[For the Love of ‘Fee] The Endless Plight of the Perfect Perc: Stovetop vs Electric

‘For the Love of ‘Fee’ is one coffee-lover’s attempt to machete through the tangle of coffee beans and brews to find an awesome cup of coffee. Juan Valdez follows ME! 🙂

Our electric Hamilton Beach percolator started to eff up in January. Yup, that one; the one I wrote about last June. I thought we’d at least get a year out of the new one. Wow, they really don’t make ’em like they used to. Blast!

We had decided when we replaced the last percolator last summer that we’d need to have a replacement in the cupboard, but we never thought we’d need one so quickly. Then, after Christmas, for a week straight we dealt with cold half-brewed coffee. We can’t have that! What to do when the only two types of electric percolators for sale in Canada are Hamilton Beach and Cuisinart. I’ve had both, and haven’t been able to hold on to one for longer than 2 years.

I can’t say that I have been 100% satisfied with the electric perc as an appliance when they did work. Aside from the convenience of plugging it in and walking away, there are some design flaws with them that aren’t great. They are hard to keep clean. Coffee grounds go everywhere (and I am not sure how when I grind to the coarsest setting…). You can’t submerge them in water for a good soak. In some cases, there are water indicator windows that clog up with coffee that will never see a bottle brush. And some of ’em won’t even fit my lady hand in through the top for cleaning which has been the case with the Hamilton Beach. Simply for those design reasons, my percs have – on occasion – looked like they have been pumping out sludge coffee in a backroom steel mill since the 80s. Nope, plug-in percs will never get the Good Housekeeping seal from me.

Before this latest percolator passed, the hubs and I revisited the idea of a stove top one like we had when we were po’ church mice 20 years ago. Back then, we were donned this new-fangled thing called a stove top percolator…It was aluminum and had these parts that were unfamiliar. I was used to drip coffee makers! But, hey we figured it out. And, it made the best coffee; I had never tasted coffee so good! Looking back, I am sure a lot of the magic with stove top percs is you are in control of the heat and brewing time. Now that we were under the gun with getting a working perc, we pulled out our old Black and Decker drip maker (the backup of the backup ;)) while a search was on for a stove top perc on Amazon.

Amazingly, we found one in a company from Quebec – Fresco. It’s a stainless steel 12-cup perc. And since the hubs has Prime, it arrived in under two days. The experience has been great!

It looks great! No coffee grounds in the coffee! It’s easy to keep clean and it’s dishwasher safe! I have also used some cleaning vinegar to keep the insides in good order.

About the only thing I can say that would make this the PERFECT PERC is if the top knob were made of glass. Fresco thought it was a good idea to use a plastic knob on the top. The plastic cracked up within the first two weeks, and got all stained. WHY PLASTIC, FRESCO?

Others on Amazon are not satisfied with the plastic knob either. But, one guy on there had the right idea and shared he bought a glass knob that fits a wide range of percs. Amazon sells it for $15. Great idea! I found that knob for cheaper – $6 from Home Hardware down the street. Thank you very much! Works like a charm.

NOW I have the PERFECT PERC. It looks awesome and works awesome. Finally!

I concede it does take us 20 minutes to make coffee. Most people would not want any of that, but sometimes if you want great things, you got to work for it. Take that, Tims!

Waiting…waiting patiently for deliciousness


Keeping the coffee hot after brewing is an area that was a sticking point with me and what was preventing me from moving to a stove top perc in the first place: I didn’t want to keep the stove on all morning. But, I was lucky to acquire a big Stanley Thermos that holds a good amount of ‘fee and keeps it hot. So this situation has turned out to be a win-win!

Enjoy your cuppa! I certainly am!


  1. I caught an old episode of All In The Family last night. Edith made coffee with her stove top perc. She went through the whole process during her scene. I thought of Sarah. Then Sarah publishes this the next day. The universe is telling me to switch to perc

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes indeed, haven’t had one since July or August, somewhere in there. It was bothering my stomach, even after I cut down to a single cup in the morning. I dunno, it just seemed easier to cut it out than to try to fight to keep it. I do miss it!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha. Wow! You certainly go to lengths for a good cuppa. I enjoy the Joe myself and prefer the good stuff over the weak but sometimes, I’ll take anything that resembles it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazing. I’m still looking for a perfect coffee solution after the death of my own coffee maker. Been using a cafetière for a while. Anyhoo, this is definitely appealing to me. I can do 20 minutes. Heck, I could do 22 for a damn fine coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am sure you have all of Europe’s infinite coffee solutions at your disposal, you lucky dude. I definitely recommend this method. Now the cafetiere…that’s like an espresso?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The problem being that we appear to be moving towards these instant pods, so they’re taking up all the stock space when hitting a shop. But yeah, online is our friend… but machines are often overpriced due to them being for actual coffee.

        It’s a French press. 4 – 5 minute brewing time. No real complaints, but the mesh can be a pain to clean.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hell yes! What a mess is right! There was a kickstarter that had a FP where the grounds were pressed into a reservoir for better cleaning. I say, call me when that thing makes it to market lol.
          As for the pods, welcome to Canada. I hate it. I feel like a luddite when I slap the big bag of lavazza beans on the conveyor at the grocery….

          Liked by 1 person

            1. I admit here and now that as much as I hate them, we have a Tassimo at work and no other access to coffee other than to buy at a Tim’s and Starbucks. I hate it but if the office is paying for it…I’d brew my own but we have no kitchen close by.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. They have one of those pod things in my office, too. They said they were getting a proper coffee machine… we have a kitchen at least, so I use a Bodum French press mug.

              Liked by 2 people

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