A little over a year ago, if you asked my friends and coworkers if I liked coffee, the answer would be a resounding yes and my brewer of choice was a Keurig. I had Keurig machine and home and at work. As I started to examine my use of plastics in the kitchen, I couldn't ignore that my Keurig and really any automatic drip machine suffer from the same problem, hot water and plastic. It seemed silly to get rid of all my plastic kitchen storage but then continue to use the Keurig machines, so I looked for alternatives. A good friend of mine told me about his percolator. He and his wife use it for tea and he had nothing but praise for it. What's great about a percolator is that you can buy a model that is all stainless steel on the inside. No more plastic! Yay! I bought and have used the machine for about a year, so I'm ready to review it. If you indulge me, at the end, you can enter a giveaway to get a The Paleo Review mug!
After a little searching, I decided upon the Presto 12 cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker. I was a little sad that this one didn't have the cool glass button at the top to watch the coffee percolate, but most models use plastic instead of glass for those buttons now. I saw you can buy glass replacements but that seemed like a hassle. But wait, you're thinking this percolator seems like a hassle compared to a Keurig or automatic drip. Are there a few more steps? Yes. Is it really that much more time than prepping an automatic drip machine? No. Obviously, if you get a percolator, you should read your model's manufacturer's instructions, but here's how I make coffee.
Here are the parts of the machine.
A concern I had about using a percolator was the possibility of grounds getting in the coffee. I've never had this issue as I found these great filters. You essentially envelop the coffee grounds in a little filter package. The filters are a large square with a hole in the center to fit the tube in the middle of the grounds basket.
Each corner of the square has a hole that you fold onto the center tube after you fill the basket with coffee.
Shazam- no coffee mess!
You then put the lid on the coffee basket.
With the beans prepped, it's time for the water. This model has cup markings on the inside of the pitcher. Be careful when you fill it that you don't get the electric plug area wet. This is a 12 cup maker, but I believe Presto defines a cup as 5 or 6 ounces.
Next, you put the perc tube in the pot and make sure it seats in the center.
You then seat the coffee basket with lid in place on the perc tube in the pot.
Next, put the lid on securely.
Next, just plug the machine in and when the light turns on, your coffee is ready. You'll know when the brewing process is almost done as the classic percolator sound starts to slow. Once brewing is done, the machine stays on and keeps the coffee hot until you unplug it.
Accessibility & Cost: You're going to have to buy this machine online. In the realm of what coffee makers cost these days, this machine is a bargain, in my opinion at around $38.00 depending on what Amazon decides for the day. You'll also have to buy the filters online. A package of 40 filters costs just over $5. I personally bought a box of 12 of the 40 count packages so that I'd not have to think about filters for a while.
Brewing Time: You'd think in all this time I would have timed how long it takes to brew various numbers of cups, but I haven't. I can say that the brew time is line with the amount of time that an automatic drip maker takes.
Clean Up: This is where this machine shines! Ha! I love that I can see all of the inside working parts of this machine. No more mystery as to what is going on in the coffee maker. I love that no only can I run a pot with water and vinegar, but I can also scrub out the pot and the brewing parts. The manufacturer says that the brewing parts are not dishwasher safe, but after seeing that many people have used the dishwasher with success, I decided to take the risk. I was happy that I did and have been putting the brewing parts in the dishwasher and getting nice effort free squeaky clean brewing parts ever since. However, do so at your own risk as this isn't recommended by Presto. I hope I don't have to say that you cannot put the pot in the dishwasher or submerge it in water for that matter.
Since we're talking about clean up, here's the coffee basket after brewing. I just shake that little bundle of grounds into the garbage. A quick rinse and the basket is ready to go again.
SPECIAL WORD OF CAUTION: That pot gets HOT! I'm going to type it again, the pot gets SUPER HOT as you'd expect since its stainless steel. DO NOT TOUCH THE POT WHILE BREWING, PLUGGED IN, or HASN'T FULLY COOLED DOWN AFTER UNPLUGGING!!!
Also, make sure you UNPLUG THE MACHINE! There is no auto-off. I've turned this into a ritual every morning. I unplug the machine from the wall and then the pot itself. That way I know it is off.
The no auto-on/off might be a drawback to some, but it hasn't bothered me. I make my coffee in the evening so its ready to turn on in the evening. It brews while I'm getting my breakfast/lunch together and other morning chores done. The coffee situation at my work is pretty dire, so I make almost a full pot and fill up one of these Stanley vacuum bottles for the road. My papaw had one just like it. It keeps coffee hot for hours.
The Paleo Review: Thumbs Up! I am so glad I bought this machine. I've used it for just about a year now and haven't had a bad cup of coffee since. I've used cheap coffee and expensive coffee and always get a full flavored cup of hot goodness. Some may ask, if you want to avoid plastic, why not just get a Chemex, French press or ceramic pour over device? The drawback to me in those methods is that the coffee gets on the cool side before the brewing is even done and I like hot coffee. If you're looking for a brewing method avoids plastic, lets you clean every bit of the machine, and gives you a great hot cup of coffee, give this percolator a try!
GIVEAWAY! To celebrate the New Year and coffee, I'm going to giveaway 2 The Paleo Review mugs to 2 people who were kind enough to read through this entire review. This mug holds 15 ounces of the beverage of your choice. It's nice and hefty. I keep mine at the office and enjoy using it everyday!
|Only the mug is being given away, the gargoyle stays with me.|
To win, comment on this post with your favorite coffee brewing method. If you're not a coffee drinker, what's your favorite hot beverage of choice? Only one entry per person (if you comment more than one, you still get just one entry).
The fine print: I'll use randomizer to pick 2 giveaway winners who will receive 1 mug each. You must be at least 18 years of age and live in the 48 contiguous United States to win this giveaway. The contest will end on January 8, 2016 at 8 AM Central Standard Time. I'll announce the giveaway winners within 24 hours of the end of the contest here on the blog and the blog's Facebook page and will contact the winners with the email addresses the entrants provided to Disqus to leave a comment. The giveaway winners will have 48 hours to claim his/her prize beginning when I post the first announcement of the winner. If a winner does not contact me within that 48 hours, I will use randomizer to choose a new winner and go through the same notice process detailed above.
Sources/Affiliate Disclosure- I bought this coffee maker myself and was given nothing by anyone to review it. I purchased the mugs myself as well. The links in this post are affiliate links. All of my opinions expressed here are my own.