Enamelware Coffeepot

I bought this in an antique store years ago and it sits on a shelf in my kitchen, but every once in a while I pull it down and use it. It’s kinda fun to make coffee the way it was done years ago. Best I can tell from looking on the internet, this pot is from the 1940s, but I’m sure some of the readers here can give me a better idea of just how old it is. It’s pretty simple to use despite all the parts. First, I fill it about halfway full.

Then I put this thing into the pot. (if there are names to all these parts I sure don’t know what they are)

Later when the water boils, water will shoot up the center of this thing and spout out the top. Not to worry though, the lid will be on. Next, the bowl that holds the coffee grounds is added.

It has lots of little holes which allow the water to drain out and keep the coffee grounds in, but my grounds are too small and slip through the holes, so I have to add a filter.

Coffee must have been ground much coarser back then.  I add the coffee, (hey, we might be 10,000 miles from the nearest Dunkin Donuts, but I can at least get their coffee here)

put the bowl lid on,

close the coffee pot lid,

and add the glass top. It has a little indentation in it where the coffee will spout up so you can see how strong or weak the coffee is as it boils without lifting the lid.

So I put the pot on the stove and wait for it to boil. Then I reduce the heat and let it simmer.

It simmers for about 15 minutes before it looks the right color to me. 

I like weak coffee. I remove it from the stove, (hot pad needed), 

 pour it out,

add some sugar

and real cream,

and stir.  

Mmmmmm……very good.  Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Do you have a pot like this, or did you grow up with one?  I love mine, it’s one of my favorite antique finds.


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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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22 Responses

  1. Jeannelle says:

    A usable collectible! Pretty shot of the coffee being poured into the cup. I recall my grandma having a clear glass Pyrex coffeemaker which she used on the stovetop.

  2. Carola says:

    I did grow up with one of these pots. My parents loved their coffee! We always called that part that holds the basket the “stem.” I don’t know if that’s the correct term but that’s what we called it. Have a Blessed Christmas!

  3. Lynda M O says:

    Next door to me is an older gentleman who still, every single day, makes himself a pot of coffee just like the one you show here. He’s into his ninth decade and I bet he hasn’t missed a month’s worth of days since he bought the percolator new in the mid-40’s while he was still a teen.

  4. Brenda Z says:

    The hubby and I were just talking about our older generation the other day, we made coffee in these pots daily. That’s the coffee that was so hot you learned quickly how to “saucer and blow” your cup of coffee. Fond memories. And yes the coffee was much more coarse even into the sixty’s until the drip pots like Mr. Coffee came into being.

    Your coffee looks yummy by the way. Enjoy!!!

  5. Kerry Hand says:

    My mum and dad had an electric one. 1960s. It was called a percolator. A local cafe here is called “The Percolator’.

  6. Julie says:

    We don’t have one like that, but I have a glass one that I like to use–you can watch the clear water get “bombed” with coffee drips when it first starts really going. You’re right about the grounds–I want to try grinding some whole bean coffee to see if I can get it to the right size not to leak through. My grandmother still uses her glass perculator. I think, because perculated coffee is SO hot, that anything less than scalding was not acceptable to her. (She just turned 100 last week!)

  7. Judi D says:

    We have a tin coffeepot that works just this way, and use it on a Coleman stove when our family goes camping. It makes the best coffee, or maybe it’s just that everything tastes better outside.

  8. Bob says:

    The coarser grind coffee is called percolator grind. Kinda hard to find nowadays,but it is still made. I haven’t really noticed for years ( if not decades) but those gourmet coffee grinder sections (the ones you pour whole beans in and then select which grind you want on a dial) at the grocery stores used to have that grind to select . Of course if you are on a septic tank, maybe better to just use the paper filters so you can just toss the used grounds.

  9. Debbie says:

    Yum! I’d love to have a cup of that coffee with you! I love hazelnut coffee with cream and sugar! Warm dessert in a cup!
    I don’t consciously remember these pots, but I remember how they work.
    What a lovely post!

  10. Ruth in IA says:

    We got married in 1963 and used a percolator for many years, only ours was a chrome electric one and automatically stopped “perking” when the coffee was ready. The tube thing was called the stem, and I believe the bowl to hold the grounds was called the basket, and the top piece was the basket lid.

  11. Ellen Peavey says:

    I grew up watching my parents make coffee with a pot just like that one only it was a tall silver pot. The long part in the middle of the pot is called the stem, my parents never used a filter put the grounds in the basket. You could smell the coffee peculating through the whole house. The picture of the coffee pot brings back fond memories of life in the 1950’s. Ellen

  12. Edith says:

    You just can not beat the Good Ole days!!! Love that Perked Coffee. I have an old glass Pyrex Percolator.

    It’s the Basket, Stem, and Bulb.

    Nice Post Suzanne.

  13. Tina says:

    Love it! These coffee pots that perk are so hard to find. By the way they come in very handy during a power outage if you have a gas stove. Suzanne, I have some old enamelware like that. I have an original bowl & pitcher, a little square box w/lid. I’ll have to keep my eye out for a coffee pot too. I also have a hand crank coffee grinder that would make you a nice grind that wouldn’t fall thru your basket.

  14. Peggy says:

    Oh wow! What memories. I love your photo of pouring the coffee in the cup up close! I wish I could take photos half as good as you!

  15. Pam K. says:

    Your percolator is in great shape! So much of the old enamelware has chips in it. I’d love to sit down with you and drink a cup of perked Dunkin’ Donuts Hazelnut coffee with cream, since that’s the exact kind I make every day!

  16. Beth says:

    We have an aluminum coffee pot that we keep for when the power goes out… once in awhile we get it down and make a brew because it is such a great cup of coffee..

  17. Oh man!!! You lucky dog! I want one of those sooo bad! I was just talking to my husband last night about wanting an old coffee pot! This one you have is fantastic! I know that I remember playing with an old aluminum pot just like this one..it was not enamel coated though. I can sorta see memories in my head of playing with it as a child. Man, I wish my mom still had that! Oh Suzanne, if you could see the huge kettles that my son gets to use for Boy Scouts when they go camping!! Absolutely gorgeous! They are red enamel and they have a spout and a lid…I guess the are tea kettles??? I’m not sure, but they use them to heat water over the fire. The last time I dropped my son off to go camping..the trailer was being packed up with all of the gear and there sat these two huge red kettles! I wished I had my camera! Next time, I will take a pic if I can! Anyhow, thank you for doing this post! I really, really, really want to make coffee like this. I LOVE old fashioned-ey stuff like this! But…if by chance you and I should ever meet some day..and we get to have some conversation over a cup of coffee…we are going to have to pour your cup first and then continue to cook that coffee just a little longer for my cup! I like dark, bold roasts! Okay?? hee hee!!!!

  18. Sue, a Florida Farm Girl says:

    We have a stainless steel one in the camper but haven’t used it in years! We wimps are always plugged into the electricity so we just use the regular drip pot. My parents used on very similar while I was growing up, as well as the electric percolator. Have a sip for me, okay?

    Merry Christmas to you and Harland, and Miss Kitty!!!

  19. Cindy says:

    My Grandma STILL uses her enamel coffee pot everyday to make Egg Coffee. It is not a peculator type but we all love it. She is 89 and almost every week day she has people over for coffee at 10 and 3! There are days she is not there or running late but still has a kitchen full of neighbors or family.

    If family is together we can go through 4 or 5 pots of coffee.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    I love enamelware just wish I had more space for it.

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