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Using a Percolator Coffee Pot

A recent power outage here in the early morning hours reminded me how much I truly love having a percolator in the house. While generally we use the much more modern drip coffee maker (do love my Cuisinart), the old stove stop percolator really comes through when the need for that morning joe is making its presence known.

Percolators come in basically two models, a stovetop and an electric version. Like a drip model, the electric percolator will do no one any good when the power goes off. But, if you have a stovetop model, you can use a gas or camp stove to brew that morning coffee. Although they use different power sources, both models work pretty much the same way.

Setting the Percolator Up

A percolator consists of four major parts; the pot, the stem, the brew basket and the lid. Some models include a smaller lid that fits over the brew basket to help keep the coffee grounds in place. Fill the coffee pot with cold water until it reaches the fill line. If your pot doesn't have a fill line, fill the pot to where the water will reach right below the brew basket.  Insert the stem and brew basket into the pot. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of coffee to the brew basket for each 6 to 8 ounce cup of coffee being made. Place the lid on the pot.

Brewing the Coffee

Place the pot over a heat source and bring the water in the pot to a boil. This allows the water to rise up through the stem and over the basket, brewing the coffee. Let the coffee boil for between 6 and 8 minutes. You don't want to go much longer than 8 minutes or the coffee may be bitter. Remove the pot from the heat and serve.

Words to the Wise

Percolated coffee is hotter than coffee made in a drip coffee maker. Be sure to allow it to cool a bit before taking a big sip - or in most cases before you even bring the cup to your lips.