I love a good cup of coffee, unfortunately I can't make one to save my life. Good thing for me that I married a man who can, given the right tools, brew a good cup of coffee. For the past year I have had the pleasure of drinking coffee made in our Hamilton Beach 12-cup percolator.
Recommend this product?
What is a Percolator?
A percolator, according to all of the coffee experts who do not live in this house, is the worst way to make coffee. You place the desired amount of water in the brewing and serving carafe, place a hollow tub into the water and atop the tube sits a perforated basket filled with coarsely ground coffee. Boiling water is sucked up through the tube and into the basket where it drips through the grounds out the bottom of the basket and back into the brewing vessel where it mixes with the water. And what's so wrong with that? The water is too hot (optimal brewing takes place when the water is at 205 F) and the water passes through the coffee grounds more than once. Oh the coffee sins we have committed.
This is our second percolator, the first having died some year ago. We tried to get along without one for a while, but it was costing us a lot to run to Dunkin' Donuts all the time. So when my husband found the Hamilton Beach 12 Cup Percolator on clearance for around $30 he picked one up. And after a year of daily use, it is still going strong.
The percolator is easy to use. There are marks embossed on the inside of the aluminum brewing vessel marking off 2-cup intervals. There are also marks embossed on the coffee basket, although we find it much better to use a more accurate measuring device. Simply pour the water into the carafe, add the measure coffee to the basket, put in the tube and top on the basket and plug it in. In less than 10 minutes the peculator will stop its popping and spurting sounds and the red light will come on in the front, indicating the coffee is ready to be poured. The heating element in the coffee pot will stay on as long as the percolator is plugged in to keep the coffee hot (another crime against coffee!)
Clean up is easy, the basket, cover and tub all go through the dishwasher. I use a brush to scrub out the inside of the coffee pot and wipe down the outside. The coffee pot does have a nice retro look. The black plastic handle is solid and makes pouring the coffee easy. You are supposed to be able to pour the coffee with the brewing basket still in the pot, but we always remove it first; we have ended up with grounds in our brewed coffee if we leave the basket inside.
The only issue with our Hamilton Beach Percolator is the need to grind your own beans. The holes in the brew basket are large enough for standard pre-ground automatic drip coffee to slip out and into the coffee. To prevent this, either buy percolator grind coffee, or grind it yourself. While it is another step in the process it isn't difficult.
Our Hamilton Beach Percolator makes a fabulous, consistent cup of coffee; or more correctly 6 good sized mugs of coffee. They taste good from the first cup to the last. Making coffee is quick and easy and so is cleanup. The "experts" may think a percolator makes a lousy cup of coffee, but I know what I like and I like the coffee the Hamilton Beach Percolator makes
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