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Percolator Coffee

(76 posts)
  1. mso489

    mso489

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    No, not even an electric percolator pot, a stovetop model, often sold only in camping equipment shops. I prefer it to French drip, French press, filter machines, etc. It's got to be burbled up through the little glass dome on low, or it just isn't my style. When I mentioned this in a post years ago, I think it was numbersix who responded, "Dad, is that you?" This morning I upped my water level to the six cup mark, which by my measure is more like three good sized cups, and it finally filled the bill. It's a smallish pot, not a full size family version. I know it's quirky, but other coffee, though tasty, is not the same. Right now we're into Chock Full o' Nuts French roast blend, but my wife likes some of the small roasting outfits locally, when I have time to make those errands. Anyone perc' their brew?

    Posted 8 months ago #
  2. timt

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    I love percolator coffee and your post caused me to get off my chair in the garage to look on the shelves for it. It's got to be in here somewhere...

    Tim
    Posted 8 months ago #
  3. mso489

    mso489

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    At the expense of sounding extra eccentric, I like my perc coffee so well, I check hardware stores and catalogs from time to time to make sure they still sell these. I do have a larger family size pot, but my wife likes French press coffee which I happily make for her, our morning ritual. I'm hoping there will be a trend revival of perc coffee so good quality pots are available. Naturally, they've gotten a tad pricey, for a nice stainless steel version with a properly fitting dome. Aluminum versions are less good.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  4. aquadoc

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    I grew up with Percolaters but did not drink coffee at the time. How do they compare to using a French press as far as taste.

    "If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and sex, you don't actually live longer; it just seems that way."
    Posted 8 months ago #
  5. timt

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    Thanks a lot mso. Now, since I can't seem to find mine (cheapo), I'll be on Amazon making a purchase for a top of the line percolator - because I need it.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  6. weedsnager

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    I made a pot this morning with my perk !

    Posted 8 months ago #
  7. cranseiron

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    MSO, eBay has a few of varous types, but none of the old Corning Ware as I remember my parents having. None new either.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  8. bassbug

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    How do they compare to using a French press as far as taste.

    Of course, it all depends on individual tastes, but I prefer french press to percolator and I definitely prefer stove top espresso (sometimes called a mocha maker) to french press.

    I just can't afford a decent real espresso machine

    I don't care who you are, you're not walking on the water while I'm fishing
    Posted 8 months ago #
  9. mso489

    mso489

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    I guess French press is one of the current coffee experts' favorites, for getting all the essence out of a brew, perhaps a bit like a Meerschaum pipe. For me, a percolator adds a kind of earthy tone that adds a lot.

    Posted 8 months ago #
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    instymp

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    MSO.. do you throw an egg shell in it?

    Posted 8 months ago #
  11. mso489

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    instymp, when I was tiny but just old enough to remember, my parents, sister and I lived in a tiny house, and they made cowboy coffee, just throwing the grounds in the pot, not even a sock for the grounds, and threw egg shells in on top. With a "fancy" perc basket you don't need the egg shells as much, and I don't use them. I do put a little milk in mine to cut the acidic flavor. My wife also does espresso, but of the several versions of coffee, I like perc the best. Right now I'm drinking the remains of a Starbuck bought when running errands -- acceptable but over-roasted (to me) as always. McDonalds makes a fine cup of regular coffee; it doesn't have quite the bouquet of home percolated, but it is about next best. No question, my taste in coffees is highly specific and personal. Never any sugar or other sweetener.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  12. coffinmaker

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    I use a percolator when I take a break from hunting back at the truck. A good coffee to try in a percolator is "Kicking Horse". Here is a link for some down home stove top coffee makers. https://www.lehmans.com/search?w=percolator

    Posted 8 months ago #
  13. jaytex969

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    I am a coffee fiend and, for the last decade or so, I must admit, a coffee snob.

    I've made coffee every way I could find and have settled on the press for the best taste for me.

    I do still have the ol' perk pot for camping. Perk is difficult to master without "scorching". Some like that slight scorch and, I admit, I enjoyed it back in the day.

    Army coffee set the quality bar pretty low, so I can drink some atrocious stuff if need be. I WILL get my fix....

    Gunner, Black Frigate. Say "Hello" to my little friend!
    Posted 8 months ago #
  14. carolinachurchwarden

    carolinachurchwarden

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    I own 3...dont use them a whole lot now. Used to use them a good deal in the past, grew up with all my great-aunt and uncles drinking from it and thought if it didn't come from a percolator, it wasn't coffee. I'd use it now, but I have one of those glass cook tops in this house I bought and they just don't work the same.

