Coffee maker percolator: Amazon Best Sellers: Best Coffee Percolators

Top 5 for Best Percolator Coffee Available – Black Ink Coffee Company

Nothing smells better than the aroma of perfectly made coffee wafting through the morning air. Even if you own one of the best drip coffee makers, you’ll know that you are missing out when it comes to the outdoors. That is why we have decided to put forward our recommendation of the best coffee percolator, to ensure your morning cup of coffee is truly amazing.

At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Coffee Percolators

  • Our Top Pick: Farberware Percolator
  • Eurolux Percolator
  • Cuisinart Percolator
  • Hamilton Percolator
  • Moss & Stone Percolator

Loving coffee is one thing, but brewing the best coffee is entirely different. Fortunately, the coffee culture has seen a lot of evolution and advancement in how we make our coffee and the devices available. This is where coffee percolators come in!

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Our Top Pick

Farberware Percolator

  • Perfect camping percolator
  • Stainless steel
  • Holds 12 cups
View On Amazon →

Eurolux Percolator

  • Campfire coffee compatible
  • 9 cup basin
  • Easy to clean
View On Amazon →

Cuisinart Percolator

  • Brews 4 to 12 cups
  • Stainless steel
  • Stay-cool bottom
View On Amazon →

Hamilton Percolator

  • Cool touch insulation
  • Stainless steel
  • Electric with 12 cup carafe
View On Amazon →

Moss & Stone Percolator

  • Copper body stainless steel
  • Multiple color choices
  • 12 cup capacity
View On Amazon →

What is a Coffee Percolator

These devices often get a few complaints among many coffee lovers because of its brewing process; forcing hot water through a tube and dripping over coffee grounds. The disadvantage with this process is that it is possible to overcook or burn your coffee and end up with a bitter cup instead.

If you don’t let that deter you, then you’ll be happy to know that a coffee percolator will help you create a more intense coffee flavor than you would get from a filter machine. Although very little has changed in the design of coffee percolators since they joined the culture in the 19th century, they remain very relevant. So, if you love your coffee strong, soothing, and burbling, then here are the best coffee percolators worth buying.

Best Coffee Percolator

1. Farberware Stainless Steel, 12-Cup Coffee Percolator

When considering the best coffee percolator, there are many factors that may impact your decision. An excellent place to start is the Farberware Stainless Steel, 12-Cup Coffee Percolator, and it is not because this is probably the shiniest design on our list. If you’re looking for the best way to make delicious coffee on a budget, then this percolator should be on top of your reference list. Aside from being affordable, all you need is your stove to get this bad boy working its magic. 

This stovetop percolator comes with a half-gallon capacity, making it ideal for small families (or anyone not willing to share their cup of gold). But its 12-cup capacity also means that you and your family can sip your coffee together in harmony. If you are obsessed with the burbling nature of your coffee, this percolator will give you an extra rush of excitement, as its design allows you to watch the little bubbles in the glass knob while your coffee brews. That means that you can also monitor when your coffee begins to percolate.

On the topic of construction material, the device comes in high-quality, heavy-duty stainless-steel construction, which makes it durable and convenient. Its polished surface also gives it a mirror finish and makes it an ideal accessory for any kitchen. With this percolator, you do not have to worry about creating a mess; the Farberware Stainless Steel, 12-Cup Coffee Percolator features a permanent percolator filter basket, which means there’s no need to deal with a messy paper coffee filter. The stainless-steel material also makes this product dishwasher safe.

Since the Farberware Percolator is a stovetop percolator, not only can you rest assured that your electricity bills would not go up because of your love for coffee, it also means it’s the perfect percolator for your camping trips. One thing to note when using a stovetop coffee percolator is that it is easy to burn the coffee if you leave these unattended. That’s why many people prefer an electric percolator. However, if you want the control or if you need a camping percolator, this may be the one!

2. Eurolux Percolator, Stainless Steel, Campfire Coffee

Up next, we have the Eurolux Percolator, Stainless Steel, Campfire Coffee. Although our previous percolator can be used for camping, the Eurolux Percolator is the preferred and recommended camping percolator. In fact, it is the best coffee percolator for camping! 

