How To Use An Electric Percolator? – Your Ultimate Guide

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Percolated coffee is complicated but worthy. If you are short on time, have a look at our beginner’s quick guide on how to use an electric percolator to make your cup of java.

We bet you all don’t want a bland coffee shot in the morning, right? So, let’s scroll down and find the right way to the perfect morning kickstart.

How Does An Electric Percolator Work?

The working process of a percolator is based on the principle of convection. Coffee grounds are put in the coffee basket at the top while water is filled in the bottom chamber of the pot.

As the water is boiling inside, air bubbles and steam rise from the heat source. They pass through the pump tube and into the coffee basket, then bring water up through the coffee grounds. 

Water seeps through the coffee grounds and extracts their flavor. The infusion resulting from this process, called “perked coffee”, travels back down into the pot. 

Then, it goes upwards and downwards, from the pot up into the coffee grounds. The more repeated cycle happens, the stronger the filter becomes.

The procedure is continued again and again until the brew has reached its maximum strength.

How To Use An Electric Percolator?

Percolation, a time-honored coffee-making technique, is a difficult process. But in a few next minutes, it will turn into a piece of cake. By following these detailed directions, you will know how to make coffee in an electric percolator. First, tick off all items in the checklist below before coming to the main part.

What You’ll Need

  • Coffee grounds
  • Tablespoon or teaspoon or kitchen scale, for weighting
  • Electric percolator
  • Filtered water
  • Warm mug

Now, you have well-prepared everything, haven’t you? Here’s the step-by-step of what you need to know about how to use an electric percolator to brew your long-standing flavor coffee in under 10 minutes.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Remove the cover, spreader, basket, and pump tube.
  • Step 2: Fill the bottom of the percolator pot with fresh water based on the coffee to water ratio. Pay attention to achieving the required level by using markings on the wall.
  • Step 3: Put the basket atop the pump stem. Place the base of the pump stem correctly into the percolator tube.
  • Step 4: Add an appropriate amount of coarsely ground coffee in the top chamber. Ensure its surface is level.
  • Step 5: Place the spreader cover over the basket, and put on the lid securely. Make sure that there’s no steam coming out of the pot. The lid’s steam vents should be facing away from the handle.
  • Step 6: Plug the electric percolator into the standard electrical outlet after filling, then adjust the coffee strength and brew time settings, if any.
  • Step 7: Brewing will begin shortly after powering up and requires no longer than 1 minute per cup. 
  • Step 8: When the brew cycle finishes, unplug the percolator. If you want to return the next brewing, allow it to cool. Rinse out the pot and basket. 
  • Step 9: Serve yourself the best-tasting cup. Your hard work is all well deserved by this glorious moment!

How To Make The Perfect Cup Of Coffee Using Electric Percolator?

A refreshing pick-me-up in a hectic morning, a mood booster in the midday, or a companion when you need to burn the midnight oil, there is never such a bad time for a cup of joe. That’s why we will reveal the secret for a full-bouquet coffee cup.

Coffee Beans

It is said that good coffee starts with the best beans. Of course, the kind of coffee beans can make or break your morning pick-me-up. 

Using high-quality coffee beans will reward you with a final worthy cup, while cheap quality ones will ruin your perfect-cup-chasing effort.

When it comes to high heat methods, beans with high acidities such as those grown in Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Africa may not be a good option. They are too pronounced in the percolator brew. 

Instead, beans from Colombia, Brazil, Central America, and even Indonesia will lead to a much better pot of java. These kinds are smooth, low-acidity, and more mellow, which suits the strong flavor.

Also, the coffee roast level performs a considerable role. Dark roast, which is already bitter, can be too overpowering and make the extraction happen more quickly during the recirculation of coffee. Medium to light roast, which retains more of the coffee’s flavors, will outperform its counterpart.

Grind Consistency

The size of ground coffee particles is incredibly important as it can bring you all or nothing. There is no one-size-fits-all for grinder size. It depends on the method you’re applying.

The consistency of the coffee grind matters as it guarantees a consistently great cup of coffee. Inconsistency can set you up for an uneven brew. As well, you may have some residual grounds in the bottom of your cup.

Some suggest grinding your coffee beans medium or medium-fine grind size. This recommendation can only be applied by one who cherishes the rich coffee’s flavor notes. The finer the beans are ground, which means smaller particles, the more quickly they will extract their flavor and become stronger. 

Due to this reason, a coarse grind is preferable when using an electric percolator to make coffee. Coarse-ground beans will interact with the water more slowly than fine-ground beans, resulting in a pot that isn’t nearly as strong as it could be. 

If you have a coffee grinder, use the “coarse” setting. Otherwise, look for a “coarse” label on the container of the coffee grounds. In case you only have a fine grind size, you can place the paper filter in the basket to minimize the amount of residue in your final cup.

Coffee-To-Water Ratio

Also significant, as you may guess, is the coffee to water ratio. The variant ratio will lead to the variation of sensory experience. So, for people who wish for a strong flavor,  we suggest you add a tablespoon of coffee for every cup of water. For a cup of weaker brew, the measurement is a cup of fresh water to a teaspoon of ground coffee.

If you have the kitchen scale, the good rule of thumb is a 1:17 ratio. With this broad standard, for every 1 gram of coffee, use 17 grams of water.

Remember not to overfill your electrical percolator since it may overflow and cause a mess. A standard maximum capacity of a percolator pot is about 12 cups of coffee. Thus, a standard measuring scoop will be approximately five tablespoons or six heaping teaspoons of coffee grounds.

In terms of coffee’s flavor, personal reference resigns. Therefore, you will find the most suitable recipe after several practice times. Let your taste buds be your map in pursuing the joy of a truly tasty brew.

Water Temperature

Water temperature is no small matter. Getting the temperature right can boost your satisfaction with your perked coffee. With a too high degree, the coffee will be burnt, thus yielding a bitter taste. Otherwise, the flavor will end up weak and under-extracted.

People recommend that medium to medium-high heat is best for the percolating process. The optimal temperature is between 195 – 200 degrees F. Heating the water to the perfect temperature and controlling it by using a stovetop percolator can be a big challenge.

However, the very complicated process is simplified when you are at the whim of the programmed brew cycle of the electric percolator, the modern variant of the manual counterpart. Thanks to its own heat plate and temperature sensors, the water is heated while the ideal temperature remains.

Duration

Different coffee brewing methods require a different amount of time to extract coffee grounds. Regarding percolating manually, it requires you to keep a close eye on carefully. Anything more than 10 minutes will make the brew over-extracted, bitter, and distasteful.

Thanks to the electric percolators, all the hard work is taken out. No need for timing skills. The automatic shut-off function saves you from the risk of over-process. After percolating, most of the pots settle into a warm mode.

Hygiene

Cleaning and proper maintenance of an electric percolator play a vital role in providing overall hygiene, maintaining the machine’s longevity, and improving the taste of your coffee. 

It would be best if you emptied your percolator after each use. An unclean machine may negatively impact your next day’s haul of coffees. Moreover, allow the lid and other separated pieces to dry completely before the next brew to avoid bad bacteria.

How To Clean Your Electric Percolator?

You have just immersed yourself in an amazing explosion of taste and sensation. Now, it’s time to have a look at the electric percolator cleaning checklist! But you don’t need to be so serious since most electric percolators are far more user-friendly. 

After every brew, always unplug your percolator from the mains. This will allow the machine to cool down before removing parts or cleaning.

Discard any residual grounds from the pot out into the trash. The compost heap is an alternative for a more environmentally friendly option. Avoid letting used coffee sit in the pot overnight as stains may happen.

The lid, basket cover, and water tube are safe when washing in the dishwasher. Plus, you can use a pipe cleaner to remove all the leftovers in the water pipe. A great sponge or clean cloth is the best cleaning choice for everyone. 

Then, wash all components with warm and soapy water. Rinse and dry every part before returning. You should only apply descaler when necessary to avoid scale development.

It is of importance to bear this note in mind: Never submerge the electric parts completely in the water or liquid. Otherwise, you’ll be in danger of damaging the electric components of your equipment.

Safety Precautions

Getting a new electric percolator is somehow not a good feeling. You are probably sick of costing an amount of money and learning its new functions. Thus, there are some tips of precautions and safety measures you must keep in mind to reduce hazards and prolong the overall lifespan of your machine. 

Before using, ensure that you have evaluated the condition of all parts in case of damage. If it is faulty or damaged in any manner, stop using it. 

Only use an electric percolator with the heat source provided with it. Some necessary parts were made of heat-resistant materials. Hence, it is impossible to be interchangeable with a stovetop percolator.

Before the brewing cycle, make sure the lid is secure. You should not open the lid when the percolator is in operation and touch the hot surfaces in case of burns! Always fill the percolator pot with water that is above the minimum level and below the maximum one.

Coffee residue clogs the water tubes in the electric percolator, causing irreversible damage. Hence, it is critical to clean it in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. But don’t soak it completely in water or any other liquid, or you’ll risk damaging the heating elements.

Conclusion

Nothing says “good morning” better than an enjoyable perked cup of joe. With all the new recipes and coffee-making methods today, no coffee lovers can deny the old smooth and creamy taste of coffee made in a percolator. 

For those who both appreciate holding wistful memories, nostalgic feelings of times, and want to experience the modern convenience, the electric percolator is your fellow passenger in the kitchen. 

We hope that this article helps you acquire some knowledge about how to use an electric percolator and the secrets to brew barista-quality coffee using this vintage coffee pot right at home. Also, some reminders to keep your investment will last for a little while are provided. 

Thanks for reading! Now, keep calm and take a coffee break!

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Almost 20 years already spent committed to coffee and more than 3 years of experience as a barista at Starbucks. Madelyn Doyle graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of California and finished the Coffee Skills Program at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).