    "If you can't send money, send tobacco." - George Washington

    Posted 8 months ago #
  15. mikethompson

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    John will be here any moment now...

    Posted 8 months ago #
  16. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    I use the dreaded keurig machine with the k-cups. I just want a hot cup of 8 O’Clock Colombian ASAP, as Jaytex stated above, I learned to drink coffee in the Army, so I’m just not picky enough to care. I’m picky about pipe tobacco and scotch, but coffee is just fuel.

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 8 months ago #
  17. mikethompson

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    Any of you guys have the old cone filter pots? Where you boil water and then pour it over your grounds? That's all I've ever used.

    Posted 8 months ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Chock Full o' Nuts! That takes me back a day or two. That always used to be our trail/camp/hunting coffee. Like MSO says, just the grounds and water cooked in the pot. That's a good, chewy cup of coffee right there. I don't know anything about army coffee, but I've been on a steady diet of airplane coffee for about 25 years now. I'm not saying it's good or bad, but I will say I can now drink the tap water in Mexico with no ill effects.

    A man who serves his country is a patriot. A man who serves his government is an employee. The two are not always the same thing.
    Posted 8 months ago #
  19. blackadderlxx

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    I only use percolator. But the electric kind. I prefer it to anything else. We make it strong and put a little powdered cinnamon in with the grounds and it's amazing.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  20. ashdigger

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    I use a French Press because most days I'm too lazy for my Aeropress.

    I agree with Philo....coffee is just fuel. I care about my baccy, bourbon and ammo.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 8 months ago #
  21. mso489

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    Just a quick note on military coffee, and by the way, food. I was always told that the Navy did better food than the U.S. Army, and at least aboard ship, I think they made an effort to make that come true. It was plain fare, but the galley crew made an effort to do it well. On the other hand, if it is possible, I believe the Navy did the worst job of any service on the coffee, because it was available continuously, and this caused both the ingredients and the brewing to hit depths you may only imagine if you have not shared a cup. All of the flavor of the coffee bean that makes us enjoy this beverage was long departed. Perhaps there was some caffeine left, because you could revive yourself at 02:30 with a cup, but wakefulness was all you got. The flavor was somewhere between rust and chicory.

    Posted 8 months ago #
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    redone

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    I drink French Press every day but recall some tasty percolated coffee from years past. May have to give it a new try.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  23. coyja

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    Very strange that this tread would start up today.
    I always drink French press, but was helping my cousin clean out her house today and she gave me a Corning Ware stovetop percolator in like new condition, said she has a few of them.
    I’ll give it a shot in the morning!

    Posted 8 months ago #
  24. haparnold

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    I use a percolator on camping trips, and much like I enjoy the attentiveness a pipe requires to keep the ember burning at just the right rate, I really enjoy the attentiveness (and near-constant fiddling) required to make good percolator coffee.

    However, I'm just not a fan of coffee made in a metal vessel. I always feel like it colors the taste in a way I don't care for. Every morning I use a glass French press. It's not that I'm a huge press guy; more that I prefer to make my coffee in glass or ceramic.

    De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum
    Posted 8 months ago #
  25. didache

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    This might surprise some people but the American style percolator is almost unknown here in the UK where the filter machine or French press rule supreme.

    For myself I have a 15 year old electric filter machine which has a clock and timer on it. Before I go to bed I set it up and, voila!, a pot of coffee is waiting for me when I get up in the morning.

    If I want something a little stronger I use a Bialetti stove top espresso maker (I have a couple of them in different sizes).

    Or, now and then, I make Arabic coffee (something I learned in Jordan and highly recommended).

    Mike

    "Pipe-smokers spend so much time cleaning, filling and fooling with their pipes, they don't have time to get into mischief." - Bill Vaughan
    Posted 8 months ago #
  26. madox07

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    I prefer a Turkish Copper Kettle, like the one in the image. It requires a very fine grind on the cofe, but in my opinion it brings out the best in the cofe - especially single roast.

    Like didache said, percolator in Europe is a museum piece. I actually had to look it up on google, and the minute I saw one it reminded me of old cowboy movies. As far as stove things, I guess your old fashioned espresso machine is the most popular in continental Europe:

    Sea Wolf Pipers

    "Like the mariners of old, a loner is acceptable but a pipe is best enjoyed in a pack"
    Posted 8 months ago #
  27. mikethompson

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    my trusty setup.