So, if you are looking to try your hand at making some cowboy coffee, this may be your solution. Plus, it comes with a smaller capacity and means that you carry it along for your camping with much ease. So, if you plan on going camping and need a stovetop percolator for some great campfire coffee, you may want to consider this one.

This small-sized coffee percolator does the job when it comes to delivering irresistible taste and aroma. It is designed to produce a consistently rich and fuller coffee flavor that is sure to pamper your taste buds with the luxury of good taste. Speaking of luxury, this percolator is made with 100% Teflon-free and BPA-free high-quality stainless-steel material that gleams with the kind of luxury perfect for any environment – both indoors and outdoors. Enjoy your coffee, assured that your percolator is free from any form of hidden chemicals that will not only ruin the taste of your coffee but also put your health at risk.

Cleaning your percolator can be such a drag. Thankfully, the Eurolux Percolator is stainless-steel construction also means that you can let the dishwasher do all the hard work after enjoying your coffee.  Besides, if you plan on taking this camping, you’ll need something a little more rugged that can withstand a beating while also allow for easy cleaning.

Eurolux Percolator is also very easy to use, as it comes without the hustle of dealing with cords and the need for electricity. This is one of the reasons why it is the best option for your camping trip. It comes with no plastic parts to worry about, and its 9-cup capacity should be more than enough for your camping company. Its design also makes it durable and sturdy enough for camping rigors – no need to worry about dents and marks from falls and knocks.

Are you new to using percolators? Eurolux Percolator includes step-by-step usage instructions and a filter basket. If you plan on using this stovetop coffee percolator as a camping percolator, you may want to read the instructions beforehand so you know what to expect ahead of time.

3. Cuisinart, 12-Cup Stainless-Steel Percolator


Now, let’s take a look at the Cuisinart, 12-Cup Stainless-Steel Percolator. It may be challenging for any electric percolator to win the hearts of coffee lovers in terms of the artistic outlook of many other percolators, but this percolator from Cuisinart isn’t too bad to look at. However, unlike the two previous options, this percolator would not make a good camping addition. Even though it does not have outdoor properties, the Cuisinart percolator has a lot to offer.

First is the design.  The Cuisinart percolator comes in an elegantly made, compact build, with a tapered sprout and a transparent top knob. The transparent knob feature also means that you can keep your eyes on your coffee burbling merrily inside while you wait excitedly. 

The design features a stay-cool bottom unit that ensures that your surfaces stay protected from burns and marks. There is also a light indicator that lets you know when the brewing completes, so you don’t end up burning your coffee and ruining the taste. 

This Cuisinart percolator comes with a convenient capacity of 4 to 2 cups, making it ideal for small gatherings and low consumption households.   Yes, this may not be an electricity free stovetop coffee percolator, but it still remains a wonderful option. In our opinion, this machine is the best coffee percolator you can pick if you are looking for a trusted manufacturer.

As we have already mentioned, its light indicator makes it easy to use. It also comes with an ergonomically designed handle making for a very firm grip. The stainless-steel construction also offers a lot of resistance to scratches and knocks. Aside from that, it also features a cord measuring 36 inches, which gives you enough distance between the device and the power source. 

4. Hamilton Beach, 12 Cup, Stainless Steel Electric Percolator

Moving on from one electric percolator to another, the next entry onto our list is the Hamilton Beach, 12 Cup, Stainless Steel Electric Percolator. One thing that stands out about this entry from Hamilton is that it comes with so many features. First of all, it has a locking lid system to ensure that the vapor pressure does not dislodge the lid and dump hot coffee on your body.  

There is also a viewing window on top of the Hamilton percolator for anyone obsessed with enjoying the view of burbling delight while monitoring your coffee. Plus, it also gives you the sense of achievement that you’re brewing coffee on your own – that is, if you are trying it for the first time.

Beyond the two features mentioned, the pot also comes with all the necessary features you can expect in an electric percolator. It has a cool-touch handle that remains cool throughout your brewing process and makes it safe to handle your pot immediately after you finish. There is also a spout that doesn’t dribble and a power cord you can separate from the pot. 

Unlike the other percolators already reviewed, the Hamilton Percolator, 12 Cup, Stainless Steel Electric Percolator features a body constructed with durable plastic material. This takes nothing away from the pot’s durability as well as the sturdiness it offers. In order not to overcook your precious coffee, this percolator also features a light indicator, which tells you when the coffee is ready. There is also a keep warm heater.

