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As a coffee enthusiast, you most likely are accustomed to the routine of brewing your coffee and then drinking it. However, you must not stick to this routine, and should instead consider using a coffee percolator, which is essentially a kettle-like machine which allows you to brew your coffee inventively.
This contraption makes use of steam to grounds before it then starts filtering the coffee, and you can perk your coffee in two ways, either using an electric or stove top percolator.
What duration does it take to perk coffee?
Percolated coffee has been around for an extended duration, and making this classic coffee brew is somewhat more hands-on in comparison to other types of brews. Because of this, the end product is a bold and strong cup.
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So how long does it take to perk your coffee? Well, this is usually dependent on how strong you want your coffee. The ideal period is between five to eight minutes, but this duration may vary depending on your preferred method of percolation. Moreover, you should never percolate your coffee for more than ten minutes as this burns the brew and gets it to produce a bitter and dry taste.
However, the time you take to percolate your coffee does not matter as much as how careful you carry out the entire process. Typically, this brewing method is very hands-on and needs you always to pay close attention throughout the entire process.
As you prepare your coffee, you need to carefully observe the percolator to confirm that the kettle is not producing any steam, because this would mean water is boiling, and most probably over saturating the coffee grounds. Instead, you should gradually increase the temperature and then lower the heat before boiling starts.
By now, you might probably think the process of percolating coffee is complicated, right? However, this entire process is relatively straightforward, and with adequate practice, you will soon be making perked coffee in less than ten minutes.
How do you make coffee using a percolator?
Brewing coffee following this old-fashioned method is quite simple, with the hardest part being to get the appropriate quantity of water. Once you perfect this, you will never have any trouble managing the water heating using the percolator, and all you need to do is to trust your gut and pay close attention.
Some of the items you need to brew your coffee using this method other than the stove include;
- Coffee grinder
- A mug
- A stove top or electric percolator
- Your preferred whole beans
- A spoon to measure coffee
With all these items in place, you can now start to brew your coffee, as in the steps mentioned below.
Step 1: Measure your coffee
Typically, to get a well-balanced and nice brew is dependent on the volume of your stovetop percolator. Therefore, to get the desired taste as well as to prevent over boiling, you need to measure both the water and coffee precisely.
Before you get used to the stove top percolator, it is recommended that for every 500 grams of water, you use 30 grams of whole beans. However, once you become familiar with how to use it, you can then experiment with different water or coffee ration to achieve your preferred taste.
If you do not like bitter and strong coffee, you should increase the water as well as reduce the quantity of coffee to get a milder flavor.
Step 2: Grind the coffee beans
This is usually the simplest task, and you should get a coffee grinder as this enables you to get a more uniform, medium-coarse grounds that are ideal for a stove top percolator.
Beans that are too big do not provide you with that delicious coffee flavor, whereas those that are too small tend to make your brew bitter and might dissolve and find their way into your coffee.
Step 3: Fill the percolator
Add cold water into your percolator’s reservoir, and the suitable quantity depends on the quantity of coffee you have ground. The objective here is to allow the gradual heating of water, and the use of cold water from the start helps with this.
Step 4: Assemble the percolator
Go through the manufacturer manual to have an idea of how to correctly assemble the percolator, especially if this is the first time you are using it.
If your manual is lost, you need not worry as you can find all the necessary information by doing a quick internet search on your percolator’s specific model.
Moreover, in case the coffee basket and stem disassemble, you need first to secure the stem in the water-filled pot, and then fasten the coffee basket on the stem’s top. Consequently, place aside the basket lit if your percolator comes with one.
Step 5: Add the grounded coffee beans
Fill the stove top's percolator coffee basket and confirm the measurement to avoid overfilling this chamber. This is not only important when brewing coffee with this method but also ensures there is no coffee spillover; thus, nothing goes to waste.
Additionally, because percolators typically make strong coffee, you should not add too many coffee beans. You should then proceed and replace the basket lid of your percolator if it has one before you close it.
Step 6: Start to brew
When using an electric percolator, you simply need to connect it to power and switch it on. Once it is done, they are designed to stop brewing automatically.
However, if you are making use of the old-fashioned stove top percolator, the process is not quite as straightforward as you need to closely observe the pot and the heat source, either the stove or campfire.
Subsequently, go ahead and place the percolator on the stove and then set the burner to either medium or low heat. If you want to enjoy a cup of excellently percolated coffee, the trick is to ensure a gradual heating process as well as to avoid any boiling.
You need to closely watch your stove top percolator to ensure that there is completely no boiling. Fortunately, this you can easily detect thanks to the design of stove top percolators, which features a clear plastic or glass knob at the kettle’s top.
Therefore, once the water gets hot enough, it will start to bubble up into the knob, and this is proof that the water possesses enough heat to steam the coffee. It also means the water is about to reach its boiling point, and you need to maintain this heat by ensuring the bubbles happen a couple of seconds apart.
