Presto 12-Cup Stainless Steel Percolator Coffee Maker Review

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Coffee used to be made much like tea. The grounds would be soaked in hot water, then they would be strained and the resulting “brew” would be for drinking. The stove top percolator was invented in 1889 and a heating element was added in the early 1900s so that coffee could be made anywhere by just plugging the pot in. The Presto 12-Cup Stainless Steel Percolator Coffee Maker is a modern brewer that brought percolator coffee back in vogue.

Self contained percolators with built-in heating elements enjoyed their heyday throughout the 1950s and 1960s. This is considered the “golden age” of percolator coffee makers and some say that percolated coffee is the best coffee you can drink. However, the modern drip coffee maker began to supplant percolator coffee makers in the early 70s because you could grab a cup when you wanted one and didn’t have to wait for the entire pot of coffee to be finished before pouring a cup. Those who liked drip coffee but wanted more control over the brewing process switched to manual pour over coffee. The French Press coffee maker was another style that was preferred for its simplicity.

The Presto 12 Cup Percolator Coffee Pot may be a throwback to another era, but it will still give you a very good cup of joe that rivals any other coffee maker out there. The fact that it is the top selling percolator on Amazon should give you reason enough to get one too.


A  Classic Percolator

The Presto Coffee Pot is a classic percolator in the most basic sense. You can make as many cups of coffee that you desire, from a couple of cups all the way up to 12, by filling up the pot to the desired water level. For stronger coffee use less water or more grounds, for weaker coffee use more water or less grounds. That choice will always be yours and once you get the right mix of grounds to water, you’ll always have the perfect cup.


Basic Operation

Remove the cover, the filter basket, basket lid and the percolator tube. Fill the coffee pot with water to your desired amount of cups. Place the tube back inside, place the basket over the tube and fill the basket up with the desired amount of coffee grounds. The basket is stainless steel and easy to clean, so you’ll never have to worry about paper filters either. Put the filter lid and cover back on, plug it in and in a few minutes it will begin to perk. When it stops percolating, in about 10 to 15 minutes, your coffee is done. That’s all there is to it.

If you don’t drink all the coffee immediately, it will still stay warm as long as the percolator remains plugged in.

Though you don’t need paper filters with this unit, you’ll need to use a medium grind for your coffee grounds or the filter holes will clog up easily and coffee will overflow and create sludge in your brew. If you really have to have a fine grind then use a paper filter fitted into the basket each time.


See how the Presto 12-Cup Stainless Steel Percolator Coffee Maker works!


Design and Features of the Presto 12-Cup Stainless Steel Percolator Coffee Maker

Filter basket and perk tube

  • Completely stainless steel for durability and ease of cleaning. The very bottom near the heating element is aluminium for better heating ability.
  • Goes well with any décor.
  • Just rinse the inside of the pot to clean.
  • All of the inner parts are dishwasher safe.
  • It will automatically keep your coffee warm as long as it stays plugged in.
  • Sturdy handle for easy lifting and well designed spout for pouring.



For Best Results

The Presto Percolator comes with a booklet that will give you the basics on how much coffee to add with a measured amount of water. Of course, you can tinker with those requirements and add less or more grounds and water to make a cup that is just right for your taste buds. That is particularly true if you are only making a few cups of coffee instead of 12. Many people say they prefer to add more grounds or decrease the water to get the strength they like.

If not using paper filters, only use a medium grind of coffee. Clean the filter from time to time with a bristle brush to remove grounds that are stuck in the holes.



  • Percolator coffee is considered by some experts as the best tasting coffee you can drink.
  • A stainless steel retro style that is unique and stylish and ideal for serving coffee tabletop like at a restaurant.
  • Percolators get a bad rap for being slow, but the Presto is one of the fastest percolators ever made. 12 cups takes about 15 minutes, but if you make only 4 cups, it will take less than 5 minutes, and that rivals drip coffee maker speed.
  • Coffee will stay warm as long as the unit is plugged in.
  • Solid and heavy, this percolator will stay on the counter or table even if it is bumped or nudged.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Easy to pour the exact cupful of coffee that you want with no dribbles or drips.



  • The stainless steel exterior smudges easily, so you’ll need to wipe it down daily to keep it spotless.
  • The coffee pot gets hot during the brewing cycle. Always use the handle when lifting or moving.
  • As with all percolators, even though this is one of the faster units available, if you make a full 12 cups, you’ll have to wait a while before you can pour.
  • Over time, the filter basket will become plugged with coffee grounds. You may need a toothbrush to scrub them out with.
  • There is no auto shut-off and it will keep your coffee warm until you unplug it. However, the unit will not burn and the coffee quality will not deteriorate during that time.


To Sum It Up

Percolators were the standard by which all other coffee makers were judged. They went out of favor because they were not as fast as drip coffee makers, and you couldn’t take a single cup during the brewing process. But if you like your coffee slow brewed for maximum taste, try the Presto Model 02811 Coffee Percolator, and you may never go back to drip coffee again.

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