Farberware Percolator

Presto 12-Cup vs Westbend and Farberware Percolator

Farberware Percolator vs Westbend
Presto Percolator

A Farberware Percolator seems to be the all time standard in this group. So, how does the Farberware Percolator compare to the contenders? I’ll have to admit that I sometimes get overly excited about products without giving them enough time to show me their quirks. I really thought the Westbend Percolator was a great percolator until it showed me it’s dark side – and I don’t mean, dark, as in coffee. The Westbend Percolator was the king of all java until it started exhibiting an annoying habit from time to time.  On a rare occasion, the Westbend Percolator would decide to take time some time off from it’s duties, and just brew piping hot water instead of piping hot coffee.  Imagine getting up at six in the morning, only to have your groggy eyes and nose see and smell nothing but steaming hot, odorless water pouring into your cup. The first time this happened, I figured it must have been a mistake. I must have done something wrong.  However, on a few other occasions, I recalled the coffee was not as strong and robust as it was when I tasted that first, magnificent cup. By the time, my Westbend Percolator decided to perk it’s 3rd, full pot of water, I had to throw the traitor out of my kitchen. It is now sitting in my basement next to my other failed coffee marriage – the Cuisinart-Coffee-Making-Grinder.

Farberware Percolator

Like anyone else, I read lots of users opinions before I decide to buy a new product. Fortunately, there are lots and lots of user reviews on coffee makers and the percolator. The Farberware Percolator has got to be America’s old, favorite stand-by Coffee Percolator, and much of those that reviewed it, agree that it makes a very tasty cup of coffee. One complaint many owners of a new Farberware Percolator share online is that the product is no longer made in the manufacturer’s original plant in America. It is made in China and so the quality and workmanship is noticeably inferior to your Grandma’s Stainless-Steel, heavy Farberware Percolator. None-the-less, most Farberware Percolator owners are still happy with the flavor that comes out of their coffee makers, if not a little bit concerned about the durability. I went to my local kitchen appliance store and took a look at their 8-cup Farberware on display. One noticable difference between the Farberware Percolator and Westbend was that the brewing pipe had a deeper fitting, which seems would make it less likely for it to become dislodged and have the water miss the basket. This is what I assumed happened when the Westbend decided to brew only water.  The average star rating for the Farberware Percolator was 4 as opposed to 3.5 for the Westbend. Could I a higher rated unit than the Farberware Percolator?

Presto. It’s the Presto Percolator

Based on user-ratings, the Presto had the highest star score: 4.5 Stars. Users of the Presto Percolator seem to unanimously agree that this coffee maker consistently makes a strong and flavorful pot of coffee. There were few complaints on the Presto, except once again, those old enough to remember, felt that the construction was not up to the standards of percolators past. Upon first looking at the Presto in the kitchen store, I would have to say that it seemed to be made from the flimsiest materials of the three. The stainless steel components seemed lighter-weight and more aluminum like than stainless steel than either the Westbend or Farberware percolator. The brewing pipe on the Presto, was noticably deeper, though, and I decided it was worth the $45 Sears was asking for it.

Presto 12-Cup Maker Coffee Taste Test

My first cup of Presto Percolated Coffee was excellent, but then, so was the coffee from my Westbend percolator. The difference, however, was that the 2nd, 3rd and 4th time, every cup tasted just as good as the first – and over a week of brewing 10 pots or so, not once did the Presto take a vacation on me. Both the Presto and Westbend make the coffee equally hot – which is light years better than my last Cuisinart, Mr. Coffee and Braun Drip makers were. Despite, the somewhat more aluminum look and feel to it, the Presto does have one huge advantage over the Westbend. It has a very elegant, narrow pouring spout, which not only looks nice, but pours better and keeps the coffee hotter. The Presto seems to take a little longer making 10-12 cups of brew, but I don’t mind that if the result is consistently strong coffee. Now, onto the Presto Percolator Ratings.

Final Ratings

No. I won’t Fall for this Trap Again

Suffice it to say, that the Presto, has so far lived up to my expectations and is the best of the two Percolators I’ve used so far. I will not jinx myself this time with a numerical rating on a product that has not yet stood the test of time. My coffee is way too valuable for that. At any rate, long live the percolator.

Updated: Final Ratings on Presto Percolator

I give the Presto a rating of 84 out of 100. Place your own Rating Below

Coffee Percolator Review

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.


Give us your own Rating on the Westbend Coffee Percolator

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