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Vintage Coffee Makers

PrettySquareGal

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,016
Location
New England
Anyone use a vintage coffee percolator?

I'm seeing some nice looking vintage percolators on ebay. Does anyone use one and if so, how does the coffee taste compared to an automatic drip or French press?
 

Salv

One Too Many
Messages
1,247
Location
Just outside London
I use a new percolator, rather than a vintage one, but the method is the same. You'll need to experiment for a while to get it right - the right amount of coffee grounds to water, the right amount of time to let the water seep through the grounds - but once it's right it's every bit as good as a French press and the coffee stays hotter in the pot as well. The coffee needs to be ground slightly coarser than for a French press.

This is what I use if it's just me drinking coffee, a Bialetti Amerikana (but in red):
AmerikanaBlueLARGE2.jpg


It has two water levels, minimum and maximum, and I fill it with water to the maximum level, then add three spoonsful of ground coffee to the basket. Put it on the heat then once it's perc'ing turn down the heat to medium and leave for exactly four minutes. This makes three small mugs of delicious strong, rich and hot coffee.

I really want coffee now...
 

olive bleu

One Too Many
Messages
1,667
Location
Nova Scotia
i have a pot that most closely resembles this one in the way it looks and operates, although,mine is more of a turquoise colour, and looks to be a bit heavier, ( I REALLY need to get a digital camera),I believe mine might be from the 50's, but i have no idea, really....i can't get good coffee out of it though, i think i just have not spent enough time figuring out the water/coffee ratio..

2993_1.JPG


i also have this exact pot, which i use to caffeinate the masses:D

red_coffee_pot_002.jpg
 

PrettySquareGal

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,016
Location
New England
As a child I used to love when my grandmother turned on her percolator- I liked the sounds and to watch the coffee swish around through the top handle (it was clear while the body was metal like the one pictured above.)

My mother once played a dirty trick on my father. She made him Sanka one morning instead of percolated. He was not pleased. Next morning she poured Sanka into the percolator.

"Now THAT'S good coffee!" he said. lol

They divorced soon after, perhaps for unrelated reasons. :D
 

Daisy Buchanan

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,332
Location
BOSTON! LETS GO PATRIOTS!!!
PrettySquareGal said:
As a child I used to love when my grandmother turned on her percolator- I liked the sounds and to watch the coffee swish around through the top handle (it was clear while the body was metal like the one pictured above.)

My mother once played a dirty trick on my father. She made him Sanka one morning instead of percolated. He was not pleased. Next morning she poured Sanka into the percolator.

"Now THAT'S good coffee!" he said. lol

They divorced soon after, perhaps for unrelated reasons. :D

Gosh, I'm sorry about your parents. But, your Mom sounds like a pip!!! It's so funny that she did that, and so typical that he didn't notice. hmpf.......

Like PSG, I have the same memory of watching the percolator at my Granny's house.
My Mom used a percolator as well, for a long time after automatic drip makers became popular. I remember it so well. It was the white one with the blue flowers. It matched all of her corningware (I think). I remember when I was a kid I had a toy corningware set with a toy percoloater just like hers.

Well, I'm glad this thread has been started. It's a nice way to bring back some long forgotten memories. Also, I'm in the mareket for a new coffee pot and I was actually contemplating buying a percolater. I've been looking at the plug in kind, and yes, they are still made!
 

Feraud

Bartender
Messages
17,199
Location
Hardlucksville, NY
I never liked the French Press and drip coffee makers.
You cannot beat a standard aluminum stove top perculator.
As Salv mentioned, it takes a bit of practice to appreciate the water/coffee/cook time ratio. Once you learn this minor point, nothing beats fresh brewed coffee!
 

TaxiGirl

New in Town
Messages
26
Location
Binghamton NY
Does this thread have anyone else singing "Waiter, waiter! Percolator!"

Because I think I'll be singing "Java Jive" for the rest of the morning, minimum.
 

PrettySquareGal

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,016
Location
New England
I regret starting this. I am now fearing being outbid on vintage percolators by FLers. :eusa_doh:

But otherwise, my pleasure in bringing up good old-fashioned coffee goodness!
 

staggerwing

One of the Regulars
Messages
284
Location
Washington DC
Alot of people disagree, but I think percolators make the best coffee. I used to have a more modern one, but it was a cheap plastic affair and didn't last long. The coffee also got that plastic taste. If anybody knows where I can get a new metal one like we had when I was a kid, I'd buy one. I'm not really interested in a used one from a thrift store or ebay, so vintage is out. Just my personal hang-up.
 

