How Long To Percolate Coffee Perk It Like A Boss!

How Long To Percolate Coffee? Perk It Like A Boss!

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 14:39

Many readers who have recently purchased a percolator have buzzed us on social media and asked “how long to percolate coffee?

Hence, this article which is aimed at answering this question and many more relating to percolated coffee with the goal of helping you to make the perfect percolated cup of coffee.

If you are in a rush I’ll answer this question straight away.

Depending on how strong you want your cup of coffee to be, 7 minutes to 10 minutes is an ideal time to percolate your coffee. If you want a strong, well brewed coffee, lean more towards 10 minutes. If you want a lighter, not so strong coffee, look towards the 7-minute mark.

To get a great cup of percolated coffee with an even heat. An even temperature is where electric coffee percolators have a great advantage over a stovetop percolator. This is why I have a strong preference for electric percolators.

Grab a chair, and keep reading as we dig deep into this topic.

How Does A Percolator Work?

In the simplest of terms, this type of coffee pot brews coffee by taking advantage of the natural rising of hot water in the water chamber. The water is heated at the bottom of the percolator. The hollow stem in the middle ensures that the air bubbles created concentrate there and rise through the stem and up over the bed of coffee in the coffee basket, which then falls back down into the water chamber as coffee.

The percolator will continue to brew your coffee this way, re-brewing your coffee until it is ready. It is one of the best coffee makers for brewing strong coffee due to double brewing if you let it percolate long enough.

How Does A Percolator Work
A Stovetop Percolator WorksIin The Same Way As An Electric Percolator

Read: Do percolators need filters?

How Long Do You Let Coffee Percolate In A Percolator?

How long you let your coffee percolate is dependent on how strong you want your coffee to be. To get a good quality, strong coffee, you will need to percolate coffee for approximately 10 minutes. For a good quality coffee without a deep strong flavor and excess caffeine kick, you will need to percolate for at least 7 minutes.

With percolators, regardless of which type, be it a stovetop coffee percolator or an electric percolator, it is important that you maintain an even heat during the percolation. This is where an electric coffee percolator is much better. The reason being, if your percolator produces steam it will over-extraction. The result will be a cup of coffee that is very bitter even when you have a short brew time.

The opposite is also true: if your water is too cold, you will not be able to extract the flavor compounds from your coffee and will have an under-extracted cup of coffee.

How Long Do You Let Coffee Percolate In A Percolator
An Electric Percolator

Read: How does a percolator work

How To Percolate Coffee

Let’s now dig down and discuss the fine technique of brewing excellent coffee. Starting with…

Step 1: Prepare Your Percolator

Clean your percolator before you start brewing your coffee. There are probably some leftover coffee grounds that are old, rotten and will affect the taste of your coffee. If you want the best tasting brew, you need to get rid of those.

Don’t just rinse out the lower and upper chambers; give the coffee basket a good clean too as old coffee particles there will affect your brew also. Give the metal coffee basket a wipe with a hot soapy sponge and a good rinse with hot water to remove any coffee oils.

Take an extra step to cleaning the central stem as coffee and lime scale deposits can build up there. This is part of keeping your percolator in tip-top condition and well maintained to last you many years.

Now add water to the water chamber and don’t overfill.

Pro Tip: Use filtered water or bottled water for a better quality cup of coffee.

Step 2: Add Your Coffee Grounds

I’m stickler for taking notes in my coffee journal as per the weight of how much coffee I use and how it tasted. This ensures a very high degree of consistency every time I use my percolator. Using a digital coffee scale will get you absolute accuracy in how much coffee you are using for each brewing method and for how much coffee you are making.

I suggest you use a 1:12 to 1:15 coffee to water ratio.

Measure and weigh your water and divide it by 12 for a strong cup of coffee and divide by 15 for milder, not so strong coffee.

A good 12 ounces (360ml) cup of strong coffee will require 1 ounce (30g) of coffee grounds.

Your grounds for best results should be freshly ground immediately before you are about to percolate and brew. You should grind to a coarse grind size. As coarse as your coffee grinder will permit.