Since nobody likes a messy situation, this pot comes with a permanent filter basket made of stainless steel in addition to its non-drip spout. You can also refer to a user manual to be sure you’re doing the right thing. If you aren’t sure which electric coffee percolator to buy, but you know that you want the best coffee percolator possible, you should seriously consider the Hamilton percolator.

5. Moss & Stone Electric Coffee Percolator

For the fifth-best percolator, we have the Moss & Stone Electric Coffee Percolator. One glance at this percolator is enough to know that it is quite different in appearance from the others we have already reviewed. Instead of the purely stainless steel or plastic materials we have seen, this one comes with an elegant construction made from durable copper. 

As far as functionality is concerned, it features an ergonomically designed black handle which is cool-to-touch. It also has a ready-to-serve light indicator and an automatic keep-warm function to keep your pot of liquid gold warm for consumption. Not only is this arguably the best coffee percolator, but it is also the most stylish option.

Moss & Stone Electric Coffee Percolator has a capacity of up to ten cups, making it ideal for a small gathering. It comes with a removable coffee filter, including a stainless-steel filter basket, a power cord, and a pump tube. There is also a beautifully designed spout for easy pouring, which ensures that there is no spillage. At the top of the pot is a see-through knob for your viewing pleasure.

The pot measures a satisfactory 28 cm in height, 23 cm in length, and 14.5 cm in with. If this electric percolator is yet to convince you; Moss & Stone is backing this one up with a one-year warranty. Although most people prefer a stovetop coffee percolator to last a lifetime, this warranty helps many coffee drinkers to consider purchasing an electric coffee percolator, we sure recommend it!

How Does A Percolator Work

A percolator works just a little differently from a drip coffee maker, which we will explain more below as we compare the percolator vs drip methods.

So, how does a percolator work? Well, it’s actually quite simple. The coffee percolator pot works like a recirculating water fountain system, which pushes boiling water upward through a tube. The boiling water moves upward and overflows into a filter basket, which holds the coffee grounds. The water then goes back down into the water reservoir for the process to repeat itself. 

The term “percolate” comes from the process where water or fluid is gradually carried through a porous substance and emerges with a different quality than it had before the process of percolation. 

The coffee percolator uses a similar process. The bubbles that form from the boiling water rises from the bottom of the pot. The percolator pot then uses a hollow pump tube to ensure that the bubbles concentrate and force the boiling water to move upward through the tube. 

The tube then sprays the water over a spreader cover, scattering the water thoroughly over the ground coffee and saturating it in the process. The spreader cover comes with holes of different sizes, making it possible to saturate the coffee evenly and thoroughly. Additionally, the spreader cover also serves as a preventive mechanism to stop the ground coffee from splashing upward and into the rest of the percolator pot. 

The best coffee percolator will do this in a way that creates a stronger cup of coffee, while also preventing burning from occurring. If you have never tried it, you are missing out.

Why Is It Called A Percolator

The term “percolator” refers to how boiling water rises through a tube and is repeatedly deflected or redirected downward through a spreader cover or a perforated basket. The perforated basket contains the ground coffee and receives the water to extract the coffee beans’ essence. 

As the hot water continues to boil in larger rolls, it splashes upwards and through the base of the basket and makes its way back into the rest of the boiling water. This cycle will repeat itself over and over as the water continues to boil.

The longer the cycle repeats itself, the stronger the coffee gets, as it infuses the oil from the coffee beans several times. This process will continue until the heat source is no longer available.

So, why is it called a percolator? Simple, the brewing method used to extract the coffee is done with percolation rather than the common practice of infusion.

Therefore, for a coffee pot to be a percolator, it should come with the internal features of an upright pump stem tube, which will work together with a basket to hold the coffee while allowing the hot water to pass through. The coffee pot should also feature a stand that will hold the tube in place while the basket rests on the tube. The basket usually comes with a perforated spreader cover, which is placed on top of it. 

How to Use A Percolator

From our review list, there are two main types of coffee percolators, the stovetop coffee percolator and electric percolators. In case you need to know how to use one or the other, we have gone ahead and provided info below on how to use both options. There is no clear winner for the best coffee percolator, rather, there are better options based on your specific needs.

