Coffee made with a percolator will have a full, rich, and creamy taste. One that brings out the very essence of the coffee beans you are using. Of course, you also need to know how to brew coffee using a percolator, and we can teach you that, too.
Yet, finding the right percolator may be difficult. There is a wide selection of percolators on the market. And they all come with various constructs, features, and overall performance. If you don’t know what to look for, it may prove to be an impossible task to choose the best percolator. However, this article will help narrow down your choice and then show you the best one for your home.
Comparison table of the percolators in the reviews
The best coffee percolators reviewed
With over twenty years of experience, this cookware company has a reputation for durability and excellent overall performing products. The coffee percolators they manufacture are true to their vow of high quality and brilliant design. Even more, its classic percolator series aims at brewing rich flavored drinks at the least possible time.
Farberware 50124 is an 8-cup classic device that comes with a heavy-duty stainless steel construct. The exterior is mirror polished to improve durability and aesthetics. Also, the handles allow for a better and more balanced grip. These handles feature the Stay Cool option that prevents them from getting hot or cause burns when touched.
The quality of any percolator is a factor of its brew performance and device safety. I mean, excellent exterior and interior designs are only extra features. However, this percolator offers all options- superior brew, attractive design, and safety features. The product has a non-reactive interior that prevents the formation of unpleasant taste or odor. The device does that by avoiding the absorption of water into the material.
Even more, its paper filters are better than every other percolator on our list.
- See-through plastic lid for checking brew process
- Excellent permanent filter basket
- Heavy-duty device
- The rounded rim is hard to clean
Presto has a reputation for producing one of the smoothest cups of coffee. That is because it removes the use of plastic in its brewing process. This Presto 12-cup percolator ticks all the boxes most coffee lovers would want in a percolator and more. For a start, it comes with a ‘Stay Cool’ feature for the safety of the user. The traditional vintage exterior design with an easy pour spout is also worth mentioning. It has a high pump rate of about a cup per minute. The same level as the competitors on our list and in the market as well. This pump speed makes the device energy and time-efficient.
This electric percolator features a unique brew cycle. The cycle is shorter than the typical brew time for other percolators, but the taste is the same. The device’s exterior is of highly polished stainless steel finish. This overall construct shimmers the excellence of the Presto company as well as the durability of the product.
The best part? The device has a built-in LED light that indicates when the coffee is ready. This single feature, alongside its smooth and fast brew, makes it stand out in the market.
- Superb design
- The indicator light for less supervision
- Plastic-free construct
- Easy to clean
- Short power cord
- Filters are hard to replace
These days technology aims at making typical appliances more intuitive and faster. For this percolator, a fast brewing rate is one of its unique features. Precisely, it can percolate two to four cups of hot coffee in only a few minutes. This 2-4 cup coffee brewer is commonly called the FCB240. It has one of the best designs in the market- elegant, balanced, and nicely lined.
Another outstanding feature of this device is its warm mode. This option allows the brewed coffee to stay warm for a reasonably long time, after brew. Even more, the feature automatically triggers immediately after the coffee is ready.
Like every high-end percolator, this small percolator is of stainless steel construct. Yet, it features a cord and high polished finish for easy cleaning. Along with this excellent design is a permanent basket as a filter made of the same material as the exterior. This basket eliminates the use of paper filters.
In summary, this percolator provides an excellent brew in a short time. It can keep the brewed coffee warm after use and also does not need paper filters.
- Excellent design
- Auto warm-mode feature
- Highly durable
- First brewed cups have a metallic taste to them, advised to give a proper descaling before first use
This Glen Allen, Virginia based company, founded in 1910, is a top designer, marketer, and distributor of home appliances. The manufacturer has a reputation for sturdy, constructed, and effective products. Their percolator series does not come short of any quality or feature a top product from any other brand provides. Specifically, Hamilton percolators offer a hot, flavored coffee in a relatively short time.
The 40614 comes with many high-end features. To begin with, it provides the average brew rate of one cup per minute. This speed is only fair compared to the devices on our list. Out there (in the market), there are slower rates as well as faster brewing speeds (e.g., that of the FCB240).
Like the Presto 02811, this appliance has an LED light that turns on when the brewing completes. It also has an automatic “keep warm” mode that maintains the heated coffee temperature for a while.
