Holiday wish lists for foodies and coffee snobs this year include Hario V60 ceramic pour-over dripper cones, highly sensitive digital brewing scales, burr grinders and, for stocking stuffers, bags of small-lot Ethiopian and Panamanian beans. (The truly optimistic are also including La Marzocco’s mini Linea espresso machine, which retails for a cool $4,500.)

Forty years ago, the coffee habit-altering gift for those wanting to make a better cup of Joe at home would have been an automatic drip coffee machine.

Back in the 1960s, Americans were preparing coffee by the potful for breakfast, lunch and even dinner with their percolator. While the glass knob-topped pot deliciously gurgled and filled the kitchen with wonderful aromas, percolators often produced a bitter brew from cycling boiling water over and over through the grounds.

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