Step 1: Prep Your Percolator

Ensure that your percolator is clean. Then, using the appropriate amount of water, fill your water reservoir. During the percolation process, you will lose some water due to steam, so be sure to keep this in mind.

Step 2: Grind Your Beans

Whether you are grinding your beans fresh, or using pre ground coffee, you’ll next want to add them to the upper basket within the percolator. This is entirely based on preference, but the amount of coffee you would use should be similar to that of drip coffee. For strong coffee, use a 1:1 ratio of one tablespoon of ground coffee to one cup of water. For a weaker cup, use a ratio of 1:2, one tablespoon of grounds to one cup of water. The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle!

Step 3: Heat Your Percolator Coffee

Once you are ready, it is time to heat up your percolator. After the water becomes hot enough, you will see the device start to percolate or it’ll notify you that it is ready. Generally, this is where you would reduce the heat slightly as you let your percolator coffee start to perk. For specific instructions between the stovetop percolators and electric percolators, be sure to check out the guides below.

Step 4: Let it Perk

Once the device has begun percolating, let it perk for around 8 to 10 minutes. It is all user preference, but you’ll find your perfect time after some trial and error.

Step 5: Pour and Enjoy

Once the coffee is ready, remove the heat source by turning off the stove or by unplugging it. Remove the coffee basket and grounds. Then, let your coffee sit for a few minutes so coffee grounds will sink to the bottom. Once the coffee has cooled down to an appropriate temperature, pour a cup and enjoy!

How to Use a Stovetop Percolator

  1. First, fill the pot with the amount of water you prefer, making sure that you do not go below or beyond the measurement marks where available. Once done, place your pump tube into the water and position the basket on top of the tube. 
  2. Next, fill your grounds basket with the amount of coffee you desire – the coffee filter is optional. Place your spreader cover over the grounds basket and move the lid onto the percolator. 
  3. Place your percolator on your stove and heat it until the water begins to boil. Next, turn down the heat to a lower temperature to give your coffee the chance to perk for several minutes before removing the percolator from the stove. 
  4. Now pour your coffee and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Be careful though, as the coffee may be scalding. 

How to Use an Electric Percolator

  1. First of all, be sure to read the specific instructions on your electric percolator, if it comes with some unique features.
  2. Remove the cover inside the basket and the stem and fill the pot with your preferred amount of water. If your pot comes with measure marks, make sure you do not fill beyond the highest recommended or below the lowest mark required.  
  3. Once done, replace your percolator stem assembly and place the cover basket over it. Add your ground coffee and plug in your power cord. Next, turn on your percolator if there is a power button available and allow your percolator to do it’s magic. 
  4. Keep your eyes on the light indicator (if your unit comes with one) to know when your coffee is ready. Pour your coffee when done and enjoy!

How to Clean A Percolator

In order to clean your percolator, it is recommended to clean it after every use, as this makes the process easier and prevents the build up of coffee deposits, which can affect the quality and taste of your coffee. Most stainless steel percolators are dishwasher friendly, but always make sure that you read the instructions. You can also clean your percolator more thoroughly by filling the pot with warm water and adding one tablespoonful of baking soda. Allow the mixture to sit overnight and wash it off thoroughly the following day.

If you’re struggling with stains, you can use a mixture of vinegar and water to help clean the percolator more thoroughly. Simply heat up the mixture, and then pour it into your percolator. After allowing this mixture to sit overnight, wash it off the following day with fresh water and your stains should be all gone!

In order to be considered as one if the best coffee percolators, it is required that the percolator be easy to clean and made of a hard and durable piece of metal. Although there are glass percolators, we don’t recommend them. Although you may find a few hardened coffee drinkers that don’t believe in cleaning their coffee percolator pot, we recommend you learn how to clean a percolator. Besides, these aren’t bacon pans, you don’t want to be drinking old stale coffee or coffee grounds.

Percolator Filters

One thing to consider when using a stovetop percolator or an electric percolator is that you’ll need percolator filters. Luckily for you, percolator filters are very easy to come by and are almost always in stock. If you find yourself needing percolator filters, and don’t have time to go out and buy them, you may be able to use drip coffee filters as they are similar in design and functionality.