    Mike, tell me about Arabic coffee. I see it at the stores sometimes and I'm always tempted.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  28. didache

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    Mike - years ago I was in Jordan and we were travelling between Amman and Petra. We stopped about half-way for coffee and a break. The waiter brought this incredibly fragrant coffee and I expressed interest in it. To the Arab mind I was honouring their establishment so, before I knew it, I was brought into the kitchen to get lessons!

    Basically, you need very finely ground coffee and some cardamom pods. You spoon some coffee into water in an Arabic or Turkish coffee pan together with a few partly crushed pods. You let it boil up - take it off the heat - repeat a couple of times, and then pour very carefully into small cups. It is strong as anything, and a little sludgy at the bottom. But it will have the most incredibly fragrant smell and taste which always transports me in my mind to a souk in the middle east. Basically it is a cardamom flavoured Turkish coffee.

    Now, if you want a flavour of it without the hassle, you can buy coffee with cardamom already in it which you can make according to your usual method. Alternatively, just put a few crushed pods into your perc basket, or however you usually make your brew. You ought to be able to get the cardamom from any decent supermarket. I don't know exactly what you have seen at the store - maybe it is the cardamom inclusive, but it might just be the coffee itself in which case you would still have to buy some cardamom.

    Good luck with it!

    Mike

    Posted 8 months ago #
  29. mso489

    mso489

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    French press and maybe some of the filter methods, and certainly espresso, are the purists' way to a good cuppa. I just like percolator best, I guess for reasons of nostalgia and cultivated taste. I hope enough people will keep the faith with this old way to keep quality percolators available at easy prices. didache, I'm intrigued that percolators aren't a U.K. thing. Interesting the way cooking methods trend.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  30. davet

    davet

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    We lost our power for a couple of days last week so I had to dig this out, worked great!

    Posted 8 months ago #
  31. mso489

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    White speckled blue enamel ... Bravo!!! That looks like about a twenty cup model.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  32. buster

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    I have an old percolator pot in my camping cook kit. I was a French press user for many years. My mom broke one a year or so ago. My wife ordered a cold brew maker from OXO to replace it. I was skeptical but I like having coffee extract in the refrigerator now. It's like rocket fuel and not acidic. My wife just got back from a trip to Vietnam. She picked up one of those metal drip things to make Vietnamese coffee. I'm enjoying that quite a bit. She also got a few packages of civit coffee. I tried it once before and was not impressed but made in the little metal Vietnamese drip thing and wow!

    Think slow, act fast.
    Posted 8 months ago #
  33. cranseiron

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    Buster, I was in Jacarta, Indonesia a few years ago where I bought 500g of civet coffee.
    It's called Koppi Lewak in Indonesia. I can honestly say it was the best coffee I've ever had-- silky smooth, low acidity and very little bitterness. Wish I had access for more. It was the shit. Get it?

    Posted 8 months ago #
  34. eltice

    eltice

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    @davet. I have the same model, used it this weekend due to a power outage. My only gripe is the “knob” on the lid is so small. It’s hard to take the lid off if I’m using a towel when it’s hot. Other than that, it works well.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  35. leacha

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    I use the electric Percolator. Nice and hot!

    Posted 8 months ago #
  36. beefeater33

    beefeater33

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    I grew up on perked coffee..... great stuff!
    I gave up coffee about 3 years ago, English Breakfast tea replacing it. I still drink about 4 cups a year, on special occasions............ I do miss it, but it was jacking up my innards............

    "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dream..."
    Willy Wonka
    Posted 8 months ago #
  37. jdhayes

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    I remember my grandparents using a percolator when I was very young. I wish I had thought enough to save those old percolators years ago, but alas they are gone now, probably just thrown out. I am the only coffee drinker in my house, my wife even hates the smell of coffee. I have a french press and it makes good coffee, but the clean up is just too much for just me. I prefer the pour over with a cone filter. Now however, after reading this I need to try some perked coffee.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  38. mso489

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    Civet coffee may be a bridge too far for me. I'm sure we all eat a certain amount of material that has been passed through the digestive tracts of other creatures, but I'm not sure I want to do it intentionally, premeditated. Obviously, it is convincingly good; few who've tried it have complained.

