When it comes to comparing two home based brewing devices, it is a good idea to do so with a newcomer and a classic one. This is mainly because the classic artifact lets us see, as users, which characteristics are the most important ones, which have stood the taste of time and which haven’t and why. The modern device, on the other hand, helps us see which were the points that could and needed to be improved and if that has happened in a successful manner.
The percolator lost popularity when electric drip machines were introduced in the 70’s. The percolator is a stove-top based mechanism and because of this and the fact that the gadget itself is opaque, there was a clear lack of user control when it came to brew coffee using this method. Sometimes, the brew was over heated, sometimes the coffee would be burnt and sometimes already brewed coffee would be overly filtered, resulting in an acid and lackluster cup.
Of course we wouldn’t be able to call the percolator a classic if it still didn’t have a strong and opinionated fan base that declares that all of the disadvantages that we listed before can be easily avoidable by an experienced and attentive brewer. If brewed properly, the coffee that a percolator has the capacity to make can be great: strong, robust and super hot without being burnt or acid.
The Chemex has, at this point in time, proved to be a strong option to brew coffee at home. It has a transparent design made of glass that combines the vessel where coffee is poured after being filtered and the compartment where the filter and subsequent ground beans are placed. Though the Chemex requires the user to be very hands on and heat the water separately, it is transparent, meaning one can actually see how much coffee is ready to drink. This device uses special filters that can retain all the different flavors of the coffee, so if you are a fan of the percolator’s strong taste, know you don’t have to give it up when switching to this easier and more user friendly method.
Overall, the percolator’s time has passed. The Chemex reunites its advantages and has improved upon its disadvantages, removing several of the risks using a percolator entailed. There is no need to clarify: if the percolator works just fine for you, there is no need to switch. We just want to make it clear for the rookies out there that stronger coffee than that produced by typical pour-over methods or by automatic drip electric machines is possible and just as easy and user friendly to brew. As always, it is a personal choice and as long as you enjoy it, there is no wrong answer.