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  • Percolator coffee help

    Camping with a larger group next week and decided there are enough adults to justify using a percolator. Never used one before as the Starbucks Via has always been our backpacking go-to and it just carried over to all camping.

    Does anybody have any tips?

    I made a test pot on the stove yesterday and...not great.
    I used a light roast, med grind, 1 rounded tablespoon for each 6oz of water and let it percolate for about 10 minutes.

    Just a couple of grounds in the bottom so I think the grind is about right.

    I was hoping to improve on the Starbucks instant. If it doesn't come out better, then there is no point.

    Thanks

  • #2
    French press does best (for camping) and is pretty quick - use a large kettle to boil water if you want to make a lot.

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    • #3
      That's an option too. I have an old french press accessory for my jetboil. I tried it a couple of times in the past, also with not good results, so I had given up on it.

      I was considering the percolator because I have one from a mess kit I bought about 25 years ago. I bought the kit because of a single square skillet that I wanted and couldn't find anywhere else. The percolator went on the shelf and never got used. The skillet is still one of my favorite items.

      So I should revise the question,
      Would love any tips for percolator coffee or using the jet boil french press.

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      • #4
        Once it starts to perc turn the heat down for a gentle perc. Let it go 8 minutes. Then a small bit of cold water into spout will settle grounds.

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        • #5
          Not sure what we have is the jet boil version. I'll ask my wife, it's her gadget and she always seemed happy with it.

          I drink tea

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          • #6
            5 to 8 minutes once it starts to perc, NOT BOIL ! Perc happens at just below boiling point. Boiled coffee is evil. Your ratios can be adjusted to taste,enjoy!
            Be careful, don't spread invasive species!!

            When a dog runs at you,whistle for him.
            Henry David Thoreau

            CL50-#23

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            • #7
              Ok, so I made a pot with a dark roast and this time, rather than letting it boil away, I turned down the temp as soon as I saw the first blurp. I was amazed at how little flame it needs to keep it blurping.

              Did 10 minutes again just so I wasn't changing 2 things at once.

              Much better coffee! Way, way better.

              Tomorrow I'm going to try on the pocket rocket and see how it goes. Should I be adding more coffee so that I get the strength with 5-8 minutes of percolating or should I just percolate longer to get it stronger?

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              • #8
                I have always used 2tb to 8oz water.

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                • #9
                  Ok, now we're cooking with gas! This morning's pot was even better. 2 tbs/8oz was a step in the right direction.

                  I always forget how much I love my old pocket rocket. Since I've had kids and done less backpacking it hasn't had much use in the last 10 years. But it boiled the water so much faster than the gas burner on my home stove. And it was easier to control the percolating.

                  I learned something new. Chairrock said:

                  Perc happens at just below boiling point. Boiled coffee is evil.

                  As I played with the flame I noticed that there was a small sweet spot. It's easy to see the percolating, but by watching the spout I could keep it from boiling. Hot water will have little whisps of stream coming off, but boiling water gives off a lot of pressurized steam. Watching the spout, I could tell the difference between stream drifting out and steam being forced out.

                  I only figured this out half way through so tomorrow I'll try again. Today's coffee was still a bit bitter when hot, but much better flavor.

                  I think I've safely passed the Starbucks Via in terms of quality.

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                  • #10
                    Price Chopper had these, need filters and coffee. Boil water and just pour it thru. Simple fast, I use about a good rounded tablespoon for a mug.

                    https://www.bing.com/images/search?v...OVRSI&idpbck=1

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Paradox6 View Post
                      Price Chopper had these, need filters and coffee. Boil water and just pour it thru. Simple fast, I use about a good rounded tablespoon for a mug.

                      https://www.bing.com/images/search?v...OVRSI&idpbck=1
                      Yes! We love drip coffee, also my wife told me she perks our daily coffee for ONLY 3 minutes, I never knew
                      Be careful, don't spread invasive species!!

                      When a dog runs at you,whistle for him.
                      Henry David Thoreau

                      CL50-#23

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yeah the french press is nice but takes a while for larger group, you would probably need 1 press for every 2 guys otherwise you would have a lot of grumpy men standing around waiting for a cup o joe.
                        Last edited by electbc; 05-29-2021, 07:47 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Ok, so...percolator was a mixed bag. Not sure it's worth it.

                          On the upside the coffee was very good. My small percolator was able to make 4 good size cups for each pot and we could make it as strong or weak as needed.

                          But it takes a fair bit of babysitting. I noticed that the brewing goes through a couple of distinct stages that each need flame adjustments. Just guessing, but it seems to be:
                          1. Initial heating of water
                          2. Blurping hot water into dry cold grounds
                          3. Saturated grounds dripping warm water back into the pot
                          4. Saturated grounds, now hot, dripping hot water back into the pot.


                          On the downside, the stackup of a tall jetboil canister, the pocket rocket and a tall percolator pot, meant that the whole rig was dumped more than once on the trip.

                          Plus, now you have to deal with disposing of coffee grounds. The french press and pour over also have the same issue and don't lend themselves well to a larger group.

                          So I think the focus will be on trying newer instant coffee options and see what we can see.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MrKawfey View Post

                            Plus, now you have to deal with disposing of coffee grounds. The french press and pour over also have the same issue and don't lend themselves well to a larger group.
                            Just let them dry out and dump them in your trash bag, NBD. This is much easier with a filter than with a French press.

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                            • #15
                              Adirondack coffee.
                              Fill a 12 cup coffee pot with water, no innards.
                              Two small handfuls of coffee.
                              Bring it to a boil and then a slow roll for 5 minutes.
                              Set it to the side to let the coffee grounds sink to the bottom of the pot.
                              Best coffee in the world.

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