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Simple Guidelines on How to Use a Coffee Percolator Correctly

How to Use a Coffee Percolator
A coffee percolator is a traditional coffee brewing machine that either works on electricity or direct heat. Although percolators have been substituted by drip coffee machines, a lot of people still prefer using percolators for their morning cup of joe. Here is an explanation given by HomeQuicks on how to use a coffee percolator to make some refreshing coffee.
Vibhav Gaonkar
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
Store and Savor
Always store ground coffee in an airtight container to retain its aroma and taste.
The physics behind a coffee percolator and a drip coffee machine is somewhat the same. Both have a reservoir to pour water, a compartment to put ground coffee, and the drip mechanism that pumps up heated water, which then drips into the ground coffee via a pipe and then to the collecting jar (in case of a drip machine) to give you a refreshing hot sip.
Both have their pros; the drip coffee machines use a separate compartment (reservoir) for pouring cold water and a separate one (jar) to collect the prepared coffee unlike a percolator, which uses a common compartment for both that results in recirculation of some of the prepared coffee leading, to over extraction of caffeol (coffee oil). This over extraction would, to some extent, hamper the taste of the resulting brew, but is still preferred by some over the taste from the drip coffee makers. Coffee percolators are also known for their extreme portability, and can be carried along when camping or on trekking expeditions.
Directions to Use a Coffee Percolator
The first and foremost thing is to pour water into the reservoir, which sufficient for the amount of coffee you wish to make. Most percolators can make around 4 - 6 cups of coffee at a time, but this may vary greatly with different brands and variants.

In most cases, the reservoir can be accessed by taking off the top lid and the container meant to hold ground coffee. However, it's ideal to check the user manual to appropriately locate the reservoir.

Once you are done with pouring the necessary amount of water, add ground coffee to the compartment located at the top of the percolator. The location for the coffee compartment is the same in almost all percolators. Add approximately 1 tsp. per cup for a lighter coffee, and 1 tbsp. per cup for a strong one.

Next, fasten the lid of the percolator and place it over a heat source in case your percolator is a stove-top one. If you have an electric percolator, plug it in a socket and switch it on. In case of the former, you'll need to maintain a medium heat level. Remember that the temperature should not lead to excess boiling of the coffee; if you see a lot of steam coming out from the percolator, consider lowering the heat.

In case you're camping, you could also place the percolator on a campfire; however, you'll need to constantly monitor it as the heat level in this case would largely vary.

Once you realize that the water in the percolator has started boiling, lower the heat just enough to keep it hot.

Keep an eye on the coffee as it brews; some glass percolators provide a direct view of the coffee, while others have a typical see-through lid that solves the purpose. Observe the color of the coffee―the darker it is, the stronger is your coffee, and vice versa.

Perk your coffee for approximately ten minutes for a perfectly strong and palatable coffee. In case you want it a bit weaker or stronger, reduce or increase the percolating time, respectively.

Once the coffee is done, shut the heat source, and take the lid off the percolator. Remove the coffee compartment, and discard the residue (soaked coffee). Leaving the soaked coffee in the percolator would allow it to drip in the coffee and make it stronger, and might also spill into your cup.
That's it! Your freshly perked coffee is all ready to relish.

Enjoy your coffee with some yummy cookies or with lip-smacking breakfast.