Perk up your mornings


I had a four cup coffee maker. I’m the only adult in my household right now, so having a larger pot seemed frivolous.

But alas, I bought that stupid plastic thing way back in my working days. That was at least 5 years ago. Things just aren’t made the way they used to be, and sure enough, it started to suck.

First it started burning my coffee. No problem- I just turned off the burner as soon as it was done brewing.

But then it started to overflow- the water was going into the filter too quickly. I tried colder water. I tried courser grind.

No matter what I tried, I was getting grinds into my coffee and the back of my coffee maker.

I went four days without coffee, and by the end, I was ready to give in. I haven’t had caffeine in a month, but I just can’t start my mornings without at least a cup of decaf- I’ve been drinking coffee since I was a TODDLER!

I had this percolator in my cupboard that I had never used. I think I had attempted using it once, but I had no idea what I was doing. I actually didn’t even realize the value of the darn thing. This is a vintage Farberware percolator. It is older than I am and still works great. But it doesn’t turn off on it’s own.

The basic assembly is pretty simple- you fill it with water (I measured mine with a cup), place the stem in, place the basket on the stem, add coffee, put the basket lid on, put the lid on the pot, and plug it in.

But the trick is to know what you’re doing, not how to assemble it.

See, percolated coffee needs to be coarsely ground. No problem- I have a grinder.

And percolated coffee needs to be perked at 1 minute per cup. I always add an extra minute or two because I’m used to burned coffee. Pretty funny.

And most importantly of all- you MUST remove your basket before pouring your coffee, to avoid grounds in it. I unplug my percolator when it’s done, wait for it to stop, and then remove the lid and basket with an oven mitt.

The best part? Percolators aren’t plastic. This one has no plastic parts.

To clean it is fairly easy. I added 2T of baking soda, and a small squirt of organic dish soap to a full pot, perked it for 10 minutes, rinsed it, then perked it again with clean water. I rinsed it again and it was sparkling. Occasionally I wipe down the outside with vinegar diluted with water to make it shine.

Percolated coffee tastes better heated up too- not muddy and stale. Of all the kitchen appliances, I strongly recommend a percolator!


4 thoughts on “Perk up your mornings

  1. Sometimes you can find these at the local thrift and often get a good deal because the cords are often missing. The local hardware store usually has replacement cords. Nice post Kate.

  2. I love my percolators! We have one at home, and I have a smaller one for my office. They were bought new within the past 5 years; they aren’t cheap, but Bed Bath & Beyond carries them and sends us a 20% off coupon in the mail every month, so I used one of those to buy each percolator. All parts are stainless steel except the handle and cord.

    Modern ones stop brewing when they are done and then stay hot. I’m not sure how it works, but the percolator detects how much water is in it and brews for 1 minute per cup. The coffee can sit in there keeping warm for an hour or so without burning, but ideally you want to serve it sooner to save energy and reduce wear on the percolator. We have an insulated carafe that we use to store any extra coffee after serving our first cup(s). At work, I only make one cup at a time.

    You don’t have to remove the basket before pouring if your spout is attached low on the pot, below the basket. We learned this from the two different models we have and (even more so) the one with a REALLY high spout that my brother had. But your spout looks low–maybe the basket is lower inside it than I would guess. It’s a very different shape from my percolators–much prettier!

  3. Pingback: 2013 Gift Roundup | Kate's Apartmentsteading

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