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How to Use a Comet Aluminum Stovetop Coffee Maker

Caprice Castano

Aluminum percolator coffee pots were all the rage before modern electric coffee makers took over the job. Efficient and widely available, some coffee aficionados still swear by them, and many vintage designs such as the Comet are easily obtained. Using these old stand-by coffee makers is a good experience, and it never hurts to have one on hand if you need that jolt of morning caffeine, and find yourself without electricity.

Use a Comet Aluminum Stovetop Coffee Maker
  1. Remove the lid from your aluminum coffee pot, and take out the basket assembly. This should consist of a basket on a long stem with a base, and a lid for the basket. The basket will be perforated with holes to allow the heated water to drip through the coffee grounds. The basket may be attached to the stem or they may be separate pieces in which the stem slides into the middle of the basket and lid.

  2. Fill the pot with the desired amount of cold water. Most pots contain a fill line for a full pot of coffee and a corresponding line for grounds on the basket. If you wish to make a smaller quantity, the standard ratio is one cup of cold water to one tablespoon of ground coffee.

  3. Place the basket on the stem, and place it in the coffee pot, making sure the base is settled on the bottom of the pot to avoid tipping. Fill the basket carefully with the desired amount of ground coffee, either to the fill line or using the ratio as described above for another amount or if there is no fill line. Place the basket lid on top once the grounds are inside, and place the outer lid on the coffee pot.

  4. Place the pot on a stove burner on medium high heat. This type of pot can also be used on a camp stove or even over an open flame if the user is experienced with regulating the heat. Once the pot is placed over the heat source, it should begin to "perk" within a few moments. You will begin to see liquid bubble up into the glass dome on the lid. This is heated water coming up the stem of the basket assembly and flowing down over the basket, brewing the coffee. The longer the percolating goes on the darker the coffee will become. The coffee should be done in five to six minutes, and should be removed from the heat to avoid over boiling and making it taste bitter.