    Posted 8 months ago #
  39. paulie66scandinavian

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    I don't drink much of coffees except for those after-dinner espressos poured via Gaggia Classic manual driven espresso machine and then have stainless steel electric percolator which I favor when I'm in the mood of larger amounts of dark roasted French type of coffees, back in the days these like electric percolators were quite popular in Finland and especially in Sweden,today they sell for about $ 50.Apparently,over the past ten years they declined in popularity here and presumably the demand for those declined in America as well.

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 7 months ago #
  40. cosmicfolklore

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    If you are going to use the cheapest coffee on the grocery store shelves, then sure... put it in one of those godawful peculators. But, as for actual tastes, I think the hipsters finesse for bringing back stupid ideas like Atari games, aerosol cheeses, and peculators has added to the allure for these coffee making disasters.
    But, if boiling your coffee to death and having it get even more burned tasting the longer you let it set is what you desire, then have at it.
    Ha ha, me? I'd rather drink coffee made in my truck's radiator than put peculator coffee in my mouth. Blech, blech, blech!

    Michael
    Posted 7 months ago #
  41. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Espresso here, every day. Peet's Italian Roast.

    The fad of "pour over" makes me laugh, as it was how we made coffee 50 years ago. Good then, good now, but not worth a premium.

    French press is good; Aeropress better, though it pretty much makes just one cup at a time.

    Percolating? Had four or five machines over 30 years or so, and would happily taste another cup or two, but not going to purchase one for the nostalgia ride.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 7 months ago #
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    aldecaker

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    "Peculator"? What the hell kind of steaming demon pile autocorrect are you using, Cosmic?

    Posted 7 months ago #
  43. mso489

    mso489

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    Whatever my problems in life may be or may have been, no one has ever accused me of being a hipster. Even when I was remotely the right age, I was the wrong age.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  44. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    Ohhhh, percolator? Sorry, I was confused. Yeh, percolators are ok. Just avoid those demonic peculators. Ha ha.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  45. perdurabo

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    I use French Press, but I’m buying one of those stove top Perks after reading your post MSO.

    It's not my position nor want to help another man. It's his responsibility to help himself, as where he can learn to dig down deep enough to save himself. -I. Kidd
    Posted 7 months ago #
  46. mso489

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    perdurabo, I like the small six cup size for just me, while I make French press for my wife. The smaller perk heats faster, and I can make it strong with less beans and water. I think the Chinese stainless steel ones are good at their price.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  47. glassjapan

    glassjapan

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    It's been years and years since I had percolated coffee. Can't really say I miss it. Nowadays it's a french press at work and a chemex or kalita pour over at home. But like we say with tobacco, drink what you enjoy.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  48. mso489

    mso489

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    Yup, do it your way. For those who'd like to revisit or get introduced to perk coffee, but want to sample it first, a flea market or antique store pot might serve the purpose, and depending on its condition, it could be a keeper. For those, I'd definitely try for a stove-top model, since electric units used are iffy.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  49. jaytex969

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    MSO promoting the estate perk scene... haha!

    and depending on its condition, it could be a keeper.

    I draw the line at having to retort my coffee maker!

    Happy Friday to all.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  50. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    The hidden beauty of percolators, is that you can get that aged, day old flavor of coffee, right away.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  51. techie

    techie

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    I have very fond memories of my mom making Maxwell House percolated coffee for herself and my dad on the gas stove ... the smell was intoxicating. I still recall the taste which, to this day, I've not experienced again. Just nothing like it.

    I no longer drink much coffee, having moved on to whole leaf teas.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  52. fishingandpipes

    fishingandpipes

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    Perc coffee is some of the better I've had. I like my stovetop espresso. But yes, I really enjoy well made percolated coffee.

    Cafe Bustelo in a perc around a fire is a wonderful thing.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  53. captpat

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    Haven't used a percolator in years, my daily coffee fix comes from a Bunn pour over sometimes on the weekend I'll break out a vacuum pot, that is when I'm not having expresso

    Posted 7 months ago #
  54. coyja

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    Finally got around to trying this percolator...
    This one is weird because the basket screws into the top lid for a basket cover, and all of that then screws into the pitcher.
    But the top also has a spout for poring, so when it comes to a boil, if its not caught right away, it boils over.
    Once it is percolating, its also letting off a ton of steam, even at reduced temp.
    I used too much coffee, had to mess with the temperature forever, but I did end up with (super strong) coffee.

