Coffee Percolators: A Vintage Coffee Making Invention Still In Demand

What is a coffee percolator? Basically, a type of pot used to brew coffee. In a coffee percolator, water passes through coffee grounds and extracts the coffee soluble compounds that give coffee color, aroma and taste. Percolators work in a very simple manner. Percolators basically force boiling water under pressure through the grounds into a separate chamber or urn. Percolators cycle the boiling brew continuously through the grounds until reaching the desired strength. Every time the water filters through the grounds it extracts more oils from the coffee and makes the beverage stronger.

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Percolators are very popular with campers, sportsmen, fishermen, and outdoorsmen because the stove top percolators do not require electricity to make coffee. If you hike, camp, fish, hunt, boat, swim, do four-wheeling, tailgating, and other such activities, chances are you welcome the use of a percolator to enjoy a hot cup of coffee by your tent, near the river or sitting on a picnic blanket admiring God’s natural beauty all around you. Coleman manufactures lightweight camping percolators that are light enough to carry with the camping and outdoors equipment. The Coleman brand is very recognized in the outdoors marketplace as one of the leading and reliable manufacturers of stove top percolators.

Some people like using stove top or electric percolators at home. These people master the art of making coffee using a percolator. Many prefer it instead of using an automatic drip coffee maker, a trendy French press, or an Espresso maker. To each his own, that is all one can say. Celebrate the fact that, regardless of what your personal opinion or preference is about percolators or the choice of coffee making equipment you recommend, the coffee percolator invention makes it possible to enjoy a cup of joe literally anywhere on Earth.

Although the demand for home percolators is much less than the demand for the long list of sophisticated, precise and excellent coffee making appliances that dominate the market, percolator buyers have good choices available. For example, the Farberware Percolator is a heavyweight stainless-steel coffee appliance with a retro stylish looking design. It also offers, among other features, an adjustment for lighter or more robust coffee and a detachable cord for easy serving. The result is loyal percolator purist customers who support the brand and product line.

The history of percolators is actually quite interesting. The original percolator inventor was Sir Benjamin Thompson, also known as Count Rumford (March 26, 1753-August 21, 1814). An American physicist and inventor, Thompson was a thermodynamics expert who developed improvements for chimneys, fireplaces, double boilers, kitchen ranges, and a drip coffeepot. Thompson revolutionized chimney design and successfully made many British homes smoke free. Like Benjamin Franklin, Thompson also invented a new kind of heating stove. During his years with the Bavarian Army, he was committed to improving the health and diet of the soldiers. Coffee was a hot beverage of choice, and he realized the importance of serving it fresh and hot to the weary and often cold soldiers. His work was often focused on the retention and control of heat. He is credited with the invention of thermal underwear as well. Thompson’s coffee pot did not use the rising of continuous boiling water through a tube. Instead, Thompson’s coffee pot had a metal sieve to strain away the grounds. This was a big improvement for the times which made his coffee a success with the troops.

Across the ocean, in Massachusetts, in 1865, James Mason filed a patent for a coffee percolator. His design included a basket on top of a hollow stem where the grounds were placed. This percolator design would boil water that then traveled up through the hollow tube. From the top, the boiling water would drip down over the coffee grounds percolating them back into the pot. Several years later, in 1889, an Illinois farmer by the name of Hanson Goodrich patented the modern American stove-top percolator. Goodrich’s model retained the same familiar components of a broad base for boiling, the upflow central tube and a perforated basket hanging on the tube. The downflow of boiling water or percolating was unchanged. Percolator design has not changed radically over the years.

Stove top and electric percolators are readily available from reliable companies such as Hamilton Beach, Bialetti, Salton, Coleman, Cuisinart, and Black&Decker. The types of coffee percolators available include low and high end electic coffee percolators, stove top coffee percolators, and automatic coffee percolators. Percolator cup capacity varies from 4 cup, 4 to 6 cup, 8 cup, 12 cup and 16 cup.

Whether you love or hate percolators, the fact is there are many loyal percolator coffee owners who like this invention and enjoy it daily. Coffee percolators are a favorite traditional brewing method of many coffee drinkers because coffee is easy to brew, convenient to serve, has robust flavor and the percolator is durable. However, it is true and important to remember that coffee percolators can impair the flavor and taste of coffee because of the repeated percolating process. Percolators can over-extract oils and flavor of coffee grounds by reheating the liquid coffee with the grounds continuously. Percolator coffee tends to be stronger and can be bitter tasting, although percolator loyalists who master the art of coffee percolating would argue this point. Regular cleaning and maintenance of a percolator is very important, same as for any other type of coffee making equipment.

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