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How Much Coffee is Needed for 30 Cups?

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Coffee to Brew 30 Cups

The birth of drip brewers, French presses, and fancy Espresso machines may have pushed percolators out of the way, but they are definitely not forgotten. Especially if regularly satisfying the caffeine needs of 30 energy-craving people. 

And since brewing in a percolator is so much different, we’ve created this guide so you will know just how much coffee to use to get the ideal brewing ratio every time.

How Much Ground Coffee Is Needed for a 30-Cup Percolator?

Brewing in a percolator is not rocket science, but we shouldn’t disregard the fact that it uses a different brewing system, either. That being said, you shouldn’t use your electric maker as a gauge that will show you how much coffee to add if brewing 30 cups.

The ideal amount of ground coffee you should use for your 30-cup percolator is 2 ½ cups (about half a pound). Also, for best results, aim for coffee that is ground explicitly for percolators.

Factors to Consider When Brewing

There are two critical things you need to have in mind when brewing in a percolator:


Do not forget that dark roasts are stronger and offer a more intense kick than lightly roasted coffee. Of course, this depends on personal preferences, but you should strive for the perfect balance that pleases your palate.

Brewing Time

The not-so-convenient thing about making coffee in a percolator is the fact that it requires a bit more control. These pots brew at a much higher temperature, so it is easier to over-extract your brew and end up with a bitter cup.

To avoid that, do not percolate for more than 10 minutes. That is just enough time to almost bring to a boil. Keep in mind that boiling also increases bitterness.

30-Cup Coffee Maker Tips

Percolator brewing may be different, but it is pretty straightforward:

Setup the Percolator

  1. Take the percolator stem out, and fill it with cold water (not warm!) up to the max line.
  2. Take the basket out, wet it, and add the preferred coffee amount (ideally 2 ½ cups for 30 cups).
  3. Slide the basket in, fit the stem back into its hole, and assemble your brewer.
  4. Plug it in and start the brewing process. Ideally, you should stop at the 10-minute mark, although you can brew for up to 25 if you prefer it more bitter.

Coffee Percolator Pros and Cons

Here is what most percolator users love and don’t like so much about this brewing style:


  • Most convenient when brewing for a crowd.
  • Percolators brew at high temperatures, which means that the result is a more robust and intense taste than the cup of Joe from your drip maker.
  • Better control over the brewing process (you can stop at ten or brew for a full 25 minutes if you prefer).
  • It is a classic machine with a vintage design that fits perfectly into retro kitchens.


  • Easy to over-extract and end up with a bitter taste, which requires that you pay more attention to the brewing process.
  • Little room for coffee customization. Besides adding creamer or sugar, there is nothing you can do to make a specialty coffee with the percolator.
  • It requires more practice and control.
  • Not so easy to clean.


Percolator is perfect for crowd brewing – with the right amount of coffee added, it can brew 30 equally delicious cups. But if you need only a couple of cups of morning Java, you are better off. Nevertheless, this brewer remains a vintage coffee maker that will retain its charm for many years to come. That alone is worth having one in your kitchen.

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