The word “percolator” has come to mean that special coffee pot that used to sit on Grandma’s stove and bubble away like mad all morning long. Typically they consist of a heat proof pot that holds the water, a long tube (like a straw) that holds a filter basket at the top. This filter is normally made of metal and holds the coffee grounds apart from the water in the main pot. Usually fairly coarsely ground coffee is used and a perforated lid is placed over the filter in order to distribute the water evenly over the grounds.

FCP240 24Cup Percolator
FCP240 24Cup Percolator

As the water in the pot reached the boil, it is forced up the tube and repeatedly spilled over the grounds in the filter basket. In this way both water and the freshly brewed coffee drips back down into the hot water and over the grounds. Gradually the coffee becomes stronger as the water/coffee continues to drip over the grounds. This process continues as long as the pot is kept at the boiling point.

Even though we may hold special memories of percolators, they are not a particularly good way to make a great cup of coffee. In fact many people rank percolator coffee right beside coffee boiled directly in the water! When it is made in a percolator a number of things happen that produce a less than perfect cup of coffee.

For starters, the water is overheated. Boiling water simply extracts too many of the unwanted bitter flavors in the coffee and should be avoided if possible (which isn’t possible with a percolator). Also the coffee grounds become over-extracted by repeatedly passing already brewed coffee back over the grounds.

Finally the boiling/percolating action of the liquid tends to release many of the desirable flavors and compounds into the air. While this does produce a wonderful aroma of fresh coffee in the house, it can often lead to flat tasting coffee.

In the end, it is often best to avoid the old percolator if you can. There are other affordable ways of brewing great coffee, even if it may mean turning your back on wonderful aromatic memories. But I know there will be some of you who love the percolator so here is a full listing of some of the best!



  • 41C6RWPM8CL West Bend 58030 12-30 Automatic Party Perk Coffee Urn - Highly-polished aluminum coffee urn features 2-way, dripless faucet. Removable components are diswasher safe. NSF certified.
  • 41oZR4f1JL West Bend 54159 Classic Stainless-Steel 12-Cup Percolator - Classic West Bend 12 cup stainless steel percolator brings back the strong flavor and aroma of percolated coffee.
  • 411a2JZ-9CL Stansport Aluminum Percolator Coffee Pot, 9 Cups - There’s nothing like a piping hot cup of coffee after a night in the outdoors. Stansport’s Camping Percolator is made of durable, rustproof, high gloss polished aluminum with top and side handles and an easy pour spout. Heats quickly and is easy to clean. Generous 9 cup capacity makes enough for you and your friends.
  • 41UG55px6uL Presto Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator - Presto Stainless Steel Percolator is back by popular demand! Stainless steel percolator perks 6 cups at “cup-a-minute” speed. Water passes over grounds several times, not just once, for full-bodied flavor. Percolator coffee pot keeps brew piping hot. Features stay-cool handle and knob; detachable UL listed cord. Signal light indicates when coffee is ready to be...
  • 41-yjZqAtcL Presto 02822 6-Cup Stainless-Steel Coffee Percolator - Makes great-tasting coffee, fast. Brews 2 to 6 cups of rich, hot coffee. Stainless steel construction. 120 volts, 60 Hz only
  • 41xmd-mCCL Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker - Made from luxurious stainless steel. Makes 4 to 12 cups of rich, flavorful coffee automatically; a cup a minute. Signal light tells when coffee is ready to serve. Attractive, traditional styling – ideal for table service. 120 volts, 60 Hz only
  • 61oPFoTqrvL Percolator -
  • 41vk7HjQG0L Odoria 1:12 Miniature Sliver Coffee Moka Percolator Pot Dollhouse Kitchen Accessories - Scale 1:12 Dollhouse Kitchen Miniature Material Metal Including 1x Pot (Not Including Other Items) Approx. Size (LxWxH) 2.2×1.7×2.9 cm – 0.9×0.7×1.1 inch High Details and Workmanship For Dollhouse Decor of Kitchen, Diningroom, Livingromm, Restaurant, Bar etc. Note – Keep the miniatures dry and cool, avoid sunlight. And please keep it away from children too young....
  • 41xY5hnF-kL Medelco 8 Cup Glass Stovetop Percolator - The Medelco stovetop percolator is made from lab-quality Borosilicate glass with a heat-tolerant handle designed to stay cool to the touch. This high-quality coffee pot can go from stovetop to tabletop to fridge without cracking. Dishwasher safe and stain resistant, the percolator comes complete with a trivet to be used on coil electric stoves.
  • 418EU4dDx5L Hamilton Beach Brands 40614 Coffee Percolator, Stainless Steel, 12-Cup,Pack of 1 - Hamilton Beach 40614 S/S 12Cup Twist Lid Percolator. Hot flavorful coffee fast Detachable cord for tabletop serving and easy storage Coffee stays hot with gentle keep warm heater Coffee/water-level viewing window Cool-touch handle Twist-off lid locks in place Stainless steel permanent filter basket Ready-to-serve light indicates coffee is ready and keep hot mode has begun.