I love coffee. But, I dont love all coffee makers. This coffee maker is one that I can recommend but is not my favorite. I can recommend it because it does what it is supposed to do. It makes good percolated coffee. However, it also has some drawbacks for me personally so I cant say that I love this percolator.
Recommend this product?
What It Is and Does
The West Bend coffee maker is a 2-12 cup stainless steel percolator that has standard features. You can brew up to 12 cups. It is simple to use. You fill the coffee pot with as much water as you determine for the number of cups you wish to make. There is a liquid level indicator on the outside of the coffee maker located parallel to the handle.
It has a stem that sits inside the pot and a basket to hold the coffee. This basket has something called the spreader that covers the basket so that grounds wont be mixed in with the coffee when done percolating. It has a stainless steel filter basket and stem. My husband likes us to use a coffee filter with the basket but the directions indicate that none is needed (and since I like a strong brew I dont use it when the coffee is being made for me.)
The cord is attached to the pot under the handle and is long enough for most cupboard counters to easily reach an outlet receptacle. It is a 3-pronged plug for extra safety. It has 800 watts. There is a ready-to-serve light that indicates when the coffee has finished brewing. The directions indicate that while not recommended, you can use an extension cord if desired as long as it has the same or higher wattage as the coffee makers cord.
The coffee in the pot will remain at serving temperature until you unplug it. The outside does get hot and takes a while to cool down enough to safely clean the pot after use. You cannot immerse the pot in water to wash it; I just wipe off the outside using cleaning products that I use for all of my stainless steel items. For the inside parts and the inside of the coffee maker I use hot soapy water; rinse with cold water to remove the soap residue; and then I wipe it and the parts dry with paper towels.
What I Like About This Coffee Maker
I like that it makes a good pot of coffee. I dont notice that it is a great tasting cup of coffee but that may be because the coffee that I usually buy at Sams Club has changed and Im actively looking for a blend that I like as well. So it is most likely the coffee and not the maker that influencing my decision on the taste test.
I like that it is easy to use and to clean. Set up is a breeze and percolating time is about average. It takes about five to ten minutes to produce the coffee. While I like being able to immerse the pot into hot sudsy water (like you can with a Mr. Coffee glass coffee pot); electric percolators dont have that option because you cant get the plug part wet.
It is holding up well and still looks great. Theres no streaking or discoloration of the outside (or inside) pot. Some of my coffee makers have built up a discoloration with use. Ive had this pot for about 12 months and it is still looking good.
The price is about average for this kind of percolator. I paid $39.99 at a local department store.
What I Dont Like About This Coffee Maker
Theres nothing about the unit itself that I dont like. There is only one problem with the pot that everyone will experience and that is that the water level indicator on the side is hard to see. It is parallel with the handle and it clouds up. There are droplets inside that stop you from seeing where the level actually is and therefore is quite useless. I use the inside marks to determine the fill level. There must be a better way to make this indicator because on other pots that Ive owned it hasnt been a problem and I could always see the water level.
My personal problem with this coffee maker is that it has a 3-pronged cord/plug. I contemplated taking it back to the store when I opened the box but around here percolators of any kind are not easy to find. And, when I looked online, most dont specify the kind of cord the coffee maker has. But, to me, it made a big difference. I like to make the pot of coffee the night before and then have it turn on automatically at a certain time in the morning. The appliance that I use to do that is an under cupboard mounted radio/CD player that has a timer built in and a plug that I could plug the coffee maker into. I could set the automatic time to start the pot brewing. But, the clock radio I use doesnt have 3 prongs. It only has two prongs which means that I can no longer use this great automatic feature. I cant plug in the pot until Im dressed and downstairs in the morning and then I have to wait at least 10 minutes before I can pour the brewed coffee into my thermos and leave for work. I liked having a cup waiting for me when I got downstairs. I dont want to buy a new radio/automatic timer because they are expensive and Im not sure if any of them have the three pronged outlets anyway.
So, this is not the perfect coffee maker for me. But, I recommend it for others because it is a good percolator that I like very much but cant love.
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