The Perfect Cup of Coffee Part 1

Posts by Alex

You know, for how many baristas write on this blog (its two by the way), we really don’t talk about coffee all that much. So I think it’s time we did that!

Everyone has their preferred method of brewing and their own little tricks that make theirs the perfect cup. Personally, I probably get most use out of my 4 cup french press but that’s more a factor of always being in a hurry more than anything else. I’m somewhat of a coffee hobbyist and I have several preferred ways to brew, depending on how much time I have to wait and how much cleaning I want to do afterwards.

The coffee armada

In this post, I’m going to talk about the big glass bubble on the right side there. It’s called a percolator, and it’s the most scientific cup of coffee you can drink.

A percolator is basically just a big Mr. Coffee Teapot. You fill the bottom with the right amount of water and the top with the right amount of coffee and a filter, set the whole thing to boil, and you let the vapor pressure do the rest.

I’ve found that the percolator works best on a fine grind

Basically as your water boils, the steam builds up pressure in the bottom chamber, forcing the hot water up the central stem to the top chamber, where it will continue to boil as long as it is on the heat.

Here’s how you start the process

The coffee will steep while it boils
The draining process begins

As it boils, your coffee steeps and once you’ve reached the desired time, you remove it from heat and let the pressure die down. Your finished coffee falls through the filter back down the stem to collect in the bottom chamber.
And it looks delicious
Ah sweet nectar

The percolator makes a great cup of coffee and usually makes enough to share. Unfortunately it can take 10-15 minutes to make a cup since you have to boil the water on a fairly low temp so you don’t burn the coffee. It also has a lot of parts so the clean up usually takes some time. This tends to be my weekend morning brew method, since it is just too hard to find the time on the weekends!

Do you have a favorite coffee brewing method? I’ll be sharing another way to brew soon!

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By Jess

A bookworm since the tender age of whenever I stopped chewing on books and started actually reading them. A cat-mom, graphic designer, and introvert originally from Pittsburgh, but now resides in the humid, hot, state of Texas. Cheers!

  • Beks

    I usually stick to a Keurig, but I have a French Press. I was actually thinking of breaking it out this weekend.

  • Alex

    I haven't tried a Chemex yet! It looks similar to a percolator so I have an idea of what it might be like, but from what I hear it's an incredible cup of coffee!

  • Alex

    My parents used to have a Keurig and I love the convenience of it, but once I really got interested in coffee and how its roasted I just couldn't do the instant thing anymore. To me the ritual of brewing is just as important as the coffee itself! I love having the time to devote to brewing with a process as involved as a percolator.

  • Kay

    I'm one of those people that just can't stand the taste of coffee! But I do think it smells wonderful. A percolator certainly looks like a fun way to make coffee though.

  • Katie Garvin

    That is really, really cool! My family had a percolator, but it wasn't see-through glass. That's really cool, seeing how it all happens. Thanks for sharing such great pictures with us 🙂

  • thedailymiacis

    I've never saw coffee made on a percolator. Humm I've gotta find and try it! I use an expresso machine, from the brand briel. That machines looks vintage, old, but damn, i have tried so many machines, that one is the one that makes them best! I also have a Tassimo but on that one I like to make chocolate capuccino (mixing milka hot chocolate with capuccino), and a filter coffee machine, but on that one I make barley coffee 🙂

  • MagicCatJenny

    Wow, that looks like a really really good cup of coffee…

  • Very cool! I love coffee and have tried many different methods (although never a percolator!), but my favorite is actually my Nespresso machine. I don't really like Keurigs or other Pod type machines, but the Nespresso maker is so much better than those and I love the convenience! With that said, my mom treated me to a Chemex for Christmas, so as soon as I can pick up some filters, I'm going to give that a try. I've heard awesome things about it! #NYNB

  • Wow! This is super fancy! That cup of coffee looks delicious!

  • San Francisco has really great coffee shops, I rely on them to brew it for me!

  • Must. Have. Now.

  • Alex

    It really is a great investment!

  • Alex

    I do enjoy going to my favorite coffee shop and enjoying the vibe there, but there's something to be said about the ritual of making coffee yourself. It's very calming to me!

  • Alex

    I've never had coffee from a Nespresso or Chemex but I'm really intrigued by both! Probably the most modern method I've had is an Aeropress, and that was a really cool experience!