The Fine, Lost Art of Percolated Coffee

A few weeks ago I picked up an old percolator at an estate sale. I don’t know if it was curiosity or nostalgia or a bit of both that triggered me to do so, but for $3, what the hell?

Today I finally decided to open it up and see if all the pieces were in it. Miraculously, they were. So I figured I’d hose it out with bleach (because it had likely been sitting for some years) and then run white vinegar through it to get rid of any scale. Either it would work or not.

This percolator is older than I am. If I had to guess it was made some time in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. It’s a fine specimen of a model 1698-2 electric percolator made by the long-defunct Duralux company in Wooster, Ohio.

It works beautifully. I had forgotten how much mellower (and how much more highly caffeinated lol) percolated coffee is compared to automatic drip or even, God love them, Keurig pods.

So I am back in to a love affair with real coffee☕ like my grandmother made with a percolator very much like my bargain estate sale find.

Yes, I know they are a pain in the hiney to clean (though if you use the proper filter, and are careful loading the grounds, it is not much worse than cleaning an automatic drip machine) and the brew time is longer. But dammmm, that was good coffee. I haven’t had percolated coffee in at least 30 years.

Maybe it’s just nostalgia or maybe we just don’t appreciate what we’ve got until it’s gone.

I had not bothered to buy a new percolator (yes, some manufacturers still make them) because they’re expensive- about $60. But for three bucks, might as well try my luck.

I have to appreciate trinkets like this that have managed to survive their way from a better managed time.

Waking up and smelling the coffee, and not just any coffee. Luscious, rich, mellow, percolated coffee. A beautiful, simple reminder that there were once things that were right with the world.

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