how long to percolate coffee

How Long to Percolate Coffee: An Essential Guide

Okay, we already know that coffee is one of the most loved beverages in the world. There’s an increasing number of folks who enjoy at least one cup of java per day.

While we all agree that there are only a few things that can compare to the pleasure of having a fresh cup of coffee in the morning, we have to say that brewing methods vary depending on the country and change over time. That said, we would like to point out that most of us in the Western countries are used to brewing our coffee in fancy automated machines, like Keurig and Nespresso. 

But what about percolating coffee? 

Some might say that this is an old fashioned style of brewing coffee which doesn’t give good results. What’s more, the survey conducted by the National Coffee Association showed that between 2010 and 2020 only 3% of people made coffee in a percolator.

But, is there some truth in people’s claim that percolated coffee isn’t good? Perhaps they just didn’t use the percolator properly? Didn’t have the best beans for espresso? Or maybe different people have different tastes and preferences, and what’s good for some doesn’t have to be for others. Don’t dismiss percolated coffee without trying it! Coffee made in a stovetop percolator is bold and flavorful. It’s easy to make, the machines are relatively cheap, and you can take them wherever you go. 

In the following article, you’ll find the answers to various questions such as how long to percolate coffee, what percolation is, how to use a percolator, etc.

What is Coffee Percolation?

Okay, so it is possible that you are puzzled when you hear the word percolator! However, we think that you have most likely seen one plenty of times. Just wasn’t aware of what it was called. 

how does a percolator work

Coffee percocator is a pot that most of us know as a Moka pot. Now, percolation is a brewing method done by filtering liquids through a porous material. When we’re talking about coffee, it’s important to say that the percolator filters coffee grounds through the water. Wanna know how to make coffee in a percolator? This machine has three parts. 

You should fill the bottom part with water and the little porous element with coffee. Then close the machine with the upper part and put it on the stove. Through perforation, the water goes over the coffee grounds. Then it seeps through the grounds and extracts them to the bottom of the coffee chamber. The brewed coffee ends up in a separate chamber, and the whole process is repeated until each ground is brewed. When it starts to boil, you can remove the percolator from the stove and enjoy your drink. 

Coffee Percolators Explained

It’s important to mention that the first modern percolators appeared in the 19th century. The interesting thing is, although they are widely used in Italy even today, the inventor of a coffee percolator is Joseph Henry Marie Laurens, a tinsmith from Paris. There have been a lot of variations, and the type that we are using today was created by Hanson Goodrich, a farmer from Illinois. They’re very popular among campers and people who enjoy spending time outdoors. Nevertheless, many Europeans also still use them at home because they prefer the taste of coffee brewed this way. It is also worth mentioning that besides the standard stovetop, there are also electric and automatic models. Unlike conventional percolators, these models need a power source to work, so you want to be able to take them when you are out camping in the wild. 

Advantages and Downsides of Perked Coffee


  • Simple to make 
  • Strong coffee
  • Flavorful
  • Portable machine


  • Water can be too hot
  • Brewing is slower than with automated machines

How Long to Percolate Coffee?

You have probably heard some folks saying that they don’t like percolator because it is not clear how long to percolate coffee! But that isn’t exactly true! What is true is that you might get several answers if you ask someone how long do you percolate coffee! This is because the time varies. For example, the optimal time is 5 minutes. But if you’re someone who likes a bit stronger taste, then you should leave it on for 7-8 minutes.

How Do You Make Coffee Using a Percolator?

Alright, we’ve already talked about the basics you need to know about how and how long to percolate coffee. Now we’re going to dive into more specific details about what you need to get the best results.

  1. Measure your coffee. The general recommendation is to use 30 grams of coffee for ½ liter of water.
  2. Grind the coffee beans. This is, of course, if you are buying the whole bean and not already ground coffee. In this case, you have to get a good coffee grinder.
  3. Pour the water. As we mentioned, the water goes into the tank.
  4. Add the coffee. Coffee goes in the coffee basket.
  5. Close the percolator and put on the stove.
  6. When it starts boiling, your coffee is ready.

Tips to Make a Good Percolator Coffee

  • Clean the pot after every use
  • If possible use filtered water 
  • Use fresh coffee


There are plenty of misconceptions about percolated coffee that might make you suspicious! But, our recommendation is not to take everything you hear at the face value and try things for yourself. If you try to make coffee this way and know how long to percolate coffee, you might be surprised by how much you will like it.

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