Old Fashioned Coffee Maker How to Use

The development of electric coffee makers has simplified the process of brewing coffee, enabling us to make it in minimal time and with little effort. Interestingly, electric coffee makers haven’t been on the market for very long. Before their introduction, people relied on manual coffee makers for their coffee preparation. Have you ever considered the operation of these traditional coffee makers and their usage?

In this article, we will let you know a bit more about the old-fashioned coffee maker. Although they are not that widespread now, a lot of people still use the old-fashioned coffee maker to prepare the coffee, especially during the camping. Keep following the article to know the steps that need to be followed for preparing coffee in this old-style appliance.

How Does an Old-Fashioned Coffee Maker Work?

Although mostly known as the old-fashioned coffee maker, there is a name of the manual coffee makers. They called coffee percolator. Percolator is basically a mechanism which prepare the coffee in these machines. The percolator looks like a kettle that includes two chambers inside. The above chamber is for housing the coffee beans while the second chamber is for heating up the above. There is a vertical tube in the middle that actually do the job of coffee making.

When you heat on the bottom of the percolator, the vertical tube forces the water to the coffee beans to brew the coffee. The water later come back on the bottom of the machine and again go to the above chamber. This keeps repeating until you turn off the stove. That means the coffee is brewed several times in the percolator which offers an intense aromatic taste.

Because of this unique brewing procedure, it is very hard to control the taste of the coffee in the old-fashioned percolator coffee maker. Especially, you can easily end up with over-brewing coffee maker which will result a very bitter taste. However, if you are careful enough and follow the right step this shouldn’t happen.

Old Fashioned Coffee Maker: How to Use

Using the old fashioned coffee maker can be a bit tough as we said earlier. However, don’t worry; we can help you with that. Below, we will discuss the exact steps you need to follow for making the coffee. Make sure that you are following the below steps while using the percolator or the old fashioned coffee maker:

Step 1: Prepare the Grounds

The usual grounds are not going to the best thing to use in the percolator coffee maker. That is because you will require a specific fineness of the ground. Typically, it is recommended to use the coarsely ground to get the best outcome. Note that you should never use the finely ground coffee as they can fall through the filter to the water reservoir. This will make your coffee taste bad.

If you are going to grind your own coffee, make sure that you have chosen the right settings (coarsely ground) in the grinder. If you are going to buy them from the shop, be sure to pick the right variation of the ground. Also, avoid the dark roasted beans as they will make your coffee bitter in the percolator.

Step 2: Prepare the Percolator

The next thing you need to do is to make your percolator ready for the brew. If there are any leftovers inside the machine, clean them first. They can affect the taste and flavor of your coffee. The next thing you need to do is to add water in the reservoir. Add the right amount of water that you will require for making enough coffee. Also, don’t overfill the coffee maker.

Step 3: Be Aware of Coffee Water Ratio

You need to be very careful about the water and coffee ratio in the percolator. Using the wrong ratio will provide you either a highly strong or a very weak brew. Usually, it requires around one tablespoon of the coffee ground for each 8 ounces of water for the percolator. Use a scale for the measuring the coffee effectively.

Now add the coffee ground to the upper basket of the machine. After adding the water and the coffee, you will require assembling the machine by putting back the screws and lid.

Step 4: Prepare the Heat

Now put the percolator on the stovetop on medium heat. You must allow the percolator to prepare the coffee at a slow speed. You will also require monitoring the device frequently during the process. Note that our goal is to produce enough temperature around 90 C. This is just below the boiling point of water and you shouldn’t allow the water to boil.

Like the electric coffee maker, this machine will not beep when the coffee is ready. Use your best guess to control the temperature in the machine by adjusting the heat. You need to keep the machine on heat for around 10 minutes.

Step 5: Stop the Heat

Once you think that the coffee is ready, take off the percolator from the stovetop. Make sure to use an oven mitt as the appliance will be very hot. Now remove the lid and get rid of the coffee grounds. Then pour it on the mug or jog. In this period, you should allow the coffee maker to sit for a few minutes. This will help the coffee grounds to fall on the bottom that mixed during the brewing process.

After that, your coffee will be ready to enjoy. You might modify the taste and bitterness by adding sugar and milk. Note that you might not end up with the best brew at the very first time. But you should be able to get better brews after a few tries.


The old-fashioned coffee makers are not that used as they require a long time. Also, it’s very hard to control the coffee strength in these machines. If you have a percolator at home and if you want to give a try, you should implement the above steps. We hope you will be successful in employing the old-school device.