Best Coffee to Use in a Percolator

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

Are you wondering how a percolator works or what’s the best coffee to use in a percolator? Well, a coffee percolator is somewhat like a drip coffee maker, only without the automatic feature. It consists of two chambers, one at the top and the other at the bottom, and are joined by a vertical tube.

The upper compartment houses the ground coffee and coffee filters while the bottom one is filled with water. Some percolators have their own heating element while others have to be heated on the stove.

Dissembled Stove Top Percolator

How Does it Work?

First, you fill the bottom section with cold water. The amount will differ depending on the capacity of coffee required. The element or stove (depending on the type of percolator) is lit and heats up the water.

Once hot, the water travels up the tube through the filters, onto the coffee and back down. This process is repeated until all the coffee is done brewing.

Electric Models

8 Cup Euro Electric Percolator

Electric percolators automatically switch off when the brewing is complete.

Stove Top Models

Coletti Stove-top Percolator

For stove-top percolators, you must be careful to take it off the fire once the coffee is brewed and just before it boils.

Note: It is important to take care that the coffee does not boil, as this produces an over-extracted bitter-tasting beverage.

What about the 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.

Best Coffee to Use in a Percolator

There is a wide variety of coffee species and brands out there. Ideally, any brand would be appropriate for a percolator. The choice of coffee species solely depends on the desired taste of your favorite beverage.

Here are our recommended species from Volcanica Coffee (one of our favorite brands):

Sumatran Coffee

Sumatran Coffee

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.

Colombian Coffee

Colombian Coffee

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.

Ethiopian Coffee

Ethiopian Coffee

Ethiopia is the original ‘birthplace’ of coffee. Since the crop is indigenous to this place, it is safe to say that good coffee natural thrives in Ethiopia. Since it is grown mainly for export, one of the best qualities grows here.  At an altitude of between 1500m and 1800m,

Ethiopia boasts of a very wide variety of coffees and diverse tastes from the Harrar and Yergacheffe regions. The coffee fruit is sometimes allowed to dry on the bean, producing fruity and sometimes chocolaty coffee.

For a percolator, this is an excellent choice since the aroma will fill your home as the coffee brews.

Guatemala Coffee

Guatemala Coffee

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.

Kenyan Coffee

Kenyan Coffee

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.

Peruvian Coffee 

Peruvian Coffee

In the Andes Mountains is where you are likely to find coffee growth in Peru. This unique altitude produces pleasant medium-bodied coffee with a somewhat sweet taste. Though overshadowed by Brazil and Colombia, Peru also has good quality coffee that is worth recognizing.

The aromas and light taste will surely make you want more.

The Grind

Coarsely Ground Coffee For Percolator

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.

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. This is 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!

Final Thoughts

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 us in a percolator! We look forward to hearing from you 🙂

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