Best Coffee to Use in a Percolator

What’s the Best Coffee to Use in a Coffee Percolator?

Coffee percolators were extremely popular up until the early 1970's, when automatic drip coffee makers made their debut. When it comes to producing a strong, full-bodied cup of coffee, the percolator is unrivaled. Sometimes you just need to go with the tried-and-true method!

Enough about the history, you just want to know what the best coffee to to use in a percolator so we’ve curated a list of coffees from several regions by one of our favorite fair-trade growers - Volcanica Coffee.  We recommend buying whole beans and grinding as close to the brew time as possible in order to achieve the utmost freshness.


Image

Origin

Roast

Organic

Top

Choice

Kenya

Medium

No

Premium

Pick

Volcanica Coffee Guatemala

Guatemala

Medium

No

Cell

Colombia

Medium

Yes

Cell

Sumatra

Medium

Yes

Cell
Volcanica Mexican Coffee

Mexico

Light Medium

Yes


Our Top Choice

Premium Pick

Header
Header
Header


Volcanica Coffee Guatemala
Volcanica Mexican Coffee

Origin

Kenya

Guatemala

Colombia

Sumatra

Mexico

Roast

Medium

Medium

Medium

Medium

Light Medium

Organic

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

What's The Best Roast?

Coffee made with a percolator is richer and has more body than the one produced by a drip coffee maker (compare here). This, however, means that the coffee used should be coarsely ground and of medium roast.

Note: Fine ground coffee will sediment at the bottom of the drink while dark roast will lead to a bitter blend of the infusion.

On the other hand, light roasts tend to lose their flavor and yield watery bland coffee. It takes skill, patience and knowledge to brew this kind of coffee.

To choose the type of coffee for the percolator, there are two main considerations, that is, species (or brand) and the bean.

What's The Best Grind?

Since coffee must be dried, roasted and ground before brewing, there are some varieties that are not exactly fit for percolation. The filters used in a percolator are not as fine as the ones on a drip coffee maker. This means that finely ground coffee may settle at the bottom compartment if used.


Coarsely Ground Coffee For Percolator

Therefore, coarse ground coffee is best, since it cannot pass through the filters. If you plan on grinding the beans yourself, ensure that the end product is as coarse as possible, with visible large lumps.

The coffee brewed in a percolator is weak at first but strengthens with time. This said, medium roast coffee beans are far better than the dark roast when using a coffee percolator. Why? Well, because percolation extracts all the flavor from the coffee thus dark roasts may yield bitter and over-brewed coffee. This will definitely ruin the coffee for you and you wouldn’t want that!

Why Trust Our Review?

Besides spending countless hours hunting for great coffee, we are sure to do our due diligence for every brand we recommend and if we haven't personally tried it, we won't recommend it! Rest assured knowing that the coffee you're going to receive has been thoroughly vetted by us.

But if you're still unsure, just listen to the voice of your fellow coffee consumers – At the time of writing, Volcanica Coffee has a stellar score of 4.7 on TrustPilot. We'd like to think that's pretty impressive.

Volcanica Coffee Trust Pilot Rating

Our Top Choice - Kenyan Coffee

Buy Kenya AA Coffee

PROS

  • Warm Aroma
  • Rich Taste
  • Medium Roast

CONS

  • Becomes brighter as it cools
  • Not Organic
  • Not Fair Trade Certified

Found just south of Ethiopia, this country in East Africa boasts of some of the finest coffees in the world. Kenya AA offers a delicate equilibrium of strong flavor, tartness, and aroma. It is commonly referred to as the ‘Connoisseur's cup'. Grown in the highlands of Mt. Kenya, the majesty of these coffees can only be compared to the sunset in the African Savanna.

On top of this, the perfect Yergacheffe variety is also available in Kenya.

Premium Pick - Guatemalan Coffee

Volcanica Coffee Guatemala

PROS

  • Extremely Unique Flavor
  • Best Rated By Consumers
  • Smooth & Tasty
  • Incredible aroma

CONS

  • Costlier Than Others
  • Not Fair Trade Certified

This South American country has natural shades and jungles that are ideal for coffee growth. It produces some of the world’s most aromatic coffees with high acidity. The most famous botanical variety from Guatemala is Bourbon coffee. Grown mostly in Antigua, genuine coffee from Guatemala is smoky, full-bodied with an intense flavor.

Such coffee, when brewed using a percolator, can turn out to be a drink worth its salt.

​Colombian Coffee

Buy Colombian Supremo Coffee

PROS

  • Rich medium to full body flavor 
  • Shade Grown
  • Fair Trade Certified, Organic
  • Excellent aroma

CONS

  • More of an everyday coffee, not as special as the other flavors
  • Low Caffeine

Grown at altitudes of up to 6000 feet, Colombian coffee is rated as one of the best in the world. This Arabica growing country produces a sweet, medium-bodied, citrus-tasting coffee with low caffeine content, thanks to its tropical climate. In addition to this, percolation ensures that the fullness of its taste is extracted into your coffee cup.

For coffee lovers who prefer low caffeine, this is the way to go. You can say that the percolator was made for Colombian coffee.

Sumatran Coffee

Indonesia Sumatran Gayo Coffee

PROS

  • Smooth and flavorful
  • Low acidity
  • Fair Trade Certified, Organic

CONS

  • Not as flavorful compared to other beans, according to some consumers

This island in western Indonesia is known for producing full-bodied coffee. This rich coffee blend has a parched, winy savor. Its deep but gentle tones are preserved perfectly in the percolation process, leaving you with a lasting impression to desire more.

This said, Indonesia is famous for yielding flavorful coffee and any brand from the place is a brilliant choice for a percolator.

Mexican Coffee

Volcanica Mexican Coffee

PROS

  • Clean and well balanced cup
  • Wonderful aroma
  • Organic
  • Many different flavor notes in one cup

CONS

  • Light to medium body profile
  • May be a little mild in flavor for some consumers when compared to other coffees

This southern portion of North America is one of the top 10 main exporters of coffee globally, producing roughly 4.5 million bags of coffee annually. These beans in particular are characterized by medium acidity, a sweet smooth body and flavor with a hint of fresh roasted hazelnuts. 

If you're looking for a clean and well balanced cup, then try this lovely Mexican coffee.

Answers to Common Questions

Q: Is the coffee you're recommending Fair Trade?

A: While not all of the recommended coffees are Fair Trade Certified, rest assured knowing that Volcanica Coffee pays premium price for your coffee, which in turn means paying their coffee suppliers a fair wage. Read more about it on their website.

Q: Is Volcanica coffee Arabica?

A: Yes, their gourmet coffee beans are single origin and 100% Arabica coffee.

Q: Do I need a coffee filter for a percolator?

A: If your ground coffee is course, you do not need a coffee filter for your percolator. If you can't seem to get the grind setting correct and still would like to use a filter, try these Percolator Wrap-Around Coffee Filters.

Q: How much coffee is in each bag?

A: Each bag can be purchased in one of the three sizes: 16 oz, 3 lbs, or 5 lb bag

Final Thoughts

In summary, the best coffee to use in a percolator is a medium roast. A dark roast will yield bitter results, while a light roast will taste watered down. Be sure to use a coarse grind for your coffee percolator as well! 

Percolators may have been overshadowed by drip coffee makers, but this doesn’t make them completely obsolete. A percolator can be a handy device in the hands of a coffee lover. When used properly, it can produce one of the best coffees that you have ever had and is one of our favorite brewing methods!

Let us know in the comments below, if you have a favorite to add to the best coffee to use in a percolator! We look forward to hearing from you 🙂

Leave a Comment: