop at. So far my experience is that the better ones tend to shut off when the water is nearer 170 to 180 which is fine by me. The coffee has a better flavor as it cools off some which may be personal taste?

Editor's Note: Larry, hi. Do you have photos? If so, you can share them here: http://www.coffeedetective.com/coffee-photos.html

Also, are some of these percolators still available? If so, where? If not, which of the modern percs do you think is best?

Nick

Jan 28, 2011
I switched to percolated coffee
by: Anonymous

I just inherited my mom's old electric (Mirro? GE?) 9-cup electric percolator, and I'm hooked. I think the coffee has a much smoother edge than drip coffee. DH (who is the brewer in the family) cheerfully makes the perked coffee for me; for him, the only drawback is that it takes longer than a pot of drip coffee, but I think I can get him to make the switch permanent.

Jan 24, 2011
Will never go back to drip!
by: Svetlana

I recently purchased a 4-cup FARBERWARE electric percolator and will never go back to drip. The coffee tastes smoother/richer and seems to be less acidic.

This change came about after having been out to dinner with friends and enjoying a good cup of coffee. One of my companions said "I wish coffee at home tasted this good!" I remembered how wonderful mom's percolated coffe was back in the old days. She used the FARBERWARE electric as well.

Just purchased the 8-cup on Amazon - they offer a 12 cup as well.


Nov 08, 2010
Best brewer?
by: John S. ST pete fl

Can anyone recommend a brewer that brewers really hot coffee. Most are around 180 to 190. Coffee not good like commercial machines

Thanks. John.

Sep 26, 2010
Love my perc!
by: Mr Coffee

Yup, Coffee is my last name :)

We switched from drip to perc a few years
ago. We started with a Pyrex 6 cup perc
that I got off E-bay. But, it DID boil the
water. The coffee was very good, though.
Being a Pyrex, we broke a couple of the pieces
over the next few years and finally decided
to stop replacing them. VERY expensive.
You also had to babysit the pot to be
sure you achieved your "low roll" or you
ruined the batch you were making.

We have an electric one now and we LOVE it!
No babysitting :)

Why did we switch?

We did not like the plastic parts of the
drip nor the bleached paper filter. Also,
the kitchen does not have the coffee aroma
with the drip that the perc gives us!

My wife wants to go back to the Pyrex because
it is cool..LOL..but I think our electric
one makes better coffee. So, that's the
one we will be using for now.

Jul 21, 2010
electric percs do not boil
by: rob

Hi--I agree with the previous post that percs do not boil water. Water is heated in the well only hot enough to cause bubbles which then move the water upward through the perc tube. Water is continually entering the well to be heated. The perc brewing shuts off when the temperature of the coffee reaches serving temperature. It takes longer to brew this way .

I have a corning 10 cup electric percolator which brews perfect coffee.

Jun 22, 2010
Remembering Percolated Coffee
by: Joe - No pun intended

My Polish grandmother and mom had me drinking coffee at 4 years old albeit with cream and 2 teaspoons of sugar. This is in the 50's an early 60's. They percolated coffee in a small metal percolator with a glass top on an electric stove. Not sure about the coffee/water measurements but I do remember them adding a pinch of salt or two to mitigate the bitterness. Heat on "HI" until percolating starts and then turn down to level "4". I always thought it stopped percolating by itself, I guess as the heat gradually reduced, and that meant it was done. The aroma was comforting to me and the taste was delicious. Over the years I got caught up in the efficiency of drip coffee but today I longed for percolated coffee after reminiscing with my childhood friend. Think I'll look for one of those 4 cup metal percolators.

May 05, 2010
I think that like the perc
by: bubalu

I picked a 8 cup poly perk (of all things) at Savers for $5. I spent three days cleaning it with brew rite - maybe ten or more cycles. Followed directions that I found online. Ended up with an excellent brew. I may switch to percolated, maybe I'll by a new 12 cupper. It takes up less space.

Mar 15, 2010
One more time, I will explain this.....
by: Anonymous

Electric percolators do not boil; they heat the water to between 195 and 205 degrees, depending upon wattage. The water is heated in a small well into which the bottome of the pump stem sets. This action creates pressure, causing the hot water to rise through the tube until it spills out into the basket full of ground coffee.
As this drips down through and out the basket full of coffee, the hotter mixture remains on top as more cold water is cycled up through the pump stem once again.
Eventually, mixing ocurs, and there is coffee cycling through the grinds repeatedly, but this causes no different a chemical reaction than what takes place in a press pot where the grinds are floating in the hot water for a few minutes.

Mar 09, 2010
Percolator Coffee Myths
by: NewsView

Are there bad percs? Of course! You have to do your homework before you buy. But don't believe it when people say they will "boil" your coffee. That's old school. A modern perc won't. And like any coffee brewing method, it takes practice to master the right technique.

TIPS:

1) To avoid bitterness, do not leave spent grinds in the perc to "keep warm". Use an oven mitt to discard the spent grinds ASAP.


2) Coffee should be consumed within 30 minutes and/or transferred to an insulated server for fresh taste an hour or more later. A glass, vacuum lined server or airpot is a good flavor-saving investment.

3) Do not use pre-ground coffee. A coarser grind will prevent A) harsh taste, B) grinds in the bottom of the pot. There ARE perc paper filters but some people can taste them. I simply avoid serving that last bit. Even on a drip coffeemaker the very bottom of the pot will have more dissolved solids. Don't drink it!

