If you are a newbie percolator user or are considering becoming one, here’s the scoop on everything percolator-brewed coffee related.
From which grinds and roasts produce the most excellent results, to which is the best coffee brand for percolator, it’s all right here so read on and discover.
How Fine Should You Grind?
First things first; knowing which grind is best to use with your percolator is a great place to start.
The metal filter baskets on percolators are not perforated nearly as finely as paper or other types of coffee filters.
Your best bet then for a percolator is to opt for a coarse grind of coffee.
When you get your coffee, take a look at the texture and make sure you can still see actual small pieces of the whole bean vs. all tiny indistinguishable bits.
The coarser grind won’t fall through the perforations and will keep you from getting that decidedly unlovely grit in the bottom of your cup.
How Dark Do You Dare?
As far as which roast level is the best to use for a percolator, turns out taking the middle ground seems to be the best choice.
The reason medium roast works better than either light or dark roasted preparations has to do with the brewing method employed by the percolator.
Using a medium roasted bean will allow the percolator to work its magic, bringing out the full flavors for a beautifully full-bodied cup of coffee.
If you opt for dark roasted beans you run the risk of the brew tasting either burnt or blowing you away with too much bitterness.
On the other hand, a light roasted bean’s subtle flavor profiles end up getting lost in translation being brewed in a percolator and your coffee might end up tasting bland and weak.
The Whole Vs. Pre-Ground Coffee Conundrum
Having whole, freshly roasted beans that are then coarsely ground shortly before brewing will generally produce a better flavor profile for your cup of coffee.
You can use pre-ground coffee in a percolator, but be prepared for the dreaded sludge at the bottom of your mug.
Most pre-ground coffee by default is prepped for automatic drip use so is far too finely ground to work well in a percolator.
Additionally, pre-ground coffee will not usually produce as clean a tasting drink as its freshly-ground counterpart.
Coffee beans start to oxidize as soon as they are ground and the air hits them. It is can be difficult to tell exactly how long the pre-ground coffee has been sitting around on the shelf.
If you have someone grind your beans for you at your favorite coffee shop, make sure to ask for percolator grind.
Asking for a French press grind will work as well; the proper grind rules are the same for both.
Most larger grocery stores have grinders right there in the coffee aisle, so you can grind your beans fresh yourself.
Be sure to set the machine for the coarsest grind available if you are doing it yourself in the store.