Extraction Techniques 1: Percolator

Stove Top Coffee Percolator

Hi there folks, coffee addicts, snobs and home baristas, this is Erik from Sipping Duck coffee. Just thought I would give y’all a rundown on an extraction technique used with a stove top percolator. These little buggers can be very temperamental with extraction outcomes due to varying factors. These simple to follow steps should have you producing a nice crema laced shot which can be comparable to the extraction of a commercial café coffee machine.

Step 1: Grind

The grind should be as fine as possible and the basket packed tight enough for the coffee to stay as a coffee cake. Be sure to fill the basket tight enough otherwise the hot water will punch through it quicker than you can say ‘decaf soy late’ (blasphemy).

Step 2: Water

The biggest mistake that most people do when using this extractors is to put too much water in the bottom chamber. I found that putting roughly 60 to 100 ml will build up enough pressure to punch through the coffee at the same rate as a coffee machine. Too much volume will force the water through the coffee before it as at an ideal temperature and will over extract it making it taste bitter. The least amount of water used in the bottom chamber will produce a better shot of coffee (try to use the percolator for one coffee at a time).

Step 3: Milk

I like to heat 2/3 of a glass of milk in the microwave for 50 seconds or on a medium heat in a saucepan. Ideal temperature for milk should be between 65° and 75° as burnt milk will give a sour taste to the coffee.

Step 4: Pouring the shot

Once your shot has extracted try to pour it in the milk straight away to maintain the crema. You can now add your choice of sugar or cancer inducing artificial sweeteners or honey (for the hippies).

Step 5: Maintenance

Once you have finished making your coffee, take the percolator off the stove top and run it under water for 30 seconds, unscrew the bottom chamber and basket and rinse thoroughly. Using a fork, pry away the rubber seal from the top chamber and pull out the meshing which will give you access to the inside of the percolator spout. Wiping away residue of all of these parts will give you a clean taste as burnt coffee oil only adds to a bitter flavour.

That’s the basics of using a percolator. Remember to not put too much water, keep the grind fine and your equipment clean. Different size percolators will have varying outcomes, so dosage levels of water and ground coffee may vary. For up to date information regarding to anything ‘coffee’ please give us a shout. You can also browse our Facebook page for more tips. Cheers!

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