As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

How long to percolate coffee (Stovetop and electrical)

Percolated coffee is a classic coffee brew that’s been around for a very long time. It’s a bit more hands-on than other kinds of brews, but the end result is a strong and bold cup. Since you’re going to be hands on, what’s the verdict on how long to percolate coffee?

How long to percolate coffee

The optimum time for percolating coffee is about 5 minutes. If you prefer a stronger cup, you can push this to 8 minutes or anything in between, but if you go above 8 minutes, you’ll end up with a cup that’s just too bitter to enjoy.

Keep in mind that these are 5 minutes as you are percolating coffee that you’ll have to pay close attention to the stove to make sure the temperature does not get too high since you don’t want to end up boiling the water!

how long to percolate coffee on a stovetop

How long to percolate coffee on a stovetop

A stovetop percolator has two chambers: a bottom chamber and a top chamber. The bottom chamber is filled with water. Measure the exact amount of water you need for the number of coffee cups you want. You have no control over limiting the water once the process starts.

If you’re wondering what fineness of ground coffee you need, go for a medium grind like the kind you’d use for drip coffee.

Next, place the filter on top of the bottom chamber and add your coffee grounds. One tablespoon (roughly 8-10 grams) of coffee grounds should be enough for a nice single cup, but you can adjust the amount up and down to your personal preference.

Use a spoon to level the coffee but don’t tamp it like you would an espresso.

Screw on the upper chamber and place the percolator on a hot stove.

The idea is that as the water heats up and begins to evaporate, it will percolate through the coffee grounds and be forced through the small tube in the top chamber.

FREE COURSE

Learn how to brew the best coffee of your life

Sign up now to get started with our easy to follow and easy to implement guides. You'll never want to drink instant coffee again!

You don’t need a rolling boil to get the water to evaporate! The most you want is a really mild simmer. Be careful that the water does not start to boil. For this, you’ll need to monitor the percolator and make sure the bubbles and sputtering sound is very gradual.

Continue maintaining low heat to keep the temperature stable and let the entirety of the water evaporate and percolate into the top chamber.

How do you know when percolator coffee is done?

Once the water has fully brewed into coffee, you’re done. You’ll be able to tell when the sputtering and bubbling subsides.

Remove from the stove, but be careful – the handle can get a little hot too. Pour into a cup and enjoy.

How does percolation work?

Percolation is a cousin of espresso and Aeropress in that it uses pressure to make brewed coffee. In other traditional methods like drip or pour, gravity pulls water down through the coffee grounds and as the water goes through the coffee, it absorbs the flavors and compounds.

The heated water generates steam, which is forced through the coffee grounds, into the small tube in the top chamber, where it bubbles out as brewed coffee.

Coffee can be percolated or “perked” in a stovetop percolator or an electric percolator.

Stovetop percolators are rather hands-on since you need to monitor the water temperature and make sure it does not boil!

You need to keep the temperature just below boiling, where water will still evaporate, but at the ideal coffee brewing temperature of 90 to 95 degrees C.

This ensures a good cup of coffee that does not taste bitter or burnt.

Bestseller No. 1
Farberware 47053 Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 12-Cup Coffee Percolator, 12 Cup Coffee Maker, Silver
  • NO MESS: This stovetop coffee maker features a permanent percolator filter basket, so there’s no need to deal with a messy paper coffee filter.
  • DURABLE AND CONVENIENT: Heavy-duty stainless steel coffee maker is polished to a mirror finish. The sturdy, clear glass knob lets you know when percolating begins.
  • CLASSIC COFFEE MAKER: Make delicious coffee morning or evening with The Original 12-Cup Farberware Stovetop Percolator. Sleek and traditional look fits in with any kitchen decor.
  • DISHWASHER SAFE: Fully immersible and dishwasher safe, the 10.83-inch percolator combines technology with the styling and quality Farberware has delivered for decades.
  • PRODUCT DETAILS: Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 12-Cup Coffee Percolator, coffee maker with lid and sturdy clear glass knob, silver.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Stovetop Percolator Coffee Pot, Glass, 8 cup (40 oz) …
  • 8 Cup/40oz. Stovetop Coffee Percolator for Use on Electric & Gas Ranges
  • High Quality Borosilicate Glass from DURAN, Germany
  • Assembled in USA
  • BPA-Free & Dishwasher Safe
  • See Instructions/Specification Sheet in Technical Specification Section Below

Electric percolators, on the other hand, are much easier to use. They’re more set and forget than stovetop percolators.

