Cover of the Coffee Crimes guide to making perfect coffee.

I tried them all, Percolators are the best! GE Immersible 1970

by Steve
(Hamilton, NJ)

Electric Coffee Percolator

Electric Coffee Percolator

I always had a hard time making a good cup of coffee at home. I grind my own beans, filtered water etc. I had many different coffee makers Bunn pour over, Bunn Pod, French Press and all of the coffee was just OK.

I don't care what what the so called coffee experts say about percolators, for example the coffee is bitter or burned. They are all wrong!! Trust me on this, I've tried everything. I went and purchased a 1970 GE immersible percolator and it makes the best cup of coffee!! The coffee is very hot, smooth and rich. Try to find a vintage percolator, one from the 60's or 70's. DO NOT BUY THE NEW JUNK FROM CHINA, many reviews say that they burn out in a few months. Don't fall for all of the modern bull.

More on coffee percolators:

Drip or Percolated coffee...which is best?

Sunbeam AP-20 automatic 10-cup percolator.

Stove top coffee percolator.

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

West Bend 5-9 cup Percolator.

Percolators get a bad rap.

Editor's Note: One of the most popular percolators out there, based on buyer feedback, is the Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffeemaker

Comments for I tried them all, Percolators are the best! GE Immersible 1970

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Jul 18, 2009
by: pistachio

I agree,, Universal had a great pot and it poured So Fine from a Swans Neck spout,, quiet and
S m o o t h....

I ALWAYS thought Perc had merit,, its in the taste not in some aristocratic bs......


Mar 17, 2010
Percolators Obsession
by: Eric

I think people who use percolators are a bit of a special breed. We have persisted, or converted, despite the percolator's detractors. GE's Immersible is what I would call the 'Cadillac' of percolators. It's elegant, timeless design has attracted fans for decades. And one of these made in 1970 likely will still work today. I know mine does, and it's well used. The new found popularity of the percolator could be its own worst enemy now, as these days everything is made in China. Yes, most modern day percolators only last a year or two. Farberware's are probably the best quality, and you can replace the heating element should it ever burn out. But, nothing can beat the GE Immersible for looks and quality.

Mar 28, 2010
Electro-perk the only way to go.

Nothing makes better coffee the elctro-perk. Drip filters out too many acids and is never hot enough. Also, electro perk does not actually boil water. In-spite of what the evil drip mafia would have you believe. Electro-perk is rich, smooth and flavorful. Dreaded drip coffee is weak and luke warm.

Also an electro-perk takes up much less room and is far mor portable.


Mar 29, 2011
Coffee filtered through paper? Yeccch!
by: Gray

I agree that the percolator method is a better method than the drip. I have never been able to understand why some people cannot tell the difference between a paper filtered cup of coffee and the percolator method.

It just stands to reason that a paper filter has got to be trapping some of the very necessary oils in the coffee grounds that are essential to the flavor. And you would think that there has to be some kind of transfer of molecules from the paper, as white paper cannot be entirely pure and chemical free.

Sep 19, 2011
Vintage GE Potbelly Percolator Wins My Vote On Percolators
by: GJ

I remember when I was still a toddler and Mother had a nice shiny brand new GE potbelly percolator that sat on the kitchen counter,it may have been the Model I3P30 from the late 1950s-early 60s.Back then those where a good top of the line percolator costing probably between $29 & $35+ back then. Waking up to the smell of the coffee(Hill's Brothers) from perking was like music to my nose even though I was too young to drink coffee. Just recently I had found one of these vintage percolators at a flea market,it was complete and in great condition for its age. I normally prefer coffee by by "vacuum" method, but since I got the GE percolator,I have become spoiled now to making my coffee in it.One things for sure: "Some Things Are Better,And Taste Better" when made with a vintage small appliance of yesteryear.

Nov 19, 2011
by: Russell

I agree there is no comparison between a percolator and the new coffee pots. I have been using my grandmothers Immersible for the last 10 years. It had been sitting on a shelf collecting dust when my newer version coffee pot started going out after less then a year of use. I just happened to look in the filter and realize that my grandma actually left the plug in there. Over 40 years old still perking like a champ. Coffee is always super hot, and rich with flavor.

Apr 09, 2012
GE Immersible
by: Annette

Does anyone know where I can get a basket cover for my GE Immersible? I have tried to find one for years and all I ever found were those awful plastic baskets. I need the "cover" for the basket. Any ideas?