However, the device is bulky, although its durable stainless steel construct.
- Detachable power cable
- “Stay cool” feature on its handles
- Permanent filter basket
- Drip-free spout
- Not suitable for dishwashing
Founded in 1985, the GSI outdoors is a privately-held family company aimed at making cookware that adapts the comfort of home to active outdoor lives. Although their products suit outdoor purposes, they are also ideal for indoor use.
The enamelware percolator comes in a beautiful design. The aesthetics are the product’s first feature that makes it stand out in the market. Even so, it is the finest percolator on our list. This electric device is also available in three shades of blue, green, and red.
In all, the build is of a three-ply construct. First is a heavy-gauge steel body for durability, another classic speckled enamel coating for beauty. It also has a kiln-hardened surface to prevent scratches and chips.
- Available in three different colors
- Anti-scratch and anti-chip
- Unbreakable resin knob
- Excellent durability
- Loose top cover
- Aluminum basket is too thin
This percolator is commonly called the Hamilton 40616. It is in the same series as the 40614 but larger. Even more, this percolator differs in design with the previous 8-cup model, but they maintain the same features.
The device serves coffee at a bump speed of one cup per minute- the same as the most top brand provides. Also, it eliminates the need for supervising the coffee while it brews. That is because it features an LED light that turns on when the coffee completely brews.
Because Hamilton is a top brand, its product durability and construct is trustable. However, this 12-cup model has the same heavyweight problem as the 40614. The product comes with a permanent filter stainless steel basket along with its durable steel exterior.
Unlike the 40614 that comes with a top knob, this model has a transparent glass at the top. That feature allows users to see how the coffee brews and the volume of drink remaining in the device.
The automatic “keep warm” feature is a plus on the device, as well as its “stay cool” handle. These options keep the drink warm and prevent accidental burns on the user, respectively.
- Detachable power cord
- Permanent filter basket
- Drip-free spout
- “Stay cool” handle
- Coffee level glass
- Dishwasher unsafe
Cuisinart is a Stamford based American home appliance brand with 50 years of sales experience. The company aims at producing innovative, functional, and superior quality products that help buyers “Savor the Good Life.”
The Cuisinart 12 cup percolator, commonly called the PRC-12 is an outstanding device with many features. First, it comes with an excellent design that allows the device to stay balanced irrespective of the amount of coffee inside. The appliance also features a “stay cool” option that prevents the handles from getting hot.
Another excellent feature of this device is its mechanism for monitoring the brew. Unlike most coffee percolators in the market that provides limited control over the progress of the coffee, this one offers more. Precisely, the view bubble allows you to stop the brew when the coffee reaches the desired color and richness.
Like the Hamilton 40616, this product has an LED light that turns on when the brew is complete. It also comes with a no-drip spout design alongside a durable stainless steel construct.
Overall, PRC-12 is an excellent machine that brews a satisfying coffee. It offers exceptional values and features for its price, but the device can get rusty at its center.
- Ergonomic handle and transparent knob
- “Keep hot” option
- Detachable power cable
- Durable and attractive design
- Easy to clean
- The center of the device can get rusty
- Inconsistent coffee taste
With headquarters in Stockholm, this Swedish multinational home appliance company ranks as the second-largest appliance manufacturer by units sold. With over 100 years of service, its products stand out in the market for their brilliant construct and excellent features.
Like other products from this company, the Eurolux 9 cups coffee maker pot is a top-selling product with many outstanding features. For a start, its construct is of Teflon-free and BPA-free, 100 percent Heavy Duty stainless steel. Therefore, its brew is of little or no toxicity, compared to many competitors. Because of this toxic-free build, its coffee is tastier and healthy, unlike the “plastic taste” from many percolators.
Because this device is a stovetop percolator, it eliminates the fuss of power cord or cable. Thus it is suitable for making coffee on a stove. Even more, this device is a good camping coffee percolator. Therefore it is an excellent choice for outdoor purposes where any means of heat is available.
Similar to the first percolators on the list, this device is dishwasher safe. However, it is also styled and designed brilliantly. The comfortable wooden handles and solid brass rivets provide a firm grip.
In all, the Eurolux percolator provides excellent and healthier taste coffee. The device does not use electricity and is suitable for any heat source.
