Drip or Percolated coffee...which is best?

Electric Coffee Percolator

Electric Coffee Percolator

Electric 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.

If you use a quality drip brewer you will almost always preserve more of the subtleties of taste that are lost with a percolator.

A percolator isn't great for getting the best from a good coffee, but it does make a great cup of Joe. A nice, strong cup of coffee.

The only problem I see with a percolator is that the water is a little too hot when it hits the ground coffee. A little too close to boiling point. With pour-over coffee makers, for example, one typically waits 30-45 seconds for the boiled water to cool by a few degrees before pouring it over the coffee.

That said, I have made percolated coffee often enough, and have enjoyed the result. The coffee has a rich, bold feel that is often lost, particular with cheaper drip brewers.

So if you like strong, rich coffee, you may well want to try a percolator.

One coffee percolator we can recommend is the Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker .

More on coffee percolators:

Sunbeam AP-20 automatic 10-cup percolator.

Stove top coffee percolator.

Percolators are the best!

New seal for the Sunbeam C-30A vacuum coffee maker?

West Bend 5-9 cup Percolator.

Percolators get a bad rap.

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

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Aug 03, 2015
Coffeematic. . . if you can find it
by: Joyce

A drip coffee person of many years, one day I was cleaning out my mother's basement and came upon a lovely Universal Coffeematic from the 60's. It was so beautifully shaped and sturdy it just captured the "essence" of a coffee maker. It had no electric cord, but I found one on Ebay for a few $. This percolator makes the most amazing cup of coffee!! After a few pots I got the exact right strength and enjoy a perfect hot cup every morning. No more wasted paper filters. To the ghosts of Coffeematic which is no more, thanks so much for the beautiful thing you made. Drip coffee does not hold a candle to it.

Aug 02, 2015
Perk it up!
by: Anonymous

I'm not a "coffee snob." Never spend the bucks at Starbucks, prices out of this world. (thus Starbucks?). I just made that up. My wife broke our Mr coffee drip glass pot. Mom in law gave us an old perkolater...it RULES.

Jul 27, 2015
To Percolate or not to Percolate, that is the question...
by: Aisha

As I write this, I am drinking a delicious cup of percolated coffee from my beautiful art deco glass top vintage 1950’s Farberware percolator. I purchased it because it reminded me of the wonderful homey aroma and sounds that emanated from the percolator my grandmother used while making breakfast. The flavor of my Vintage is far superior but because of its age, I have only used it on occasion. For daily use I have a Mr. Coffee drip that has lasted so many years, I forgot how long I have had it. Recently I broke the glass carafe on the Mr. Coffee. I was deliberating between either finding a replacement for the carafe on eBay or purchasing a brand new coffeemaker. After much research and reading many reviews, I realized that the new coffee makers do not last that long – even the expensive ones. Plus there have been complaints about the plastic taste in the coffee. When checking them out in the stores, the plastic seemed more flimsy. I was not interested in a programmable as I don’t drink coffee at the same time each day. I happened upon this article and thanks to the overwhelming reviews in favor of percolators, I just purchased a Farberware Superfast Automatic Percolator on eBay for daily use. I also decided to purchase a replacement carafe for the Mr. Coffee on eBay since it still works which I will store. Thanks again and happy percolated coffee drinking!

Jun 02, 2015
Need a Durable Percalator
by: Anonymous

A friend tipped us off to going with electric perk about 2 years ago and we love the taste and temperature. We start our day very early and were used to setting the timer on the auto-drip so I plug the electric percolator into a timer at the wall outlet and when we get to the kitchen the coffee is ready. Our only problem is that the percolators only last 6 months to a year with daily use. We have had 3 different brands and this morning the West Bend heated the water, but didn't perk,the coffee.

May 20, 2015
aluminum
by: James

Not all percolators are made of aluminum.I have a sunbeam AP20 from the early 60's it is constructed out of copper and chrome plated on the outside and nickle plated on the inside.

May 09, 2015
Perced Coffee !
by: Gary F. in Michigan

I think with all the positive comments on Perced Coffee, all these people can't be wrong !

