Neat design and it makes tea, too, but you need a bit of time and patience to make the Dualit Coffee Percolator make good coffee
The Dualit Coffee Percolator is rather unusual, as this kind of coffee maker has largely been replaced by filter machines. With a percolator water is boiled and pushed up through a vertical tube, before flowing out and down through the coffee grounds held in a metal filter. Using this process, coffee that has already been extracted can be recirculated through the coffee grounds, which can lead to over-extraction and more bitter-tasting coffee. With a filter machine only near-boiling water is used, and brewed coffee can’t be recirculated.
One of the advantages of a percolator is that you get a neater, smaller product, and the Dualit Coffee Percolator looks like one of the company’s jug kettle. It’s build to Dualit’s usual exacting standards, with the full metal body looking fantastic.
Pop open the lid and you’ll see the metal filter where you place your ground coffee (or tea if you prefer) mounted on a spring. Dualit has marked cups (small and large) on the side of the filter, as a guide to how much coffee you’ll need, although you can adjust this to taste. The main jug has markings inside to match, so you can know how much water to put in.
Making coffee is pretty straightforward: you remove the filter basket and put the required amount of coffee into it, then fill the machine with the right amount of water. You have to replace the coffee filter and I found it a little fiddly to get back in place. After that you just drop the Percolator is on its stand and it powers on and runs through the coffee cycle. When the brewing process is complete, the light turns green and the integrated element keeps your coffee warm. I have to warn about leaving coffee for too long like this, as continual heating adds bitterness. You’ll also want to remember to turn the Percolator off at the wall socket when you’re done.
My first attempt at brewing coffee wasn’t very successful, with it tasting extremely weak and watery. Opening the Percolator up, I found the issue immediately: the coffee grounds were still dry in parts. The issue is that if coffee isn’t evenly wet, water takes the path of least resistance through the damp parts, under-extracting the coffee. Levelling out the coffee grounds for the second attempt fixed the issue, although I recommend pre-wetting the grounds with a little water first.
With the coffee evenly extracted, the subsequent drink was extremely dark and rich, as I’d expect from a percolator. I thought that the coffee lacked some of its more subtle notes, which is largely an effect of the extraction process. If you like your coffee dark and strong, though, this machine is for you. Coffee was hot at 81, which is a little warm for coffee, although well suited to tea.
Aside from cleaning it out, you’ll need to descale this coffee machine regularly. As it’s effectively very similar to a kettle inside, the descaling process is very similar. You should also wash out the filter after every use, too.
The Dualit Coffee Percolator looks fantastic and, with evenly distributed coffee grounds, makes dark and strong coffee, and can easily make tea, too. I prefer the flavour from a filter machine, such as the similarly-priced Melitta Look Timer, and think that the extraction process there is superior, but for simple convenience and for those that like strong coffee, the Coffee Percolator does a good job. If you’re after something different, my best coffee machine guide will help.
|Filter type||Metal (integrated)|
|Stay warm||Yes (integrated element)|