Best Coffee Percolator — The Unassuming And Simple Way To Coffee

Coffee percolators once ruled the roost and were the most common coffee maker in American households. It may not be the most common coffee maker now, but it remains popular with a large section of coffee lovers. 

Getting the best coffee percolator is a good way to get a strong cup of joe. There is an element of skill involved with percolators. It’s important to avoid overcooking the coffee, which leads to a burnt, bitter taste. Thankfully, that’s not too difficult to avoid.

Most percolators for home use are slightly kettle-shaped and deliver a strong, caffeine-rich cup of joe.

Top Coffee Percolators In 2020

Editor’s Choice: Farberware 50124 Classic Yosemite Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator

Farberware 50124 is a beautifully built stovetop coffee percolator. The body is made with heavy-duty stainless steel and has a mirror finish. It has a permanent filter basket and is dishwasher safe. Convenience, looks, and build quality make this Farberware percolator our top choice for this category.

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Reviews: The Best Of Coffee Percolators

1. Farberware 50124 Classic Yosemite Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator

Farberware 50124 Classic Yosemite Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator

Our top choice for this category is the well-liked Farberware 50124 Classic Yosemite Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator. Its looks are simple and have a classic touch. The percolator’s body is made from heavy-duty stainless steel, given a mirror finish, and topped with a clear glass knob. Well, that’s the classic, old-timey percolator look!

There’s a permanent filter inside the Faberware to make coffee brewing easier. Overall, it’s a breeze to use and maintain this coffee maker. Once you’re done brewing coffee, pour it, and let the dishwasher handle the cleaning.

This percolator can easily handle 4-8 cups of coffee. If you want something larger, Faberware also offers a larger, 12-cup variant of this percolator. As we know, easy maintenance, handling, and robust design are the highlights of this percolator. 

Its spout opening is rather small and keeps coffee grinds from pouring into the cup. The clearer coffee is definitely welcome. There’s a not-so-flattering side-effect of this approach, where the percolator can get clogged. Keeping your percolator clean and tidy will ensure that doesn’t become a problem.

Coffee Percolator Highlights

  • Well-built, robust stovetop percolator
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Simple, uncomplicated design

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2. Stansport Aluminum Percolator Coffee Pot

Stansport Aluminum Percolator Coffee Pot

This percolator is a great pick when you want to brew a large batch of coffee. It will happily brew 20 cups of great-tasting java. Stansport Aluminum Percolator Coffee Pot has a durable construction. Most of the body has a matte finish, though the top gets a high-gloss touch. A full high-gloss finish is also available.

It’s topped by a glass knob to complete the look. The glass knob isn’t just for show – you can see through it and check the percolation process. Being made from aluminum, it heats quickly and starts off its job of brewing coffee. 

A permanent filter (also aluminum) is included with the percolator. An easy-pour spout makes handling it convenient and you can quickly (and safely) pour the brewed coffee. Markings on the exterior let you know the amount of coffee being brewed. 

This one needs a minimum of 10 cups for efficient brewing. However, if you want smaller quantities, the percolator is also available in a 9-cup variant.

Coffee Percolator Highlights

  • Robust and good construction
  • Large, 20 cup coffee percolator
  • Made from durable aluminum
  • Dishwasher safe

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3. COLETTI Bozeman Coffee Pot

COLETTI Bozeman Coffee Pot

COLETTI Bozeman Coffee Pot manages to look elegantly classic and decidedly modern at the same time. The stainless steel percolator has a shiny gloss finish, a clear glass knob at the top, and stylish wooden covering for the handle.

A stainless steel filter is included with this 9-cup coffee percolator. The robust percolator has an 18-gauge thickness that keeps it protected from damage. It uses 18/8 stainless steel, which is food-grade and doesn’t retain or impart odors to the food. There’s no worry about the material leaching chemicals into your coffee or adding other harmful substances.

The rosewood handle and glass top are both treated to withstand the heat that comes along with the use of a stovetop percolator. Markings on the exterior let you know the amount of coffee being brewed. COLETTI Bozeman Coffee Pot can brew 5-9 cups of coffee. A larger, 12-cup variant is also available.

Coletti says that the company is veteran-owned and donates all of its profits to religious and other charity organizations. That’s some solid commitment and an inspiring business model.

Coffee Percolator Highlights

  • Made from 18/8 food-grade stainless steel
  • Dishwasher safe
  • High-quality construction

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4. Primula Today Aluminum Stove Top Percolator

Primula Today Aluminum Stove Top Percolator

Speaking of classic designs for percolators, this one probably jumped in a time machine right from the ‘70s. Maybe earlier. Primula Today Aluminum Stove Top Percolator is made from aluminum and all-set to brew 9 cups of coffee. The included filter is aluminum as well.

It has all the conventional design elements of a percolator. The aluminum body is topped with a clear plastic knob, and a plastic handle makes maneuvering the percolator easier. I’d have preferred if the clear knob was glass, but hey, that’s what cost-cutting does! The aluminum used has a matte finish, so this isn’t all shiny like many others on this list.

