The History Of Electric Coffee Percolator

Coffee percolators occupy a large space in coffee history, as they were the most popular coffee maker from the late 1800s to the 1900s.

Over the years, however, percolators have undergone various popularity and style changes, but they have always maintained the traditional brewing system.

Most percolator enthusiasts believe that no other coffee machine can beat percolators when it comes to making the best coffee.

While electric percolators tend to be more common in commercial environments today, millions of people use a percolator to make coffee every morning.

The good thing about percolators is that they are designed to expose the coffee grounds to higher temperatures than other brewing methods to produce strong coffee.

In this article, we’ll discuss the origin of an electric percolator and review the major types of percolators in the market.

How the Coffee Percolator was Invented

The history of coffee percolators is quite complex as several people played a role in different years to improve this coffee machine.

history of electric coffee percolator

An American-born English physicist, Benjamin Thompson, is believed to have invented the coffee percolator between 1810 and 1814. He created a special pot for coffee brewing, but it didn’t have a tube.

After a few years, a Parisian tinsmith, Joseph Marie Laurens, invented the first modern coffee percolator.

He created a percolator that had a tube where boiling water could rise to for a continuous cycle.

After years of copying and modifications, an Illinois farmer named Hanson Goodrich made the modern U.S stovetop percolator in 1889.

There are claims that a British company created the first electric percolators in 1952. However, the truth is that electric percolators have existed since the 1920s.

Coffee percolators gained a lot of popularity and remained a great coffee maker for almost a hundred years.

Unfortunately, the popularity reduced in the early 1970s upon the invention of automatic drip coffee makers.

But this doesn’t mean that all coffee lovers abandoned percolators. Many people still cherish percolators as it makes excellent coffee.

Many coffee fanatics love the strong coffee flavor, and there is no better way to make strong and hotter coffee than using a percolator.

So, how does a coffee percolator work to produce a hotter coffee with a more robust flavor? Continue reading to find out.

How a Coffee Percolator Works

The basic design of a coffee percolator is a pot at the bottom and a tube that allows water to rise and pass through the coffee beans.

There is also a perforated chamber just below the tube’s upper where you put the coffee beans.

It’s straightforward to make coffee in a percolator, and it will take you only a few minutes.

Suppose you want to brew better-tasting coffee in the percolator. In that case, you simply pour the desired amount of water into the percolator and put your ground coffee beans in the perforated chamber.

Then you can turn the coffee maker on if it’s electric or put it in a source of heat if it’s a stovetop percolator.

Then you can turn the coffee maker on if it’s electric or put it in a source of heat if it’s a stovetop percolator.

What’s more interesting in a percolator is how it allows saturated water to cycle and passes through the coffee several times. Your coffee gets stronger and more flavorful each time it passes through the coffee beans.

How Coffee Percolators Have Changed

Since its invention, the coffee percolator has undergone slight changes in design and how it brews coffee.

It’s one of the inventions that have stood the test of time without vigorous modifications.

It’s one of the inventions that have stood the test of time without vigorous modifications.

It’s one of the inventions that have stood the test of time without vigorous modifications.

The overall design of coffee percolators has not changed much. Whether electric or stovetop, percolators’ design remains simple with a pot at the bottom and a small chamber.

Electric Vs. Stovetop Percolators

While they brew coffee, electric and stovetop coffee percolators have some differences.

Let’s see how these two percolators differ:

Stove-Top Coffee Percolators

Stovetop coffee makers are inexpensive coffee makers, and they don’t require electricity.

Coffee serving concept 3d rendering

When making coffee with a stovetop percolator, you will want to pay more attention as they are not automatic. You need to remove your percolator from the heat source when brewing is complete.

In terms of brewing time, stovetop percolators are faster, making strong coffee within five minutes.

Stovetop coffee percolators are the best camping coffee percolator as you can use them to brew coffee with the campfire.

Most outdoor enthusiasts and campers prefer this coffee maker as it makes great coffee without using electricity.

