How to make coffee on stove top percolator


Imagine waking up in the morning, you go towards your kitchen to start brewing some hot coffee to start your day. I’ll give you one better, imagine using a stovetop percolator to make your coffee that also saves you some time? I bet you’d be more ecstatic if you knew how. Well, consider this article a gift where I present you the best guide on how to make coffee on a stovetop percolator.

You must be wondering what is a “stovetop percolator” and what does this thing do. A percolator is a simple kettle-like traditional coffee maker that only needs a heat source to brew you some steaming cup of coffee. It gets rid of any bitterness and allows you to enjoy a rich and delicious mug of coffee to start your day.

This advanced tutorial on how to kick your coffee game up a notch will give your energy a boost at work and among your friends. Go get yourself a stovetop percolator so we can get started without any delays. Oh, and don’t forget to choose one with a glass top to make your life easier. Still don’t believe me. Let me add a little bit of context.

So back in the day when life was simple people used the process of percolation to brew coffee grounds. The water in the kettle evaporates and condenses through the coffee grounds. This method of brewing coffee soon fell out of fashion due to some misconceptions about the coffee tasting bitter.

However, we are here to bring back this retro coffee brewer for the fans and hoping to bag some new ones. 

Things you’ll need

Here’s a list of all the things you need before you learn how to make coffee on a stovetop percolator:

  • Your favourite coffee mugs
  • Stove top percolator
  • Coffee beans of your choice
  • Coffee grinder
  • Measuring spoon
  • Some chilled water

Gather all these things so you can get started without any distraction. Before we begin there is a slight chance that you may confuse it with a Moka pot. However, the two may sound similar but there some key features that are exclusive to each of them. Technically the two are way different from each other.

The percolator is more of a convection-based method while the Moka pot works like a pressure cooker. The coffee produced is different in taste as well. The percolator coffee is of drip-like consistency something you might get out of a French press. Whereas the Moka pot produces coffee that is more on the concentrated side just like an espresso shot. The two are physically different too as you can see in the following images:

Percolation process

The following is a step by step guide on how to make coffee on a stovetop percolator so you can thoroughly enjoy your mornings with percolated coffee.

Step 1: Prepping your percolator

Start by adding some chilled water to your percolator reservoir. You can use filtered water; it depends on your preference, but it doesn’t make a difference since the coffee itself is strong because of this technique of brewing.

Open the lid and check if you need to remove the basket on top to access the reservoir beneath it. You might not have to do this in some cases. A difference in the model that is being used. No need to worry there are numerous designs out there in the market, but the result is pretty much the same.

Most of these percolators can hold about four to eight cups although some different models may come in various capacities. Nevertheless, four cups of coffee are equal to approximately two full mugs.

Next, you set the funnel filter on top and add some ground coffee to the basket on top. Make sure the coffee beans are as freshly ground as possible. It is also important that you don’t grind the coffee into a fine powder-like consistency because then you won’t be able to filter them out.

The amount of coffee you add is totally up to you depending on how many mugs are you preparing for. The basic outlook of a percolator is pretty much the same, the coffee grounds should now be sitting on the compartment with tiny holes above the water.

This compartment should have a narrow tube extending out into the reservoir of water below. As soon as you heat the water it will move up towards the grounded coffee and get absorbed by it. Soon enough it will again start to drip back into the water which is now rich and succulent with the coffee flavor.

This cycle will keep repeating itself until the coffee grounds have been completely extracted and are ready to remove.

Step 2: Brewing with a percolator

Now that you know the physics behind the percolation process everything else is pretty much easier to understand. You must heat the water at a medium-high temperature so that the water is hot and not boils. The higher the temperature of water the quicker it absorbs the flavor from the coffee grounds.

This is the tricky part, to get coffee that does not taste bitter and is rather strong in flavor you need to make ensure that the percolation happens at medium heat. If the percolator seems to be releasing steam it is highly advised that you remove the heat source or put the burner heat to a minimum to prevent the coffee from bittering.

Stovetop percolators are the obvious best choice when it comes to temperature control. Medium heat should work just fine in attaining that perfect coffee flavor. Using any alternate heat source can put your equipment at risk and may ruin your coffee. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Most percolators come with a glass lid that allows you to glance through for a quick check-up on your coffee. The water begins to circulate through and soon enough some effervescence becomes visible through this glass lid. The faster the condensed water droplets appear the higher the temperature of the liquid.

In ideal circumstances, the bubbling appears every couple of seconds which produces the perfect simmering cup of coffee. Coffee enthusiasts have often suggested avoiding using percolators with plastic lids. This may put your coffee at risk of tasting like plastic and nobody likes a nasty cup of coffee.

You may use a timer to keep track of the progress, but I’d advise to supervise it in person to get the perfect tasting brew. Leaving it unattended and returning when the timer goes off may result in over-boiling it which you certainly don’t want.

Step 3: Eliminating the coffee grounds

Once you’ve ensured that your coffee beans can no longer be percolated and are satisfied with your brew it is time to unleash the coffee grounds. Carefully remove the percolator from the stovetop and remove the lid using a pair of oven mittens or any kitchen towel.

Remove the compartment where the coffee grounds effortlessly sit and get rid of them or recycle them. Don’t leave them in the percolator or else they might find their way into your coffee which for me is the worst thing to happen to my coffee.  Don’t want those grounds ruining your morning.

Step 4: Pour it, sip it and enjoy!

This is my favorite part; pour that simmering morning fuel into your favorite coffee mug add milk, cream, foam, or even a sweetener to perk up that flavor. The deep color, the hearty flavor, and the smell of coffee all combine to make your coffee experience the best part of your day.

You can achieve all this simply by switching to a stovetop percolator and a guide on how to make coffee on a stovetop percolator. Now that I have enchanted you with the expertise on coffee brewing go ahead and invite your friends over, introduce them to this part of coffee heaven.

Here’s another article that’ll show you how to make coffee with coffee powder. Follow these steps to enjoy a perfect blend!

Taste test

Unlike the numerous faltered accounts of a percolator, this coffee is nothing like the reputation it has gained over the years. If you are a coffee enthusiast and know your way around to making good coffee, you will come to realize how rich and flavorful this coffee tastes. For some, it might take some practice to brew coffee just like all the other techniques used while for some this might be an acquired taste. You’ll never know if you don’t try.  

[BONUS] Cleaning tips!

Care for some tips to clean your stovetop percolator? Say no more, this bonus tip is here to the rescue. Once you’re addicted to stovetop percolator coffee you will soon start to witness deposits of coffee residue on the bottom of your percolator. Don’t worry this isn’t an electric percolator so it is much easier to clean.

If you watch a lot of hack videos you must believe that running it through white vinegar will get rid of all your problems. What they don’t tell you is that your coffee will taste like vinegar the next time you use your percolator. If you’re like me, you probably hate that whiff of vinegar that hits you when you open the lid.

Hence, I have a better alternative. I would suggest sticking your percolator in your dishwasher is far better than using white vinegar. The dishwasher does a great job at thoroughly cleaning out your percolator and makes it look squeaky clean from the inside and the outside.

I hope you enjoy this meticulous guide on how to make coffee on stovetop percolator and sincerely anticipate that you become a fan of this coffee just like me.

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Immad Amir

Hey there, I'm Immad! I'm an SEO and appliance fanatic. Amna, my fiance, and I combined our interests and came up with RavvyReviews to help you all with our well-researched kitchen appliance reviews and foodie informative articles. We aim to learn more along the way and keep bringing you authentic trustworthy articles so all of us can have fun in the kitchen! We love interacting with you guys, do share yours thoughts in the comments. Get in touch with me through

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