Furthermore, if the bubbles are constant stream rather than the occasional pop, you need to reduce the heat level because the water is boiling. Typically, water that is extremely hot can make your coffee to become extremely bitter.
However, if bubbles are not showing as frequently as they need to, this means that water is too cool, so you need to increase the heat to induce the production of bubbles.
The colour of water changes from clear to coffee-coloured as the process of brewing progresses. If you see this, know you are close to enjoy a cup of a tasty and well-brewed cup of coffee.
Step 7: Set the timer
Once the water starts to boil at regular intervals, set your timer at intervals that do not surpass ten minutes. Moreover, you can also set an interval of six to eight minutes, and this eventually is down to your individual preference.
Coffee is usually stronger the longer you let it percolate, so you should always take this into consideration when deciding the best interval to set.
However, for the first time you using your stove top percolator, we advise you to set your timer interval at ten minutes. By doing this, you will get to enjoy a taste of old-fashioned and genuine coffee. If this taste does not satisfy you, make changes to the future brews until you settle on an ideal cup of coffee.
Step 8: Take the stove top percolator from the heat
Once the timer interval elapses, switch off the heat and then take the stove top percolator away from the heat cautiously. Because this pot will be hot, you should always use a trivet for the counter top as well as a kitchen towel or an oven mitt to prevent burning your hands.
Step 9 : Take out the coffee grounds
By now, you most likely are eagerly waiting to take your cup of freshly percolated coffee. However, you need first to remove the coffee grounds present in the coffee because most stove top percolators lack efficient seals that separate the reservoir and basket. Due to this, the first cup of coffee might have more grounds compared to coffee.
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Therefore, you need to take out the basket and dispose of the used grounds. If you still see a few coffee grounds in your coffee mug, this is perfectly fine as they add the added shot of bitterness. Nevertheless, if you still do not like this, you should then simply filter your coffee using a fine mesh strainer.
Step 10: Enjoy your cup of freshly percolated coffee
Replace the lid of the stove top percolator and then pour yourself a freshly filtered coffee. This is the last step, and you need to cherish the moment as you have without a doubt earned it. Enjoy!
How do you make an incredibly delicious coffee using a percolator?
To make a tasty cup of freshly percolated coffee, there are a few simple basics that you need to observe. These include;
Ensure Proper Grind Consistency
When looking to make a tasty brew, make sure you grind the coffee beans to a medium-coarse consistency. Typically, a coarse grind consistency makes it hard for the extraction of aromatic oils from the coffee beans within a specific duration, and this consequently results in a cup of coffee that is less potent. Moreover, a finer grind consistency poses the risk of the grinds finding their way into the brewed coffee and subsequently giving it an unpleasant taste.
Use high-quality coffee beans
Similar to all other coffee-brewing methods, you need to make use of excellent quality coffee beans as these are ideal when making a cup of tasty coffee. Therefore, you must never use cheap and low-quality beans as this will only ruin your cup of coffee, in the end, wasting your time and effort.
Correct water temperature
Water that is close to the boiling temperature that is usually around 198 to 204.8˚F works best in extracting coffee using your percolator. Nevertheless, the use of extremely hot water can result in a burnt and bitter flavor of your coffee brew. Observing the water temperature is often the most challenging part aspect of the entire brewing process. Fortunately, you can solve this problem using an electric percolator rather than a stove top percolator, which cuts off the heat supply at a suitable, hence ensuring the brew is gentler.
Appropriate water to coffee grounds ratio
When making freshly percolated coffee, you need to pay close attention to the quantity of water inside the percolator compared to that of coffee put in the basket. If you pack a small amount of ground coffee, this leads to a weak filter or washed off coffee grounds. Likewise, if the coffee grounds are packed too tightly, the steam’s extraction of the coffee essence might not be efficient. The perfect water to coffee grounds ration needs to be eight ounces of water for approximately one tablespoon of ground coffee.
Correct coffee percolation duration
When making percolated coffee, you need carefully observe the entire process to prevent perked coffee from over-circulating inside the percolator, as this leads to an unpleasant and bitter cup of coffee. This is especially important when using a stove top percolator, which, unlike the electric percolator, does not incorporate a feature of set percolation period of steam through the coffee grounds, hence guaranteeing the cup of coffee is always tasty.
Having read through this article, you are now well-informed on how long to perk coffee, either using an electric or stove top percolator. Furthermore, you also know the steps to follow when making a cup a freshly percolated coffee. However, learning how to percolate coffee is not something that you will perfect with your first attempt; therefore, you should not be discouraged if your first attempt does not end up as you would have wished. Instead, you should focus on honing your skills, and with enough practice and dedication, you will be able to make yourself a cup of freshly percolated coffee.