NOTE: There is a fair amount of disagreement on this article. For opposing views please take a look at the comments and make your own decision based on what you like.
Percolators violate most of the natural laws about brewing coffee.
- Don't over extract the oils and flavor. Percolators work by taking coffee and reheating it and throwing it over the grounds over and over and over again.
- Never reheat / boil coffee. This destroys the flavor. For best flavor, boil the water, pass it over the grounds and retain the heat. Don't reheat it.
Violating these rules may not sound like much, but these are about the only rules there are. The effect of a percolator is to keep passing boiling water/coffee over the grounds until there is no flavor left and the flavor in the coffee is so dead that it's a worthless waste.
There seems to be a great deal of misunderstanding about the re-boiling of already brewed coffee.
About half way through this video from "Coffee brewers institute" (1961) there is a good example of the boiling and re-brewing over and over again of coffee in a percolator. At approximately the 7 minute 40 second mark they show a glass percolator.
If you look in the bottom half you will see already brewed coffee. The already brewed coffee is boiling and being pushed back over the grounds. That's a pretty good visual demonstration of what is happening.
Most modern percolators are the electric variety - they plug into a wall outlet and are a self-contained unit.
Most electric percolators use a stainless steel basket with quite large perforations, which makes select the appropriate grind important. You do not want to use a paper filter with these, as it could prevent proper drainage and flow, and cause the coffee to spill over.
There are also stove top percolators, which are meant to be placed on a stove surface instead of plugged in, and these are different from moka pots.
Percolator vs. Vacuum pots
Reading several comments some seem to be people who are not talking about a percolator but a vacuum pot or a moka pot.
If you have a brewer that pushes water up into a second (usually upper) chamber by steam and holds the water in the upper chamber during brewing then pulls it back via vacuum into the lower changer after brewing that's not a percolator. That is a vacuum pot which is described over here. Vacuum pot coffee also happens to be one of my favorite ways to have coffee.
Percolator vs. Moka Pot
A moka pot (unlike a vacuum pot) will push the water through the grounds and into an upper chamber that it is served from.
I realize that in a few cases manufacturers have chosen to add the word percolator to the description of their moka pots. Strictly speaking this is not any more correct than calling a moka pot an espresso maker which is another common marketing gimmick for moka pots.
How to choose a percolator
Ultimately the preference of coffee makers comes down to personal preference. I'll go further to say most people will probably prefer whatever they are accustomed to so if you grew up on perc pots you may always prefer them even if they have inherent problems. There is nothing wrong with that.
You won't get the "best" cup of coffee as defined by coffee snob, but it will produce a cup of coffee on par with most coffees brewed at home in a regular drip pot coffee maker. Having said that if you are looking for your first coffee pot or your first non-drip coffee pot I would encourage you to skip the perc pot.
If budget is a concern a French Press is excellent. If budget is less of a concern you can get a good manual Vacuum pot for a little more than an electric perc pot.
If you have already tried the other methods and want to try something new give a perc pot a try. They are not expensive so you won't be out a lot of money. If you end up loving perc above all else then by all means celebrate your discovery of the way that is right for you.
Coleman brand percolators are a line of percolators designed for outdoor use at campsites, picnics and barbecues. They're rugged and specifically designed to be used over campfires, similar to stove-top models.
User reviews seem to indicate that while the outside is durable, the glass knob on top, and aluminum basket, can be problematic over the long run.
Be sure to follow the instructions provided when you purchase your brewer.
Hamilton Beach Percolators
Hamilton Beach manufactures a line of stainless steel electric percolators with detached electrical cords, making them portable. While initial usage indicates that these make good coffee, quickly, there are a large number of complaints that the machine stops working under a year. Make sure to get a good warranty.
West Bend Percolators
West Bend is a brand that manufactures large-scale percolators, labeled as "urns". The distinction between a regular percolator and an urn appears to be that an urn is meant for serving large quantities of coffee, such as at events.
They come with a dispensing spout (spigot) near the bottom of the machine that makes it easy to dispense coffee without tipping the machine.
Urns and percolators operate off the same principles.
re: RE: If Percolators brew below boiling but around 200F, THEN....
Most of your comments are correct of vacuum coffee makers but not necessarily percolators. Perc pots warm the water in the bottom area and then push warm (but not boiling) coffee into the top area. This is similar to a vacuum pot or a Moka pot. The difference with a perc pot comes in next. A perc pot allows the water to flow back down into the bottom reservoir. As it falls through it goes threw the grounds much like a drip pot. Once the brewed coffee falls down it starts to boil. That is where the boiling comes in. If you don't believe me watch the video of a perc pot in action. It is mentioned in paragraph five of the main article. The boiling of brewed coffee is the real problem here.
You are correct about the correct temperature making all the difference in the world. I upgraded to a Technivorm and the coffee is not just convenient but has great taste to rival vacuum which is my preferred prep method.
I will agree that ultimately it comes down to personal preference. I'll go further to say most people will probably prefer whatever they are accustomed to. Give a perc pot a try. They are not expensive so you won't be out a lot of money. At the same time you get your perc pick up a vacuum pot. That will give you a package that looks similar to a perc pot without all the inherent engineering problems. If you end up loving perc above all else then by all means celebrate your discovery of the way that is right for you.
re: If Percolators brew below boiling but around 200F, THEN.... 🙂
I have not tried percolated coffee (yet) and so I cannot comment on the flavor (I've got a French Press, a drip maker, a pump espresso machine and a turkish coffee pot). But I do find several faults with the premise of the article and have at least one point to offer in favor of the percolator. First of all, if what I've been reading is true, the percolator does NOT boil the coffee and IF that is true, then the basic premise of what is wrong with percolated coffee is just plain wrong.
Secondly, IF the coffee really is being brewed around 200 degrees Fahrenheit give or take a few degrees, then the percolator has a MAJOR selling point over ALL drip makers (I have yet to see drip maker that operates much above 165 degrees Fahrenheit). As anyone who knows anything about the French Press, the reason most people believe the coffee it produces tastes better than a drip maker is that it is brewing it at the correct temperature and drip makers do NOT do this. So IF the percolator is brewing at the correct temperature then that would explain why it tastes better. The fact that already brewed coffee is being recirculated through the grounds is MEANINGLESS. Yes, meaningless because the SAME THING can be technically said of a French Press through convection currents and you don't see any coffee snobs 'dissing' the French Press. The key in both cases (and of Turkish coffee as well) that the water remains JUST BELOW the boiling point. You will only get 'burnt' or 'scorched' coffee if actual boiling water is coming into contact with the coffee grounds.
Given all of what I've read, I must admit my interest in TRYING percolated coffee has been sufficiently piqued that I'm planning on buying a Presto Percolator just to try it out for myself. In the end, TASTE is what actually matters and I couldn't care less what others think. An opinion is just an opinion and all tastes fall into that category in the end. If you prefer percolated or turkish or espresso, who cares so long as YOU enjoy it? I hate snobbery even though I love quality food and drink. What tastes best with cream and sugar isn't neccessarily the same as what tastes best with flavored creamers and what tastes best black. Sometimes you can be in the mood for a certain taste as well. For example, I like steak, but I like hamburgers too. They are not mutually exclusive despite both being different cuts of beef.
re: RE:Cafestol and vacuum brewing
If you are using the Yama's cloth filters you are esentially filtering the coffee. My understanding is that cafestol is removed in filtered coffee so this would make sense. If you have replaced the cloth filter with a glass rod filter that may be another story.
re: Cafestol and vacuum brewing
Will vacuum brewing reduce cafestol in coffee? When I make coffee in my vacuum brewer, it tastes less oily than coffee made in my percolator, so I'm wondering if it's effectively reducing the amount of cafestol. (fwiw, I have a Yama vacuum brewer)...
re: perk papers
There are paper filters for percolators. As far as I know there are 2 types: disks and paper packets.
I've never tried the packet type but I can say that those little paper disks do a good job of keeping grounds out of my coffee. I imagine they would help reduce the cafestol content as well.
I agree. I find the flavor of percolator coffee to be smoother and just better. We visited a coffee farmer in Hawaii once and he asked us how we brewed our daily coffee. When told we were using a brand name maker, he insisted we switch to a percolator. He said he wouldn't drink coffee made any other way. We have tried it and agree, it is better. No filters to throw away either.
re: Cafestol removed?
If cafestol can be removed by coffee filters, could it be removed from percolated coffee if it was poured through a paper filter into the cup after it it brewed?
re: percolator debate
I have heard from "Coffee Experts" for years, "Do not percolate coffee". Well there is alot of "science" that is wrong!
I have one thing to say about this debate. Taste! My mother has probably sold more perolaters than any one person I have ever heard of. People visit, and comment on how good her coffee is, not knowing anything about method, brand, ect. She begans telling about measuring coffee, brand, and so on. They return after followiing all instructions saying, their coffee is still inferior to hers. She says, there's only one thing left the percolator! They purchase one and "Olay" great coffee!
Everyone in my family, and countless friends have switched to percolators. The reason the market has "beat these down" for so long is that coffee is one of the largest traded comodities in the world today and pecolators use "one half" the coffee of other methods! Trust me I have tried dozens of drip makers and there aren't any that compare to a good pecolator!
re: For some people the stronger
For some people the stronger the flavour of the coffee the more they will like it and perculating gives the strongest flavour. Saying this is better than that is a matter of taste and reminds me of the fact most people including wine snobs cannot tell the difference between a good English wine by Nyetimber and Champagne. The difference is we can easily tell the difference in brewing methods during a blind coffee tasting test, but the similarity is the wine "experts" (snobs) clearly talk a lot of rubbish when they cannot blindly tell the difference between quality English wine and Champagne.
So coffee snobs can moronically sit there and say their method is the best because it preserves the subtle flavour, etc, etc until their faces turn blue but the truth is bluntly that they like their method best because either they prefer the taste, or someone they admired (often due to simple arrogance in both admirer and admired) said it was better.
Something that is very important and should be considered is that coffee contains cafestol, a hydrocarbon which is one of the most potent dietary (if not THE most potent) cholesterol raising agent known to man. It works by disrupting genes in the liver that regulate cholesterol. The ONLY common brewing method which remove the cafestol (and removing it is a good thing) is to use filter PAPERS (not a permanent filter, it is too course) which removes the oils and therefore the cafestol.
So perhaps we should stop being so snobby about drip filtered coffee since it's the healthy way to go?
Personally I brew most of my coffee Scandanavian style (I know, it's an acquiried taste :P), which contains the most cafestol along with French press coffee. Oops. But then again I also had fried bread, eggs and sausages for breakfast and if you would never dream of eating something so artery clogging you should only drink paper filtered coffee.
Google cafestol if you don't take my word for it (and you should not take any random commenters word for anything). And you thought that decaf with all the natural oils was healthy! Incidently there is a fair amount of evidence people who drink decaf have a higher heart disease risk than those who don't. Isn't science ironic 😉
re: I love all the coffee
I love all the coffee specials, for example today I tried banana flavoured frappe, and yesterday chocolate flavoured:D . But I don't know if I'd know to do things like that by myself, I prefer going to nice coffee shops and trying them.
re: Turkish coffee, was: Perc is the best
You said: Let me ask you this... if boiling coffee is so bad, then why does Turkish coffee exist?
My response (as someone who owns an ibrik and enjoys Turkish coffee): you don't actually boil coffee in the ibrik (cezve, Turkish coffee pot, whatever). The shape of the pot and the sugar that's usually added before brewing causes the coffee to foam up at about 70 - 85 C, which is much lower than true boiling. The low temperature is also why you can do the traditional "foam and settle" three times without getting a cup of bitter, astringent brew.
Finally, if you do actually try to boil coffee in an ibrik (i.e. at 100 C), you end up with a huge mess on your stovetop. That's what happened to me the first time I wasn't paying attention.
re: RE: I watched the video of a
The site you point to sells Moka Pots which are covered separately in the FAQ
The look similar but that is where the similarities end. Finally maybe I have
an answer for why so many people say they love percolator
Once again a Percolator is not a Moka Pot or a Vacuum Pot.
A percolator is that thing in the video and yes people still use them.
re: I watched the video of a
I watched the video of a 60's style percolator, who uses one of those percolators? Maybe campers or grandparents. If you want to get an idea of the kinds of percolators coffee enthusiasts use take a look at http://www.bialetti.com/
Yeah, the kind of percolator in the video does make the worst coffee ever. I would never use such a dumb concoction. I use a percolator at home for great coffee and a french press in my studio for decent coffee. I'm not sure if you knew there were two types... Although, if you are commenting on this forum and you don't know the differences between this percolator in the video narrated by William Shatner and the Italian stove top percolator well, then maybe you're hurting worse than I. Who has a paper due on Monday but can't seem to stop watching percolator videos.
re: RE:Sorry for you, but the
If you would be kind enough to read the article you will see a link to a video. At approximately the 7 minute 40 second mark they show a glass percolator. If you look in the bottom half you will see already brewed coffee. The already brewed coffee is boiling and being pushed back over the grounds. Say it's not true if you like but that's a pretty good visual demonstration of what is happening. Now on the other hand if you want your coffee to be pushed up into a second chamber by steam and held safely away from boiling that's not a percolator. That is a vacuum pot which is described over there.
re: Sorry for you, but the
Sorry for you, but the coffee does steam upwards through a shaft where which the coffee is effectively caught in another chamber. In this chamber, as you have worded it, the coffee sits and is never re-boiled. I'm not sure where you got the information you have stated but I believe it to be horribly mistaken. Seriously, just observe the design of the pot.
re: replacement 4 cup perc:
I am myself in the market for a new type altogether of a coffee maker. My regular dripper just gave out the other day after many years of diligent service, but never the tastiest coffee. For a good hit of true coffee taste and aroma I would have to buy commercially by the cup to tide me over, or make some cappuccino. I am between a French Press style and a percolator. I am in the process of learning about how these work, and am trying to at best guess which one will produce the tastiest home brewed coffee. I saw the 4 cup perc on Penney's www. Good luck! Let me know how it works, would you?
re: Percs rule!
No doubt, percolators make the tastiest coffee! Not the quickest, but certainly the tastiest. We've got three children and lots of committees to juggle. Meetings usually end up here because everyone enjoys the percolated coffee so much. I guess, in their quest for speed, they bailed on taste. We own three percolators and I am very sad to say I broke my 4 cup pot yesterday. I am going CRAZY looking for a new one. Anyone know where I can find a 4 cup glass percolator?
re: Works for me...
I recently bought a Presto stainless steel percolator. I've had no problem adjusting the grind for a perfectly balanced taste, neither over nor under extracted. The coffee is very rich and tastes more like coffee from a press than from a drip machine to me. The coffee is hotter and seems to last longer in the pot without burning... no filters... no paper or plastics to leech chemicals into your coffee... I highly recommend the Presto perc if you enjoy a great cup of coffee.
I've also found by using a finer grind suitable for drip coffee, you can make "super" coffee with a caffeine kick that will knock your socks off.. lol
re: i have a drip, percolator,
i have a drip, percolator, and french press. sorry but the percolator makes the best coffee in my opinion - the flavor is a lot better - now i usually drink darker coffee - french roast & colombian so i dont know if that matters - i think it depends on the drinker.
re: Perco Fection
While stovetop percolators must be carefully monitored to make sure they don't come to a boil, this is not so with electric percolators. A typical electric percolator will brew coffee at the optimum 200 degrees. The greater the wattage, the quicker it gets to this temperature, and the better the coffee will be. The recirculating of water through the grinds apparently does not have a detrimental effect. A French press allows the grinds to simply steep while floating freely in the water, so I don't see how this makes any difference. Bascially, the faster a percolator brews, the better. I have a Farberware 8 cup perc, and it brews at cup a minute speed. I use a grind only slightly more coarse than auto drip, and it makes coffee identical in body and overall tone as my Chemex pourover brewer. Auto drip machines just cannot compare. I refurbish and resell a lot of coffee makers, and can tell you that the vast majority of coffee makers aren't even designed to get hot enough to brew properly. They are pour substitutes for a proper method of brewing coffee. If you're not going to use a manual method of brewing, then get a percolator.
re: RE: I am confused by the heat
Technivorm is undoubtedly discussing temperature in Celsius. 92 degree Celsius = 197.6 degree Fahrenheit. 180 degrees Fahrenheit is too low for brewing. Se my section on coffee temperature.
re: I am confused by the heat
I am confused by the heat issue. It sounds like everyone is saying the really hot temps like 180 degrees is good. However, I went to the Technivorm website and all of their coffee makers says this:
"brewing temperature between 92-96°/ keeping temperature between 80°-85° meeting the requirements of the ECBC/SCAE/SCAA "
What exactly is this, and why does it seem to be such a low temp?
I have been asking people lately if the way everybody drinks coffee nowadays (brewed) is different from percolated coffee, mostly because I still remember the amazing coffee my grandfather used to make on an old, dented, stovetop percolator. I was wondering if it was just childhood nostalgia...but I felt like I hadn't ever had coffee that good since. I think I am going to go out and find one!
re: RE: There are two basic types of percolato
That is an interesting comment. I have never considered a Moka Pot to be a percolator. If you want to call a Moka a percolator then sure a perc could make good coffee. Personally I prefer to make a distinction.
re: There are two basic types of percolato
"There are two basic types of percolator: the first forces boiling water under pressure through the grounds into a separate chamber, while the second continually cycles the boiling brew through the grounds using gravity until the required strength is reached."
so everybody is right...
the first type is delicious, the second less....
I love my perculator
You do make a good point that I probably do not stress as much as I should throughout the FAQ. Cleanliness is crucial. If you have old rancid oils hanging around you will not make good coffee regardless of the beans or the prep method.
The method you describes sounds like not perc pot I have seen. Interesting. So and I understanding correctly that in your perc pot the water that has hit the coffee does not come back down and mix with the fresh water until after the brewing method? That's how a vacuum pot works but not my understanding of how a percolator works. A percolator usually dumps water on the grounds and then said water mixes back with the clean water to be heater (boiler) over and over again. About half way through this video from "Coffee brewers institute" (1961) there is a good example of the boiling and re-brewing over and over again of coffee in a percolator.
A percolator forces water jsut below the boiling point up through the tube. The water cools somewhat before it reaches the coffee, to around 192Ã‚ÂºF or so...an almost ideal temperature. The brewed cofee is quite a bit warmer than the cool water below, and will tend to stay in a layer close to the top, only gradually 'tendrilling' down as it cools.
Inevitably, as we get close to the end of the process, some of the coffee will be passed through the already wet grounds. The actual percolation stops when the source water from the bottom of the pot reaches the boiling point.
Now the key to a good cup of perc: The coffee must be reduced in temparature, and the grounds removed IMMEDIATELY when the percolating stops. You do NOT want those last few drops of brew (with all the nasty free acids) to drain into the pot of coffee, nor do you want to hold the coffee much over 180Ã‚ÂºF (or below160Ã‚Âº).
The same holds true for your drip machines...keep those last few drops out of the pot, and your brew will be infinitely better!
You ARE wiping the area above the basket down after every pot, aren't you?
In my restaurant days, I ran a chain unit that consistently won awards for 'best coffee'...and we did it with a middle-of-the-road commercial blend...the secret was keeping the machine clean, and keeping those last few drops out.
re: perc coffee smells good. it
perc coffee smells good. it continually boils coffee and passes boiled coffee through grounds over and over again. the grounds are coarse so they can hopefully stand up to this. the vacuum pot prevents this. drip coffee is not the answer. the bodum, i believe, is the way to do it. that, or an old fashioned espresso stovetop. it has been noted previously: people who drink black coffee and have the ability to discern taste do not prefer percolator coffee. typical americans who spend their lives in mall food courts eating horrible food, getting bad perms and then driving home to watch rented movies and eat more bad food kill their coffee with milk (half and half and cream in some places) and a ton of sugar anyway. who cares what they drink? these are the same people who favor syrupy disgusting flavored coffee. bleah.
re: Percolator Perks - We need a blind taste test comparision
My parents owned a percolator, as I am sure many others over the age of 30 recall. Believe me, Starbucks can't even compete with the aroma emitted from a percolator.
I would imagine that like automatic drip, coffee presses and espresso machines, there are some percolator designs that are better at what they do than others. My point being, that generalizations almost never do justice to the subject of coffee preparation. On the flip side of the coin, I fully accept the fact that coffee purists aren't going to embrace the percolator concept if only because the principles of operation are a turnoff. By the same token, however, I doubt many of the percolator detractors on this site have based their opinions on any recent first-hand experience. By contrast, the folks who are saying "perc is best" probably had a cup this morning. So who am I going to believe?
There is a certain nostalgic appeal to the percolator, which makes me want to buy one Ã¢â‚¬â€ especially in view of the fact that I have recently returned not one but FIVE automatic-drip coffee machines that did not satisfy my high expectations (despite the use of premium, freshly burr-ground coffee beans). Percolators also more elegant on the kitchen counter than the typical automatic-brew machine.
Here's another angle to take under consideration: On Amazon the reviews for automatic drip coffee makers are almost entirely negative across all brands/models Ã¢â‚¬â€ with few exceptions. When you see a positive review, much of the time it is written by someone who has only owned the product in question a few weeks or less. Those who actually take the time to use the product in question for a year or so are generally less satisfied. The percolator, by contrast, seemingly operates according to simpler principles that are less likely to vary wildly from brand to brand, or even unit to unit within the same model/brand.
Looking, for example, at the Faberware percolator reviews on Amazon, you don't see a love-hate relationship Ã¢â‚¬â€ it's mostly love. There's got to be something to this, people! Perhaps modern electric percolators aren't the same as yesteryear's four-hour-old burnt coffee from a diner or church kitchen? If the Amazon reviews are any indication, I predict that percolators will enjoy a comeback in the coming years. Like fashion, everything old is new again.
We all know that the true secret to a good cup is not only in fresh beans, but proper technique. It doesn't matter if you use a percolator or a French press Ã¢â‚¬â€ in the wrong hands, with the wrong beans and the wrong grind it will fail to impress. Percolators were developed before coffee drinking took on wine-like devotion/fanaticism. It's possible that those old memories of a bitterly strong brew were influenced not so much by the equipment but by the casual coffee consumers who operated them.
If the same folks who regularly buy coffee brewing equipment spent half as much time testing out or experimenting with percolators, I would expect a credible commentary on the pros and cons of a percolator. In the absence of any recent experience with percolators, however, I suspect what we are reading are mostly a rehash of the same old negative assumptions that we've been "taught" to believe by people who themselves haven't used or seen a percolator in the kitchen since the 1960s.
Of course, no comment to a post like this will settle the debate. What we need is a blind taste test Ã¢â‚¬â€ to include automatic drip, French press, etc. Ã¢â‚¬â€ to see if the same people who would otherwise avoid percolated coffee will maintain that bias when they no longer know from what mechanism the coffee they are sampling was brewed.
Percolated coffee may not be for everyone, but heck Ã¢â‚¬â€ last time I checked it was still a free country. Personally, until I try one I'm not going to dismiss the possibility that it might taste as good as the aroma I recall growing up.
re: percolator nonsense
sorry drama-queen, you are the misinformed one. your taste also fails fact.
re: re: complete nonsense
I'm glad I could help you get a good laugh. Laughter is good.
Reheating may not be exactly the correct word but I think if you will read the text again you will see that what I am talking about is the fact that the brewed coffee in a percolator will continue to boil and be recirculated through the grounds over and over again. This is a reheating of the coffee. If the water simply got to a boil and was pushed into a separate chamber (cooling to slightly below boiling before it ever hit the grounds) where it would stay like a vacuum pot then the coffee would be safe but that is now how a percolator works. A perc repeatedly boils the already brewed coffee. That's just a way to scorch coffee.
Having said this if you like perc coffee by all means drink it and enjoy it. But if you are buying good beans and drinking straight black coffee in my opinion you would be better off with almost any other prep method. If you are buying cheap beans and then loading it down with milk and sugar it probably doesn't make much difference.
re: complete nonsense
After reading this description of a percolator, I literally burst into laughter. The amount of misinformation is astounding. Percolators boil water into new grounds of coffee; they do not reheat coffee thats what a microwave does. A person does not need a completely different appliance to reheat coffee, which is not what a percolator is used for.
I advise checking the facts before misinforming the population.
re: Perc is the best!!
Sorry to burst the anti-perc bubble, but I had a very expensive Krups machine that made awful coffee, and several other drip machines before that which fell into the "medium grade" price and quality range.
I could never make good coffee until I got my Percolator at an antique dealer for $12. It offers the ultimate in strength control, and something about boiling it makes it absolutely smooth, with no sourness, and no bitterness.
Let me ask you this... if boiling coffee is so bad, then why does Turkish coffee exist?
Not to mention that my perky-pot is all enamel so there's absolutely NO chemical reaction with the coffee. Most other coffee tastes like burnt plastic or heavy metals to me.
I think the people who come up with "rules" for making anything are bigoted and shortsighted. Maybe the "coffee rules" people have simply never learned to make coffee the right way in a percolator.
Maybe the "coffee rules" are just marketing ploys by drip manufacturers to make us pay higher and higher prices for their awful machines when we don't need filters and their fancy machines after all.
re: another source
Check out the Home Roast List archive at http://www.themeyers.org/HomeRoast/index.htm. The Technivorm has been discussed several times and I believe I remember seeing high altitudes mentioned but I do not remember the conclusion.
re: Technivorm Coffee Brewer
I recently learned of Technivorm and it sounds very good. I don't live in usual circumstances- in the Flatirons near Boulder, Colorado at an altitude of 7500 feet. Water boiis at 198.5Ã‚Â° F. Consequently French presses make a very vapid brew. Ten minutes in a percolator yields fairly decent Mexican style coffee. Mostly I use a 12 cup Gevalia ("give away") drip maker. I can't find a maker's mark, but it does brew a good cup. But always seeking something better the Technivorm caught my eye. I would like to hear from those who have actually used the Technivorm and in what circumstances. Thanks.
re: not flamed
The Technivorm Electric Drip Coffee Brewers is supposed to be an excellent electric drip pot. It's probably the best on the market. I use a Capresso MT 500. It's a decent coffee maker. My mayor disappointment is that it does not get the water quiet as hot as it should, but it's better than most. I have had good luck with Braun in the past with the same complaint about the temperature. There are also a number of drip coffee pot reviews available over at CoffeeGeek.
One other thing I should mention is that I use a permanent gold filter not a paper filter. That can make a big difference. Paper will trap some of the coffee oils. Permanent filters do not trap anything except most of the grounds. I also clean my coffee pot on a regular basis. A dirty pot no mater how expensive or how good will still make bad coffee. Think of it this way. Would you make dinner in a pot that had not been washed in months (not withstanding cast iron)? Same basic concept holds true for a coffee pot.