- BPA-free and Teflon-free durable stainless steel construct
- “Stay cool” wooden handle
- Hard to clean
Euro Cuisine products combine innovative and state-of-the-art functionality, advanced safety features, and brilliant Euro-tech styling and excellent construction. From the Euro yogurt maker to its percolator shimmer excellence, most competitors cannot provide.
The Euro Cuisine PER04 is a four cups coffee percolator with an exquisite design. Its construct is of heavy-duty stainless steel with a copper finish. Its copper finish gives the appliance a beautiful aesthetics that is more pleasing that all the devices on our list. The built-in filter is also of durable, dishwasher safe stainless steel.
Also, this electric percolator comes with a transparent knob that allows users to monitor the brewing process. Like the Presto brewer on our list, it features an LED light that glows when the brew is complete. This feature comes in handy for coffee lovers who have little time to supervise the brewing process. It is also a plus for novices who cannot tell when the coffee is ready.
All in all, the Euro PER04 is a beautiful piece that produces an excellent brew. Its design, construct, and ease of cleaning are the device’s stand out features. Yet, it is only suitable for a small group.
- Dishwasher safe
- Keep warm feature
- Removable power cable
- Excellent design
- Durable construct
- “Stay cool” handle
- The knob is not durable
- Only suitable for a small group of people
This Medelco produced Glass stovetop coffee percolator from the One All brand brews a quality tasting coffee. The device construct is of high-quality Borosilicate glass from Duran, Germany. This BPA-free, dishwasher-safe perk is also heat tolerant and can withstand heat from various heat surfaces (electric or gas stovetops).
Generally, a glass percolator has the advantage of easy supervision than those with stainless steel construct. However, this device provides that benefit alongside its non-electric operation that makes it usable outdoor.
The device comes complete with the stem, basket lid, basket, lid, and trivet. So, buyers would not have to worry about buying extra accessories before they can brew coffee. Its drip-free spout, heat diffusing trivet, and ergonomic grip handles are a plus to this lightweight appliance.
Overall, there is more to this percolator than most glass-made percolators in the market. Yet, it comes with an affordable price. The device brews a relatively large volume of rich-taste coffee from its high quality and durable build.
- Drip-free spout
- Stay cool handle
- Easy supervision
- Suitable for cleaning in dishwashers
- Durable construct
- Generally, all percolators with glass constructs are less durable than a stainless steel percolator.
- The coffee grain container may overflow and force the grains to the side of the coffee.
Why choose a coffee percolator
A coffee percolator is a pot used for brewing coffee. The brewing process continually cycles a boiling or near-boiling brew through the coffee grounds by gravity, until it attains the desired strength.
In 1865, an American soldier and scientist, Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, invented the percolator. It gained popularity until the 1970s, after the introduction of the automatic drip coffee makers. With years gone, percolators now come with better design, construct, and overall performance.
Percolators generally expose grounds to higher temperatures than most brewing methods. They also recirculate the already brewed coffee through the beans. Thus, making this method prone to over-extraction. Even more, these appliances remove some volatile compounds in coffee pods that result in a better aroma but less tasty coffee. Yet, many coffee lovers still prefer this brewing method and will monitor the brewing process to achieve a better-tasting cup. These enthusiasts love percolator brew for reasons we will now share with you.
For a start, percolators are versatile. In other words, they come in either non-self-heating or self-heating options. Therefore, some are suitable for only indoor purposes and others for any terrain. So, for camping trips or regions without electricity, percolators are suitable.
Easy to use
Percolators are easy to use. Simply fill in the pot with water and the filter with grounds. Plug the machine, and it is all set. Also, they can serve a lot (some big ones go up to 12 cups) of people in a relatively short time. The fact that coffee can stay hot for an extended time in the percolating device is also a standout feature other methods cannot provide.
Lastly, many percolators are easy to wash (some are dishwasher-safe), lightweight, thus, more mobile, and rugged for any terrain.
Coffee percolator types
Broadly, percolators (the devices) divide into automatic or manual type. Electric percolators use a heating element powered by electricity. While manual percolators make use of external heat sources like stove, campfire, etc. to percolate coffee.
