Coffee Maker Review: Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Percolator
Coffee Maker Quality4.0/10
Ease of Use8.8/10
- SCAA Certified
- No-spill thermal carafe (stainless steel interior)
- BPA Free
- Large showerhead for even extraction
- Bloom/pre-saturation optional
- Relatively small...doesn't take up a lot of space
- Pours well
- Turning the bloom function on/off is not intuitive
- Water comes out of some showerhead holes inconsistently
- Pretty short power cord (2 feet)
- Short power cord
- Thin stainless steel construction gives machine a
- Aluminum interior is a health concern for many
For whatever reason, the percolator is one of the most-neglected coffee brewing methods out there today. Hard to understand too, considering their simplicity, as well as the hot, great-tasting coffee they generally brew.
The Presto 02811 is already making a dent in this unfortunate neglect. With over 450 reviews on Amazon at the time of this writing, it is definitely making its way into many kitchens as a preferred way to make coffee.
This is definitely one of the top rated coffee makers out there right now, but like all things, there are plusses and minuses and many differing opinions and experiences. So let's go ahead and break those down so you can decide if this is the right coffee maker for you.
Keep in mind that the pros and cons below are based on what the majority of reviewers reported. They may not apply to every user's individual experience.
Please note: Although I am reviewing this top rated coffee maker, I have no experience using it. Instead, I will summarize all of the most helpful reviews on this coffee maker from around the web. I do my best to make the reviews completely unbiased, making sure to cover both the positives and negatives of every coffee makerI review. Visit the about page to learn more…or feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.
No more plastic…
The fact that there is no plastic involved in the brewing process is a huge selling point to many consumers. With harmful chemicals found in plastics these days many coffee-drinkers are looking for alternatives to the ubiquitous plastic coffee makers on the market.
This is one of the few coffee makers out there that is made entirely of stainless steel, so if avoiding plastic matters to you, consider this coffee maker as your solution.
Filter basket lid light and flimsy?
The most frequently reported downside to this top rated coffee maker is that the filter basket's lid is too light and flimsy, resulting in overflowing coffee grounds during percolation. Not many people like sludge at the bottom of their coffee cups, so this was a deal-breaker for many of the reviewers.
Still, we are a little skeptical about this being the singular reason for a mouthful of coffee grounds. So here are some tips we found helpful in preventing the coffee ground disaster:
- Use the right grind setting! If you are using coffee that is too finely ground, you will very likely experience the sludge.
- Use paper basket filters. The Melitta coffee filters are great for this. You can poke a hole through the filter with the percolator's tube, then add the coffee grounds to the basket while covering the tube's hole.
- Add a little water to the paper filter so it sticks itself to the filter basket sides, creating a seal to prevent coffee grounds from escaping.
Coffee strength: what's the trick?
Many of the negative reviews for this percolator had to do with the weak coffee the Preso 02811 produced. Based on the research we've done, we have found that using a plastic bristle brush to clean the filter basket helps unclog the basket. By doing so, you can keep your coffee from getting too weak over time.
Additionally, keeping the percolator clean will help maintain the coffee's strong flavor over time. A good solution seems to be adding a Cascade packet to the filter basket, and then running a full 12 cup cycle. Of course, you will want to rinse thoroughly and/or run a pot with just water afterwards. This will keep your Presto 02811 squeaky clean over time and looking like new.
OK. Let's break down each of the ratings.
The Presto has pretty great value given its relatively low price. These guys are also notorious for lasting entire human lifetimes, so it is a very safe investment to make.
For the most accurate pricing info, visit the Amazon listing here.
Score: 4.5 stars
The Coffee Quality
Percolators are generally considered to produce stronger, and often more bitter coffee because of over saturation. While many reviewers have noted the Presto 02811 makes weak coffee, I think this has more to do with technique than it has to do with the actual coffee maker.
Score: 4 stars
The Coffee Maker Quality
100% stainless steel is a huge plus when it comes to this coffee maker's quality. Still, a number of reviewers felt the steel was too thin. Also, with the flimsy filter basket top, this coffee maker's quality gets marked down a bit.
Many reviewers also noted that the interior actually contains aluminum, which is a deal-breaker for a lot of people given the health concerns associated with aluminum.
Score: 4 stars
Ease of Use
A very straightforward way to brew, but still not as easy as an automatic drip (or even a manual drip). If you choose to use a paper filter you are going to have a little bit of an extra task to deal with. Still, this isn't rocket science.
Score: 4 stars
The easily clogging filter basket is definitely what makes this coffee maker lose some points in this category. However, if you follow the steps we highlighted above, you shouldn't have too much trouble.
Score: 3 stars
With reports of up to 9 years of use and very few incidents of self-destruction, the durability of this type of coffee maker is very tough to beat.
Score: 5 stars
Doesn't take up too much space. 100% stainless steel. These are wins in the appearance column.
Score: 4.5 stars
The quickest brew speed you will get from the Presto 02811 is about 12 minutes. So grab your newspaper.
It is worth noting here that brew times may extend over time. If this happens, tighten up the screws at the bottom of your percolator. This should help reduce brew speed back to its normal rate.
Score: 2 stars
No! Many people think this top rated coffee maker is manufactured here in the U.S., but it is actually manufactured in China.
I mean, it's a percolator. These things generally have just one function: to make great-tasting coffee. Still, this could have benefited from an auto shut-off feature, which it doesn't have.
Score: Not Rated
The Bottom Line
If you haven't ever tried a percolator and are frustrated with past machine crapping out, you should give the Presto 02811 a try. With its reasonable price and long-lasting life, you are taking a very safe risk if this is the first percolator you decide to give a try.