If you prefer to take and make your coffee the old-fashioned way, we have good news.
In this article, we will review the best stovetop percolators in the market to make your search for authentic old school coffee percolators a roaring success.
What is a stovetop percolator?
Simply put, a stovetop percolator is a type of pot that is used for coffee-making and brewing.
The pot uses a technique called percolation to brew the coffee nice and strong. In this process, the boiling water beats against the ground beans repeatedly in high heat until the desired strength is achieved.
As a result, percolated coffee tends to be a bit bitter and over-extracted if left unattended.
Top 3 things that affect the taste of percolated coffee and why you enjoy all the power
It is often said that coffee that is brewed using a coffee percolator tends to be thicker and stronger with a solid crema. It is also said that it tends to be bitter and dry if it is brewed for too long.
However, the taste of a percolator-brewed coffee is not a rule set on stone. It can be easily changed to your liking if you know what to do while brewing your coffee using this coffee maker.
The taste of a stovetop percolator coffee varies depending on a number of factors. We will look into them now.
1. The quality of the coffee beans
The quality of coffee beans you have used to make coffee significantly affects the taste of the coffee in the long run.
If the coffee beans you used are made from robusta beans, they tend to come out stronger and more bitter because of the higher concentration of caffeine that is present in the beans.
On the other hand, if you are using arabica beans, your coffee will come out more balanced because of the presence of both caffeine and sweetening agents in the coffee bean.
What this means:
The taste of your coffee, even percolator-brewed coffee, depends on the type and quality of coffee beans you have used.
2. The quantity of water and coffee
That a stovetop percolator coffee is ‘bitter and over-extracted’ is nothing but a myth that has led millions of people to look at a coffee percolator with the eyes of suspicion.
The one thing that makes percolate coffee truly special is the authority you exercise over the taste.
If you want strong coffee, just make sure that you put more coffee beans in the filter basket before you start the brewing process.
On the contrary, if you are aiming for a moderate taste, make coffee with fewer coffee beans and add more water. This will reduce the overwhelming bitterness that might come with using too many beans.
3. The duration of the brewing process
Brewing your coffee in a coffee percolator for over 10 minutes is a recipe for disaster. You don’t want to get tangled in it. Making stovetop percolator coffee is like tending to seed – it needs your attention.
A one minute delay in taking your coffee maker off the stove and onto your kitchen counter can make all the difference in the final taste of your coffee.
So how long should you percolate coffee in a stove-top percolator?
Most coffee forums such as this one advise you to brew your coffee for about 5-7 minutes. This avoids over-extraction and over-heating of the coffee beans.
Doing this will help you make coffee that isn’t too hot or too bitter to burn your tongue.
Top 7 facts that you should consider before buying a coffee percolator
Do you need a stovetop percolator?
This is the first question you should ask yourself before you get a coffee percolator in the first place. But like all questions in life, there is no simple answer.
Here are the top 7 things that will help you decide if you should buy (or not buy) a percolator.
Fact 1: A stovetop percolator makes piping hot coffee
If you are used to making coffee using a drip coffee maker or an automatic pour over coffee maker, you’re in for a surprise. Whether it’s a good surprise or a bad one depends on your personal taste and preference.
A regular drip coffee maker will brew your coffee with ease but it won’t satisfy your desire for a hot cup of coffee as the machine uses a moderate temperature in its brewing technique.
Since a percolator-made coffee is brewed at just under boiling point, your final brew tends to be really hot. It is hotter and stronger than a regular machine-made coffee.
This is what most people love about the percolator. Waking up to a warm cup of hot coffee is something special. And a coffee percolator can give you just what you need.
Fact 2: A stovetop percolator is easy to use but hard to monitor
Using coffee percolators has its perks and privileges. It also has its negative points and drawbacks.
The biggest advantage of using a percolator is that it is extremely user-friendly. All you have to do is add water and coffee in the pot and put it on a stove for about 5 minutes.
That’s it. 5 minutes is all it takes to make a satisfying cup of coffee.
Sounds easy? think again.
The perks of effortless coffee making are not without its downsides. Even though it takes just 5 minutes to brew coffee in a percolator, these 5 minutes can spell disaster if you are not constantly monitoring the pot.
Since a stovetop percolator does not come with an auto-on and off feature, you can’t just turn it on and walk away mid-brew like you can with automatic coffee makers.
You need to closely monitor the percolator or risk overboiling your coffee.
This is the biggest disadvantage of brewing coffee with this equipment: You need to be physically present.
Fact 3: Most stovetop percolators are dishwasher-efficient i.e. they are extremely easy to clean
Most of us know the hardships that come with coffee makers that run on electricity.
In fact, most of them run on electricity. So the time you save on the coffee-making process is lost in the whole machine-cleaning process. While they are extremely easy to use, they are also rather difficult to clean.
Then comes the rockstar of coffeemakers and the king of effortless cleaning: a stovetop percolator.
All you have to do is toss the stovetop percolator in your dishwater and wait for it to scrub clean – all that without moving a muscle.
Fact 4: A stovetop percolator can brew small and big amounts of coffee
Whether it is a full house with the fam or alone time on a Saturday evening, you don’t have to worry about your coffee needs anymore because your stovetop percolator has got you covered,
There is no rule book that comes with a percolator. It does not dictate the quantity of your brew.
Be it 8 cups of coffee or a single cup of joe, the power rests in your hands. Brew the world or brew a tiny island of coffee. No big deal.
Big appetite or small appetite, this coffee maker takes care of you like nothing does.
