Primula Today Aluminum Percolator (9-Cup) Review: I Bought & Tested It
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Rating and Summary
The Primula Today Aluminum Percolator is a lightweight and highly inexpensive metal percolator.
However, bear in mind that it’s definitely not a 9-cup capacity, it’s more like a 6-cup, and the overall quality isn’t great. Basically, you get what you pay for.
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Here’s what we’ll discuss here:
- In the Box
- Official Instructions
- How to Use
The Primula Today Aluminum Percolator came in an Amazon box, which had another cardboard box inside. After opening up both boxes, here’s what the unpacked Primula Percolator looked like:
In the Box
In the box, you get the Primula Today Aluminum 9-Cup Percolator pot, the lid with a perking knob, a filter basket, a stem, a spreader, and some instructions. Standard percolator stuff.
These are my personal measurements of the Primula Today Aluminum 9-Cup Percolator:
- Length from handle to spout, about 8 inches, or 20 cm.
- Width, about 5 inches, or 13cm.
- Height from perking knob to base, 8 inches or 20 cm.
- Weight, 330 grams or 11.6 ounces.
- Made in: China.
To use the percolator, first fill the percolator pot with water. Primula recommends filling the water all the way to the bottom of the lowest row of 3 holes. For me, this was about 46.5 ounces, so that’s about 7 and a half 6-ounce cups. When on the stove, Primula recommends using only low heat, and percolating for no more than 3 minutes.
I tried this, but after 20 minutes of waiting for the water to boil on low heat, I just kind of gave up and put it on medium heat instead. The waiting time is just so long on low heat, and 3 minutes of perking made the coffee taste a bit under-extracted to me.
How to Use
So, if you’re interested, here’s how I make my own percolator coffee. For me, I use 6 ounces of water for 1 cup of coffee. I grind my medium roast coffee into a coarse grind, I use 10 or 11 grams of grounds for 1 cup of coffee, and I pour it into the filter basket.
Next, I place the stem, filter basket, and spreader into the pot, close the lid, and place the Primula Percolator on the stove. My personal preference is to bring the water to a boil on medium heat, and when it starts boiling, you can see the water perking in the transparent knob on the top of the Primula Percolator.
After, I usually lower the heat slightly to medium low heat, and wait about 7 minutes, before turning off the heat entirely.
Then, I let the Primula Percolator sit for a few extra minutes to allow the water in the filter basket to drain out and the grounds in the coffee to settle at the bottom, before pouring it out to drink.
This is just how I do it and how I use all my percolators, but feel free to do whatever suits you best.
Testing and Performance
And here’s how I tested the Primula Today Aluminum 9-Cup Percolator.
- Brew Time
- Ease of Use
- Ease of Clean Up
You can also find all the test results in this section.
For brew time, I looked at the time to first perk, which is the amount of time it takes for the water to start boiling.
At a 3-cup capacity, or 18 ounces, it took 4 minutes and 45 seconds for the water to boil in the Primula Today Aluminum 9-Cup Percolator.
And at a 6-cup capacity, or 36 ounces, it took 8 minutes and 45 seconds.
Bear in mind that these are estimates and can change depending on different factors like the temperature of your water, the surrounding temperature, the amount of heat you use, and stuff like that. I used tap water at room temperature, and brought it to a boil on medium heat.
After the water started boiling, I let the coffee percolate for about 7 minutes on medium-low heat.
The Primula Percolator is marketed as a 9-cup percolator, but when I filled it with 36 ounces or 6 cups, which reaches the second hole of the spout, when I let the coffee percolate on medium low heat for about 8 minutes, the Primula Percolator started boiling over, so I had to quickly turn off the heat.
The Primula Percolator worked just fine when I brewed 5 cups of coffee, or 30 ounces, and 4 cups of coffee, or 24 ounces, but when I tried brewing just 3 cups of coffee or 18 ounces, my “brew” was just water with some grounds. This is because there wasn’t enough water to go up the stem and spread over the grounds. My 32 grams of coffee grounds were hardly used.
So, basically, the Primula Percolator is good for brewing a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 6 cups of coffee.
The Primula filter basket is actually pretty big. When I packed it to the brim, it could hold easily 120 grams (or 4.2 ounces) of coffee.
The Primula Percolator only comes in this capacity, there are no other smaller or bigger options.
Ease of Use
The Primula Aluminum Percolator does not have any scale or markings on the inside or outside of the pot, which is a little inconvenient.
But it does come with this transparent perking knob so you can tell when the water starts boiling, and also the color of your coffee.
The horizontal part of the handle near the pot gets pretty hot, but the vertical part stays pretty cool, and the handle is sturdy to hold.
The Primula Percolator is also pretty stable on the stove.
And because I used a coarse grind, only a minimal amount of grounds got into my last cup of coffee. If you find grinds in your coffee, you can either wet the filter basket or use coffee filter paper.
To clean up, just toss the grounds and run water through all the components of the Primula Percolator. They can be taken apart easily for a good washing.
You can also percolate water to clean it up. It doesn’t seem to be dishwasher safe from the reviews though.
The pot, stem, filter basket, and spreader of the Primula Percolator are made of aluminum, while the handle and the perking knob are made of plastic.
The holes of the spreader and the filter basket don’t seem to be cut very well, and feels very rough against the skin. I think the finish on this percolator is kind of lacking as well. Here are some water mark stains on the inside of the pot and some coffee stains on the filter basket.
The stem is also bent, and the filter basket and stem don’t sit firmly inside the pot, so it rattles when I shake it gently.
I also could not find any information on the warranty.
Overall quality – not that great.
Pros and Cons
For pros, the Primula Percolator is made of aluminum, which makes it very lightweight. The filter basket is pretty big in case you like to add more coffee grounds. It’s also my least expensive camping coffee percolator.
As for cons, it’s definitely not a 9-cup capacity. In fact, the capacity is pretty limited. You have to brew a minimum of 4 cups, to a maximum of 6 cups. There are no scale or cup level markings, and the overall quality, finish and construction on this thing is not that great.
Do I recommend the Primula Today Aluminum 9-Cup Percolator?
Well, if you’re on a really tight budget, this Primula Percolator is the least expensive camping percolator that I have. Also, if you need a metal percolator that’s portable, aluminum is much more lightweight than stainless steel.
But honestly, I’m not a big fan of this percolator. It’s not expensive, for sure, but I think you get what you pay for. The finish and cutting on this thing is not good, the stem is bent and the components don’t even sit firmly inside the pot.
Personally, I would rather pay slightly more for a much higher quality percolator.
Bonus: Must Read!
To find out which camping coffee percolator I actually recommend, you can click here: The 9 Best Camping Percolators: I Bought & Tested Them All (complete with YouTube video).
Or, check out the Primula Percolator: