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Style Name: 55-Cup|Change
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on July 6, 2006
I am pretty particular about coffee. I like to gind my own beans and have never used a perc coffee pot in the past. But we were having a huge family gathering and I needed a lot of coffee.

I ordered this Party Perk machine and when it came in I almost returned it because it seemed so flimsy, but I figured I'd give it a chance.

I'm glad I did. All the information I read on the Internet about coffee said that perc'd coffee is not very good because the water is boiled and constantly recirculated through the grounds and this does not equate to how to achieve the best tasting coffee.

Well, while this was not the BEST coffee I have ever had, the coffee was none-the-less very good. I used Berkley and Jensen ground coffee (available at BJ's Wholesale club)and I could not have been more pleased with the results from this Party Perk. I used a little more than 2-1/2 cups of ground coffee for the full 42 cups and the information I read about expecting the pot to brew the coffee at one cup per minute seemed pretty accurate.

There were a lot of compliments on how good the coffee tasted. It did not taste burned, even after being kept warmed in the pot for a few hours.

I cannot comment on the durability of the machine as I haven't had it that long. My parents saw this pot and remarked that they had the same one for many many years before they gave it away and never had the first bit of trouble with it.
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on May 14, 2005
I have owned 3 West Bend coffee pot just like this since 1991- each one lasting at least 8 years with heavy use. I purchased my first to make my own coffee to serve at impromptu receptions that I hosted on sight in my sales job. I use a gallon of bottled water, nice paper filters and Maxwell House French Roast coffee. Hundreds of gallons of coffee later I have no complaints! I keep a second pot for tea- I have never made coffee in it- it is my superior hot water pot. As the other reviewer states- these pots are hot and the coffee is never cold.

I have thrown parties, family gatherings, and had it in my office serving coffee every day and everyone agrees- perked coffee tastes best. I do not care for Starbucks - the strong acid is not my thing. I prefer a strong cup of perked coffee. The percolator allows the coffee to actually cook which reduces the acid.Anything leftover from morning gets put into a pitcher and into the fridge for iced coffee in the afternoon- it is so yummy! For smaller quantity the Westbend home percolators are great- not your grandma's machine they have nice easy to read and follow settings and again the superior flavor over drip.This unit is easy to clean- do not let the size intimidate you.
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on September 6, 2010
From reading other reviews I wasn't sure wether it would be suitable for Shabbat or not (i.e keeping it running 24 hours over the sabbath). But after having used it for most of the year, almost every week, it works great. I recommend it as a Shabbat urn (i.e for up to 24 hours use straight).
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on June 7, 2007
If you're buying one of these, you know it's just a big coffee pot, but this one really perks quickly. It also takes a lot of abuse and holds up well. I use mine weekly for a crowd of about 200. It gets filled twice in one night, gets rinsed and tossed back into the cabinet to be used again next week. It still looks nice and works well.
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on March 18, 2007
8 years ago I bought 2 of these coffee pots for use in our church kitchen. We use them at least twice a week and they are still going strong. I bought another because as we grow we need more coffee.
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on September 28, 2012
I needed two coffee urns for a large gathering and found two that seemed to fit my needs - the West Bend and the Hamilton Beach 40515 42-Cup Coffee Urn, Silver. I decided to purchase one of each.

The Hamilton Beach blows the West Bend out of the water. It is much larger and better built.

Though they both are advertised as 42-cup, the Hamilton has a 10.5 liter capacity, while the West Bend only has a 7 liter capacity. That's 3.5 liters more (1.5x larger) than the West Bend - that's a huge difference!

And finally, the West Bend just feels really cheap and flimsy. The Hamilton feels much more sturdy.

Hamilton wins this one hands down.
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on February 16, 2007
These coffee urns are a great buy. Well worth the money. They make 100 cups of coffee in less than an hour. Very easy to clean and maintain.
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on September 12, 2009
I ordered two of these West Bend coffee urns for our church. We had previously owned the same type but in a larger size that made 100 cups of coffee. After many years of service, it was still working but we decided to order new ones. These urns are so dependable that they will last a long, long time. We chose "two" 55-cup urns this time for the ability to have two coffee stations going instead of a single line. Plus, the smaller urns are easier to handle and to clean. We love having the two coffee stations. The West Bend coffee urn is the workhorse of coffee urns.
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on October 19, 2009
Mine works just fine - I have no complaints, and I recommend it. I do have two things to note, however.

First, the capacity (12-30 cups) is based on the assumption that a cup is 5 ounces in size. That's really small - an official "cup" is 8 ounces, and most people use a 10 ounce coffee mug. So, you should probably think of it as more of an "8-15 cup capacity" machine.

Second, the owner's manual recommends how much ground coffee to use in the pot - these recommendations gave me VERY strong coffee. It may take some experimenting to come up with the right recipe.
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on January 8, 2012
I bought this coffee urn several weeks ago and have used it every week since...for TEA! I drink a lot of tea, all kinds of tea really, but mostly black, and it has to be FRESH brewed. I used to make tea every 1-2 days using one of those lightweight plastic brewers, which works fine too, it just couldn't keep up with my demand & I was getting really sick & tired of making it so often. Now I make it just once a week on weekends, 2.5 gallons at a time. I had researched a bunch of different kinds of commercial type tea brewers, but for some reason they seem to run in the $200-600 range. I've made a lot of tea in my regular coffee pot too, so I started looking at these large coffee brewers as a possible alternative. I figured for the price, it would be worth a try. So far, I absolutely love this thing! So easy to use, so easy to clean! If tea would stay fresh for 2 weeks at a time, I'd make 5 gallons instead. I bought a 2.5 gallon plastic water jug (rectangle gas can shape) with a spigot from Walmart for a few bucks, fill it up once the fresh brewed tea cools down, and store it in on the top shelf of my fridge. It's a miracle. So the point of this long review is really to brag about this thing as a cost-effective tea maker, as it's already proven to be an incredible coffee maker. I've also got a half-dozen other uses in mind for it! Zero complaints.

SPECIAL NOTE: If you plan on using this machine to make tea (or coffee for that matter), you MUST keep in mind that the "cup" marks on the side of the urn indicate the philosophical international "standard" (it's complicated) fluid ounces for a cup of coffee (roughly 5.5oz), NOT the U.S. standard of 8 fluid oz. in a cup. So that's roughly 100 5.5oz cups of coffee. When you brew tea with tea bags, their measurements are 8oz. per cup as a serving. 320oz in 2.5 gallons is 40 servings at 8oz./cup. The family size tea bags I use brew 4 8oz. cups per bag, so I need 10 bags for 320oz. Just saving you the trouble...
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