Fact 5: A stovetop percolator is a great travel/camping companion
You may be halfway across town, on a camping trip, or a road trip; you don’t have to go a day without coffee.
The best thing about a coffee percolator is that it makes for a great travel companion because you don’t need a stove to make coffee. All you need is a great camping spirit and a mini bonfire to enjoy your coffee in the wild.
You can enjoy multiple cups of coffee mid-travel because guess what? a percolator is easy to use, easy to clean, and easy to carry around too!
Fact 6: A stovetop percolator is extremely portable
The one thing that you can be sure of while buying a stovetop percolator is this: it is extremely portable.
You can take it anywhere you want.
You don’t have to make coffee runs to your kitchen every time your cup runs dry. While this may seem like a small thing to consider in a grand scheme of things, it matters.
Fact 7: Most stovetop percolators are stove-efficient
One of the best things about coffee percolators is its compatibility with most stoves.
You may have a normal stove at home, or an electric one – it really doesn’t matter anymore.
This means that you are no longer restricted to the kitchen space while percolating coffee using this equipment. The magic lies in brewing your coffee at a location of your preference.
Be it the kitchen or your bedroom, coffee percolators have got you covered.
If making coffee on the stove isn’t your thing, look into an electric coffee percolator instead.
Top 5 Reviews for the Best Stovetop Coffee Percolators
The best coffee machines are often the simplest ones. If you have come to acknowledge the virtue of having a coffee percolator, look no further. Your ‘quest for the best’ ends here.
We will now review the best coffee percolators in the market:
Product 1: Farberware 47053
Best in range, the Farberware 47053 model is an exquisite coffee maker that is designed to impress. This is a 12-cup coffee percolator that can brew a large amount of coffee at a time. Serve coffee to a group of over 10 people during brunch or at high tea with sheer elegance and minimum effort.
Combining the best of modern technology and elegant styling, this model has a hands-on capacity and stainless steel finish which makes for a fantastic look and a durable coffee maker.
If you enjoy your coffee in heavy doses, this is perhaps the best percolator for you.
Product 2: Coletti “Bozeman” Percolator
Trust us when we say that the Coletti Bozeman Percolator is designed for the adventurist in you. Built to survive the harshest of winters and the wild strokes of a raging bonfire, this coffee pot can be used anywhere, anytime.
Highly portable and extremely well built, this equipment is crafted with 18/8 stainless steel, making it one of the most durable and resilient stovetop percolators in the history of coffee makers. Additionally, the rosewood handle prevents burns and gives the pot a classic look
What else can we say? This is a must-have for campers cum coffee lovers. Make the run for it, jack.
Product 3: Bialetti 0680
Designed in Italy, Bialetti 0680 is a high-quality ‘Moka express’ range that boasts of delicious coffee and a quick brew.
Time-efficient and brew-efficient, the octagonal shape of the percolator allows the heat to distribute evenly while brewing your coffee. The result? a delicious cup of instant coffee.
This product is made of aluminum steel, so it does not enjoy the durability that comes with stainless steel percolators. But then again, the extremely affordable cost of this product more than makes up for it.
If you have a tight budget, look no further. This percolator is designed for you.
Product 4: GSI Outdoors 8 Cups Enamelware Percolator
Designed to stand the test of time, the GSI Outdoors Enamelware Percolator is blessed with the good looks of a Greek god and the resilience of a Trojan warrior.
This percolator has a royal blue finish with white dotted spots. It has been kiln-hardened twice at 1000 degrees F to survive both scratches and chipping. The good stuff does not end here – it simply begins.
Using the three-ply construction, this percolator helps distribute heat evenly to give you a well-brewed coffee that minimizes the risk of over-heating or burning your coffee.
For all you coffee lovers, this is the best that there is. Get your hands on this coffee maker now.
Product 5: Coleman Percolator
The Coleman Percolator is as traditional as it gets. Bearing a close resemblance to the quaint faces of its ancestors, this percolator gives you a pleasant flashback to the good old days when coffee percolators were the order of the day.
Be it a gas stove, an electric stove, or a grill on an open fire – this percolator sits perfectly on anything, making it a great indoor and outdoor companion for coffee brewing.
It brews a minimum of two cups of coffee and a maximum of twelve cups at a given time.
You may be a small family or a big one, the Coleman Percolator is for everyone.
From the price of a percolator to its size, capacity, and the metal it is made of – everything matters in the quest of finding the best coffee brewing percolators. Buying something is an investment, it is important to remember this while narrowing down your search for the best.
Narrowing it down, here are the top 5 things that you should look for in your ideal percolator:
- Prioritize the durability of the product: Choose the stainless steel variety over the aluminum variety as they are more durable.
- Look for a percolator with the right capacity: Quality matters, and so does quantity. If you have narrowed down on a brand, look for capacity options.
- Choose a percolator that is compatible with both normal stoves and electric stoves: You don’t want to be restricted to the kitchen area. This is why a percolator with the ideal surface shape and stove compatibility is something you should consider.
- Opt for it if it is dishwasher-efficient: While this is not the most important factor, it sure makes your life a whole lot easier if you can clean your equipment in a dishwasher every now and then.
- Look for something that best meets your budget: Most percolators are on the low price range, so you won’t suffer there. But if you have a restricted budget, you might want to consider this too. However, this is not that big of a factor.
Taking all these factors into account, the GSI Outdoors Enamelware Percolator emerges as the clear winner. Additionally, it also comes with the added bonus of even heat distribution which makes it a great catch.