Although it can be done, we don’t recommend using percolator filters that were not engineered for the stovetop coffee percolator or the electric percolator. Instead, simply stock up on them at Amazon to ensure you never run out. Besides, if you want to enjoy the tastiest cup of coffee, you may as well be using the correct filters.

Percolator vs Drip

So, it comes down to this. The stovetop coffee percolator, or the electric percolator, against the more commonly used drip coffee maker. Now, it would be unfair to say that one is better than the other as they are entirely different methods of extracting coffee. On one hand, you have the coffee percolator pot method where the coffee is brewed with percolation, and on the other hand, you have the slow drip extraction process.

Drip Coffee Maker

In a perfect world, the drip coffee extraction process would create a more flavorful cup of coffee, but that is not what usually occurs. The reason drip coffee usually falls short of perfection is due to engineering faults and/or user error. Ideally, you only want the water to pass through the grounds once to avoid over extraction, but that is not quite possible with limitations of drip coffee makers.

Also, since most drip coffee machines push water through the grounds based on the direction of the shower head within the machine, most users end up with something called channeling. This channeling process occurs when water follows the path of least resistance, which means that the water ends up following the same tunnel through the coffee grounds and into the carafe, which leads to half of the coffee being over extracted and the other half being under extracted. If the shower head was constantly moving, this could be avoided.

The only way to thwart channeling is through user interaction, meaning doing the pour over manually. This is typically done through the use of a gooseneck kettle and a Chemex or V60. Again, just because you are controlling the process, it doesn’t mean that channeling cannot occur. Additionally, doing a pour over can be challenging since you’ll need to control water temperature, extraction rate and the coarseness of the coffee grounds.

Percolator Coffee Pot

While the drip coffee maker makes a more flavorful cup of coffee, the percolator coffee pot can achieve a stronger brew. Since the water is constantly recirculating through the grounds, the final extraction will end up with more coffee sediment in the basin or carafe. With a stronger cup of coffee comes more components of the coffee, including acid. If you are someone that has acid reflux, you may want to consider whether the stovetop coffee percolator is right for you.

In terms of difficulty, the percolation method is no more difficult or time consuming as the drip method. In fact, in some instances, it is easier. For example, if you are going camping and need to make coffee, the camping percolator such as the Farberware Percolator or the Eurolux Percolator allows for you to achieve this. If you want to make drip coffee, you’ll need a power source or machinery to do your own pour over. This may be difficult with a level table, a way to measure temperature and a few additional reasons.

So, if you wanted to know which was better, percolator vs drip, the answer is a bit complicated. Both have a place and both are great for different reasons. If you have the time and want to master the craft at home, learn how to do the pour over method.

However, if you are in need of some campfire coffee, or need to make a lot of coffee, you can’t go wrong with the stovetop percolator or electric percolator. Luckily for you, the best coffee percolator is somewhere on our list above, you just need to figure out which one you would like to buy.

Final Verdict on Percolator Coffee

If you’re looking for a boost in taste and aroma, coffee percolators remain one of the best for brewing coffee. Most critics will point to the possibility of burning your coffee; however, electric percolators have been designed to solve that problem which is why most consider an electric option to be the best coffee percolator. Even still, if you are careful and know how to make coffee with a stovetop percolator, you won’t need to worry about burning your coffee.

Coffee percolators have come a long way in terms of design and features, to ensure that coffee lovers always get the best from their ground coffee. Although the stovetop percolator options are ideal for environments without electricity, the electric ones require less experience to use. We have settled with the above selection as our top five picks with many options to choose from.

If you find yourself needing a portable camping percolator, then go with the Farberware Percolator or the Eurolux Percolator. However, if you don’t want to risk burning your coffee and would like the process to be a bit more automated, consider one of the three electric coffee percolator options we mentioned above, such as; Cuisinart Percolator, Hamilton Percolator, Moss & Stone Percolator.

If you found value from our best coffee percolator guide, please be sure to share so that others can find the best percolators available. Also, if you end up buying one of the machines we mentioned, please be sure to get back to us with whichever one you went with and whether or not it has performed as well as you were hoping.