Oct 19, 2012
Instructions For Use?
by: Anonymous

I wonder if someone can offer instructions for using these older models?

Coffee to water ratios, do they have a "warm" setting, do they shut off automatically when the coffee is ready, etc... etc... ?

Thank You.

Oct 20, 2012
for Annette
by: Anonymous

ok,, I bet it will take you a while to find the basket top but eventually you will,, so,, in the mean time find some stainless steel screening,,, maybe at the hardware store or a hospital supply and most definitely you can cut up a kitchen strainer..... so,, cut the circle as an outline of the top of the basket and maybe just a bit bigger,, then make an X in the center and cut the inside points off the X - I am sure this will stop any splashback so you will not get grains in the coffee....ok,, not the most appealing 'fix' but it will work......pistachio

Mar 07, 2013
I've a Universal Percolator
by: Anonymous

Percolators make a wonderful pot of coffee! I've tried many of the better drip coffee makers (some quite expensive). But a quality percolator makes the best coffee IMHO. I've heard people say that a percolator will just take all the flavor out of the beans, well I guess it does, and that flavor goes right into my cup. I think percolators got a bad reputation when they started making cheap plastic percolators and when people used preground robusta beans.

Mar 14, 2013
vintage percolators
by: loving old school

I never drank coffee until my wife bought a vintage farbarware 8 cup percolator at a flea market last Spring for five dollars. She brought it home and fired it up. I tried the coffee and I was hooked. I started looking for my own percolators at thrift stores, yard sales, and on Ebay. I now have 40 units. I especially like the stainless steel ones. I like all the different designs from the 40's on. The industrial designers were very creative. Our daily users are the Farbarwares - a 12 cup for the morning and the 8 cup for the evening. The Farberwares are very clever in their design because many of the parts are interchangeable between the different size pots. Very durable units. Thrift stores and yard sales are the cheapest, but you can get wonderful ones on Ebay. Expect to pay as little as a couple of dollars to $30.00 or more with shipping on line. I find the coffee to be very tasty. It is smooth and rich. It's a great, cheap hobby.

Dec 23, 2013
by: Anonymous

I have a never been used 9-cup GE percolator and want to know if anyone is interested in purchasing it. Make offer.

Jan 24, 2014
Percolated Coffee is the Best!
by: Cerridwen Grainne

Many moons ago when I was a kid, both sets of grandparents had percolators. I remember the wonderful aroma that filled the house when we went to visit. Now that I'm retired, I realized that after so many years of rotten coffee from plastic coffee drip machines and stupid paper filters, I deserved better. So, off to ETSY I went and purchased a new (hardly used) GE Electric 8 cup Percolator. WOW! I was suddenly thrust back 50 years as the aroma of my childhood filled the house. My husband and I have given up on China made crap, and are now seeking out lightly used appliances from the 50's,60's, and 70's when American workmanship counted for something. P.S. We also have a Roto Broil 400 that is the love of our kitchen.

May 09, 2014
Great Coffee
by: Anonymous

I am totally hooked on vintage percolators. I've purhased 4, and the latest being the GE Immersible. I don't think I could ever go back to using a made in China percolator. The GE percolator makes a great strong cup of coffee, however, I am having problems with keeping the brew basket still while scooping coffee grinds into it. Even so, I'll keep practicing scooping the coffee grinds because this percolator is terrific, along with my two vintage Westbend percolators, and my vintage Farberware percolator.

Mar 11, 2015
Best Vintage Percolators
by: Anonymous

I have an assortment of vintage Percolators,the one I use often is from the late 50's, made by Universal,it's the "Coffeematic" with the Brew Select lever at the bottom, (light-medium-dark)setting. Just about all of the Stainless Steel Chrome Percolators, had this brewing system back then.the G-E 10 cup is also an excellent Pot,one's made towards the early 70's were Emersible. Sunbeam and Proctor-Alex are also good buys, the Proctor-Alex has a removable glass carafe for easy cleaning,and some models featured two night lights recessed in the base, the lights stay lit during the brewing process, you can actually see the water turn to coffee, it's one unique coffee Percolator, by far the nicest from that era!

Apr 25, 2015
Sears 1960ish Perk
by: Anonymous

My wife is an avid yard saler, she recently found a Sears immersible ten cup percolator. I must say I totally agree with you. This old machine made me the best cup of coffee I've had in years. Smooth super hot coffee and no bitterness. My hat is off to the designers of this percolator. Sometimes it's the old things that work best.

