Preparing coffee with a stove top percolator is somewhat of a lost art in this day and time, but most hardcore coffee enthusiasts will tell you that percolated coffee offers a uniquely bold and rich flavour that simply cannot be matched by the average drip brewer.
Although stove top percolators wouldn’t necessarily fall under the category of “sophisticated” coffee making equipment, it would be a big mistake to assume that all percolators are created equal.
As fairly straightforward as this classic brewing method seems to be, it requires a percolator that has been assembled with quality workmanship in order for you to get the most out of your coffee making experience.
This is why we have invested countless hours of research into narrowing down the finest stove top percolators available, in hopes of saving you lots of time, money and frustration in your pursuit of creating the perfect cup of joe.
Best coffee stove top percolator reviews 2020
So without any further ado, below are the five best coffee percolators on the market.
If you’re familiar at all with the Bialetti brand, it should come as no surprise that their Brikka percolator has made our top five list.
With nine out of ten Italian households having at least one Bialetti product in their kitchen, it’s obvious that this iconic brand is at the top of this game when it comes to producing a quality coffee maker.
Its patented cream valve is brilliantly designed, producing a lovely crema that adds a smooth finishing touch to your espresso shot.
In addition, the Brikka features aluminum construction and a cool transparent lid that adds a bit of visual excitement to your brewing experience. Read our full review.
- Aluminum construction with stylish design
- Patented cream valve produces rich crema
- 2 cup capacity
This coffee maker features a very generous 1.8 litre capacity, as well as a 360-degree base that makes it easy to handle for both left-handed and right-handed coffee drinkers.
The build quality of this percolator is superb, and it features a stainless steel filter that facilitates excellent brewing operation to deliver a silky smooth cup of coffee every time.
With up to 1200 W of power, this percolator is as efficient as it is easy to operate, and it even has a concealed heating element which makes the unit very easy to clean. Read our full review.
- 12 cup (1.8 litre) capacity
- Stainless steel construction (pot and filter)
- 360-degree base for optimal ease of use
It is made from sturdy aluminum, a traditional material for espresso makers, and it is suitable for brewing on a variety of hobs including gas, electric, ceramic, halogen, and solid plate.
This percolator is refreshingly easy to use, and its compact size creates a very minimal footprint on your kitchen worktop.
Although the Lagostina percolator features an elegant and classy design, don’t let its graceful appearance fool you–this coffee maker can withstand rigorous use, offering robust durability for avid espresso drinkers.
Read our full review.
- Stylish and highly functional design
- Makes 6 cups of espresso per serving
- Brews rich, bold, aromatic coffee within just minutes
Comprised of food-grade aluminum and featuring heat-resistant nylon components, the Moka Express is a workhorse percolator that consistently delivers smooth, full-bodied coffee with outstanding flavour.
One brewing session will yield roughly four cups of coffee, and with its stay-warm construction, you can rest assured that your second round of joe will be nice and hot just like the first.
Read our full review.
- Based on the classic design of the original Moka Express model that was first created in 1933
- Makes 4 cups of coffee
- Food-grade aluminum construction with heat-resistant nylon components
- Easy to clean
With a polished stainless steel finish and an ergonomically friendly soft-touch handle, this percolator offers good looks as well as premium functionality.
The Lakeland percolator also features a permanent filter basket, offering ease of use that complements its highly efficient percolation process. The end result is delicious coffee with a fuller, richer flavour.
Read our full review.
- Makes 4-8 cups of coffee
- Stainless steel construction
- Suitable for brewing on all hobs, including induction
As we mentioned earlier, just because a coffee percolator is a fairly straightforward piece of equipment doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give attention to the nuances of choosing the right stove top percolator for your needs.
With so many brands, sizes and styles to choose from, it would be helpful to have a few “guiding principles” to help you weigh out your options. Below are some key considerations that you should definitely factor in when choosing the perfect percolator for you.
- Stove top or electric – Although there are many “percolator purists” that swear by stove top coffee makers only, it should be noted that electric percolators are also a viable option. Which one you choose should be based on what you believe will best serve your needs. One of the main benefits of choosing a stove top percolator is the versatility and portability that it affords, as you can brew coffee over practically any regular heat source including gas stoves, wood stoves and grills. For this reason, many people like to take their stove top percolators with them when they travel or go camping. Electric percolators offer highly convenient “plug and play” operation, but be mindful but they will be rendered inoperative in the event of a power outage.
- Capacity – Capacity is an important issue, especially if you have several coffee drinkers in the house. If you or your family members have a particularly voracious appetite for coffee, you will definitely need a fairly sizable percolator. The good news is that stove top percolators come in a wide range of sizes, from 2 cups to 12 cups per brewing session and everything in between.
- Price – As with most things in life, you will have to factor in what type of price range you’re comfortable with when shopping for a stove top percolator. The good news is that percolators are typically less expensive than drip coffee makers, so you will more than likely be able to find a quality percolator that falls well within your budgetary restrictions.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Why should you use a percolator versus a traditional drip coffee maker?
Although the answer to this question can tread into highly subjective territory, the general notion is that coffee brewed with a stove top percolator is typically richer and more flavourful than what you’ll find with the average drip coffee maker.
Q: What is the optimal temperature for brewing coffee in a percolator?
You don’t want to go too hot too fast when brewing coffee in a stove top percolator, as this can produce an unpleasant “burnt” taste in the finished product. Instead, it is generally recommended that you to brew your coffee over medium heat for optimal release of flavours from the coffee grounds.
Q: Any other tips for stove top brewing?
Just remember to turn the handle away from the center of the burner and shift the percolator slightly off to one side, so that you won’t accidentally heat up the handle and potentially cause a burn injury.
Q: How do you make coffee in a percolator?
Percolators work best if you have the technique down and use moderate heat. Start with the basic threesome required to make coffee – that’s freshly ground coffee, clean, cool water and of course your percolator. The process adds plenty of O2 in your brew, so no need to oxygenate the water.
As a rule of thumb, experts recommend using just one heaped tablespoon for each cup of water in the pot. Next, add water before placing the filter basket. Proceed to turn on the heat which should be maintained at 95 degrees C. Once the brewing is done, remove the pot from the heat. Carefully, open it and take out the filter basket and stem to avoid condensation. Enjoy your sweet, strong, and aromatic blend.
Q: How do you clean stainless steel percolators?
To give your percolator a deep clean, you’ll need soapy water, baking soda, and vinegar. Start by brewing a water only pot to loosen residue and grime. Empty it once it finishes its cycle. Next, scrub the stem, filter basket, and inner surface with a sponge, soap and warm water.
Reassemble your percolator and fill it with water and a quarter cup baking soda. Let it run one cycle and then empty the mixture. Repeat the process once more, only this time we’ll use a vinegar and water blend. Rinse Off the percolator with clean water and wipe any residue down with a sponge. Wipe the outside as well and leave the pot open to dry.
Q: How do you grind coffee for a percolator?
Compared to espresso or drip machines, percolators have a substantially longer brewing process. As such, they require a much coarser grind to prevent the brew from tasting too bitter. Although blade grinders work fine, experts recommend using a burr grinder for more consistent results.
Sure, blade grinders might offer the cheaper option – but they require a trained eye to get the consistency right. Burr grinders on the other hand allow you to grind your beans to a desired coarseness.
While brewing coffee on a stove top percolator is not a complicated process, the quality of the finished result will largely depend upon the quality of your brewing equipment. Keep the above guide in mind to help you choose the best coffee percolator that will provide you with the optimal stove top brewing experience!