Coffee Percolator Review

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Percolator Review
Percolator Review

Time for a cup of coffee, but first let’s do a coffee percolator review.
Don’t ever use a percolator to make coffee. Percolators are the worst way to make coffee. No true appreciator of coffee would ever use an old fashioned percolator – or so we’ve heard. The theory of the so-called ‘coffee experts’ is that the water temperature which reaches boiling point; is too high, resulting in the over-extraction of the grounds. So, in theory, the resulting product is a bitter, horrible tasting cup of coffee. That is, In Theory.

Coffee Making Theory

My own theory is that nobody ever drank a cup of theory. Taste is in the eye of the beholder, or in this case – the palate. After my disappointment with my recent Mr. Coffee Drip Coffee Maker, I wanted to try something new. A couple of things prompted me to try a percolator:

  1. The fact that it does make a piping hot cup of coffee.
  2. The many thousands of coffee drinkers (obviously, unsophisticated fools), boasting on the internet, how great their coffee tastes from a percolator.

Either these people never heard the theory on how badly their coffee grounds are over-extracted or they don’t know beans about good coffee theories. Or perhaps they never heard these theories about beans. I tend to believe that thousands of people swearing by what they think actually tastes good can’t all be wrong. Starbucks, the benchmark of a very hot, fresh cup of coffee is served in your cup at about 188 degrees. When I started searching for a hotter cup of coffee, I learned that the vast majority of drip coffee makers do not come close to producing water that is between 195 and 205 degree brewing temperature. By the time the coffee reaches your cup, it’s closer to 170 degrees. Which means by the time you’ve taken a few sips, it is only luke-warm. There is in-fact, one Drip Coffee Maker which achieves a much hotter water temperatures:
TechnivormThe Technivorm is an odd-looking drip-coffee maker from the Nederlands that sells for around $245.00. I was tempted to buy this one, but it seemed like a lot of money and a great deal of cumbersome gadgetry to do something that a simple $40-$50 percolator might do just as well. So, I did what thousands of other coffee drinkers are ranting and raving about: I bought a Percolator.

The West Bend 12-Cup Percolator Introduction

This attractive, stainless steel percolator is less expensive than competitive brands: About $10 less than the Presto and nearly $30-$40 less than Farberware, which seems to be the age-old, gold standard of percolators. Based on user opinions, the Presto seemed to have the highest rating, but I was not nearly as impressed with the construction and looks. The Farberware was not available in any of my local retail stores in the 12-cup version and the looks and workmanship of the 4-Cup version didn’t impress me enough to make me want to spend more time and money to find one. The West Bend is a really solid, attractive looking percolator. How nice it is to have a coffee maker that not only looks good, but takes up such little space on the kitchen counter.

Coffee Percolator Features

Ever wonder why most electrical household appliances like percolators use such a flimsy cord that invariably breaks over time? One outstanding feature of the West Bend Percolator is its thick standard, 3-prong cord; exactly the same power cord used by desktop computers and monitors. The West Bend is made from stainless steel, both inside and outside, with a very sturdy durable plastic handle. One other aesthetic edge it has over the other brands, is the traditional transparent lid-tip which shows the color of the coffee while its brewing. Why would Farberware , Presto and other brands use a solid black one and take away the fun? As with any percolator, there are no programmable timers or other electronic features. Inside, it’s basically a stainless steel urn, a spring-loaded rod and basket with lid. One minor complaint: The measured markings on the inside of the carafe only show 8-12 cups. There are no markings for anything less than 8-cups, so you’ll have to guess if you want to make 1-7 cups. Not a big issue


On my first try, I filled the water up to the 8 cups mark of the urn and added 4 big heaping scoops of Starbucks Roasted blend from Costco into the metal filter basket. I plugged it in and watched and enjoyed the aroma for the next 8 minutes. The red light went on when the coffee was done. The coffee was every bit as hot as advertised, but the incredible Starbucks quality and freshness is what surprised me the most! If there is one drawback, it’s that the coffee does begin to get lose its freshness and flavor if the percolator is left turned on. I’ve found that the best thing to do is immediately remove the cord after it is perked. It will remain hot for your second cup. And here’s a very simple work-around for the lack of a programmable timer. Use a $10.00 7-day programmable timer. The beauty of this is that you can program the on and off times for 7 days of the week. Most drip coffee makers don’t even do that. Theories be damned, Percolators do make really good coffee – and it’s every bit as hot as the drip maker that you’d have to pay $245.00 for that clutters your kitchen counters.


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  1. Mike August 14, 2009
  2. Rob January 17, 2010

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