How To Use A Percolator – Best Guide For 2023

If you’re a coffee lover, you know that the method of preparation can make all the difference in the taste and quality of your brew. One popular brewing method is using a percolator. Percolators have been around for over a century and are still a favorite among coffee enthusiasts today.

How To Use A Percolator?

A percolator is a coffee pot that uses gravity to circulate hot water through coffee grounds, resulting in a rich, full-bodied coffee. While these can produce great-tasting coffee, they do require a bit of skill to use properly.

How To Use A Percolator – Step By Step Guide 

Whether you’re a coffee aficionado looking to try a new brewing method or a novice looking to learn the ropes, this guide will help you get the most out of your percolator and enjoy a perfect cup of coffee every time. So grab your favorite blend, dust it off, and let’s get started!

Step 1: Choose Your Percolator

Percolators come in different shapes and sizes. Before using one, make sure to choose the right one that fits your needs. If you are camping, a portable percolator would be suitable. If you are brewing coffee for a large group of people, a bigger percolator would be ideal.

Step 2: Add Water to the It

The next step is to add water to the percolator. Fill it with cold water up to the fill line, which is usually marked inside the percolator. Be careful not to fill it past the fill line, as this can cause to overflow during the brewing process.

Step 3: Add Coffee Grounds

Once you’ve filled the percolator with water, it’s time to add the coffee grounds. The amount of coffee grounds you need depends on the size of the percolator and the strength of the coffee you prefer.

As a general rule of thumb, use 1 tablespoon of coffee grounds for every 6 ounces of water. For example, if you have a 12-cup percolator, you will need around 12 tablespoons of coffee grounds.

Step 4: Assembly

After adding the coffee grounds, it’s time to assemble. Place the lid on the percolator and make sure it is securely in place. Then, insert the percolator basket on top of the lid. Make sure the basket is centred and not touching the sides of the percolator.

Step 5: Heat the Percolator

Now it’s time to heat the percolator. Place it on a stove or campfire and turn on the heat. If you are using a stove, set the heat to medium. If you are using a campfire, adjust the heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil.

Step 6: Watch and Listen to the Process

As the water heats up, it will begin to cycle through the coffee grounds and percolator basket. You will be able to see and hear the process as the water boils and bubbles up through the basket.

It’s important to keep an eye on the percolator during this process, as it can easily boil over if left unattended.

Step 7: Timing is Everything

The timing of the percolating process is critical. For a mild brew, let the percolator run for around 5-7 minutes. For a stronger brew, let it run for up to 10 minutes.

The longer you let the percolator run, the stronger the coffee will be. However, be careful not to let it run too long, as this can cause the coffee to become bitter.

Step 8: Remove the Percolator from the Heat

Once the coffee has finished brewing, it’s time to remove the percolator from the heat. Use oven mitts or a towel to handle. Be careful not to spill the hot coffee as you remove the percolator from the stove or campfire.

Step 9: Let the Coffee Cool

After removing the percolator from the heat, let the coffee cool for a few minutes. Furthermore, this will allow the coffee grounds to settle to the bottom of the percolator, making it easier to pour.

Step 10: Pour and Enjoy

Finally, it’s time to pour the coffee into your mug and enjoy! Pour the coffee slowly and steadily, being careful not to pour the grounds into your mug. If you want to add milk or sugar, do so according to your preferences.

Step 11: Clean the Percolator

After enjoying your coffee, it is crucial to clean it thoroughly. To do so, rinse it with hot water and use a sponge or brush to remove any coffee residue. It is important to clean the percolator after each use to prevent any build-up of coffee oils or other residues.


How do I use a percolator?

First, fill the percolator with water up to the fill line. Then, place the coffee basket or filter in the percolator and add coffee grounds to it. Assemble the percolator and turn it on to begin the brewing process.

How many cups of coffee can a percolator make?

The number of cups of coffee a percolator can make depends on its size. Percolators can make anywhere from 4 to 12 cups of coffee.

How do I clean a percolator?

First, unplug the percolator and let it cool down. Then, disassemble it and remove any coffee grounds and filters. Wash all the parts with warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Allow the percolator to dry completely before reassembling it.

Can I use a percolator to make tea?

Yes, you can use a percolator to make tea by placing tea bags or loose tea in the coffee basket or filter instead of coffee grounds. The brewing time may need to be adjusted depending on the type of tea being used.


Using a percolator to brew coffee can be a fun and convenient way to enjoy a great cup of coffee, especially when camping or in situations where electricity is not available. By following the above steps, you can easily use it to brew your favorite coffee. Remember to choose the right size, add the right amount of water and coffee grounds, assemble the it correctly, time the brewing process correctly, and clean the percolator after use. With these steps, you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee anytime, anywhere.

Emily Anderson
About the author

Emily Anderson is a coffee aficionado, a certified barista, and the founder of, a comprehensive online resource for coffee enthusiasts. With a deep appreciation for the diverse aspects of coffee, Emily is dedicated to providing readers with a wealth of information about different types of coffee, brewing methods, coffee products, and everything in between.

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