HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >



  • h

I was in a hardware store today, by the section where various appliances were kept, and I was surprised to see a percolator. I'm amazed that anyone would buy a percolator, since percs are simply incapable of making decent coffee, and drip pots can be had inexpensively. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
What is your guess as to who might buy a percolator?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Percolators are good for camping trips, but that'sa bout it. They were once popular, so I guess IF anyone is buying them, they're just old-school, or they like that kind of coffee. Could be anyone.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Alan H
      Vanessa On The Town

      When we go camping, we actually take our French Press to make coffee. We just heat the water in one of the cooking pots. Of course, that's only for car camping and you have to be sure to pack it, so that it doesn't break. You can always stuff it in with your sleeping bag.

      1. re: Vanessa On The Town

        I have an unbreakable lexan two cup press I use when camping and backpacking. Combined with my hand grinder and mini espresso maker I do just fine...

        1. re: The Rogue

          OK, I should have been more specific. I meant backpacking, where things like glass, or a grinder would be out of the question.

          1. re: The Rogue

            Hope you don't wake up the cattle. LOLhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uv4OSJmLqA
            See what Billy is holding?

      2. When I was in college and living in the dorms I use an old percolater I picked up for $1 to heat water for herb tea, massage oil, and cheap sake. I removed the innards and would just fill it a third of the way with water and place the bottle to be heated in the water. Then I plugged it in and soon the sake or massage oil was toasty warm. I can't think of any other use for a percolater.

        1. If it's one of those tall narrow ones you can use it to steam asparagus. Much cheaper than buying an asparagus steamer.

          1. I sure like Steve's use of a percolator better than mine. We take a degutted percolator with us when we travel. Use it to heat water for Folgers singles. Keeps us alive until breakfast. Well sorta.

            1. Yep I am old school. I LOVE stove-top percolator coffee. Strong, hot and dark. I use freshly cooked beans and grind just enough to fill the basket. Sometimes I throw in an eggshell which MAY cut the bitterness. What other method lets you control the brewing time ?
              I love driving past the corner Starbucks in the a.m. with my 20 oz. travel mug full of steaming good stuff and watching the yuppie scum queue up for their dose of stylish caffeine. What a boring world this would be if we all had the same taste......

              2 Replies
              1. re: gourmound

                Humorous, but I am neither yuppie, or scum, and I like Starbucks quite a bit. Ironically, for all the Starbucks bashing and accusations of high prices, they are as inexpensive for a large coffee as anyone else in the area.

                1. re: Alan H

                  The quality of Starbucks is good. It is a coffee that tastes good black a telltale sign of excellence.

              2. "The Bee Bee
                Dice the skins of citrus fruits, place them in the percolator where the coffee usually goes, pour honey over the dried fruit, then boil and percolate bourbon over them. This will bring on leprechauns and williwaws after the third, we guarantee."
                -From "The Art of Mixing Drinks," Bantam Books, 1956.

                I have always wanted to try this one, but never had the percolator.
                And I like bourbon too much to boil it (though seeing williwaws might make it worth while).

                1. lumberjacks who like their coffee strong, black and tar-like in consistancy might like percolators.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sooth

                    Probably. Kind of a given that hairdressers don't.

                    1. re: gourmound

                      Amen to that, brother. I won't use anything but my trusty percolater. Chrome-plated and older than I am.

                  2. c
                    Campbell Methun

                    ONLY recently have drip coffee makers made a decent cup of coffee. Previously they never reached a temp. hot enough to 'brew'. Percolators have their place. They make a good cup if cleaned thouroughly after each pot made. Don't let coffee sit there until you do the dishes. Dump out into another container, and, at least, add some warm water to fill percolator. Wash when ready, if not right away.
                    I, too, have abandoned percolators, but only for the convinience of a timer on my KRUPS drip. I wake up each morning to a hot pot of coffee, if I remember to fill it the night before.

                    1. Hmmmmmm..... (said quietly) -- I like my perc and my drip, but prefer a press for most of my coffee.

                      My drip is easy and on timer.

                      Press makes a great cup.

                      But when in need of a strong, wake me up, cup and one that brings back memories and the smells of my Italian childhood, it's my perc, which by the way, can be controlled as to strength and overdone taste.

                      1. c

                        Well, I grudgingly registered for and received a percolator for my wedding. My husband's family always used them and he loves them. I like his mom's coffee, not the best, but plenty good, so I figured- ok. But I hate it. Have never had a good cup out of it. Tastes metallic to me. My husband still likes it. We usually buy coffee out, or have taken to turkish coffee lately anyway (tastes of brewed with the convenience of instant).

                        BTW- there are time programmable percolators.

                        1 Reply
                        1. I just dug my Pyrex vintage percolators out of the depths of my kitchen cupboard recently. I have had regular drip filter coffee makers and find the coffee made of poor quality and usually these machines stop performing well after some usage. The coffee makers that require the expense of those little cups are abhorrent to me, I refuse to buy into the system. Ultimately I would love to purchase a real expresso machine but then I wonder if I would really appreciate a cappucino or the like as much as I do now, it is a treat of some sort for me. I purchased a bodum and do enjoy the coffee but not the dust that is found at the bottom of my cup. So out came the percolator and with a good quality coffee and the correct grain I made myself some coffee and you know what it was good. I love the smell in the house, the anticipation of a mug, and love hearing the perking sound. All in all I have to confess I love anything vintage so I am biased.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Ruthie789

                            You're last two sentences ring true to me!

                            1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                              Also isn't it odd that everyone loves the coffee at banquets, often from percolators!

                          2. Over a decade later....I would disagree a drip pot makes a better cup of coffee.

                            I prefer my percolator(40+ years old)....and my Vacuum(50+ years old) Coffee makers...both still going strong and no need for filters.