Today, the cost of a simple and reliable stovetop starts from $10 to $20, which is considered affordable for most people.

Electric Coffee Percolators

Electric percolators use electricity as their heat source. Some are manual, while others are automatic, meaning they will stop by themselves when brewing is complete.

Most electric percolators feature a keep warm feature that uses the heating element to maintain heat in your coffee.

With an average electric coffee percolator, you can brew coffee within seven to ten minutes, but there are some quicker models.

Electric percolators are more convenient as they ensure that your coffee brews long enough to make a great cup of coffee.

They also stop by themselves when brewing is complete. Gone is the mystery that coffee percolators require you to have the experience to make better-tasting coffee.

High-end electric coffee percolators can cost around $60 to $80 or more. But you can find a decent model for $50.

Pros and Cons of Electric Percolators

As with other coffee makers, percolators have their benefits and downsides. Whether you should buy a percolator or different coffee maker types will depend entirely on your needs and preferences.

If you want to know why most coffee lovers cherish a percolator, here are its pros:

1. Unbeatable Flavor

Percolated coffee has a smooth and strong coffee with a creamy taste. This is because the water passing through the coffee beans is usually hotter to extract the flavor and more coffee components.

Percolated coffee has a smooth and strong coffee with a creamy taste. This is because the water passing through the coffee beans is usually hotter to extract the flavor and more coffee components.

2. Percolators Are User-Friendly

Another fantastic thing about coffee percolators is that they are user-friendly. While they don’t use paper filters, it’s easy to clean a percolator as you have to pour the coffee beans and wash the machine with water and soap.

Moreover, stovetop percolators and some parts of electric percolators are dishwasher safe.

3. Keep Your Coffee Hot

how to make stovetop coffee

Most electric percolators feature a keep warm feature that keeps your coffee hot after brewing. This ensures that your coffee is drinkable anytime and won’t lose its strong flavor and aromas.

4. Percolators Are Inexpensive

Coffee percolators are quite affordable, and they are generally cheaper than most drip coffee makers. You don’t have to break a bank to buy a quality coffee maker for making your favorite cup of coffee.

5. Percolators Are Durable

A coffee percolator is one of the home appliances that can last for many decades. They are very durable machines and can be used in different settings.

You can even go outdoors with your stove top camping coffee percolator as it’s easy to transport.

Read more:

Facts About Electric Coffee Percolators

Coffee Percolator Downsides

1. Over Extraction

Over extraction is the most common issue, especially for beginners. It usually results from brewing for a longer time than recommended or using the wrong coffee beans.

Fortunately, this problem is avoidable with practice. You need to learn the right ways to brew coffee in a percolator and follow the instructions precisely.

2. Slow Brewing

Coffee percolators are a bit slower compared to other brewing methods. However, some electric percolators brew coffee faster.

3. Tedious Cleaning

Most people find it quite difficult to clean coffee percolators since they don’t use filters. You have to remove the used coffee beans manually and rinse the coffee maker.

4. Very High Brewing Temperature

The correct range of water temperatures for brewing coffee is generally agreed to be 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

Going below this results in under-extraction, while going above it leads to over-extraction.

Percolator brewing requires water on the lower chamber to keep boiling for it to rise through the tube. This means that the water remains too hot as it passes through the coffee beans.

facts about stoveetop

Different Types of Coffee Percolators

With the evolution and the advancements in modern coffee culture, various types of coffee percolators have emerged.

Some of these modern percolators include Farberware, Cuisinart, Presto, Maxi-Mati Percolators, and more.

Farberware Percolator

This is an electric coffee percolator designed for more convenience when brewing coffee. It was built in 1930 by Farberware.

Farberware coffee percolator is usually designed with a black plastic handle and a detachable wire cable base.

This percolator is high-quality as it’s made with stainless steel that prevents rusting and harmful substances from your coffee.

Most people wonder how to use a Farberware Percolator.