May 06, 2015
Aluminum
by: Karen

I forgot to add that there were concerns that aluminum presented itself more with acidic foods like tomatoes or coffee.

May 06, 2015
Aluminum
by: Karen

I would love to get a vintage Sunbeam or GE electric percolator - but don't all vintage coffee pots have aluminum linings? Another poster here said he wouldn't drink coffee from these pots because of the aluminum and the risks. Any thoughts on this subject?

Apr 25, 2015
perked coffee
by: skillet

I use a Faberware stovetop percalator every morning. It takes longer, but is arguably better. I am naturally retro.

There is an advantage. When the power went out during the last snow, I just pulled out my gas stove and did not miss a single cup of coffee.

Real he-man survivalist prepper types prefer percalators. Much more masculine.

I also like the stovetop european coffee brewers, but I keep those secret.

European espresso coffee has a marxist Che Guevara feel to it, and any real American will avoid being corrupted by espresso. I will admit I whipped that thing out to the delight of some Frenchies who visited me a few years back. They said my stovetop contraption was how their grandparents made coffee.

But I am all about the 1950's style real Americana percalator. It is a bulwark against communism and socialism. Great for lone prairie types.

Jan 07, 2015
Going Retro
by: In Memorium

I was recently browsing for old books in an antique store, and came upon a vintage 1960's G.E. 4-slice toaster, still in the box, never used, made in the USA. I bought it for $15. That got me to thinking about replacing my ailing Mr. Coffee machine with a vintage percolator. For years I had my grandmother's old GE percolator, but after almost 40 years, it gave up the ghost. After several years of various and assorted drip machines, I have reverted to a vintage Sears 12-cup percolator I found on e-Bay. I can't wait to hear the age-old sound pf coffee percolating again! I am increasingly less and less impressed by all the "gee-whiz" high tech stuff being thrown at us today, especially since most all of it comes from China. Nevertheless, I'm grateful that well-made, American-made vintage products are still available.

Jan 03, 2015
Perc is best!
by: Lee

I love my electric percolator. It beats Keurigs and drip machines hands down. I have both of those coffee makers sitting in my garage now. I disagree that anything is "lost" in perc coffee as far as flavor. But my favorite thing about an electric percolator is that you get a truly hot beverage and not a lukewarm one.

Dec 22, 2014
Perked vs. drip
by: Anonymous

I love percolated coffee, however, I also have a little ceramic pot with a ceramic paper filter holder which one pours water over the beans to brew coffee, and that makes great coffee.

I cant stand automatic drip, and/or French press methods, to me they are the worst ways in which to brew coffee for various reasons.
As much as I have always loved percolated coffee, the pour over drip makes a superior cup of coffee.

Dec 20, 2014
Perk
by: Brad Moyse

The best coffee is a perked cup.I have my Nanny's and Mum's pyrex coffee pots.The trick here is to add a sprinkle of salt to the coffee.They always did.It gives it a smooth flavour...Please try it!!!I threw out my coffee maker.

Dec 17, 2014
Reply to Editor.
by: Anonymous

"Editor's Note: Busted me! :) I've actually been trying some percolate[sic] coffee. I love it for a good brew. But still wouldn't use it to get the very best out of a high quality coffee bean".

I'm not so sure of that, of course everyone has a right to his/her opinion, however, if ever there was a 'coffee snob', without a doubt it is me!
I roast my own beans, (green beans mostly from Sweet Maria's), I've had/have quite possibly every conceivable way in which to brew coffee. To me the worst are the press, and auto. drip methods.

Like most things there is a learning curve, once this curve is straightened out in coffee brewing, for me there is no way better than perked coffee.

Out of all my percolators,(I have 6):)
I finally got it down to using an old Farberware SuperFast for me, that is the best.

Also, with perked coffee less beans are required, and seeing as how my beans cost a small fortune, less beans for a better 'cupa-joe' is a winning situation.

Dec 14, 2014
Perc Brands
by: Gary F. in Mich

One thing my parents taught me about buying a perk is stay away from GE, they make the lousiest coffee ! Stick with the West Bend Brand, you can't go wrong !
I would personally go out on ebay and you can find a New Old Stock ( NOS ) or a lightly used one really cheap, and you can try it and you're not out that much if you don't like it. But I don't think that will be the case !
Go for it, they're usually around $20.00 !

