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Old 12-18-2008, 12:28 PM
 
1,156 posts, read 3,579,162 times
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I'm going to the in-laws and staying over XMas night. THese are really wonderful people, but total minimalists and they won't budge on buying things based on some couple-times-a-year houseguests. So my choices are instant coffee that's like 5 years old, or figure out how to use a percolator. So anyway...I head percolators can make good coffee - my question is how do I do it? BEcause every year on the 26th I have a headache and am totally out of sorts without my 1/2 caff coffee. I also think I'm going to offer to make a frittata or something savory in the am - I can't handle their coffee cake tradition. Please help!
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Louisiana
4,605 posts, read 5,523,833 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdc3217 View Post
I'm going to the in-laws and staying over XMas night. THese are really wonderful people, but total minimalists and they won't budge on buying things based on some couple-times-a-year houseguests. So my choices are instant coffee that's like 5 years old, or figure out how to use a percolator. So anyway...I head percolators can make good coffee - my question is how do I do it? BEcause every year on the 26th I have a headache and am totally out of sorts without my 1/2 caff coffee. I also think I'm going to offer to make a frittata or something savory in the am - I can't handle their coffee cake tradition. Please help!
First you have to have the correct filter. Take everything out of the pot. Fill with the amount of water that you want. It should have marks inside for 2 cups, 4 cups, 6 cups, etc. Then put the stem in. Then the basket on the stem. Next is the filter. It should be square with a hole in the middle.the stem goes threw the hole and snug the filter down into the basket. Add your coffee remembering that it will be stronger than a drip coffeemaker. Then take each corner of the filter and put them over the stem so that it's covering all the coffee. Put on the top of the basket then the top of the coffee pot. Plug in or put on burner (whichever type you have) and watch it perk. Not sure how long to leave it perk but the longer, the stonger. Good luck
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:52 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,943 posts, read 20,899,263 times
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I'm an old fogey and grew up with perculators. Never heard of a square filter or bskt. All I remember was to put one teaspoon for each cup into the round baskt and then on to the stove... and the one I have now is the plug in electric. It perks until the water is hot...can dial time for coffee strength.
Remember the small metal perculator my mother had in the 30's...with the glass in the center of the lid...she watched for the color of the coffee and new when it was done. She would give me some 1/2 &1/2...1/2 coffee and 1/2 milk with extra sugar when I was a kid...sure felt grown up. Steve
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
45,591 posts, read 56,891,233 times
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Honestly, what's wrong with these people? I'd be humiliated if I couldn't even put forth enough effort to give a guest a decent cup of coffee. It's not as though you're asking for gold plated faucets, or something.
We never used a special filter in a percolator either. Just put the coffee in the basket in the amount you would use in any coffeepot, fill it with water, and as soon as it comes to a boil and starts to perk, turn down the heat to a gentle blub, blub until the color looks right. Really, as I remember, they make a yummy cup of coffee. Bring your own coffee..you don't want some coffee that's been in their cupboard since last year.
OR..Why don't you give them a nice little modern coffeemaker as a gift? They are very inexpensive.

You reminded me of my former DIL. She was in the Army at a new post and thought it would be nice to have a breakfast for her soldiers. Since she doesn't drink coffee, she didn't think she needed to serve it. Those were some weirded out soldiers that day. But, I could go on and on about her.
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:07 PM
 
1,156 posts, read 3,579,162 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
Honestly, what's wrong with these people? I'd be humiliated if I couldn't even put forth enough effort to give a guest a decent cup of coffee. It's not as though you're asking for gold plated faucets, or something.
OR..Why don't you give them a nice little modern coffeemaker as a gift? They are very inexpensive.

.
LOL. I can only imagine if I gave them a coffeemaker! I think I could get away with a french press, but I don't really like the coffee I've made in those before (another non-coffee drinking friend of mine at least keeps that on hand).
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:58 PM
 
Location: San Marcos, CA
124 posts, read 452,584 times
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Percolators can make excellent coffee. Some tips:

1. Wet the basket before you add the grounds, it will help keep the smaller bits from sifting through.
2. Don't let it boil too rapidly, the coffee will get bitter and the grounds will overflow out the top of the basket.
3. Let percolate for several minutes, then let it rest for several minutes. This will allow any grounds that make its way into the coffee to settle. You can also use a mesh strainer when pouring.
4. If you can't keep an eye on it, don't put the basket in until after the water has reached the boiling point. When the water comes to a boil, add the basket and your wait until percolating starts will be much shorter. Sometimes I boil the water in an electric kettle to get it started so I don't have to babysit it. Then just simmer for a few minutes at a high enough setting so that it percs steadily.

Grounds, obviously, are the biggest issue. Most of today's commercial grinds are smaller and get loose easier.
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Finally made it to Florida and lovin' every minute!
22,677 posts, read 18,466,128 times
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cdc, you can get a small 4-cup (really 2 mug) coffee maker for about $10 at Wally world, bring it with you and leave it there. But perc'd coffee is really good, once you get used to making it.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:12 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,943 posts, read 20,899,263 times
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Decades ago you could buy coffee that was "fine" for dripolators and "regular grind" for perculators of the day. Nowadays there is only one grind "coffee" with no other choice other then Instant.
HINT: learned many yrs ago never too wash a coffee pot...only rinse...try it ...you will see the difference in the taste.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:53 PM
 
16 posts, read 57,865 times
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I will use nothing but a peculator for a good cup of coffee. Those of you with the new fangled dripper things have had your taste buds ruined and cannot remember how a good cup of coffee tastes. No, to a filter of any type. But do wash the pot and strainer thoroughly. Nothing will ruin the coffee quicker than a dirty pot. If you can smell something funny in the pot you will taste it in the coffee. Use only ice cold water to begin with. Yes, do wet the strainer, this will keep the grounds from roaming around and help keep the coffee from getting bitter. Bring the pot to a boil with the strainer in. Do not try and put it in after the pot boils you Will spill grounds in the water. Use one full rounded teaspoon of coffee for each cup of water. I love strong coffee. When the pot begins to perc, lower the heat to hear the friendly blurp, blurp, blurp. How long to let it blurp? let it blurp one minute for each cup of water then give it a couple minutes for extra taste. Different pots react or blurp differently, you may need to blurp longer or shorter depending on your tastes and the pot. Let the coffee stand about one minute and then MOST IMPORTANT remove the strainer and the grounds. Do not pour your coffee through these used up old grounds, you will only get gritty sour coffee. Does that sound hard to do? It really is easier than any dripper thingy I ever tried to use and so much better. Save your grounds for the compost pile or start a worm farm. Maybe that should be a new topic.
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:48 PM
 
Location: the AZ desert
5,037 posts, read 8,757,736 times
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You've gotten very good advice here about using the percolator, even though I've never seen/heard of square filters for it. Since the very first pot you make with it will probably not be fabulous, (you have to figure out exactly how much coffee/water to put into it to make it precisely the way you like it and know just how long to let it perk), and since it's for a one-shot morning when your eyes are still half closed, I would go with nomoresnow's suggestion and buy a cheapy pot for the occasion. Even an inexpensive full sized pot sometimes goes for as low as $10; they are certainly well under $20.

Does everyone remember this?
http://www.roadode.com/drink_2.shtml (broken link) (Then click on "Maxwell House Coffee" on the upper right hand side.)
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