The truth is that it’s easy to make coffee in a Farberware percolator as it operates like most electric percolators.

The best thing about a Farberware coffee percolator is that it’s an automatic device, and it immediately stops after brewing is complete.

Most people who use Farberware coffee percolator report that it’s one of the best ways to prepare great coffee. It’s an ideal coffee maker for beginners and experienced users.

Cuisinart Percolators

Cuisinart also brings modern coffee percolators made with stainless steel and appealing designs.

Whether you are looking for a small or big-capacity coffee maker, Cuisinart will have a great percolator for you.

Cuisinart coffee percolators come with a comfortable handle and a stay-cool bottom, making the coffee maker sit safely.

Like the Classic 12 Cup Percolator, most Cuisinart coffee percolators are highly rated in terms of quality and ease of use.

Presto Coffee Percolators

Presto coffee percolators have also become popular over the years. This brand produces durable and reliable coffee makers that anyone can use to brew coffee.

Most Presto coffee percolators use stainless steel to guarantee safety for the user and enhance longevity.

They also come in different settings that allow you to make coffee with varying sizes of grind.

If you want to achieve a clean and smooth coffee cup with this percolator, you can use basket or paper filters. Melitta coffee filters are the best for use in percolators.

Maxi-Matic Elite Percolator

If you are looking for extra convenience when making coffee with an electric percolator, you can invest in high-quality Maxi-Matic Percolators.

A high-end percolator like the Maxi-Matic Elite Platinum 12-Cup Percolator comes with very convenient features.

It features a transparent top knob that allows you to see the coffee color as it brews.

Materials used to make this percolator include stainless steel, especially for the brewing elements.


Your coffee percolator produces overly bitter coffee because you percolate for too long or use the wrong grind size.

While the percolated coffee can have a complex flavor with some slightly bitter and acidic notes, it doesn’t have to be overly bitter.

To prevent your coffee maker from producing bitter coffee, you need to use the right grind-size. The best grind-size for percolators should be a coarse but not medium-coarse or fine grind.

It would help if you also kept an eye on your coffee maker to avoid percolating your coffee for too long.

Yes, percolators make good and better-tasting coffee, depending on your personal preferences.

If you are a coffee enthusiast who loves a strong and more flavored cup of coffee, then percolators are your best bet.

Great coffee is all about how water passes through the ground coffee beans.

When making coffee with a percolator, water passes through the coffee beans several times, unlike other methods that allow for a single pass.

This results in a strong and rich-flavored coffee cup as ore tannins, sugars, and essential oils are extracted.

Percolated coffee is the best coffee for those after a strong and rich-tasting coffee brew. Percolated coffee is usually strong, bold brew.  

Unlike other coffee makers, percolators brew strong coffee as it allows hot water to extract all the essential components from the coffee beans.

This makes it the ideal coffee maker for most coffee enthusiasts who love the real coffee flavor and taste.

The best type of coffee to use in a percolator is a medium roast and coarse grind-size. Using a dark roast may lead to a bitter coffee cup, and a light roast will not produce strong coffee.

Coarse grind-size will prevent over-extraction as it allows water to pass through quickly.

On the other hand, a fine grind-size will lead to over-extraction as it lets the hot water sit for too long. This will also result in bitter coffee.

Yes, Percolator coffee is the best in terms of strength and flavor.  Most drip coffee makers don’t achieve even half of what’s obtained with a coffee percolator.

Coffee percolators are perfect machines for strong, bold coffee. You will love it provided you learn how to use it properly.


While the coffee percolator’s popularity reduced in the 1970s, many people still use this coffee maker even today.

Percolator enthusiasts continue to hold that these machines are the best brewing machine for strong, rich-tasting coffee.

In the past few decades, more and more types of electric percolators have been invented, giving people a variety of options to choose from.

Nonetheless, all coffee percolators retain a bottom pot’s basic design, tube, and chamber that holds coffee for brewing.

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