4) Coffee aficionados will spend more money on a quality burr grinder than anything else! What matters for a French press or a drip coffeemaker ? consistent grind size ? makes a difference in the quality of perc coffee, too. The operator's know-how will make the greatest difference ? not the method per se.


FACT VS. FICTION

A) When perc coffeemakers got their bad reputation, bitter ROBUSTO beans prevailed. Today we enjoy better access to fresh coffee/local roasters. We're not living in the 1960s and the perc technology ? and our impressions of it ? needs to keep pace with the times.

B) A 2008 COOKS ILLUSTRATED article revealed that MOST modern drip coffeemakers struggle to extract properly. If they do at all, we aren't seeing a benefit until minutes later ? assuming you brew ENTIRE POTS! Drip coffeemakers are not superior to the perc. Their weaknesses are just different.

C) Critics claim that wonderful perc aroma means all the good flavors are burning off. Not so fast! Much of what we perceive as flavor is actually conferred by SCENT. Would you accuse a restaurant that serves delicious smelling food of "cooking out flavor"? Absolutely not! If you've ever experienced severe congestion from a cold, allergies or sinus infection you may recall how bland food tasted. That's because you weren't getting the benefit of the aroma in your nose/mouth. We're "evolved" as a species to be drawn to fresh, fragrant aromas for good reason. Your nose knows the facts!

C) BPA and pthalates made headlines in recent years for turning up in plastic baby bottles. What of the fact that many of these plasticizers are in our automatic drip coffeemakers? If substances known to contribute to breast and prostate cancer are of concern ? given that the increase in those cancers parallel our "love affair" with plastics over the past 50 years ? the percolator may be a welcomed bright spot in a dim horizon.

In short, don't knock a perc until you've TRIED a perc!

Feb 01, 2010
agreed drip is best
by: Anonymous

my drip coffee machine just broke so I had to get out an old perc pot that my aunt gave me. It worked so I had coffee, but the taste was not anywhere near as good as the drip! It tasted like an old cup of joe, not the strong wonderful coffee flavor I've come to enjoy. I only use organic coffees and I don't like it weak, but perculated coffee just can't cut it for the wonderful coffee flavor, not even close.

Dec 09, 2009
Prefer percolate
by: Anonymous

I also enjoy coffee especially when I have it from a coffee shop or hotel, for the last year I have been drinking drip coffee but no matter how I changed the ammounts if coffee and water it was always bitter I even quit drinking coffee because it was so disgusting. I have just recenty switched to a percolater and it tastes so much better, I can enjoyy coffee again.

Sep 23, 2009
Perc Perc Perc
by: Robert

I have always enjoyed perc over drip. I find the sound of the perculating familiar and calming. Maybe I am just old fashioned, but coffee to me is an event not just a thing to cross off my list during my day.

Sep 09, 2009
I like perked..
by: Dallas Perker

I picked an old Pyrex percolator and tried it out using 100% arabica coffee, mid-priced, to see how it compared to my Mr. Coffee dripper. I was very pleased with the taste of the percolated coffee.I tasted a slight more bitterness, but overall, the flavors were more pronounced than the drip coffee I'm used to. I use coffee creamer, which masked the bitterness. Kind of reminded me of McD coffee, which always seems more bitter than mine at home.

Aug 22, 2009
Perc fan
by: Anonymous

Agree. I switched from drip to percolated years ago, and still using the same percolator. My mom had one too, back in the 60's, and I remember stealing sips from her coffee cup as a kid. Even then the coffee tasted great. I recently tried to go back to drip, for the automatic timer, but decided to give away the coffee maker and pull the percolator from storgage. Maybe all that childhood caffiene caused some brain damage, but I don't believe what they say about percolators boiling and ruining the coffee. The taste is just not nearly as good, to me, brewed any other way - including French press.

Percolators also offer some cost savings. No paper filters needed, and less coffee is required to brew a pot, vs. filter drip. Yet the flavor is richer, and yes, a little stonger. Depending on the coffee blend, and brand, you may have to play with a pot or two, adjusting your tablespoon levels, until you find the measurement that suits your taste. Once you do, you may be hooked for life.

Also, try skipping the expensive coffee shop stuff - many ordinary grocery brands taste wonderful, percolated. However, avoid the cheap, everyday "regular" blends by the top coffee manufacturers. They can taste pretty awful, esp percolated. Instead, spend the extra .50-.75 cents and try their next level up - the specialty blends. (eg "100% Columbian") I am often pleasantly surprised by their rich taste and lack of bitterness. The extra blending and roasting effort is noticeable.)

One last note. Concentrated coffee will continue to drip from the percolator basket after the coffee brews. Remember to remove the basket 4-5 minutes after the brew cycle completes to avoid an overly strong pot of Joe.

Aug 07, 2009
Pecolator Coffee Is Best
by: Anonymous

The reason that percolator coffee is best or even french press for that matter is the hot water stays in contact with the beans longer releasing the natural oils of the coffee and making for a better cup. I roast my own coffee and percolator coffee is just more flavorful and more intense than drip. Making automatic drip coffee is like pouring hot water over a chicken and calling it soup.

Jun 29, 2009
I prefer to percolate
by: Anonymous

I feel that percolated coffee actually releases more nuances of flavor that does your typical drip pot. Not only that but the temperature of the coffee remains hotter for a longer duration of time.


Sep 14, 2008
Not so
by: Anonymous

Perc coffee is the best

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