Percolator “Latte”

Hi all! One of the first types of homemade coffee I ever experimented with and got hooked on was using a Percolator like a Bialetti. It doesn’t require precise measurements, buying a 2 cup one is fairly cheap, they last forever, they’re easy to use, and you can make multiple types of coffee with them.

Some people will tell you that a percolator makes espresso; this isn’t technically true because of the pressure required to make espresso. That being said, a percolator is the easiest way (I have found) to make a coffee that is as close to espresso as I can make at home. As for the milk for the “latte” (which I put in quotation marks because a latte uses espresso, and technically this doesn’t use espresso), you will need a french press to create the foam.


  • 2 heaping tbsp light roast coffee beans
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • about 2/3 c water
  • 1 1/4 c almond milk or preferred milk


First things first, you need to grind your coffee and cardamom together. I use a little electric spice grinder given to me years ago by my grandparents. It isn’t very precise and won’t uniformly grind your beans, but it works for me. In the spice grinder, it takes about 1 minute of long pulses to grind my beans to the right size.

After grinding your beans, put water in your percolator. You’ll want to add the water so the level is just below the safety valve on the inside. If you cover the valve, the valve won’t do it’s job in the case of the percolator becoming too pressurized.

Now, add your grounds into the filter. Some people put grounds into the filter and leave the grounds unpacked, so the water can go through them more easily. In my opinion, this method is good for more diluted or weaker coffee, which is what you want when you like to drink the coffee as is. For this coffee, we want it to be strong – as close to espresso as possible. To make the coffee strong, we need to pack in the grounds.

To pack in the grounds, I like to add a couple spoonfuls at a time, and pack them in the filter with the palm of my had. Continue to pack in grounds until the filter is full, but ensure there is a little room at the top in order to screw on the top easily. Make sure you keep the edge of the filter clean, or when you screw on the top it will not seal properly.

Now screw on the top; ensure it seals tightly by cleaning the top of the filter and well before placing the top on. Now it is time to put your percolator on the heat.

Heat a burner to medium/high, and place your percolator on it. Make sure not to place the handle over the heat, as it may melt. Open the lid to the percolator and keep an eye on it as it heats. Watch for the coffee to begin dripping out of the top.

While you are waiting and continuing to watch, throw your almond milk in the microwave for around 1.5-2 minutes. Not to hot, or it won’t foam properly.

Once the reservoir becomes half full, turn your heat down to low/medium so the process slows. Wait for the coffee to almost reach the top (3/4 full) before turning off the heat. Your goal is to turn off the heat a little before your coffee spews out the top. This will ensure your coffee does not have a bitter taste and will not make a mess on your stove!

Almost there! Now you take your milk out of the microwave and add it to the clean french press. Place the plunger and lid on the top and begin plunging the milk to sort-of froth the milk. Do this around 30 seconds to 1 minute until you see that the milk doubled in volume.

Now take the lid off and begin tamping (banging it on the counter to release bubbles) and swirling it (to make the milk silky smooth after the bubbles have been tamped out). Do this until the texture of your milk is silky and smooth. It should look like similar to the picture below.

I put the foamy milk in an old coffee cup as the special coating on the inside helps the foam become smoother. Also, I create a little pointed pour spout by bending the cup.

Now pour about half the coffee into a small mug, sprinkle some cinnamon in, and add your milk to it. You can try to do some latte art, as it can be a lot of fun, but it will taste the same in the end: delicious and creamy. Enjoy!

To buy or research buying a Bialetti moka pot or percolator, click here!

*This recipe has a lot of technique and years of personal experience and research involved. Thus, it is why this post tends to be wordier and more specific than most. Below is the same coffee made with rice milk, which I enjoy more except the fact that rice milk doesn’t foam well.

Sorry for the horrible picture quality!!

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