Presto 02811 Coffee Maker Review

Presto 02811 12 Cup Coffee Maker Review

Percolators seem to have etched a special place in coffee lovers’ hearts. Even now when we have super automatic coffee makers that do everything from grinding, brewing, serving, self-cleaning, and coaching you through your latest breakup, we always find ourselves going back to the basics; back to the simple perk machines.

In this world of java-brewing simplicity, one company has been flying high: Presto. Over the years, they’ve come up with numerous iterations of their percolator, adding a couple of modern touches every now and then. And the Presto 02811 12 cup coffee maker happens to be their latest model.

Very reasonably priced at about $50, this machine still features that classic Presto look while adding some subtle changes to hopefully make your coffee experience that much smoother. But how does it stack against the pretty stiff competition out there? Let’s find out!

Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker

Presto Percolator Features

Stainless Steel Finish: Yup! This is how a percolator is really meant to look like. The presto has a throwback aesthetic to it that will definitely get a couple of conversations started. The brushed stainless steel exterior adds to this retro design, with even the shape of the lid giving you fond memories of your sweet grandma.

Decently Sized: With dimensions of 13.1 x 9.7 x 6.2 inches, which are around the same as the Hamilton Beach Twist Lid Percolator. The Presto is lighter however, weighing about 3.8 pounds. It still feels sturdily built and contains relatively little plastic in its construction.

Detachable Power Cord: The engineers also seemed to have listened to the desperate cries of coffee lovers the world over, and made the power cord removable. This makes serving coffee in the other room so much easier and allows for convenient storage of the unit.

Stainless Steel Throughout: Open the lid at the top and you’ll find a stainless steel filter basket and perk tube. Actually, the neatest feature about this machine is that your coffee never comes in contact with any plastic. In this age when we’re all freaking out about BPA, and rightly so, this is a huge plus. There is just a small portion at the bottom of the pot made using aluminum, designed to increase heating efficiency.

How The Presto 02811 12 Cup Coffee Maker Works

For those not familiar with percolators, they work by heating a volume of water in a lower chamber, which eventually rises to the top chamber through the perk tube and soaks the coffee grounds. This coffee-infused water then drains back to the lower chamber through the filter basket and the whole cycle is repeated all over again.

Oh, and the whole thing sounds phenomenal! There is nothing more dramatic than watching perking action in play. Someone should create a reality series around it.

But the Presto has a trick up its sleeve that most percolators don’t: it comes equipped with a warmer to keep your joe perfectly hot. Once the brewing is complete, an indicator at the bottom of the machine turns on to alert you that the coffee is ready and the warmer automatically kicks into action.

Note: You’d better be on the watch out though, as this percolator doesn’t have an auto shut-off feature. As long as it’s plugged in it will continue to use some electricity. If this particularly gets on your nerves, then you can buy a plug timer, which can also be used to automatically turn on the machine. Problem solved!

Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker


Speed: The presto is quite snappy! It manages to brew 12 cups in 12 minutes, comparable to the Hamilton Beach percolator. It doesn’t perk as vigorously as its counterpart however, which is definitely welcome.

Warming: It also does a good job at keeping the brew hot without scorching it by maintaining a temperature of about 195F. But that doesn’t mean that the coffee stays in tongue-tantalizing mode forever.

Note: As expected, the quality does begin to drop the longer is sits in the pot. So it’s advisable to make a couple of batches throughout the day instead of just one huge one; especially if you’re particular about taste.

Detachable Cord: The removable cord really adds great functionality to the percolator. After the coffee is done brewing you can carefully remove the filter basket and perk tube, place the lid back on, and use it as a coffee pot/thermos. Pretty nifty!

Note: The lid of the filter basket is a bit on the flimsy side though and introduces more grinds in the coffee than usual. But by using a combination between the right grind and paper filters, this shouldn’t be a bother. If you don’t mind some sediment in the cup, you can do away with the paper filters, save some trees, and get a glowing recommendation from Mother Nature.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Getting this little guy spic and span is as straightforward as can be. Simply wash the coffee pot with warm, soapy water, remembering not to immerse it fully. Clean out the spout with a pipe cleaner and use a brush to keep the holes of the filter free of any grinds.

pro tips

For consistently great-tasting brew, use filtered water. It doesn’t contain the minerals that interfere with flavor and also keeps the inside of the percolator looking cleaner for longer.

By using a percolator, you sign an invisible agreement to allow some sediment to sit at the bottom of your cup. But there are ways you can reduce the grinds in your coffee. Firstly, go for a medium to fine grind. The grounds are less likely to pass through the filter basket.

You can also place a Melitta disc coffee filter into the basket, which not only filters out more grinds, but also leads to an easier cleanup process. Simply poke a hole at the center of the filter using the perk tube and use a bit of water to ensure it sticks to the sides of the filter basket.

How Tasty are the Results?

Lovers of hot, strong coffee will certainly love what the Presto churns out. The flavor understandably isn’t as balanced as what you’d get from a more controlled brewing process such as a French Press. But it’s still rich and has that powerful kick to get you through the day.

Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker

What We Liked [Pros]

  • Sturdy and classically-beautiful design.
  • Removable power cord.
  • Easy to pour.
  • Fast brewing time.
  • Hot and great tasting coffee.
  • Simple to load.
  • Warmer doesn’t scorch the brew.

What We Didn't Like [Cons]

  • Filter basket lid allows some grinds into the coffee.

Presto Stainless Steel Coffee Maker Review [Video]


The Presto 02811 12 Cup Coffee Maker can be purchased on Amazon for .

Final Verdict

Fans of percolators will undoubtedly love this iteration of a classic perk machine. It works like a charm, looks like it hopped through a time loop, and produces strong tasting coffee. But the greatest feature of this coffee maker? Its price!

For $50 you get a well-built machine that is sure to serve you for some time to come. If you can live to learn with the one or two quirks, the Presto 02811 coffee maker is a buy you won't regret.

Leave a Comment: