I would like to try percolated coffee. I have memories of my parents bring out the shiny chrome electric percolator for special occasions. It smelled great! I have a friend that now lives far away who drinks a lot of coffee and she swears by the method. I don’t want to buy an electric percolator, use it once, then store it in my basement for a few years then donate to a worthy cause for a rummage sale. There must be a reason that it has gone out of favor among the coffee drinking masses. What’s the difference taste wise between drip coffee and percolated coffee? Thanks!
Percolated coffee tastes “cooked” - drip does not. The taste (I’m remembering this from my childhood - percolated was scorned in my household) is not as good. I think there’s a reason why few, if any, electric percolators exist today. Wikipedia has diagrams. Of course, the drip pots we used didn’t have paper filters and were aluminum.
Agree with Meekah. I got a stovetop perc (also a French press) maybe 30 years ago when they were once again trendy for a short while.
Side-by-side, the drip machine made much better coffee, as far as my preferences go.
I think perc needs a higher temp (boil or very near) to work, but drips tend to deliver water at about 15F (+/-) less than that. Also a perc delivers now-brewed coffee (again at boiling or nearly so) over the grounds, even if you only let it go a short time.
Yes, it gets recirculated, I believe. I got an exotic (then) chemex in high school - our chem teacher used to brew drip coffee in the lab with a flask and a filter …
Years ago, I had a propane camp stove & a percolator (for camping). For me, It was a necessary item.
The coffee was better than instant, but not by much.
I recently (more than 6 months, less then a year) had a craving for perked coffee. It’s what I grew up with once Mom realized that instant coffee was not as good. I wanted to compare Drip vs Pour-over vs Perked. Seems like everyone was doing instant in the '60’s. Wanted an inexpensive stove top one so bought a “Camping Percolator” and it was not a success. The basket fits so loosely that it pretty much made “Cowboy Coffee” ( CC is when you boil the coffee & water together).
Pretty strange to see this topic, when I’ve oddly been thinking about percolator coffee for the last couple of days! It’s what I grew up with, and what I started to drink as a young adult and had flown the coop. I do not miss it, and agree it tastes cooked. However the sound of it perking was comforting, and the house was totally redolent of coffee - much more so than drip systems. Nostalgic to think of it.
Wasn’t there a commercial that suggested that smelling the coffee meant flavor was escaping?
Possibly, but can’t say I remember that. I do remember all the heavy advertising from Yuban and Folgers. Interesting to not see many coffee ads for home brewing these days though.
maybe you could acquire an electric perc from a nearby thrift/tag shop?
IMO, percolated coffee tastes cooked, drip coffee tastes fresh.
Some folks think that electric drip is a good intersection of convenience and taste; especially if the set up includes a thermal carafe, rather than glass carafe+heating element.
I think this guy “serves up” an interesting explanation and taste test of percolator coffee. He is a bit long winded, though.
I’d describe the taste of perc coffee as being “institutional”–sort of what comes out of Bunn machines and has been left on the hotplate a bit.
I don’t mind the taste. I make coffee several different ways, and they all end up tasting different.
I think the original popularity of perc was due to the method’s recirculating extraction/concentration of flavor and color. Basically, pumping over itself, you get more coffee with fewer beans. If you add eggshells, you also get clearer, less acidic coffee.
Somewhere I still have a large electric percolator intended or gatherings. I’ll bust it out…
I’ve had a lot of perc coffee. Great memories of staying in primitive cabins in the woods. The extra hot coffee it can produce is much appreciated in cold weather. Even in these modern times, if something goes wrong with our drip coffee maker, the percolator works every time. It’s a good backup, and the aroma permeates the kitchen. But it is inconvenient.
I think of the line in the play, A Prayer for my Daughter, spoken by the criminal, under interrogation, when offered coffee at the police station. He refuses it: “boiled coffee is spoiled coffee.”
Even that low-life had standards.
Greece, Turkey, North Africa, Arabia and the Levant beg to differ.
If you have a hankering for percolated coffee, swing by a coffee hour at a church or a similar gathering where they use one of these:
They percolate. They probably use preground coffee from a three pound can, too. It is part of the cachet.
I bought one of those for a group once. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
I went down the percolator rabbit hole several years ago after enjoying percolated coffee made by a friend of my mother’s. It was a vintage perc, so I went online and did a bunch of research to figure out what vintage percolator to covet and pursue; I finally got one off of eBay and spent a bunch of time trying to make palatable coffee in it. Ultimately I failed and put it on the shelf. I wish I understood how this lady made such good coffee in hers, but I don’t.
Mine is an older, aluminum version of this. I wish it had a sightglass.
I dunno, I don’t mind perc coffee. It seems like whenever I rotate methods (Aeropress, drip, Turkish, cold extraction, espresso machine, Potsdam boiler, Chemex, etc.), I end up liking the change. I don’t think any method is so superior that’s all I’d drink.