Because “Percolate” means to cause a solvent to pass through a porous substance, many coffee makers utilize this method and are also percolators. With that in mind, percolators split into various types. Namely,
- Manual coffee makers
- Automatic/electric drip machines
- Vacuum coffee machines
- Stovetop percolators
- French press coffee makers
Even more, percolators come in two kinds based on how the solvent passes through the ground. They are:
- Pressure percolators: With this method, upon heating the device steam forms. This formed steam produces a pressure that forces the water into the ground through a tube. The mixture then passes through the upper part of the device directly into the cup.
- Gravity percolators: This kind uses gravity to continuously pass the solvent through the ground until the coffee reaches the desired brew strength.
A more detailed explanation of percolator types
This percolator type is still has a great sale in the market for so many reasons. Appliances that use this type of percolation are also called the manual drip or filter coffee makers. The manual percolator parts include the cone filter holder and a carafe. The carafe construct is mostly made of heat-resistant glass and plastic “stay cool” handles. Some provide a lid for the carafe for increased pressure heating. Old-fashioned percolators have the problem of overheating and producing a sharp, bitter-tasting drink. However, coffee lovers who can monitor the brewing know when the brew has its best taste and color, then quacking stop the heat.
Automatic/electric drip coffee percolator
This type is the most common in the market today. That is because, unlike the manual version, electric kind come with a shutdown feature. This option makes the brew tastier because it eliminates the problem of over or under extraction of grounds. Even so, some allow full user control of the percolation. Thus, the appliance can pause and serve at any time or left to brew until it reaches the desired extraction.
The stylish vacuum coffee percolator is beautiful to watch while brewing coffee. It is excellent to use for more delicate coffees. Vacuum coffee percolators reach an equal balance of temperature. It can also make a great cup of coffee within 30 minutes.
These devices are suitable for delicate coffee grounds. Like the automatic kind, they also provide a balance between temperature and brew to keep the extraction optimum. Thus, cups from this percolator usually have a great taste. However, unlike the automatic that can serve in 2 to 5 minutes, vacuum type percolates for 30 minutes.
Other percolating devices
This type does not require electricity, has the highest tendency of making a bitter cup, and will require frequent supervision. It is commonly called the stovetop espresso maker, Moka pot, Moka espresso, espresso percolator, Macchinetta, or campfire pot. Yet, it is most suitable for a large number of people as it can serve up to 12 cups. It works by circulating hot vapor through the coffee ground, thereby extracting the flavor. After extraction, the brew results in thick espresso-like coffee in the chamber; thus, its common name. Stovetop percolators like the vacuum type are slow. Precisely, its brew takes up to 20 mins to complete.
French press percolators
French press percolators use the pressure technique to percolate coffee. Correctly, it works by immersing the ground in water, and heat produces the desired pressure for a brew. The result is a sharp, flavourful cup, but it requires an average of 5 minutes to complete.
Percolators come in different sizes. There are the large 12 cup sizes and others with small 2 to 4 cups capability. So, when choosing a percolator, it is essential to set the required capacity suitable for your home or schedules. For instance, a 4 cup capacity cannot serve a large family. However, if you love camping, this device is not your best camping percolator because of its size.
Electric vs. stovetop percolator
If you read the detailed explanation of the types of percolator above, you will be able to differentiate between the two. Even so, you would be able to tell which situation warrants the kind of percolator. However, we would still examine each percolator based on other factors.
- Time to brew: Precisely, electric coffee makers take an average of 7 to 10 minutes to brew. Whereas, the stovetop type takes only 5 minutes. So, stovetop types are faster with exception to when the electric ones brew only one to two cups.
- Supervision: As stated earlier, there is the problem of over or under extraction with stovetop percolators. For that reason, they will require heavy monitoring of the brewing process for optimum extraction and better taste. In contrast, most electrical powered percolators come with an indicator light that glows when the brew is complete. Thus, if you are not too familiar with coffee extraction, an electric type is your best choice.
- Taste: Electric coffee makers will produce an exact taste and flavor for the same coffee grounds. However, stovetop types allow you to alter the brewing process to achieve any desired taste. Yet, generally, electric devices will produce a better taste cup than the electric ones.
Another essential factor to consider before picking a percolator is its construct. There are two materials mostly used for percolators. Namely, stainless steel and glass. The material build of any appliance determines its lifespan, yet, for percolators, it goes beyond that. A percolator made of glass is different in every aspect of a stainless steel one. Below are a few comparisons of these builds
- Durability: It is a no brainer to say that stainless steel devices are more durable than their glass counterparts. For percolators, not only the steel device last longer, the carafe of glass one can break while washing or handling.