PrettySquareGal

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,016
Location
New England
staggerwing said:
Alot of people disagree, but I think percolators make the best coffee. I used to have a more modern one, but it was a cheap plastic affair and didn't last long. The coffee also got that plastic taste. If anybody knows where I can get a new metal one like we had when I was a kid, I'd buy one. I'm not really interested in a used one from a thrift store or ebay, so vintage is out. Just my personal hang-up.

http://amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/10...field-keywords=percolator&Go.x=0&Go.y=0&Go=Go

:)
 

52Styleline

A-List Customer
Messages
322
Location
SW WA
I really like coffee made in a percolator. I have three old aluminum ones and a newer stainless steel. Just this past week, I saw a program in which the founder of Starbucks said that the coffee our parents drank (perked) was "swill". His premise is that the recirculation of the coffee in a percolator destroys the coffee... Well, he is entitled to his opinion, but I suspect he has a bias.

One word of caution. If you are used to coffee from a Mr. Coffee type brewer, be carefull of freshly perked coffee..it is much hotter.
 

Feraud

Bartender
Messages
17,199
Location
Hardlucksville, NY
staggerwing said:
Alot of people disagree, but I think percolators make the best coffee. I used to have a more modern one, but it was a cheap plastic affair and didn't last long. The coffee also got that plastic taste. If anybody knows where I can get a new metal one like we had when I was a kid, I'd buy one. I'm not really interested in a used one from a thrift store or ebay, so vintage is out. Just my personal hang-up.
Check the local five and dime style store in your area. There is no need to pay Williams-Sonoma prices for an aluminum can. :)
 

Miss Dottie

Practically Family
Messages
663
Location
San Francisco
When I was in college I bought a percolater from the 40s from an estate sale for $4.00 and it always worked like a charm. It was actually plug-in--not over the stove. And I remember my mother having a similar one and always plugging it in the dining room after dinner parties so she could offer a nice hot cup of coffee before heading home. My job was to set up the cups in the saucers on the sideboard the afternoon before.
 

BegintheBeguine

My Mail is Forwarded Here
I called it the coffee popper

The taste of coffee and chicory (Luzianne preferred) perked in a little glass-knobbed aluminum jobber on top of the stove is one of my favorites. Now I'd drinking Naviera (also coffee and chicory) con leche from a Melitta automatic coffee maker, having left the popper in an apartment and I'm too lazy to look for another one that is somewhere in this house.
 

RedPop4

One Too Many
Messages
1,353
Location
Metropolitan New Orleans
I grew up, in terms of coffee, on Luzianne, CDM, RT and Union in an aluminum drip pot.

Now that I roast my own, nothing but a French Press does it for me. The FP done properly simply extracts more flavor from the coffee than any other method. There's a progression to coffee, usually, and my motto is "Once you press, you'll never willingly go back to drip coffee. Once you buy whole bean, you'll not buy pre-ground again, and once you roast your own, you'll never willingly buy pre-roasted again."

I see, however, as with all things there are those who see things differently. But that's been my progression as a lover of coffee, and I have many friends who I've both followed and lead down this same path to destruction.
 

PrettySquareGal

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,016
Location
New England
RedPop4 said:
I grew up, in terms of coffee, on Luzianne, CDM, RT and Union in an aluminum drip pot.

Now that I roast my own, nothing but a French Press does it for me. The FP done properly simply extracts more flavor from the coffee than any other method. There's a progression to coffee, usually, and my motto is "Once you press, you'll never willingly go back to drip coffee. Once you buy whole bean, you'll not buy pre-ground again, and once you roast your own, you'll never willingly buy pre-roasted again."

I see, however, as with all things there are those who see things differently. But that's been my progression as a lover of coffee, and I have many friends who I've both followed and lead down this same path to destruction.


I use a French Press and agree it's better than drip, but it lacks the romance and quirkiness of a percolator. I think I want to hear my coffee being brewed. Plus, nostalgia sometimes adds nice flavor. :)
 

Dalexs

Practically Family
Messages
569
Location
Just 'nath of Baston
The funny thing about percolators is that they really haven't changed that much.

My dad has an old aluminum one that he now uses for camping, but was the staple of weekend breakfast for many years before the drip maker came along.

Even REI carrys these classic styled ones:
1143986.jpg
1096135.jpg


Hmmmm that was some kinda taste... burned, boiled over goodness!
 

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