The very last part here is to carefully add your coffee grounds to the coffee basket, the upper basket. The use of a filter is entirely optional. Brewing “raw” filter free will allow all the coffee oils to make their way into your coffee. Using a paper filter will remove all the coffee oils, resulting in a clean, crisp taste. A cotton filter will remove some of the coffee oils.

Do Percolators Make Good Coffee
Well Ground Coffee Grounds

Step 3: Heat Your Coffee

Put your stainless steel coffee percolator on the stovetop or switch on your electric percolator and heat slowly with a good, even medium heat.

Pay attention to your percolator, regardless of which type, and monitor your brew’s progress. You want the water to heat up but not boil, hot and not simmering (this is why I prefer electric percolators, no much less hassle).

Step 4: Percolate Your Coffee

Let your coffee percolate for 7 min to 10 min depending on how strong you want your coffee to be.

Step 5: Let Your Coffee Settle

Take your stainless steel coffee maker off the stovetop and let your coffee sit for a few minutes. This is to let any coffee grounds that may have made their way into your brew to settle to the bottom and not get into your cup of coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Long To Percolate Coffee

Do Percolators Make Good Coffee?


percolators make good coffee. You can expect well-brewed strong coffee from a percolator as it is essentially double brewed coffee. It is what I call a full-bodied coffee.

How Do You Know When Percolator Coffee Is Done?

When the familiar spluttering sound of your coffee machine stops, you can remove your stovetop coffee maker from the stove, discard the grounds and pour your coffee.

How Long Do You Percolate Coffee On The Stove Top?

As the good old-fashioned expression goes – a pot well watched never boils. You will need to watch your percolator so that it does not boil when you are making your coffee. A medium heat is best to start with. Then reduce your heat to a low, even heat. It should take you around 7 to 10 minutes to brew your percolated coffee.

How Long Does It Take To Percolate 30 Cups Of Coffee?

The brewing time to percolate 30 cups of coffee is still around 7 to 10 minutes. With a 30 cup, 50 cup or 100 cup percolator, the time remains the same as you are using a much bigger percolator, a coffee urn with a larger, more powerful heating element.

The brewing time remains the same.

How Do You Make The Best Percolator Coffee?

To make the best percolated coffee every single time, follow the tips below:

  • 1. Use filtered or bottled water.
  • 2. Use fresh coffee beans.
  • 3. Grind your coffee beans immediately before you brew them.
  • 4. Clean your machine before you start.
  • 5. Stick to the coffee to water ratio.

What Is The Best Coffee For A Percolator?

One of the biggest factors in coffee brewing that can affect the taste of your coffee is the coffee beans. With percolator brewing, you are best to avoid dark roasted coffee beans and perhaps even medium-dark roasts.

Medium roast is perfect.

This is because of the double brewing that is going on in the percolator. Dark roasts can lead to an overpowering and too bitter.

Due to the long brewing time, you need to use a coarse grind size.

What Is The Best Coffee For A Percolator
You Can Use Any Coffee That Is Not A Dark Roast

Can I Use Regular Ground Coffee In A Percolator?


any coffee that you have is great for percolated coffee. I would avoid your specialty beans and single origin coffee beans as you really won’t get the best out of them with a percolator.

Why Is My Percolator Coffee Weak?

There can be a number of reasons why your percolated coffee is weak. Your water may not be hot enough. The ideal brewing temperature is between 92C and 96 C (195F and 205F). Check with a thermometer to ensure you are within this range. Below, you can end up with weak under extracted coffee.

Also, you might not be using the right amount of coffee grounds and too much water. This is why we have the coffee to water ratio, which must be adhered to.

Your brew time also affects the strength of your coffee brew. If you are brewing for less than 7 minutes, it is possible your brew will be weaker than expected. Brew your coffee for longer to get a stronger cup of coffee.

Frappé-Ing It All Up – How Long To Percolate Coffee

If you missed the answer right at the start and have scrolled down to find the answer to the question, how long to percolate coffee, then here it is again.

Ideally, the perfect brew time is 7 min to 10 min. The variation in time is due to the varying different taste references. 7 mins for regular coffee and 10 mins for a strong coffee.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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