West Bend - A Grand Old Brand Gone

For as long as I can remember, church halls, clubs and gatherings of all sorts relied on West Bend coffee makers to satisfy a room full of coffee lovers.

No more.

West Bend has been taken over by a group that doesn't know a thing about coffee. Their new urns are designed to stay at an astonishing 200F - over 90C. At that temperature, any decent coffee gets undrinkably bitter in minutes and is so hot it scalds anyone unwary enough to drink it. In fact, it's lawsuit range, as MacDonalds found out the hard way a few years ago.

I quote from the West Bend service people:

"The temperatures will be between the temperatures of 180-200F or 82.2-93.3C. The coffee urns will keep the coffee hot for servicing in about the same temperature range. All our models are designed to brew the same way and at the same temperatures. Any current model will behave the same way."

As anyone who values fine coffee knows, a proper percolator pumps 200F water over the grounds until the contents of the container below reach 170F, then maintains it at that temperature. So, if you can find an old model West Bend for sale, that serves coffee at the proper 170-180F, grab it. It's the end of an era.

John Sankey