Go back 50 years or more, and coffee percolators were all the rage – everybody had one! Following their invention in the 19th century, they had become the way to make coffee at home – there was no need for electricity, you only needed some heat.
However, all of that changed in the 1970’s with the emergence of instant coffee and automatic drip coffee makers – the popularity of coffee percolators fell off a cliff. Suddenly everybody wanted quicker, more efficient ways to make coffee.
Coffee percolators can be very fiddly, and it’s quite tricky to get consistent results. However, with the explosion of coffee popularity over the last decade or so, you just knew that percolators would come back, and they are now finding a whole new generation of fans. There is something incredibly satisfying about making coffee in a percolator, as more and more people are discovering.
It wasn’t so long ago that it was incredibly difficult to get your hands on a good quality coffee percolator – antique shops seemed to be your best bet! That’s all changed now though, and the market is once again swelling with different options for us to try and we made it our mission to find the best coffee percolators in the UK today.
The Best Coffee Percolators
So which one is the right one for you? Let us help, as we look at the eight best coffee percolators on the market.
La Cafetière Coffee Percolator
If I were to ask you to close your eyes and describe your image of a typical percolator, I think what you end up describing is going to look an awful lot like the Classic Espresso Coffee Percolator from La Cafetière. With the stylish chrome finish and classic design, it looks exactly what you want from a coffee percolator. The handle is both comfortable and easy to use, as well as adding a slightly contemporary feel to the aesthetic.
It comes in three separate sizes (3 cup, 6 cup or 9 cup), which means that you can get the one that suits your coffee consumption the best – the larger one would work particularly well in the office, whereas a smaller one would suit small households.
The smallest size is also perfect for taking away with you, particularly if you are camping. It would fit perfectly on a little camping stove. When you’re out on an adventure, it’s always nice to start your day off with an excellent coffee.
Which is exactly what this percolator will provide. Aside from the pleasing look and feel, the most crucial factor is that you can make really good coffee with this device. You have full control over the strength (the more coffee you put in, the stronger it will be), and it is incredibly easy to use.
In terms of price, this is a very affordable entry-level product into the world of coffee percolators – the classic design and simplicity of use mean that this is a great place to start your journey.
Best for: people new to the world of coffee percolators that want to dip their toes inback to menu ↑
Moka Coffee Percolator By Rainbean
You can tell instantly, just from the first look, that we’re heading in a slightly different direction with this product. The bold red design (it is also available in black) really stands out, and I think the subtle chrome ripple ring design really adds a touch of class. This is a fantastic looking device that will really attract attention and compliments from guests!
While it is still small and compact and therefore could be used as a travel-percolator, I think that if you are buying an appliance that looks like this, you’re getting it because you want to have it out on display – so I think this one is really best suited to home use.
Again, and you will notice a trend here, this is incredibly easy to use and works with any gas stove, camp furnace, ceramic furnace and electric furnace – just be mindful that this (like most percolators) does not work with induction hobs, nor is it compatible with dishwashers. It is really easy to clean though, just needs a good rinse after each use.
It makes a really nice espresso with lots of different types of coffee, so you will not be disappointed. It will take a few goes to get the correct timing (it’s all about that delightful gurgling sound when the coffee percolates), but before long you’ll be making delicious coffee, just how you like it, every time.
This is one of the cheapest products that we’ll look at in this article. Coupled with the fantastic design this is a great product just to have – even if you won’t use it every day (perhaps you have other coffee makers).
Best for: the contemporary coffee maker that wants to add to their coffee making arsenalback to menu ↑
Petromax Camping Coffee Percolator
We step things up a notch now with this exciting offering from Petromax. As you may have guessed from the name of this product, they’re from Germany. They have been making outdoor camping and cuisine equipment since 1910, and they are often found at the forefront of innovation in their specialist fields.
It doesn’t look like a percolator, does it?! First of all, it’s much bigger than the previous examples of percolators that we have looked at. At 21.5cm high, it is big enough for 9 cups of coffee.
You might think that it’s quite strange for a product aimed at the travelling/camping market to be much bigger than many of its counterparts, but this is a great item to take away with you because it’s quite versatile. You can make tea in it (loose leaf or from bags), use it as a kettle or even make mulled wine, and you can use it with all kinds of different heat sources, from a kitchen hob to direct onto a campfire!