5 Best Electric Percolator of 2023

Written by Sarah Zorn

Updated May 17, 2023

Considering the evolution and advancements in contemporary coffee culture and brewing methods, it’s been tough for the percolator to shake its unsexy associations with church functions, corporate meetings, and that thing gathering dust in your great aunt’s house. And granted, little has changed in its construction since its invention in the 19th century. But the percolator remains relevant for the same reasons it always was: Its ability to produce copious amounts of strong, in-your-face coffee, and keep it steaming hot for extended periods of time. They’re perfect for big holiday gatherings, too.

Percolator proponents also adore these coffee makers for their soothing, characteristic burbling; owing to the force of steam it uses to cycle water through coffee grounds until an especially full-bodied brew is produced.

Even newer models like our favorite, the Elite Platinum Maxi-Matic 12 Cup Percolator
(available at Amazon for $47. 99)

, refuse to reinvent the wheel, chirping cheerfully on the counter as it speedily spurts out up to 12 cups of concentrated joe.

Reviewed / Sarah Zorn

Best Overall

Maxi-Matic Elite Platinum EC-120 12 Cup Percolator

Except for a transparent top glass knob (which aids in one of the understood pleasures of percolating—watching the coffee circling), the Elite is composed mainly of stainless steel. That speaks to why it brewed one of the most balanced, flavorful cups of coffee of the bunch since plastic mechanisms (especially when they contain BPA) can transmit chemicals, and lead to off-tastes and aromas.

It has all of our preferred percolator elements such as separate power and ready-to-drink indicator lights, its comfortable-to-hold, heat-resistant handle, and a thin, curved spout that aids in pouring and prevent drips. Yet it also one-ups the other models we tested with a few unique advantages. The pot can be lifted off the heating element completely for seamless, cordless serving, then returned to its base, where it will be kept warm automatically. But it also has a boil-dry safety feature, which, even when plugged in, ensures the pot won’t continue to heat once there’s no liquid inside.

  • Produces balanced, flavorful coffee

  • Pot can be lifted off element for serving

  • Smart safety feature

How We Tested Coffee Percolators

The Tester:

I’m Sarah Zorn, and I’ve been a food writer and editor for almost 10 years. Like most busy professionals, I almost exclusively function on coffee, and need it ready at an instant in the morning, in embarrassingly large amounts. As an enthusiastic cook, I also frequently entertain, and like the idea of being able to easily produce plenty of piping hot caffeine for my guests at the end of the night.

The Tests:

We set up the percolators and brewed three cups of low acidity coffee in each, assessing how long they took to brew, how easy they were to pour, and how bitter tasting (or not) the coffee was. We repeated this process three different times over the course of the week, also analyzing how simple each unit was to clean, how comfortable they were to use, how portable and well-built they were, and how effortless they were to store. We also took note of safety concerns and special features.

What to Look for When Buying Coffee Percolators

Size definitely matters when purchasing percolators. While you can find two- to four-cup options—if that’s all the caffeine you require—percolators are favored for their capacity and can go up to 12 cups. Your next big choice is whether you want an electric or stovetop coffee percolator. The classic moka pot springs to mind when people think of open flame models, but for our purposes, we only evaluated electric models, which allow you to have more control over the brewing process.

And while construction is pretty standard, percolators primarily made of stainless steel—especially its brewing elements — are preferable. Not only is steel more durable than plastic, it won’t impart unpleasant flavors and leach harmful chemicals into your cup of coffee. Other desirable qualities include speed (all options we tested averaged one cup per minute), as well as non-drip spouts, stay-cool handles, ready-to-serve indicator lights, easy to disassemble parts to aid in cleaning, and long, detachable cords, which make it simpler to brew, serve and store.

Other Electric Percolators We Tested

Presto 02811 12-Cup Coffee Maker

Both a favorite among Amazon reviewers and often topping other best percolator roundups, thePresto also eschews plastic in its perking process, which is why it produced one of the smoothest cups of joe.

It’s also one of the only models to include paper filters with the packaging, which kept stray grounds out of our drink, and made the Presto especially easy to clean (otherwise, you need to dump and clean grounds from both the stainless-steel filter and the pot). That said, you won’t find those custom filters at your average corner store, and the price point of the Presto tends to be a touch higher than others.

But there are plenty of pluses to even things out. The unit is durable (thank the stainless steel again for that) yet lightweight, features a long-necked spout for precision pouring and detachable cord for ease of serving and storing, and has a ready-to-drink signal light and automatic keep-warm mode.

