Finding the best coffee percolator can be tough. Between the hundreds of different options and types on the market and the huge range of prices, finding even this simple coffee maker can be a daunting task all on its own.
In recent years, Coffee Percolators have gotten a bad rap for brewing coffee that’s stale, over-extracted or even bitter. But when done right, the classic brewing technique that’s existed for over a century can bring out incredible aromas that would otherwise be difficult to achieve using a simple filter based machine.
Percolators initially came to prominence due to their ability to make large amounts of strong, steaming hot coffee. This is exactly why campers are especially fond of the percolator and continue to use them to this day!
Today, coffee percolators have taken a different shape in our homes. You can find from beautifully designed percolators to modern age electric percolators on the market. These devices make brewing your morning joe so much easier – and if you’re looking to try a new brewing method then the good old percolator is a perfect choice.
Stovetop vs. Electric
If you’ve decided to buy a coffee percolator, you need to decide if you’re getting a stovetop or an electric. Where and when you plan on using it will guide this decision.
If you’re planning to use your percolator for camping or on your stove, a stovetop percolator would be the best option while an electric percolator would be more suited for those looking for a simpler brewing process and more control.
The taste produced by both options is pretty much identical. However, using a stovetop percolator can result in over-extracted coffee which may lead to bitterness. If you want to prevent your percolator from overextracting your coffee, just make sure you remove it off the stove when the clear knob starts to percolate!
Here are our top picks for coffee percolators in 2020:
Best Electric Percolators for 2020:
Why it’s great: This all-steel, large capacity unit is incredibly durable, high-quality and great for home use. Its dimensions are 13.1 x 9.7 x 6.2 inches and it weighs 3.8 pounds The compact and sturdy body also has a detachable power cord, which means you can easily move the pot around for serving and pouring. In addition, the brewing speed is quite fast, brewing 12-cups in 12-minutes while maintaining the temperature at 195F.
Could be better: Unfortunately, this unit does not come with an automatic shut-off feature, which means the coffee will continue to brew. And you probably already know that percolators can easily overbrew coffee leaving it bitter.
All in all, this is a great unit that is easy to use and gets the job done every single time. Highly recommended!
‘Keep warm’ feature stops boiling once coffee is brewed
Sturdy unit with no-drip spout 2. Farberware Percolator, Stainless Steel, FCP412 (12-Cup)
Difficult to clean after use
No indicator for finished brew
Why it’s great: Overall, this is a great unit with a 12-cup capacity. It features a cup-per-minute feature which means hot coffee in 12 minutes. The classic, old-timey spout has a great look and prevents any spillage while pouring. Once the unit reaches boiling point and the coffee is brewed and ready, this percolator has a nifty feature that lowers the temperature and sets the coffee to ‘keep warm’, preventing an overbrewed batch.
Could be better: The major drawback with this coffee percolator is that it doesn’t have an indicator that tells you your coffee is done brewing – so you have to guess when it’s ready to drink. In addition, many people found reliability issues with this percolator stating that the plastic base unit was melted at high temperatures.
Why it’s great: This beautifully designed percolator features the classic percolator bulb at the top so you can see when your coffee is brewed and ready. It brews great-tasting coffee very quickly and with little effort. Coming with a detachable cord, a comfortable handle, and a tapered no-drip spout, it makes your brewing your coffee an easy and pleasant experience.
Could be better: The main issue that many people face when using this percolator is that the coffee grounds spew into the coffee during percolating. Because of this, you have to remove the basket and stem before pouring which can be tedious.
‘Keep-warm’ mode when brewing is finished
Water level gague
Loud compared to other units
No tight seal on the lid
Why it’s great: Of all of the electric coffee percolators, this one has the most modern design. With the classic percolator top made out of glass, it’s a beautiful looking unit. In addition, this percolator comes with a pre-marked filter basket so you don’t have to measure coffee grounds before making. It also comes with a no-drip spout and a detachable cord.
Could be better: While this percolator does have some great features, it’s been known to have a couple of issues. First of all, this unit is louder than many other units which are usually unwelcome first thing in the morning. In addition, the quality of the build isn’t as sturdy as other models; the seal on the lid isn’t airtight and the feel of the entire percolator isn’t sturdy.
Best Stovetop Percolators
Sleek design with classic percolator knob
Handle stays cool even after boiling point
Waterline difficult to see
Why it’s great: The Farberware ‘Yosemite’ Percolator provides incredible value. In a simple, small and durable unit, it’s the perfect combination between capacity and size. This unit makes 8-cups per batch which is enough for several people. The stainless steel body takes about 20 mins from fire to cup which is good for any stovetop percolator. It also comes in a 12-cup size in case you love it so much you want more!
Could be better: An issue some users of this unit face is the plastic percolating knob. Due to high-temperatures, this knob may get hot to the point of melting.
Why it’s great: This 9-cup stainless steel percolator comes with a hinged lid and a glass percolating knob. Its heavy-duty feel makes it ideal for those looking for a nice camping percolator, while the wooden handle helps to diffuse heat making it easier to hold.
Could be better: The only issue that users of the Bozeman have described is that it may need a coffee filter. This is because some of the holes in the dish are so large that they let coffee grounds pass through.
Why it’s great: This grandparent-style percolator is ideal for the nostalgic among us. Coming in 5 colors and with a 12-cup size, it’s ideal for both campers and home brewers alike. If you’re looking for a no-frills, heavy-duty percolator (with a lifetime guarantee), you’ve found your perfect match.
Could be better: While this is an all-round solid percolator, the main issue many experienced with using it is the durability of the plastic knob and the chipping of the enamel paint on the exterior.
Why it’s great: This ultra-basic 9-cup percolator is ideal for those looking for a cheap and reliable unit. With a solid handle and a spherical knob, it does everything you need your percolator to do.
Could be better: The main problem with this percolator is that it isn’t very durable due to its very lightweight design. It also doesn’t have any markers of any kind making it difficult to determine the right amount of water to fill it with, which can take some experimenting.
Percolators can be incredibly practical and very easy to use. They brew large amounts of coffee with little effort and have the durability to last years (or maybe even decades).
If you’ve decided to buy one and would like to try different roasts on your percolator, be sure to check out our guide to home coffee roasting.
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