A coffee percolator, also known as a percolator, is a special pot for making coffee. It has been used since the early 19th century and is still popular in the United States, England and the Netherlands. The percolator derives its name from the Latin word "percolare", which means "to strain" or "to filter". Its unique design allows for a special brewing process that extracts rich flavor from coffee powder.
The percolator works by heating water in a pot, creating pressure that pushes the water up through a metal tube called the riser. The pressurized water then drips through a metal filter onto the coffee grounds, creating a strong and aromatic coffee. The brewing process can be somewhat challenging, as the pot is removed too soon if not enough pressure has been built up, while leaving it on the heat source too long can cause the coffee to boil over.
Coffee prepared with a percolator is similar in taste to espresso, offering a strong and aromatic flavor. However, it lacks the typical crema of espresso. Percolated coffee often contains a higher caffeine content compared to other preparation methods such as filter coffee. Benjamin Thompson is credited with inventing the percolator, while Laurens, a tinsmith from Paris, developed the modern design in 1819 that serves as the basis for all percolators used today.