Hamilton Beach 40616 12-Cup Percolator with Cool-Touch Handle

Also plastic-free, the Hamilton Beach brewed quite a tasty cup. Other upsides of the unit include a ready-to-serve indicator light, an angled, drip-free spout and detachable cord (which is a little bit on the short side), it keeps the coffee warm automatically, and has a cool-touch handle. The Hamilton Beach was the heaviest unit we tested though, which, while hardly a deal-breaker, knocked it down a peg in terms of portability, and how comfortable it is to use and hold.

  • Heavy build

  • Not portable

Cuisinart PRC-12 Classic 12-Cup Percolator

While in general, no electric percolator is winning any beauty awards, Cuisinart’s version isn’t an all-out eyesore, owing to its slim, compact build, elegant, tapered spout, and top glass knob (where you can watch the coffee burbling merrily inside). A stay-cool bottom unit keeps it from scorching your surfaces, and an indicator light lets you know when it’s done brewing, so you don’t run the risk of burning your coffee. But it won’t brew less than four cups, so it isn’t ideal for low consumption households. And the Cuisinart proved inconsistent when it came to flavor; batches varied from weak to bitter, with not a whole lot in between.

Farberware FCP412 12-Cup Percolator

Farberware 12-Cup Percolator FCP412: The Farberware has all the basics we look for in electric percolators, including an automatic keep-warm mode, a cool to the touch lid, base and handle, and a detachable cord. But that’s hardly enough to justify the comparatively hefty asking price, especially since it sets itself apart from other models we tested in detrimental ways. The plug is short, the coffee it produced was bitter, and it has the only clunky, spill-free spout of the bunch.

  • Reliable build

  • Keep-warm mode

  • Pricey

More Articles You Might Enjoy

  • The Best Pour-Over Coffee Makers
  • The Best Drip Coffee Makers
  • The Best Stovetop Tea Kettles
  • The Best Electric Kettles

Meet the tester

Sarah Zorn


Sarah Zorn is a food writer, cookbook author, and product tester for Reviewed, Wirecutter and the Food Network. She regularly contributes to outlets such as Saveur, Esquire, and Civil Eats, and has very much passed her food obsessions down, as her beloved rescue hound, Rowdy, regularly deglazes his kibble bowl.

See all of Sarah Zorn’s reviews

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Coffee percolator – what is it?

Author: Alena Rogozinskaya

Views: 15949

In the list of alternative brewing methods, the coffee percolator is not at the top of the list. Even seasoned coffee gourmets, this device is unfamiliar. Meanwhile, both the history and the design of the percolator are very entertaining, and the resulting drink deserves a thoughtful tasting. Let’s take a closer look at this work of technical genius.

What is a coffee percolator?

To be precise, this is a type of coffee pot in which the beverage is brewed by passing hot water through a separate container with ground coffee. Even the name itself comes from the Latin “percolare” – seepage.

The method of percolation – dripping – underlies the operation of a whole group of modern coffee appliances, both alternative pour over and Chemex, and classic drip coffee makers.

For the first time, the idea to create such a coffee pot, in which the seepage process would take place inside the device, was born by an English nobleman, B. Thompson, another Earl of Rumfoord. The design was improved and patented by an American field worker, farmer H. Goodwich. It happened in 1889. The American added a tube to the coffee pot through which heated water rose, which made practical use much more convenient. Since then, the principle of operation of the percolator and its design have practically not changed.

How does a coffee percolator work?

Outwardly, it most closely resembles a steel electric kettle with a long spout. Its design includes:

  • Housing
  • Lid
  • Heating element (in electrical appliances)
  • Water tank
  • Ground coffee container
  • Water distributor (diffuser). It covers the coffee container.
  • Filter
  • Water lifting tube

The operating principle of the percolator is simple and versatile.

  1. Ground powder is poured into the container, water is poured into the container.
  2. The percolator heats up and the water rises up through a special tube.
  3. From the holes in the top of the tube, hot water enters the dispenser, from there it pours into the coffee container and passes drop by drop through the powder. In the seepage process, an active extraction process takes place.
  4. Water enters the main container again.
  5. The process is repeated over and over – the water rises, seeps through the coffee, spills into the container, rises again.

The peculiarity of the percolator is that coffee brewing will continue until the coffee pot is disconnected from the power supply or removed from the stove.