In the written description, it is pretty much like any other percolator. However, as we look at it, the classic old-timey design becomes rather apparent. I suppose a part of that has to do with the oversized and very prominent pouring spout. 

Primula Today Aluminum Stove Top Percolator is a simple and well-built percolator. The use of aluminum keeps it lightweight, so it’s a convenient companion for camping trips. This is also dishwasher-safe and overall easy to clean and maintain.

Coffee Percolator Highlights

  • Aluminum construction
  • Robust and dependable stovetop percolator
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Attractive pricing

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5. Coleman Stainless Steel Percolator

Coleman Stainless Steel Percolator

One of the most in-demand uses of percolators today is as camping coffee percolators. So it makes perfect sense that one of the biggest outdoor brands should give some attention to the percolator. Coleman Stainless Steel Percolator is an excellent example of a percolator built for use in the great outdoors.

Made from stainless steel, the percolator has a strong and robust build. This one too has a somewhat “classic” old-time look. The shape and large spout are more reminiscent of old percolators than modern ones. 

But that’s a small distinction and one that hardly matters. After all, percolator designs don’t need big changes. The percolator has a generous 12-cup capacity. It’s built sturdy enough to be used for outdoors and shifts with excellent finesse to its duties when used indoors.

Coffee Percolator Highlights

  • Dependable stainless steel construction
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Dishwasher safe

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6. Tops 55705 Rapid Brew Stovetop Coffee Percolator

Tops 55705 Rapid Brew Stovetop Coffee Percolator

Tops 55705 Rapid Brew Stovetop Coffee Percolator has a construction that’s practically the same as the Coletti percolator, which also finds a place on our list. The stainless steel body is topped by a glass stopper/knob, and rosewood covers the handles of this percolator.

Several size options are available. It goes from a small coffee percolator that will brew six cups, to more “regular sized” options like the 9-cup and 12-cup variants. All of these have pretty much the same shape and construction. They’re built using 18/8 stainless steel and are topped by a glass knob.

The 12-cup percolator settles easily above a stove and can brew 6-12 cups of coffee. Markings on the exterior let you know exactly how much coffee you’re brewing. A fluted basket coffee filter is included to catch grinds that may try to escape the percolator as you pour the coffee.

Coffee Percolator Highlights

  • Made from high-quality 18/8 stainless steel
  • Dependable construction
  • Easy to use
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Glossy finish for the exterior

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7. Hamilton Beach 12 Cup Electric Percolator Coffee Maker (40614R)

Hamilton Beach 12 Cup Electric Percolator Coffee Maker 40614R

Hamilton Beach is one of the most trusted names in the world of coffee makers. So, it’s no surprise that their electric coffee percolator gets some attention as well. The coffee maker has a sleek, modern design that’s really easy on the eyes. 

It’s topped by a plastic see-through window for when you want to check-in on the brewing process. A black plastic handle is available for maneuvering the percolator. A water-level viewing window is available on the handle to keep an eye on the water/coffee content.

Once the lid is placed, you can twist and secure it. Switch on the power and the percolator will have your coffee ready within a few minutes. Hamilton Beach 40614R Electric Percolator has a rather prominent no-drip spout that enables easy pouring without the risk of making a mess.

This electric percolator is a great pick for home. Being an electric percolator, it will need to be cleaned manually. However, that shouldn’t be much of a problem. Hamilton Beach 12 Cup Electric Percolator Coffee Maker (40614R) has a stainless steel filter basket. 

The only (big) negative this electric percolator coffee pot has is the extensive use of plastic. I get the necessity of using it, I’d just have preferred a better approach. 

Coffee Percolator Highlights

  • Well-designed electric coffee percolator
  • Made from plastic and steel
  • No-drip spout

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8. Cafe Brew Stovetop Glass Percolator Coffee Pot

Cafe Brew Stovetop Glass Percolator Coffee Pot

This stovetop glass percolator backs excellent looks with a lovely design. Cafe Brew Stovetop Glass Percolator Coffee Pot manages good usability and looks, and brews a remarkable pot of coffee. I think the best part is watching the process unfold, which is a treat by itself. Looking at the water as it starts turning color and coffee starts brewing is quite enjoyable.

The heat-resistant percolator is made using high-quality borosilicate glass. Its plastic handle is designed to be safely out of the way of the cooking flame, but will require careful attention from the user. The 8-cup percolator is BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, and comes with a remarkably useful design. 

Cafe Brew Stovetop Glass Percolator Coffee Pot can be used on electric or gas stovetops. However, when using electric range coils, the included metal heat diffusing trivet must be used. 

Though the percolator appears well-built, it doesn’t necessarily seem to live up to that expectation. As much as the glass looks cool, it is at risk of breaking and will need extra attention to ensure longevity.

Coffee Percolator Highlights

  • Glass percolator
  • Can work on electric coils or gas stovetops
  • Made from high-quality borosilicate glass
  • Lacks durability

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9. Cook N Home 8-Cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Coffee Percolator

Cook N Home 8-Cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Coffee Percolator

Cook N Home 8-Cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Coffee Percolator is made from high-quality stainless steel. Exterior of the percolator is polished to give it a clean mirror finish. A plastic/acrylic top and stainless steel filter is included with the coffee maker.

