I found a mint condition stainless steel Presto Percolator and being curious about this brewing method, I took it home.  The art of perk pot brewing seems all but lost since this method has fallen out of favor amongst the coffee aficionado crowd.  Considering that these brewers can still be purchased new or can be found in any thrift store for a few bucks,someone out there must still be using these stylish devices for their morning cuppa.

Searching for the best method for perking a pot did not yield very consistent methodology.  I decided I would start with a basic recipe that has not failed me yet when water temps are high and the extraction time per liter is under 5 minutes.  This also is the same basic recipe as I would use for auto drip - take 60 grams fresh, good quality beans ground (auto drip setting for the particle size) with my Baratza Maestro, 1000 mL  clear cold water, a quality filter (in this instance it is a Melitta perk filter that covers both the top and bottom of the grounds), and some faith. 

The coffee does get hot while brewing.  I measure 190 F in the first cup poured just after the perking completes - but I can not say the taste seems  burnt or over extracted.  The steam from the spout is dark but not cloudy, and a handy thermal carafe takes care of holding the temperature nicely (it is a spare from a Krups KMF5 - pours nice with no leaking).  I suspect the average auto drip will make an inferior cup considering not many can match both the speed and brewing temperature of this unit.

The coffee I chose was a Peruvian bean taken full city roast.  My tasting notes for this coffee using a manual pour over method reveal a pleasing bright tingle and a hint ofpeach sweetness in the finish. The mouth feel is medium light and velvety showing nice balance as well. As it cools the tingle remains and the finish heads towards cocoa with the slightest astringency popping up, but not so strong as to hurt the overall taste. 

The Presto Percolator maintains the brightness of this cup as well as it's delicate body.  I am not ready to retire my press pot or other brewing gear just yet, but I could see using this brewing method more often with lighter roast floral/citrusy East African or Amazonian beans since higher brewing temperatures allow this type of coffee to shine.

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Comments

Submitted by trsrhiding on
The Percolator when done correctly does make a nice cup of coffee. I may just be nostalgic, I can remember watching my grandmother make coffee that way. I have an old one handed down to me from her and it still makes a fairly good cup of coffee.

Submitted by bernh on
I am still using my Farberware perk -- I love it!!

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>I have returned only one pot and it was a 4 cup Farberware perc. It had a pinhole leak that was undetectable until the water started seeping out. Maybe I should have looked for some JB Weld...

Submitted by jbviau on
Nice that you're open-minded about the percolator. Have you tried using it without the paper filters?

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>Not yet - I should try it though but the cup is very clean with the paper filter.

Submitted by wakeknot on
I always think fondly of my time as a kid when I see these. Do you know if they have more caffeine than similar drip coffee?

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>I am not sure about the caffeine level compared to drip coffee.

I have never used one of these at home, only at a church to be honest. Hmm I guess they have come a long ways from boiling the coffee.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>These can brew a decent pot - darker roast beans are better suited from what I have read but that doesn't stop me from brewing what ever is handy.

It is interesting that you got such great result with a percolator. I have never tried this method because other have state that it tend to overextract the coffee.

Submitted by EricBNC on
<br>I like the results from this method - it is fast, 5 minutes maybe with a good Presto so I am not sure it over extracts any more than a french press or other full immersion method would.

Brewing With a Percolator - Things Are Starting to Perk Up!

| by

I found a mint condition stainless steel Presto Percolator and being curious about this brewing method, I took it home.  The art of perk pot brewing seems all but lost since this method has fallen out of favor amongst the coffee aficionado crowd.  Considering that these brewers can still be purchased new or can be found in any thrift store for a few bucks,someone out there must still be using these stylish devices for their morning cuppa.

Searching for the best method for perking a pot did not yield very consistent methodology.  I decided I would start with a basic recipe that has not failed me yet when water temps are high and the extraction time per liter is under 5 minutes.  This also is the same basic recipe as I would use for auto drip - take 60 grams fresh, good quality beans ground (auto drip setting for the particle size) with my Baratza Maestro, 1000 mL  clear cold water, a quality filter (in this instance it is a Melitta perk filter that covers both the top and bottom of the grounds), and some faith. 

The coffee does get hot while brewing.  I measure 190 F in the first cup poured just after the perking completes - but I can not say the taste seems  burnt or over extracted.  The steam from the spout is dark but not cloudy, and a handy thermal carafe takes care of holding the temperature nicely (it is a spare from a Krups KMF5 - pours nice with no leaking).  I suspect the average auto drip will make an inferior cup considering not many can match both the speed and brewing temperature of this unit.

The coffee I chose was a Peruvian bean taken full city roast.  My tasting notes for this coffee using a manual pour over method reveal a pleasing bright tingle and a hint ofpeach sweetness in the finish. The mouth feel is medium light and velvety showing nice balance as well. As it cools the tingle remains and the finish heads towards cocoa with the slightest astringency popping up, but not so strong as to hurt the overall taste. 

The Presto Percolator maintains the brightness of this cup as well as it's delicate body.  I am not ready to retire my press pot or other brewing gear just yet, but I could see using this brewing method more often with lighter roast floral/citrusy East African or Amazonian beans since higher brewing temperatures allow this type of coffee to shine.

Category: BLOG

@son ton

April 19, 2012 | by EricBNC


I like the results from this method - it is fast, 5 minutes maybe with a good Presto so I am not sure it over extracts any more than a french press or other full immersion method would.

interesting!

February 12, 2012 | by sontondaman

It is interesting that you got such great result with a percolator. I have never tried this method because other have state that it tend to overextract the coffee.

@intrepid510

November 22, 2011 | by EricBNC


These can brew a decent pot - darker roast beans are better suited from what I have read but that doesn't stop me from brewing what ever is handy.

I have never used one of

November 14, 2011 | by intrepid510

I have never used one of these at home, only at a church to be honest. Hmm I guess they have come a long ways from boiling the coffee.

@wakenot

November 12, 2011 | by EricBNC


I am not sure about the caffeine level compared to drip coffee.

romantic

November 7, 2011 | by wakeknot

I always think fondly of my time as a kid when I see these. Do you know if they have more caffeine than similar drip coffee?

Unfiltered Perk

September 27, 2011 | by EricBNC


Not yet - I should try it though but the cup is very clean with the paper filter.

Fun

September 9, 2011 | by jbviau

Nice that you're open-minded about the percolator. Have you tried using it without the paper filters?

Farberware woes

August 26, 2011 | by EricBNC


I have returned only one pot and it was a 4 cup Farberware perc. It had a pinhole leak that was undetectable until the water started seeping out. Maybe I should have looked for some JB Weld...

Percolator when done correctly

August 26, 2011 | by EricBNC


Hi Nathan, I am glad to see I am not alone here! I agree that the percolator when done correctly makes an excellent pot.

Perk

May 18, 2011 | by bernh

I am still using my Farberware perk -- I love it!!

Agree...

October 25, 2010 | by trsrhiding

The Percolator when done correctly does make a nice cup of coffee. I may just be nostalgic, I can remember watching my grandmother make coffee that way. I have an old one handed down to me from her and it still makes a fairly good cup of coffee.

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