Dec 14, 2014
Still Looking For GE Perkolator info
by: Anonymous

Does any one know what the mild-strong knob control? Does it control how hot the element is or how hot it gets before units shuts off. Mine is brewing for to long and trying to figure it out.

Dec 14, 2014
Coffee Detective seems to have changed?
by: Anonymous

I've been following this blog for several Months, and it seems as though the Coffee Detective has changed his review/post. Perhaps he/she read all of the positive statement written about the best coffee ever (IMO), wonderful percolated coffee.

Editor's Note: Busted me! :) I've actually been trying some percolate coffee. I love it for a good brew. But still wouldn't use it to get the very best out of a high quality coffee bean.


Dec 14, 2014
Coffee Dective is greatly mistaken!
by: Anonymous

The best coffee ever, and the way in which many Central/S.Americans brew coffee is by percolating.

If convenience is something that is important, and perhaps one of the reasons a person chooses to use the horrible drip method, simply get one of the old Farberware Superfast electric percolators. They are as their name states, fast, and one gets the best coffee ever...percolated!

Dec 11, 2014
Gas Stove top Percolator
by: AV1

I've tried just about everything associated with making coffee over the last 30 years, short of using a professional 20 or 30k café machine or maybe a properly operated cheaper domestic dual boiler machine, the gas stove top flame heated percolator wins hands down !

Dec 05, 2014
She who perks is not a jerk.
by: Anonymous

There is absolutely NO COMPARISON with drip-versus-perked coffee

The Keurig/one-cup coffee makers are just kitchen counter "bling" that scream "looky-here, I can afford this".

Coffee in it's best form is percolated, or made on the stove manually... a daily custom for many Latin families.

The GE electric perk pots from the 60's and 70's are my favorite. I set them on "strong", and mix Cafe'Bustelo with a milder ground coffee... the best coffee ever.

And for a real treat.... use a few ice-cubes in the water before you brew. Somehow starting with ice-cold water, the coffee comes out even better.

Who wants to drink coffee that has only once slid through the flavorful grounds???

Nov 11, 2014
GE Vintage Percolator
by: Anonymous

Does any one know what the mild-strong knob control? Does it control how hot the element is or how hot it gets before units shuts off. Mine is brewing for to long and trying to figure it out.

Nov 04, 2014
I found a Farberware Superfast
by: Anonymous

I'd been using a cheap drip maker with paper filters. I found a Farberware Superfast percolator in the cupboard and started using that. I love the coffee from this thing! I find the flavor to have more pleasant nuances to it than filtered drip coffee. It's more satisfying. I really enjoy that morning coffee now.

I actually just searched on "Who likes old time percolators" and found this site. I might buy a vintage percolator to give as a gift this Christmas just to spread the word.

Oct 23, 2014
A better cup
by: Anonymous

I only recently started using an electric percolator and I love it. I found that automatic drip did not heat the water enough to extract the best from the coffee. The percolator coffee is warmer and more flavorful.

Oct 19, 2014
Perc is fine ...
by: Anonymous

My home coffee was always drip or a french press for years, but I always liked the taste of the stuff my parents and in-laws brewed in their percolators. As stupid as it sounds, I believed what I read and avoided a perc. My MIL bought me a cute little 8-cup percolator for Xmas a few years ago and it's become my favorite. As soon as I see that the brewing has started, I turn the heat almost all the way down and give it 6 minutes.

Sep 28, 2014
Drip coffee is a drip!
by: David A.

I'm old enough to remember when drip coffee makers first came on the scene; and let me tell you this; no one I knew liked them!
They started becoming popular due to lying, deceiving sellers stating that percolators "boil the water/coffee"! Yes, a stove top percolator CAN boil the water...IF you don't monitor it, and simply leave the percolator on a high heat...like a complete moron!

It seems as though the sheep of the world love to love that which is popular; drip is popular, drip is the best to the sheep; press is popular, press is best to the followers etc.
Humanity has lost its ability to think, and to use logic.
Percolators BOIL coffee? [should be boil water].
Absolute nonsense!
That sort of thinking could only come from the mind of one who believes the fairy tale of a man living inside a fish to be factual.

