Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Percolator Love

I know my mission here at FC&G is to provide you with ideas of things that are, ideally, two or more of fast, cheap, and/or good.  But you guys, I love my new percolator, even though I don't know if it passes the test.

First, I bought my percolator at Lehman's, my favorite self-sufficiency store.  My idea was to continue to amass items that would help me be prepared for an emergency.  After the recent Great Ice Storm of 2011, the thought occurred to me that I did not have a reliable source of coffee when the power goes out.  Believe me, for me that is a necessity.  So I ordered my percolator, and I absolutely love using it every day.  I also love the fact that I can get that ugly plastic automatic drip machne off my counter.  But how does it stand up to the test?

The Analysis

Fast:  Percolator coffee takes perhaps a few more minutes than automatic drip.  I have not changed my routine of waking up, coming to the kitchen to start the coffee, and letting it brew while I make the bed, but now I probably have an extra couple of minutes' wait for that first cup. 

Cheap:  Calculating this one has required the backs of more used envelopes than I have available.  The actual percolator was more expensive than my usual $12 cheap drip machine that I have to replace every 5-10 years, but I will have this one for a lifetime.  It may use slightly more electricity on the stove, but a compensation is a bit of additional burner heat in the house during the winter and the fact that I turn the burner off and let residual heat keep the pot warm while I wait to get my second cup; I usually leave the drip machine on for a good hour to 90 minutes.  Also, the percolator does not require filters, so that is a small savings.  I use the same amount of coffee grounds in the same way.  I'll call this a wash.

Good:  Here's where we have a winner!  The percolator coffee is smoother, deeper, and much less harsh.  Also, I have the satisfaction of knowing my coffee didn't pass through any plastic parts; this one is all stainless steel.  (Watch out for the ones with aluminum baskets if that is a concern for you.)  Finally, I know that I can use this on my wood stove if the power goes out again.  I'm in love with my percolator. 
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  1. But... how are you going to use the percolator on your electric stove when the power goes out?

  2. Check under "Good": I'll use it on my wood cook stove then. The handle on this one is heat resistant.