Jun 10, 2015
hottest perk?
by: Anonymous

I bought an unused GE immersible vintage perk. IT works, but the water never gets past 188. Tried diff amounts of coffee and grinds, but it is weak-classic bitter weak taste-I am pretty sure it is the water temp-can someone recc a perk that reaches 200 or so?

Jun 11, 2015
Mr. Hottest Perc.
by: pistachio

I wonder if there is a thermostat somewhere in the inside that you can adjust. It would not be a user setting but what do you have to lose. Could be a little screw that needs a little twist !

While your thinking about that,, I can suggest that For Sure you will get the perc coffee that you want if you try a StoveTop model / available everywhere.... check out Amazon.... for a little money you have an indestructible stainless steel foolproof method.....

Perking coffee is an art... the water comes to an almost boil.... Once you see the perking you turn the stove burner down. When it starts to perk it perks slowly... but as the time passes the perks pick up speed and intensity... [ because the overall body of water is Hotter ] Generally... when you can smell the coffee it is done / I think you can figure about 8 minutes...

and Yeah!... it is not automatic and it takes a little longer but.. I know you will find,, it's worth it..


below find an even better description I found on the net...

How Long Do I Percolate Coffee For In A Stove-Top Percolator?

Q: How long do I percolate coffee for in a stove-top percolator?

A: How to Use a Percolator for Making Coffee: Fill pot with water for the number of cups of coffee you want. Try not to over fill it, as it will either boil over or seep out from the lid on an electrical percolator. Place coffee grounds in the basket: 1 tbs per cup of water is recommended. Fit basket into the urn and place on stovetop or plug into outlet. (for stove percolator) Heat the water to boiling. With an electrical percolator, nothing more will need to be done as it has a constant heat source. You may however, wish to lower the heat somewhat on a stove top percolator so it will not boil over. The boiling water will be forced up through the coffee grounds and the brewed coffee will accumulate in the pot which holds the water. You’ll be able to see the coffee bubble up through the glass dome to see how strong (bold) it’s getting. With each perk, you’ll notice the coffee in the dome darkening. Brewing should take about 5 minutes for a stove top percolator and about 7-10 minutes for an electrical percolator. (Important) Remove the filter basket with the used grounds and pour. If you do not do this, you will end up with coffee grounds in your coffee cup. You may anyway depending on the grind you’ve used. The finer the grind, the more chance you’ll have for grounds to filter through the holes in the basket. Obviously, you would not want to use an Espresso grind.

Sep 11, 2015
Aluminum in older electric percolators?
by: Anonymous

How can I tell if a vintage chrome percolator uses aluminum on the inside? I have a beautiful old Sunbeam that makes great coffee, but I'm not crazy about the thought of drinking it daily if iits interior is alluminum. A magnet does not stick to it, so I'm thinking I have to purchase an old Farberware. Any other good models known to be totally stainless?

Sep 12, 2015
Magnets.......Aluminum.......Stainless Steel
by: pistachio

Most of the Stainless Steel used in consumer products is a combination of Nickel and Chromium.
So, a magnet will not stick to stainless steel Most of the time.
So,, from the magnet test you still do not know if you have stainless or aluminum.
Aluminum is really very soft, if you take a nail file and use the point to scratch it will scratch easily. Stainless will not,, it is very Very hard.
Also, aluminum has a dull matte finish, even if it was bright at one time it dulls out, but often it is dull right from the start. So, take another look and you may be able to figure out what you have.
Aluminum when old along with the dulling out will look as if there is a layer of white powder on it,, so that is another indication.
I really do not like aluminum for anything.. so I am with you on having it as part of a coffee pot.

99% of the time with some soap and a cloth SS will be very shiny,, a brilliant shine even when old,,,,,,,, aluminum will be flat out dull so if you polish a little you may have another clue of what the mystery metal is......

Sep 13, 2015
Magnets.......Aluminum.......Stainless Steel
by: Anonymous

Thanks pistachio,
Makes perfect sense. All you have said makes me believe the inside of my pot is not stainless. Will test it out soon. I think Will be hunting for a new pot soon!

Oct 27, 2015
Best Brands for Stovetop??
by: New to Percolators

This is an old post, but I was wondering if someone can suggest a brand of vintage stovetop stainless steel percolator? I am interested in purhasing one, but not sure which brand is better. Can't wait to find one and surprise my husband!
thanks in advance.....

Oct 28, 2015
Stovetop Percolators
by: Farm Girl

Can you tell me what kind of vintage, stovetop percolator is best?
thank you

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