Monday, November 05, 2007


all of us are devoted to our morning coffee. i know - i'm waiting for my pot to finish up its morning work right now. but lately i've been disappointed with the drip brew and have begun to reconsider the percolator. i used a percolator all through college and graduate school, but for some unrecalled reason, switched to the auto drip a few years ago.

well now i'm ready to switch back!
this diagram illustrates the inner workings of the classic glass percolator. the water is contained in the bottom bulb and the coffee is packed in the central chamber and the percolator is placed on a gas burner. as the water boils the vacuum tube pulls it up through the central chamber into the upper bulb. then the hot water drips back down through the coarsely ground coffee. the whole brewing process repeats continually until the whole volume of water approaches boiling, causing that lovely perking sound. (remember that old coffee commercial?) the trick, though, is to prevent the brewed coffee from boiling. as they say, "boiled coffee is spoiled coffee!"

so now that i've convinced you to rethink the percolator, check out these beauties! percolators are often thought of as country decor or camping gear. but these steel pots have a utilitarian beauty all their own.

if you're fond of glass, as i am, check out the line of pyrex percs from the mid century, exemplified by this little guy!
or, if you like the ease of an electric and stainless model (how modern!), check out this new percolator.
any way you perc it, you're going to love the delicious, sweet taste of percolated coffee. there really is no other way to brew it.


David said...

How do the steel pots work? Are you just boiling the grounds and the water and straining the result?

bls said...

why david, it's so nice to hear from you! somehow the steel ones work the same way, but alas, i do not know the explanation for how.

Anonymous said...