Stovetop Percolator on Stove

How to Make Coffee with a Stovetop Percolator

They say perfection is unattainable. This may very well be true – even when it comes to brewing a fresh, flavorful cup of joe. When you learn how to make coffee with a stovetop percolator, however, you can transform your humble coffee beans into something that is…well…pretty darn close to perfect.

If you’ve ever peered into a working percolator, you’ve likely witnessed the magic happen: the bubbling water, the delicate dance of steam, the deep, earthy aroma of fresh coffee. So, let’s explore how to use a stovetop percolator.

Grab a mug, you sexy beast. By the end of this adventure, you’ll be sipping on a steaming hot cup of supreme goodness.

What’s a Stovetop Percolator and How Does it Work?

This is where some folks get a bit confused. There are stovetop percolators, and then there are electric coffee percolators. They both share a noble mission, brewing that dark brown nectar of life we call coffee.

But the way they go about achieving that mission? Well, that’s where the fun divergence lies.

A percolator is really just a kettle with a mechanism inside that draws hot water from the bottom to the top. The water then trickles back down through the coffee ground – which is called percolation.

An electric percolator has an electric heating element and needs to be plugged in. A stovetop percolator requires external heat from – you guessed it – a stovetop.

Most percolators have a reservoir at the bottom and a central tube that runs to the top. Near the top is a filter-basket, which is where you put the coffee grounds. Then, at the tippy-top is a glass lid or globe that allows you to monitor your brewing progress.

A stovetop percolator is like your trustworthy old hound dog. It may not have all the glitz and glamor of an electric percolator, but it gets the job done with hustle.

When using a stovetop percolator, just keep your eyes on the prize and the timing spot on, and you’re golden. Unlike highfalutin electric percolators, the stovetop varieties won’t turn themselves off when the brewing’s done.

Stovetop percolators are old-school and honest. This is why many coffee lovers love using a percolator. No other brewing method yields the same style of coffee.

stovetop percolator on stove

The Art of Brewing: Essential Steps to Making Coffee with a Stovetop Percolator

Ready to learn the ABCs of SCPs (Stovetop Coffee Percolators)?

Foremost, you must get your bean grind right. Grind it too fine, you’ll end up with over-extracted coffee, leaving you with a bitter taste. You’ll want a coarse grind, here.

And remember, ideal temperature isn’t just for Goldilocks and her porridge. It’s crucial for a good brew too. That said, here are the steps to a making coffee with a stovetop percolator.

Step 1: Gather the Proper Equipment and Ingredients

Kick things off by assembling a worthy squad of coffee-making tools:

  • Fresh coffee beans. Check.
  • A percolator. Check.
  • A stovetop. Check.

You can also add a coffee scale into the mix for good measure. When it comes to coffee making, you want that balance just right. No space for guesstimates, ok?

Got everything ready? Great! Now, remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. And brewing a coffee isn’t just about the final product, it’s about the process too. It’s about seeing those coffee beans transform under your tender care, from simple seeds to an aromatic, captivating, delicious cup of coffee.

Trust me, when you’ll take that first sip of that brew, it’ll be worth every second. For now, though, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and put those coffee beans into a perfect medium grind. Prepare to be mesmerized – caffeinated magic awaits.

Step 2: Grind and Measure Your Coffee

Getting the perfect cup of joe is an art. And you are the artist, my friend.

It all starts with fresh coffee beans and a reliable coffee grinder. This is like transforming a diamond in the rough into a brilliant gemstone that’s going to wow your taste buds.

Again, you’ll want a coarse grind for your stovetop percolator, almost as coarse as the stuff you’d use in a French press coffee maker. So make sure your grinder can handle that before we get going.

The dance begins when you get your coffee to water ratio just right. Like matching up partners for a tango, your coffee and your water need to groove together in harmony. HINT: One tablespoon of coffee per cup of water is a good starting point.

At the end of the day, we’re all different. Not a fan of strong brews? Use less coffee per cup. Want to rev up your engine? Add more.

If you really want to nail it, invest in a coffee scale. This gadget is dynamite for getting the proportions spot-on every time.

Step 3: Prepare Your Percolator for Brewing

Prepping for the percolating process is like tuning up a classic car. This isn’t of those ‘set it and forget it’ deals like a drip pot. The stovetop percolator is a meticulous, hands-on method of coffee brewing.

But you’ll get the satisfaction of smelling your brewing coffee and knowing that you’ve nailed it. What’s more valuable than that?

Step 4: Heat the Percolator

Ready for some action? Think of this as the Waltz part of your coffee dance. Stay with the rhythm and when it’s time to step, just do it.

Follow the step-by-step instructions and patiently heat up your percolator. Sure, it’s a little slower than a drip coffee maker. But the result is stronger coffee; and it’s worth the wait.

Brewing coffee using a stovetop percolator is about getting the most out of your beans. Embrace the time it takes. You’ll be sipping a rich, full-bodied brew soon enough.

You can start with a medium-high heat. When you see the water just begin to bubble into the glass globe, then you can reduce your heat to low.

When making coffee in a stovetop percolator, you should hold the temperature between 198° F and 205° F (92° C and 96° C) for the duration of the brewing process. This is supremely close to but not quite boiling.

Those few degrees below boiling make all the difference. If the water is too hot and begins to boil, it will scold the beans and spoil the final product.

If you wondering how long you should percolate your coffee, it depends on your desired strength level. But 7 to 10 minutes is the norm.

Step 5: Discard Coffee Grounds

As much as you want that sweet, sweet caffeine crawling through your veins, there’s still one more step. Make sure you discard your coffee grounds before you fill your cup with liquid goodness.

Step 6: Pour, sip, and savor.

No explanation needed here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you choose to enter the classic realm of coffee brewing with a stovetop percolator, here are some answer to the most frequently asked questions:

How long do you percolate coffee in a stovetop percolator?

For the most evenly balanced stovetop percolator coffee, brew for 7 minutes. Technically, you can brew for up to 10 minutes. Any longer than that and you’ll have a bitter batch of coffee on your hands.

What is the coffee to water ratio for a percolator?

After your first couple of brews, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what ratio makes percolator coffee best suited to your tastes. In general, though, use 1 tablespoon of coffee per cup of water for a strong brew. For a weak brew, use 1 teaspoon of coffee per cup of water.

How do you know when percolated coffee is ready?

You’ll know your coffee is done percolating when the water begins to sputter within the the glass glove. The faster it sputters, the hotter (and darker) and it is. Ideally, you’ll want to reach a nice, medium heat and see that the water is sputtering every few seconds.

Do you need to use a filter when making coffee with a percolator?

No, you don’t need a filter when using a percolator. However, many coffee enthusiasts recommend using one to improve the taste and reduce the amount of sediment. If you choose to use a filter, experiment with both paper filters and permanent filters to decide what works best for you.

Why does percolator coffee taste different?

When made correctly, stovetop percolator coffee has a smooth, creamy taste that can’t be beat. Generally, this is because the water in a percolator gets hotter than it would in a regular drip coffee maker. The hotter water extracts more flavor.

Leave a Reply