The percolator style coffee pot was first devised by Laurens in France in 1819. The design of the percolator was based on the same principle utilized by the vacuum pot. But instead of forcing heated water up to a second bowl, it pulled the heated water through the single compartment. Utilizing a tube in the center of the pot, the boiled water infuses the ground coffee beans, draining to the bottom of the pot to be pulled back up through the tube, again infusing the coffee beans. During the 1860s Manning-Brown introduced the pump percolator in America, and it became a popular way to brew coffee.
James H. Mason, of Franklin Massachusetts was issued the first U.S. patent for the coffee percolator in 1865 (number 51,741). In 1908 the Rochester Stamping Company manufactured the first electric percolators. This mass manufacturing and marketing aided in the percolators popularity. These coffee brewers are still manufactured and used today.
The advent of the automatic drip coffee brewer only marginally affected the popularity of the percolator. One advantage today is the ability to take along your coffee brewer. One of the largest markets for non-electric percolators is campers. The durable aluminum construction, and ease of use, make it the perfect coffee pot to place on a camp stove or fire.
It should be noted that the percolator is considered to break many of the golden rules of coffee brewing by boiling the coffee and passing it back through the beans. Coffee aficionados feel that the act of boiling the coffee destroys the flavor. In the end it's all a matter of personal taste and convenience.
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