The 8-cup stovetop percolator has a pronounced, well-designed spout and a plastic stay-cool handle. While it is stainless steel, it is oddly not compatible with induction cooktops. It does work with all other stoves and cooktops. The percolator is dishwasher safe, well-built, and easy to maintain.

Coffee Percolator Highlights

  • Robust stainless steel construction
  • Includes plastic/acrylic top
  • Easy to use, dishwasher safe

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Everything You Should Know About Percolators — A Buying Guide

To see how percolators measure up to other brewing methods, read our comparisons:

How To Make Coffee In A Percolator

A percolator is a simple device, but it is remarkably well-suited at brewing strong coffee. There is also a risk of overheating, which leads to burnt, terrible taste in your coffee. Careful and well-managed brewing can avoid that problem. 

  • Step 1: Prepare the coffee grinds. Ideally, we want medium or medium-coarse coffee grounds. Finer grinds risk dropping into the brewed coffee. We want to extract maximum flavor without letting the grinds wash into the coffee.
  • Step 2: Adding water. Fill the percolator reservoir with water up to the mark you prefer. Most percolators have markings corresponding to the number of cups they’ll brew. It’s best to add cold/room-temperature water to the percolator. The only exception is glass percolator, where adding hot water is desirable.
  • Step 3: Start heating. Turn on the heat on the stovetop percolators (or switch on electric percolators). When using stovetop percolators, prefer to use a low flame. This allows a better distribution of heat, and you won’t be surprised by sudden boiling or overheating.
  • Step 4: Be watchful. Well, there’s a reason most percolators have a clear top or glass. It’s so you can keep an eye on the brewing process. Watch the water temperature and movement of the water through the glass. Once you see bubbles forming every few seconds, keep the temperature. If it looks like the water has started boiling, lower the temperature.
  • Step 5: Let it percolate. Once you’ve found a steady water temperature, let the coffee percolate for a few minutes. Usually, 8-10 minutes does the trick in delivering smooth, strong coffee.

The steps are simple, but you’ll need experience and practice before you hit it right. Gaining experience and knowing how to use a percolator will prove very useful.

Managing The Clear Top Knob

Most percolators have a clear top from where you can watch the process. Usually, this is glass, but acrylic and plastics are increasingly common too. Glass makes better sense, and is a decidedly better material than plastic. 

Besides, plastic isn’t the best material for stovetop percolators. In fact, it is entirely possible for the plastic knob to melt due to heat. If possible, consider replacing the acrylic clear knob with glass. It is a more expensive solution, but well worth the expense. It would be better if manufacturers went the glass way by default, but that’s clearly not happening. 

Steel Or Aluminum?

This is a common conundrum for percolator buyers. Aluminum is often cheaper, though steel is easier to manage and has a longer life. Stainless steel is also compatible with most stovetops, including induction cooktops. Aluminum won’t work with induction cooktops.

There have been some rumors that say aluminum is dangerous for cooking. That is not the case. Aluminum is safe for cooking (and brewing) and won’t spoil your choice of beverage. Anodized aluminum is absolutely safe and can be used without a worry with your percolator.

I prefer steel, but there is no problem using aluminum either. There is no reason to give up on this helpful material because of unfounded rumors.

Coffee Percolator FAQs

What kind of coffee do you use in a percolator?

A medium roast, medium-grind coffee is best suited for your percolator. Finer grinds can move through the filter and find room inside the brew. Using a medium grind ensures that the coffee grounds stay in the filter and don’t find their way into the brew. 

You can always use a paper filter to get rid of the segment, but then why bother and increase your work when proper grounds will do their job for you.

Do you need special coffee for a percolator?

No. As long as you have a suitable grind size, you can use any coffee in a percolator. Hell, even the grind size is adjustable to your personal preferences. The percolator will brew a strong and smooth brew that’s rich in caffeine. 

It is recommended to use at least one tablespoon of coffee for every cup you want to brew. 

How long does a percolator last?

A well-built percolator will easily last several years. A quality stainless steel percolator can last a lifetime! The only thing you’ll have to work on is changing the rubber gasket every couple of years. Simply replacing the gasket will ensure that the percolator remains in peak performance condition for a very long time.

How long should I let my coffee percolate?

The general suggestion is to let your coffee percolate for 5-10 minutes. This gives it ample time to brew and you get a strong, flavorful brew. Just remember to lower the temperature so that you’re not brewing at high heat. Keep the heat low so the process can continue, but your coffee doesn’t burn and turn bitter.

The Bottom Line — The Percolator Pick That Works

Percolators have made a comeback in popularity. The strong taste and high caffeine content have plenty of takers. It also helps that the stovetop percolator is sturdy and can accompany you to the great outdoors. Brewing a strong cup of coffee over a fire is a straightforward way to great coffee.

Getting the best coffee percolator is about choosing a strong, resilient build that can last a long time. A stovetop percolator is great for camping as well as home use. Electric percolators are also popular due to the modern and simpler use of these devices.

Our top pick for this category is the Farberware 50124 Classic Yosemite Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator. Although it has tough competition from other percolators on our list.