In my opinion there are a number of things that can and do go wrong in drip coffee pots but the most important problem is the temperature of the brew. Many if not most low end coffee pots and some of the high end units brew at a very low temperature. I have measured 135 - 140 degrees Fahrenheit at the brewhead. This low temperature will not make good coffee. I may have mentioned this before but I think this is one reason that some people love perked coffee. It's hot.
If you are looking for a cheap, but good, coffee prep method I recommend a press pot. If you are looking for the best coffee possible I recommend a vacuum coffee maker. If you are looking for the absolute minimum trouble in preparation drip is my recommendation.
I also think that to some extent how important the coffee maker is depends on the beans. If you are brewing coffee that comes pre-ground in a can chances are the brew method is the least of the taste issues.
re: quick stop coffee
There is something funny in a quick stop having the instructions for making great coffee but yes the things that you mention are all vitally important in making great coffee. Now if more gas station would just read the instructions. The only coffee I have had in a while that I literally could not drink came from a 7-11 in Norfolk, VA. I admit I'm picky about my coffee but I'd been drinking diner brew for a week without excessive complaints so I know this stuff was bad. It could have just been the people there doing a bad job. As a side note they have the best cups I have ever seen for take away coffee. They are thick insulated plastic and did not warm my hands. A paper cup with a protective shield is still much warmer that this was. I'm not sure what the plastic might do to the flavor but probably nothing good comes from hot on plastic. I will say it was nice to not have to keep switching hands as I walked the 4 or 5 blocks back to my hotel.
I couldn't agree with you more my friend about the taste of a mr. coffee or anything like it. It Sucks. I love Waffle HOuses coffee and I don't know their secret! I can tell you something that I read sometime though! Wish I would have copied it. It was in 1992 or 1992 and I was working in a quick stop. There was a manual about 5 to 6 pages long that told how to make (brew) the "perfect" cup of coffee. The water "hardness", the temperature of the water when it hit the coffee. The amount of time that it took to pass through the coffee and the filter or "drip". Essentially everything nessesarry for the "perfect" cup of coffee. I only wish that I had that now. It was from a coffee manufacturer. I love a good cup of coffee and they are so hard to come by. Anybody know the secret, like for instance this percolator Idea, give me a buzz. have a great day.
re: not to flame, so you're
not to flame, so you're going back on your original statement about which type of coffee brewing is better. If you say there are higher-end drip models that produce better tasting coffee than percolators then name some. Substantiate those claims please. When I went to college years ago I had a drip in my room and it was the worst thing. Not even tryin to compare it to perc'd coffee at home, it was just so bitter and nasty-everytime, no matter how well i cleaned it. I drank it.... but after I graduated I never used it again. I agree with earlier posts, if you don't like perc coffee, odds are it's because you're brewing it wrong. I don't think the same can be said for drip because they just don't have the various brewing varibles.
re: Aroma reduces the flavor?
Even steaming foods, which is said to retain vitamins (and some also say flavor) more adequately, allows us to smell the aroma of the food. I really don't think we should be so concerned about some the flavor escaping --- just attend to our experience (flavor, aroma, etc.) of the meal or beverage. A large part of our enjoyment of foods is in the aroma. Therefore, perhaps we shouldn't assume that what we smell when the coffee is perculating is a part of the "flavor" we want on on tongues anyway. Nature just might have meant that part of the coffee essence for our noses afterall!
If one has never enjoyed a really delicious perked cup of coffee, it may be because he has never had one brewed properly. Brewing coffee is not at all as simple as using a drip. There is also a difference between electric perc and stovetop perc. The best tasting cup will come from a well-brewed stovetop. However, it takes the right technique which comes from experience of knowing a particular stove, coffee pot, and brand of coffee, etc. before one can brew a really good pot of coffee. And as it's been said, it MUST be watched. Most people will underbrew or overbrew until they master the technique and UNTIL THEN the taste will be lacking. But, it is well worth the time and effort, trial and error, to finally be able to make, share, (and taste!) that perfect pot of coffee. The electric percs take the guesswork out of this process but their drawback is that it can't be fine-tuned to one's detailed preferences. With a stovetop, EVERY decision is yours. Talk about having it "your way"! Stovetop perculating is truly the "gourmet" style of coffee.
re: I cringe
Every time I see this topic commented on I cringe because I know it will be another perc lover extolling the virtues of perc coffee. Typically I do not respond but this particular message made me think about something. The comparison being made between a perc pot and a cheapo coffee pot from the discount store may very well give the edge to the perc pot. I honestly have not had perc coffee in a very long time so I can't remember the taste at all.