Sep 26, 2014
Another silly meme!
by: Anonymous

Sorry, but you are merely another parrot.
I have several percolators, one of which is an old GLASS percolator from the 50's. I'm able to visually see when the coffee starts to percolate in my glass percolator.
The coffee begins percolating way before boiling!
It starts to percolate during the simmering stage..NOT BOILING!

So, if you percolate coffee using a stove top percolator, (which is my favorite), simply lower the heat way down as soon as you see the coffee begin to percolate.

Those making the moronic claim that percolated coffee BOILS the coffee, to reiterate...mere parrots!

I have/had every way of brewing coffee you could imagine, that is not a mere conjecture, that is a FACT; the best tasting coffee is still percolated coffee.

Aug 31, 2014
Perc is the Best
by: Anonymous

I hated always replacing a drip and the coffee tasted weak. I got a French press and the coffee is great but it only makes a small pot. We picked up an electric perc about 6 months ago and love it. The coffee tastes great and it is just as easy and quick as a drip maker.
I'm not sure what free floating oxygen is, if the water had an extra oxygen it would be Hydrogen peroxide. The best coffe I ever have is the stuff made in a percolator over an open campfire.

Aug 19, 2014
Percolated is the way to go
by: Anonymous

All those coffee snobs out there are really missing the good stuff. Percolated and stove-top brews are the best, and I've tried every method there is. I've bought and gotten rid of countless drip pots, French presses (the one I disliked the most), vacuum pots, etc, jut because the coffee was always either, bitter, tasteless, or too acidic tasting. Didn't matter what brand coffee, or how little or how much I spent on it. Then one day I found an old Folgers coffee can from the 1950's that somebody had made into a (very cool) lamp, which gave instructions on how to make coffee on the stove without a percolator. I tried it and it was awesome! Some time after that, I saw a Corning Ware electric percolator at a thrift store and decided to try percolated coffee because I remembered how good it smelled when I was a kid, (plus I liked the sound it made and watching it shoot up into the glass bubble). I was hooked! Since then I've collected several (vintage) percolators, which I alternate using with making stove-top coffee, which is easier on the clean up. They all make phenomenal coffee, plus they're great for perking spiced apple cider in the fall and winter, using spices in the basket.


Aug 18, 2014
back in May, I wondered
by: Anonymous

Yes, although it is 100 degrees in TX and I am not drinking much coffee right now. The little inherited perculator has become my "go to" coffee maker.

Aug 16, 2014
defense of percolators
by: Anonymous

The comments about the loss of flavor while using a percolator display a lack of knowledge of physics. Just take your comments on percolators and reverse them. You concentrate the flavor with a percolator, you don't boil it away. It just sounds like the comments of someone justifying being too lazy to perk.

Aug 15, 2014
Percolators
by: Anonymous

Actually percolators do not boil the water; they heat the water up to 195-205 degrees which is ideal for making a good cup of coffee. Most drip coffee makers, in my experience anyway, do not get hot enough to meet this temperature. Now the ones I used were maybe 5 years ago so I would hope the newer ones have been modified to fix this issue. The other big factors include the quality of water and the grind of the coffee. Coffee gets its flavor and aroma during a process called extraction when the hot water passes through the ground up beans. If this happens too quickly, the coffee will be weak; if it happens too slowly, it will be bitter. The speed of this is decided by how fine the grind of the coffee is. I also find the stainless steel percolator does not affect the taste of my coffee like plastic drip coffee makers do.

Aug 10, 2014
Perc everyday!!!
by: Debi

Used a 4 cup drip for years, thought I'd upgrade to a single serve HB Scoop model - once it arrived I couldn't get a cup of coffee without the plastic taste - tried running many cycles of water thru the machine - still no success. Packed it up and sent it back.

Did some research re percolators and thought I'd give it a try. Found a 4-cup electric Farberware model and ordered it online.

I cannot believe how much better coffee taste using this brewing process.

Old tech, gotta love it. Of course, this is my humble opinion.

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.

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.

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 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..

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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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