For good electric perk coffee, you just need to be using fresh beans, ground to the correct consistency, and you’ll end up with an awesome cup of coffee every time.

Most electric percolators have sensors built in that ensure the temperature does not rise beyond a certain point.

Bestseller No. 1
Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker
  • Brews great-tasting coffee-rich, hot, and flavorful
  • Makes 2 to 12 cups of coffee as fast as a cup a minute, then keeps it piping hot automatically
  • Easy-pour spout and traditional design provide elegant coffee service anytime
  • Luxurious stainless steel construction for easy cleaning and lasting beauty
  • Made of durable stainless steel including the filter basket and perk tube; Signal light indicates when coffee is ready to serve
SaleBestseller No. 2
Presto 02822 6-Cup Stainless-Steel Coffee Percolator
  • 500-watt classic stainless-steel percolator brews from 2 to 6 cups of coffee
  • Circulates hot water through grounds, creating that familiar percolating sound
  • Ready-to-serve indicator light; detachable cord; drip-free spout for graceful serving
  • Automatic keep-warm mode; cool-touch knob and handle; stay-cool bottom
  • Measures approximately 7-1/2 by 4 by 10 inches; 1-year limited warranty. Please note: Coffee percolator will brew six -5 ounce cups (standard coffee cup)

Advantages of perked coffee

Perked coffee is a classical way to make coffee. It’s how they used to do it in the olden days, and it’s no surprise that this way to make coffee has lasted so long.

Percolator coffee is one of the easiest ways to brew coffee when you are camping. Camping coffee makers are small and you can easily place them on a camping stove.

In fact, a friend of mine prefers a percolator for all of her travel coffee needs, not just for camping. It’s small enough to throw into a suitcase and just take it everywhere. No matter where you go, you should have access to a stove or a heat source, so you’ll never be short of coffee with a stovetop coffee maker.

Additionally, a coffee percolator is usually made of metal and can last a lifetime if you take care of it properly. Some other coffee brewing methods generate some kind of waste(like paper filters from drip coffee, or worse, the pods from single serve coffee makers).

Percolators generate no waste aside from the coffee grounds, which are actually really good as fertilizer, among other things.

Disadvantages of percolator coffee

I think the main reasons percolator coffee has gone out of fashion except amongst a select few is that it’s more hands on than other brewing methods.

Additionally, no matter the kind of coffee grounds you use, percolator coffee will always be much bolder and more bitter than say drip or french press coffee, which is usually a much more mellow brew.

Still, there’s definitely a time and place for this cup of coffee, and for a true coffee connoisseur, there is no shortage of the kinds of brewing methods they use!

For example, my go-to coffee is an espresso or a lungo, but that does not mean I don’t enjoy an occasional french press, aeropress, or a cold brew!

How to get good percolator coffee every time

The keys to making good percolated coffee every time are quite simple:

  • Clean your coffee pot every time. A dirty pot results in a murky brew.
  • Use freshly ground coffee beans, from freshly roasted beans. This holds true for good coffee no matter what kind of brewing process you are using.
  • Try to use filtered water. The more minerals there are in your water, the more unwanted flavors will end up in your coffee

How do you know when percolator coffee is done?

You’ll know percolator coffee is done when you hear a sputtering sound. The sputtering indicates that most of the water has been brewed.

Do coffee percolators make good coffee?

Percolator coffee is similar to espresso and Aeropress in its intensity. It’s usually very bold and full-bodied.

What kind of coffee do you use in a percolator?

You can use any roast: light, medium, or dark, depending on your preferences. The beans should be ground to a medium-fine consistency.

Last update on 2020-08-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

About Shabbir

Shabbir is the Chief Caffeine Officer at Coffee In My Veins. When he's not weighing out coffee beans for his next brew, you can find him writing about his passion: coffee.

shares