So if you are comparing a perc pot to a cheap drip pot the perc may very well come out better. On the other hand everything about perc pots is wrong when it comes to making really excellent coffee. See my comments in the main article for why. But everything in a cheapo drip coffee pot is also wrong for excellent coffee. If you want excellent coffee from a drip pot you can't buy the cheapest thing on the shelf at the discount store. At the same time the most expensive machine may also make lousy coffee. Check the reviews or even better buy from a store that will allow you to try the product in store or has a liberal return policy. The biggest problem with drip pots is that they just don't get hot enough. Some also brew too fast or too slow. See my comments on drip pots for some of the reasoning on why many drip machines are horrible. If you want excellent coffee from a cheap coffee maker the press pot is a good choice but you do give up automation.
In conclusion yes a perc pot may be better than a cheap drip coffee maker but the cheap coffee maker makes lousy coffee also. If you want cheap good coffee try a press pot. If you want good and convenience buy a good drip pot. For some people a perc may be a reasonable coffee maker for the price. But if you are paying $10+ per pound for coffee (absolute low end of what I have seen "gourmet" coffee sold for in the states) doesn't it make sense to go ahead and spend a few dollars on a coffee maker that can get everything good the bean has to offer? A cheap drip pot will fall short of this. The higher temperatures which can pull more of the flavorful oils from coffee may very well be a reason that many people like perc pots.
re: Can't beat a percolator
A friend of mine bought me a vintage "Handy Hannah" electric percolator to match my stainless steel kitchen and the coffee from it far surpasses anything that ever came from my automatic drip coffeemakers. One secret is to remove the coffee basket and the grounds as soon as the coffee is brewed. The flavor of the coffee is unbeatable! If and when this 60's-era appliance quits working, I'll go right to the store and buy another one! Now any coffee from a "Mr. Coffee"-type machine tastes like scorched plastic to me.
re: Drip Coffee is Whacked Like Crack (It's Time For The Percolator)
First off, Percolators were the first original way of brewing. Modern science has turned you into bigot into believing percolator coffee is bad. Second, i have asked friends and family members to what they prefer and they all have agreed to the perk... it is the ultimate. And last but not least it keeps the coffee warm enough that if u added milk it wont get cold.
re: Percolator Rules!
I decided to quit using a drip coffeemaker after being treated for lymphoma. Hot water on plastic parts could cause cancer. I puchased a stove-top percolator. Wow! What great flavor! Far superior to drip.
After a couple of years of this, I grew weary of the time and attention it required and bought an electric percolator. Same great flavor, quick and automatic. All stainless steel is an important plus. Cons? A little more time to clean up, but worth it. With stove-top, you must turn on medium flame, then when perking begins, reduce to low flame. You must watch glass top and stop when color is just right. The bad reputation may come from letting it go too long. A good automatic electric will solve that problem. The modern units work well.
Anyone who claims that a percolator is inferior to drip either does not have that much experience with them or is not being truthful.
re: Better than any of them
I have tried drip pots and other coffee makers.Sure,they are quicker and more efficient ways of making coffee,but I would rather wait a few more minutes for the great-tasting perk.I don't care what people say,it is the best.People usually don't use them any more but it is very nostalgic to listen to the coffee perking on the stove.You can also control how strong you want it.They are also good to have around when the electric goes off.I do have a perculator,but I can't find it.Some people don't know what they are missing.If you have one,keep it.
I am obsessed with percolators ever since my boyfriends aunt introduced me to them. To me percolated coffee is the best coffee ever! I have a electric Delonghi retro style percolator and it makes a delightful cup of coffee when i have guests over. Everyone loves it! So i can't agree with what you wrote because percolated coffee is the best! Maybe your confused with stove top percolators, since those take a good watchful eye to make sure it doesn't over brew once it boils.
re: Percolated Coffee
Submitted by PigeonMan
Perculated coffee always SMELLS SO GOOD as it is being brewed; but know this: What you are smelling you will not be tasting -- for the laws of physics prevent that volitile essence from being in both places at once!
re: Percolated coffee
Rubbish!!!! The finest coffee I've ever had was percolated in vast urns in Iraq from a domestic (Gulf) grind. The only downside (if you can call it that) was that it was *hot*!
re: We use a percolator at our
We use a percolator at our camp that does not have electricity. We used to use instant and tried the drip method. Everyone enjoys the perced coffee. It may be considered the worst way to make coffee but we enjoy it.
re: I love the percolator
I have never made better tasting coffee than when I let it brew in the percolator for 10 mins. My Mr. Coffee broke and I had to resort to this method, and I cannot go back.