Being made out of steel, it’s incredibly durable, so perfect for you to just chuck in your bag when you’re packing for your trip – you don’t need to worry about anything getting damaged. No matter how long your trip is, you’ll be glad you took it!
It does give off a delicious smell when you’re making coffee as well, a really authentic smell. It is just perfect for a beautiful morning surrounded by countryside.
This is the most expensive coffee percolator that we’ve looked at so far, but it is also the most versatile. It’s absolutely fine for everyday use in the house, but it really comes into its own when you’re out and about.
Best for: the travelling percolated coffee drinker that needs a hit of coffee outdoorsback to menu ↑
STANLEY Cool Grip Camp Percolator
It just screams no-nonsense durability, doesn’t it? A large, plain, stainless steel, kettle-looking unit – it’s saying to us “yeah, never mind about that, let’s just make a coffee”. It’s exactly what you would expect from a company like Stanley and I absolutely love them for it.
I find the design quite charming, but it wouldn’t suit every kitchen. While the previous product could be seen as quite versatile and could be used in the home as well as out and about, I would think that if you were to get one of these, it would be mainly used when camping/travelling.
It is suitable for almost any form of heat, but be aware that if you put it directly onto a fire, the stainless steel will turn to a (not unpleasant) copper/brown colour. It does not affect the functionality of the percolator though, and you will find that you can make really great coffee with this. I should say though, that a lower heat makes the best coffee, so be aware of that if you’re using it on a direct flame.
The durability of this product cannot be overstated – it really will stick with you through thick and thin and you get the feeling it could last a lifetime. It will keep hot for 4 hours, and can also be used to store cold water in (it claims to stay iced for 24 hours!). This is a tough piece of kit.
In terms of price, it is slightly more expensive than the ‘at home’ percolators, but a little cheaper than the Petromax. It is certainly not too expensive to consider.
Best for: the no-nonsense camper that just wants a good coffeeback to menu ↑
bonVIVO Moka Pot – Intenca Percolator
Two things will have struck you immediately from your first look of the Intenca Espresso Maker. It’s tiny, and it looks really good.
First, the size. The one we tested was the two-cup size, the smaller one. To be honest, we found that it was big enough for what we needed – just a really nice espresso. Obviously if you work in a big office, there are plenty of coffee drinkers in your house or you just like a bigger coffee, then the larger six-cup version might be more suitable for you. It just depends on how you drink your coffee.
Now, what I consider to be the real selling point of this device – the look of it. It’s great, isn’t it? We were given the copper version (it is also available in silver or black) and it really looked fantastic – so stylish and elegant. You can just imagine yourself sitting outside an Italian café with one of those in front of you, having a peaceful moment while the world whistles by around you.
On top of that, it is also very versatile no matter what you are using in your kitchen as it is compatible with electric, gas and even induction hobs. As with all of the other products we’ve looked at, it is so simple to use so there is nothing to worry about – everything about this is straightforward and classy.
As you may have guessed, this is towards the higher end of the price scale, but it really does look like it costs a bit more, if you know what I mean. If you want a percolator that looks a bit more special, this could be the one for you.
Best for: the stylish espresso drinkerback to menu ↑
Eurolux Percolator Pot
You can fit 9 cups worth of coffee in this beast, which makes it perfect for large families or busy offices. It doesn’t appear overly bulky, as the design is quite sleek and it is slightly shorter than some of the other percolators that we’ve looked at on this list.
I really like the stainless steel finish – it looks classy but at the same time understated. The wooden handle adds to this, as well as serving the purpose of being comfortable and easy to handle when you are using it.
With this you get the best of both worlds. I honestly don’t think that this would look out of place in any kitchen with it’s subtle, yet sleek, design, but at the same time it is incredibly durable and versatile. It’s suitable for use indoors as well as outdoors, and they even suggest using it on a bbq.
Of course, it also makes great coffee. As with any of these products, we fully recommend you follow the instructions that come with it very precisely – at least initially so that you have the foundations to start experimenting with different quantities of coffee etc. While they all follow the same principle, they each have their own little quirks which you’ll need to allow for.
Eurolux pitch this product as ‘an affordable but luxury coffee maker’ which I think sums it up quite well. It certainly is one of the more expensive products that we’re looking at today, but it is by no means overpriced. As a versatile way to make espresso coffee, with a style that would look equally at home in your kitchen or on a campsite, it is really very reasonably priced.