Manufactured from steel, its simple and efficient design easily stood up to decades of use. Therefore, it is not surprising that some families have preserved percolators produced back in the 70s of the last century, when such coffee pots were at the peak of their popularity.

The modern history of the coffee percolator

The simple and reliable design, as well as the decent quality of the drink, did not save percolators from being replaced by more modern and fashionable devices. The coffee pot was replaced by espresso machines, presses and geyser coffee makers.

The last device, also known as the moka coffee maker, can be considered a direct descendant of the percolator. Fans of geysers have already noticed the similarity of both devices.

What is the difference between a percolator and a geyser coffee maker?

These devices have only one difference, but a significant one.

  • The geyser coffee maker is equipped with separate containers for water and the finished drink. The cooking process ends as soon as all the water is passed through the coffee.
  • The percolator has only one compartment in which water is mixed with the finished drink and again passed through the ground coffee. This process can continue until the heating stops.

Percolator-brewed drink with high strength due to repeated passing through ground coffee.

It is almost impossible to buy such a coffee pot for home use now, as they are no longer in production. It can be made to order, the design is simple, so these coffee pots are sometimes made as a gift for coffee lovers, vintage style or just connoisseurs of reliable and unusual things.

Under the name “percolator”

Despite the fact that the device itself is no longer produced, the name itself can still be found. Under it, they often offer all the same geyser coffee makers, pour overs and other alternative coffee brewing devices. Apparently, this is a tribute to the design, which was the prototype of modern coffee makers.

Although the percolator has disappeared from our homes, the professional bar equipment segment uses devices that operate on a similar principle. They are called coffee dispensing systems. To date, there are two main designs of such systems.

  • Working on a principle similar to a geyser coffee maker, with the separation of water and finished drink. They are called bottom up distribution systems. The heated water rises along the coil, from the holes it enters the piston chamber, wets the ground coffee and is forced by the piston through the layer of coffee powder. The result is a finished drink.
  • There are also those that repeat the design of the percolator and work on the same principle. The water heated up, went up the tube, passed through the coffee, dropped into the container, warmed up again, rose. Such devices are also called coffee heaters, they have a large capacity, from 70 cups or more. They allow not only to get strong coffee, but also to keep the drink hot for a long time. It is these heaters that can often be found in hotel restaurants at the buffet.

As you can see, although the coffee percolator is slowly becoming part of history, the principle by which the device works finds its application even in our age of automatic coffee makers.

And who has tried to make coffee in a real percolator?

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Percolator | it’s… What is a percolator?

Modern electric percolator

Disassembled percolator and its main parts

Percolator ( Coffee percolator ) is a type of kettle (coffee maker) for making coffee. The word “percolator” comes from the English. percolation (in turn, from Latin percōlāre ) – “leakage”. The percolator is usually made of steel.

During the preparation of coffee in the percolator, pressurized boiling water enters the chamber with ground roasted coffee, seeps through it and flows into the container with the finished drink.

Percolators were most common in the 1970s, but were gradually superseded by automatic drip coffee makers and French presses, as well as the growing popularity of espresso, and are no longer commercially available today.


  • 1 History
  • 2 How it works
  • 3 Differences from Moka
  • 4 See also
  • 5 Notes


The percolating coffee pot was invented by British Benjamin Thompson, Earl of Rumfoord, but his invention did not involve the use of a tube to lift water.

The modern percolator was patented in 1889 by the American farmer Hans Goodrich [1] . The patent included, among other things, the use of a chamber for heating water and a tube for lifting it to the top of the coffee pot.


The principle of operation of the simplest percolator

The percolator is a steel kettle, in the lower part of which there is a chamber close to the heat source. This chamber is connected by means of a tube to a separate perforated container for ground coffee, located at the top of the coffee maker.

To prepare coffee, the required amount of water is poured into the main container of the coffee maker, ground roasted coffee is poured into the upper one, after which the coffee maker is placed on a heat source.

During the boiling process, hot water rises through the tube into the coffee container and pours out at the top of the container. Water seeps through the ground coffee, after which the finished drink flows through the perforation at the bottom of the container into the main container of the kettle. Thus, while maintaining the boiling point, the brewing process can continue for an almost unlimited time.