I purchased this for $13, knowing the mixed reviews that I have read elsewhere and here on the internet. I figured I could always return it did not work properly. I'm on a somewhat tight budget right now and didn't want to pay $30 currently for an electric percolator. Plus I wanted something that could be used in the event of losing power due to a hurricane [I live in Florida].
I grew up watching my grandmother perc coffee as a young child. It always smelt so good. And I wanted to recapture those memories as well.
I have never used a percolator so this has been a bit of a learning curve. The pot itself is a think stainless steel and can be dented easily. It's the nature of the make. If you want something thicker/more dent resistant you will have to spend more money. That said, unless you're playing football with the thing, or bang it against something there's really no reason for it to dent. Yes, you can see areas where it is sodded together. Again, nature of the make.
I have read where it appears the guts of pot seem small for the pot itself, and I will concur that is true. The base of the percolator looks tiny down in the pot. The filter basket is supposed to hold up to 8 tablespoons of coffee since this is an 8 cup pot. However [see pictures], I brew 5 cups and it doesn't appear that there would be much room to have more coffee in the basket beyond that. You'd really have to pack it down a bit. That said, I actually used a paper towel like my grandmother always did, to help keep grounds out of the coffee [you'll need to use a quite coarse grind to avoid grounds in the coffee IF you don't use any filters.]
As seen in my pictures, I put the paper towel in the basket, fill it with coffee and then fold over two portions to cover the grounds to help secure them in there. I then leave the other two portions hanging over the basket and it seems to make a tighter seal when the basket cover is on there. I add hot water to the kettle, put in the percolator, and then put on the stovetop over medium high heat. I bring it to a full rolling boil. When it starts to percolate I let it continue for a full 10 minutes on med. high.
So far, I have made 4 pots and it has worked ever time. Things I've learned so far:
1.) I did about 7 cups one time, and the kettle splattered liquid out of the spout. To curb that [see picture] I actually just stuck a small piece of paper towel in the spout so it could catch liquid. I wasn't keen on cleaning it from my stovetop again!
2.) It's "old fashioned". If you're looking for a quick cup or pot of coffee, this is not for you. It's not a Keurig or Drip maker. It generally will take a good 15-20 minutes to get a good pot.
3.) IF you do happen to get some grounds in the pot. Just let the pot sit a couple of moments after you remove it from the heat and the grounds will settle to the bottom.
4.) The kettle keeps the coffee hot for a good 1/2 hour to 45 minutes AFTER being removed from the heat!
5.) Remember to use a pot holder to remove the kettle and pour. The metal is a heat conductor and you will get burned. All in all, it's a good little pot for an old fashioned brew. You can taste a difference between modern makers and this, in a delicious way! For the price, it is well worth it!
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