- Taste: Glass percolator produces less tasty coffee than stainless-steel devices. That is because they do not have a “keep warm” feature. So, for coffee to stay hot, it will require the heat source to be active. If the heat source stays on, there are high tendencies of the bottom coffee getting burnt. Because of that, the last cup from the device will taste less tasty than the first. On the other hand, stainless steel coffee makers come with a thermal feature that allows its content to stay warm without any heat source. So, the stay remains consistent down to its final cup.
- Cost: Stainless steel devices cost more than their glass counterparts.
- Steel coffee makers are more energy efficient.
How does a percolator work?
Percolators consist of a small chamber at its bottom, a vertical tube that leads to the top, and a filter just below its head.
The working principle depends on the formed air bubbles in boiling water and their rising action from the bottom of the pot. The base of the device comes with a pump stem. This system concentrates the flow of these bubbles towards the tube opening. Because the tube is smaller in diameter than the bubbles, every bubble that passes through it will carry water above in an upward thrust.
So, as this process continues and reaches the top of the pump stem, the bubbles discharge into the spreader cover. The cover prevents the grounds from splashing and also helps spread the water over it in a uniform manner.
The device repeats these processes until the infusion boils upwards and filter through the grounds and back into the pot. Every time the water passes through the ground, it displaces the oil in the ground into the infusion process, increasing the brew strength. So, the user will have to monitor the brew for the optimum extraction of oils.
How to make coffee in a percolator
What you need:
- Heat source or power source (as the case may be)
- Coarse ground coffee
How long to percolate:
- 4 to 6 minutes
- Open the device lid and fill its pot with water until it is above the inscribed minimum mark
- Add the grounds to the filter on or above its halfway mark
- Place the filler and the stand into the water-filled percolator pot
- Cover the device
- Place the percolator on the heat source or turn on the power supply
- Allow the grounds to brew for four to six minutes.
- As the coffee percolates, you will hear a popping sound. So, remove the device from the heat source, serve, and enjoy.
Different filters for percolators
Percolator coffee filters come in different types and shapes. However, the construct of any filter is either:
- Paper: This type comes in various thicknesses, colors (bleached or unbleached), sizes, and shapes for a different coffee basket. They are either think of cone or flat-bottomed shaped. Cheap ones are usually thinner and produce a low filtration of oils. However, paper filters are only suitable for one-time use.
- Metal: Their designs are mostly of finely woven wire mesh with a stainless steel coat and gold plating. They are available in flat or cone-shaped styles that fit almost every percolator. Sadly, this type only filters ground but not oils, albeit, the coffee it produces has excellent flavor. One advantage of this filter type is its repeated use and long-lasting ability.
- Nylon: This filter is similar to the metal type. I mean, it filters only grounds and comes in cone or flat-bottomed style. Its construct is of nylon mesh, and are cheaper but less durable than the metal filters. Overall, this type produces a good taste coffee and suitable for repeated use.
- Cloth: With construct from cotton or muslin, this filter allows more significant grounds than the paper filter. Yet, its taste and durability are still impressive. Even more, it permits repeated use.
What is the best coffee for a percolator?
Percolators produce rich, flavorful coffee. Albeit, they provide coffee with different taste because of the country of origin, roast, and percolator type.
We recommend you go for a medium roast when choosing the best coffee for your device. That is because light roast loses its flavor quickly and become watery. Likewise, dark roasts are prone to becoming bitter after percolation.
Our pick for the best coffee for percolator:
Although taste is almost always individualistic, yet, we are confident you will love this coffee. This organic grown FairTrade coffee in Indonesia, South, and Central America are from the Kicking Horse Coffee Company in Canada. Percolation improves the taste of this coffee and produces a rich, flavorful cup.
How fine should the coffee grounds be for percolator?
The percolator coffee grind texture is dependent on the filter type you use. That is because finely ground coffee might sediment at the bottom of the drink for filters with big mesh. So, coarse ground coffee is the best for all percolators.
Taking care of your percolator- cleaning and maintenance
How to clean a percolator
Items you will need; Brush, Water, Baking Soda, and White Vinegar.
- Fill the percolator with water
- Put in three tablespoons of baking soda
- Switch on the device and allow it to run through a cycle
- Let the water cool, then use the brush to scrub the device
- Discard the water and rinse again with water
- Fill the appliance with equal volumes of water and white vinegar. Allow it perk then discard the mixture.
- Next, perk with fresh water and rinse well with clean water.
Percolator care and maintenance
- Do not clean the appliance with steel wool or abrasive cleaners. Use a damp cloth
- Never plug and switch on an empty percolator
- Do not place a non-immersible percolator in water
- Clean the appliance regularly
- Always unplug the device from the socket when not in use
How is a coffee percolator different from a Stovetop Espresso (Moka Pot) and a French press?
Moka percolators are stovetop devices that produce a strong brew espresso. Like the French press, this pot uses pressure to percolate the coffee grounds. Correctly, heated water vapor comes from the bottom of the machine and passes through the ground between the chamber and receptacle. This coffee maker comes as a two-sided coin based on the knowledge of the user. First, if brewed adequately by an expert, the result will be a creamy, flavourful cup. However, the result will be a cowboy coffee (thick and chalky in taste) for a novice.
This stainless steel or glass device divides into three segments, with one each for water, grounds, and coffee. After placing on heat and the water boils, steam passes through the coffee ground by pressure caused by the heat source. This process repeats until the extracted coffee goes up through a spout and then sprayed into the top of the pot.
Because we already explained what a French press is, we would only talk about how it works. This brew operates by pressure percolation. I mean, the boiling water and coarse grounds in the device steep for some time. During extraction, the plunger forces the wet ground to stay at the bottom of the device. Just away from the final extraction.
Coffee percolator on the road
Percolators produce rich-taste coffee and are mostly lightweight. For that reason, many coffee lovers use this brewing method on camp. Also, there are camping coffee percolators designed for easy mobility and quick brewing. Albeit, these devices only produce coffee in small volumes.
What are the best coffee percolators?
Farberware 50124 Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup stovetop percolator is a premium device that guarantees an excellent taste cup. It is dishwasher safe and of a unique construct. Eurolux Percolator Coffee Maker Pot – 9 Cups produces a healthier cup than most devices. It is affordable, and it ticks all the boxes for an excellent brew. However, if the design is your priority, GSI Outdoors 8 Cup Enamelware Percolator is your best pick.
How to use a percolator on a campfire
Things you need:
- Coarse ground coffee
- 4 to 6 minutes
- Fill the percolator with water until it is above the minimum mark
- Add the coffee ground to the filter on or above the halfway mark
- Put the filler and the stand into the percolator pot with water
- Cover and place the device on the campfire
- Allow the coffee to brew for four to six minutes.
- When the ground percolates, you will hear a popping sound. Then, remove the percolator from the heat.
- Serve and enjoy
Can percolators be used on induction cooktops?
- Many percolators do not support induction stoves. So, you have to contact the supplier for this information. We advise using an induction plate if you only have an induction cooktop.
One-cup rated percolator serves how many ounces of coffee?
- Different percolators come with varying volume conversion. While some measure a cup as 8 oz. others are 5.07 oz.
Are stovetop percolator handles fire-resistant?
- Simple answer: Yes! However, many manufacturers treat the handles with chemicals to make them fire-resistant. Whereas, some brands come with untreated hardwood that is not fire-resistant but will survive an open flame for a while.
Can I use percolate coffee lesser than the stated volume with my percolator?
- Yes! Although every percolator comes with a maximum capacity, they are suitable for brewing a smaller amount of cups. Even more, fermenting a lower volume of coffee will increase the device’s speed.
Are percolators dishwasher safe?
- Not all! Manufacturers always state which percolator is safe for dishwashing and which is not. However, most 100 percent stainless steel percolators support dishwashers.
If you read through this article, we are sure you now know the best coffee percolator for your home. Even more, we are confident that you do not need any other information on how to use a percolator. The guide also provided you with useful information on how to maintain and care for your appliance, so it lasts long. So, why are you still waiting? Simply pen down your priorities from the information you now have and hit the market for your device.
Meanwhile, the thought of helping get what you love- a flavourful, rich-brewed percolated coffee is our badge of honor.