    IDK that it will replace our stainless steel, double walled, French press carafe ( pictured on the left, a thing of genius, btw), but I'll keep trying it occasionally and see if I can get it right.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  55. gatorlope

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    I drink coffee all day long, so I got one of those 30 cup percolators that you see at office parties and such.
    I grind my own coffee a bag at a time (usually Colombian) in one of those big grinders like I used to see in the grocery stores.
    It perks the coffee to a nice consistency and turns itself off, leaving me and my wife to drink it at our leisure over the next day or so with a minimum of fuss.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  56. redglow

    redglow

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    I use a BUNN and a Keurig. Very low maintenance and predictable. ☕️

    Posted 5 months ago #
  57. davet

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    leaving me and my wife to drink it at our leisure over the next day or so with a minimum of fuss.

    I got the shivers and heartburn just reading that

    Posted 5 months ago #
  58. gatorlope

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    Definitely not for someone who is prone to the Java jitters. (Grin!)
    I like my coffee strong, sweet and light. Good genes, maybe, but it’s generally my beverage of choice right up until bedtime.☕️

    Posted 5 months ago #
  59. mso489

    mso489

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    Sooner or later there will be a fad resurgence of percolator coffee brewing, and I fear the prices on pots will go way high. This isn't everyone's brew, but if you like it, it is a top notch brew, a little richer and more "organic" tasting than some other methods. Also, the simplicity of a stovetop perc pot really appeals to me, no filters or fiddling and easy clean-up. My folks in the 1940's weren't all wrong. As another member said when i first posted this, "Dad, is that you?"

    Posted 5 months ago #
  60. ophiuchus

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    Sooner or later there will be a fad resurgence of percolator coffee brewing ...

    I certainly hope so. After a recent move, I looked all over hell for a percolator. Department stores, even hardware stores. I finally found a few electric percolators at a Sears store in the death throes of liquidation. I grabbed two of them; one's still in the box, a spare in stow, just in case.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  61. mso489

    mso489

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    Ace Hardware used to carry small percolator pots, and I have seen them in outdoor shops in the camping gear section, and in down home catalogs like Vermont Country Store. Although I prefer the stove-top version to the electric, I think you were wise to stock up. Finding them is somewhat random, so when you find 'em, it is smart to buy an extra. If you live in a long-settled areas, you can sometimes find them in yard sales or flea markets. Younger people tend not to have them. If you buy 'em used, just be sure they have the basket and cover that fit, since replacement parts are harder to find than the entire pot. Now it just takes an "influencer," some jazzy looking young person, to be pictured hovering over their percolator and a steaming cup of coffee at their web site or Facebook page, or Instagram, or whatever's the current social media, and these pots will appear everywhere at exalted prices. If you have a choice, stainless steel is better than aluminum, retains heat better and is more durable, I think.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  62. mso489

    mso489

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    Here's what seems to be a pretty good example of a stovetop version:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FK2M87K/ref=sspa_dk_detail_1?psc=1&pd_rd

    Posted 5 months ago #
  63. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Looks quite buff! If I ever camp again, that'd be the ticket, along with an Aeropress. Stainless, and $30.00.

    Thrift stores often have old perk pots, electric and stovetop.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  64. User has not uploaded an avatar

    k9shag

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    I have this exact pot. ^

    Bought it because of this post. Makes a great pot of joe.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  65. raevans

    raevans

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    I thought that I had given up coffee for good.....until this post came along. Finally caved in and dug out the old pot, went out and picked up some coffee, and I guess it's game on again. Thanks.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  66. mso489

    mso489

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    Hey guys, I think we're starting a wave here. Remember this thread. Stay tuned as they say.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  67. didimauw

    didimauw

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    I will drink coffee in any way, form, shape and size. But percolators are cool. They just seen to be too much effort for me.

    "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
    Posted 5 months ago #
  68. ophiuchus

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    Ace Hardware used to carry small percolator pots ...

    Funny you mention them; Ace was the first place I looked. There are two in town. One of them told me they usually carried them, but they had sold out. Bad timing on my part.

    Next time I see stovetop/campfire percolators, I'm picking up two of those, as well.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  69. User has not uploaded an avatar

    instymp

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    They are awful nice when the electric goes out. If you have a coleman stove or such.

    Posted 5 months ago #
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    dare66

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    We use one when we go camping we put on the camp fire. I love it.

    Posted 3 months ago #

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