Best for: the all-rounder – someone who will use this in the home and on a campsiteback to menu ↑
Stainless Steel Induction Stovetop By The London Sip Company
We’ve covered products from a lot of different sorts of companies so far on this list, all with their fingers in lots of different pies. From kitchen and homeware manufacturers, to outdoors and camping specialists and even a DIY giant. So it was a bit of a shock to find a product from a company that only produces one product – this espresso maker from the London Sip Company.
As you would expect from a company that makes just the one product, they have really taken their time over the design of this product, both in terms of style and functionality.
First of all, it looks great. A real elegance about the stainless steel finish, coupled with the tall, slender shape and smooth black handle. This wouldn’t look out of place in any kitchen at all, and you can even imagine people making a feature of it. It’s great to bring out onto a table for an after-dinner coffee.
Secondly, the way the internal workings are designed means that this gives you great coffee every time. The stainless steel means that you don’t get that same metallic taste that you can get with some of the aluminium made percolators, and the intricate system of filters and chambers within give you consistent results in terms of strength and taste.
On top of this, it is also compatible with induction hobs, which is not always the case, it’s a function that is often missed off, but this is equally comfortable with use on a gas stove – so it’s still an option if you are going on a camping trip.
This espresso maker fits neatly into the middle of our price ranges that we’re looking at today, even though it looks like it should be one of the most expensive. If you’re looking for an appliance to sit out on your worktop – this could be the one for you.
Best for: the people that want a great looking espresso maker (and have an induction hob!)back to menu ↑
Victor Enamel Coffee Percolator
Looking at this percolator is like being taken back in time. And I mean that as a compliment. It’s such a simple, pleasant design – it really looks like something that my Nana would have had in her kitchen years ago. It’s basically just a ceramic jug – nothing complicated or fancy, it’s just there to do a job.
Being made of enamel, it retains its heat really well, which means that you can make a full pot and keep topping yourself up for quite a while! That’s great if, like me, you tend to find yourself not always fully satisfied after one.
There is also a see-through knob on the top of the lid, which means you can check to see how strong your coffee is as it’s being made. This was both helpful and interesting for a coffee nerd like me…
It’s another that is suitable for use with induction hobs, which is handy given their increasing popularity, and also gas hobs (and therefore camping stoves). It would be more than suitable for taking away with you, but I would worry that the enamel might start to look a little worn if it got bashed a lot. To be honest, I see this percolator as a homely little appliance that sits on the shelf quietly until it is called upon. It doesn’t stand out, but it never lets you down.
This product is also another that is right in the middle of the price range of the percolators that we’ve featured here, and even that suits it perfectly! It’s just a good percolator, and with it’s understated design, that’s all you would expect from it.
Best for: a blast-from-the-past throwback to traditional coffee making
How to Use A Percolator
As I mentioned above, each percolator will have its own quirks and intricacies, but they all follow the same theory – it’s all to do with boiling water and condensation. You don’t need to know about the science though, this is a classic example of taking a process that seems quite complex and making it incredibly simple. Here is the general process for making coffee in a percolator.
They will all have a basket, or some form of container, in which you put your coffee. Then you fill the bottom chamber with the required amount of water, making sure to not overfill – you don’t want the water to be coming into contact with the coffee at this point. You then place the coffee container above this and put on the lid.
Now you are ready to apply heat. Simply place the percolator over the heat source (gas hob, camping stove etc) and wait for the water to boil. This where it can get a little tricky, as you’ll need to listen out for the bubbling of the water.
You’ll find that it usually takes around 7 minutes for the brewing process to finish, once the water has boiled. You will need to take it off the heat as soon as you think it is ready, otherwise the coffee will continue to brew and you’ll end up with a drink that is too bitter.
What Coffee To Use With A Percolator
It is much better to use larger, coarse-ground coffee, as opposed to the fine coffee you would use in an espresso machine – as well as preventing over-extraction, it also means that you don’t end up with grinds getting into your drink.
The trick is to experiment, though, and that truly is the fun of owning a percolator. Different sized grains will have different amounts of brewing time, as will different strengths of coffee. In order to get your ideal coffee, you will probably want to play around with different combinations.
This is why percolators polarise opinion in the coffee world – some people see them as far too much bother, others take delight in the entire process and revel in the tinkering behind making the perfect drink.
Once you find that perfect drink, the satisfaction is unparalleled.