How To Make Coffee In A Coffee Pot: Step-By-Step

Learn how to make coffee in a coffee pot using all the tips and tricks found in the church kitchen and your mother’s recipe cards. 

How To Make Coffee In A Coffee Pot
Brewing coffee in a vintage coffee pot is somewhat not popular in this modern time

If your morning ritual is anything like mine, it begins by popping a little cup into your coffee maker and pressing a button. Now you are visiting a friend and the only way to pump some caffeine into your blood is by making coffee in a vintage coffee pot. There are no buttons or infographics in sight!

Before you panic, brewing a smooth cup of joe really isn’t that hard. It will only take a few minutes. Take a deep breath, follow the directions, and save the morning with an entire pot of that dark and delicious drink.

Quick Steps For Using A Coffee Pot To Make Coffee

These directions are for using a percolator-style coffee pot, not a French press or carafe. If you are working with a large urn, the same directions apply. Just adjust your water and amount of coffee to make more servings.

Step 1. Take The Basket And Stem Out Of The Coffee Pot

Your pot may have a single stem and basket piece with a top or three separate pieces. They all need to come out before you start to brew. Make sure your pot is nice and clean, too.

Step 2. Add Water

hot water from the kettle poured down to a cup
Avoid adding water above the cup’s level or you will be bubbling coffee out the spout

If you want to make two cups of coffee, add two cups of water. You can size up or down according to how many cups you want to serve. You will see a bunch of holes on the side of the pot near the spout.

Do not add water above that level, or you will be bubbling coffee out the spout.

Step 3. Replace The Stem

The stem directs boiling water to the top of the pot where it filters back down through the coffee grounds basket. The top of the stem is shaped like a straw and the bottom looks like a trumpet.

Step 4. Add Ground Coffee To The Percolator Basket

Measure out one scoop or 2 tablespoons of coffee per cup of water. The basket is perforated to allow the water to filter through the grounds and then back into the bottom of the pot. Add more coffee for a darker brew.

Step 5. Replace The Coffee Pot Lid

If you forget to put the lid on the pot, you will be entertained by a spout of boiling water shooting all over the kitchen. Put the lid on!

Step 6. Heat The Coffee Pot

a ceramic coffee pot near a window
Heat the coffee pot

Percolator coffee pots are designed for the stovetop or as a plug-in electric unit. For the electric version, just plug it in, and it will start to heat up. On the stovetop, use medium-high to high heat.

The point is to boil the water so that it percolates up through the straw and back down through the coffee basket.

Step 7. Watch The Clear Percolator Knob

At first, the glass knob in the lid of the pot will show clear water. As the coffee brews, the liquid will turn darker. Your coffee will be ready in about five to ten minutes. A longer brew time delivers a bolder cup of coffee.

Step 8. Pour A Fresh Cup Of Coffee

Turn off the heat and serve up some fresh coffee for you and your friends!

Selecting The Right Ground Coffee For Your Coffee Pot

ground coffee surrounded by coffee beans
Selecting the right ground coffee is important if you want to serve a perfectly brewed cup of coffee

Because your percolator coffee pot uses a perforated metal basket instead of a paper filter, finely ground coffee will just wash through the basket. Avoid serving a cup full of bitter grounds by choosing a medium or coarse-grind coffee.

 You can save some serious cash by picking up a can, jar, or bag of coffee in the coffee aisle at the grocery store. Check the label before you buy. Some brands offer different grinds for use in coffee pots vs. coffee makers.

You may even find your favorite coffee shop beans waiting to be ground. Most stores have a coffee grinder available for your use.

Of course, if you really want to serve up a treat, swing by your morning coffee shop. You can request a pound of your favorite blend and ask for a medium grind suitable for your coffee pot.

Don’t forget to pick up the creamer, sweeteners, and stir sticks!

Final Word On How To Make Coffee In A Coffee Pot

Ultimately, using an old-fashioned coffee pot is not difficult, and you can make a really great pot without tossing out a pile of little cups. Just remember to take it all apart, add water, put it back together, add coffee, and start brewing!

FAQs For How To Make Coffee In A Coffee Pot

What amount of coffee do you need for a pot of coffee?

The average percolator coffee pot can hold 12 cups of coffee. You will need 1.5 cups or 12 scoops of coffee to brew a regular pot. Add more or less to get the brew that you like best.

What kind of coffee do you use to make coffee in a coffee pot?

You can pick up a can of any national brand at the grocery store. For a more refined cup, stop by your favorite coffee shop and order a pound of medium grind in your favorite roast.

How many scoops of coffee do I use to make 6 cups?

You need six scoops of coffee to make 6 medium cups of coffee. Use a little more or less to suit your taste.


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.