If you're heading out camping with a large crew, the well-priced Farberware Yosemite Percolator is a viable option. Brewing up to 40-ounces at a time, it will fill a lot of cups. However, we think our Top Pick for Large Groups, the Bialetti Moka Express 9-Cup is an easier and better (though considerably more expensive) investment for the flavor-minded camper.
The Farberware Yosemite could definitely brew up a large amount of coffee, but overall we didn't enjoy the brewing process or the final flavor.
This stainless steel percolator is made up of 6 components: the main pot, percolator stem, a small spring, the filter basket and cover, and the lid with its see-through glass knob. After filling the pot with the amount of water you desire, the stem, spring, coffee-filled basket, and its cover all stack inside. Clip the lid on, place on a burner, and keep an eye on when water starts bubbling up into the glass knob on top. Once this begins, percolate for 5-7 minutes, depending on your desired strength.
The Yosemite getting loaded up with grounds - unlike the Bialetti Moka Express, you will need to measure the coffee each time to ensure you have the proper water-to-coffee ratio.
Percolators are a classic brewing method that many people love — though there's a reason coffee professionals don't use them. Coffee acidifies when it is boiled or re-heated, so the drawback of a percolator is that it's very easy to end up with a burnt, sour, boiled flavor. Conversely, if you don't percolate long enough you get a weak and watery under-extracted cup. While we sometimes got decent flavors out of this brewer, more often than not we ended up missing the mark in one of the ways described.
If you need to please a larger group and want an easier way to consistently achieve great flavor, we recommend the Bialetti Moka Express.
The flavors that we received from the Yosemite were inconsistent and often not very good. Under boil and we got weak coffee, over boil and we got... boiled coffee flavor.
Top marks for the Yosemite in this category, no surprise. With a maximum yield of 40-ounces (eight 5-ounce cups), this is definitely a worthy option for a small army of sleepy campers. Scoring just below the Yosemite was the Bialetti Moka Express, our Top Pick for Large Groups. While it only yields about 18-ounces of Italian-style stovetop espresso, if you add the concentrated brew to water (like an Americano) or milk (a latte), then you actually end up with more overall volume. We also liked the consistent flavor from the Bialetti much better.
Line up those cups, this brewer can fill them all.
Ease of Use
The Yosemite really fell short in this category for a number of reasons. There are a lot of parts to keep track of, so this brewer really isn't conducive to traveling around and car camping. The water measurement marks on the inside of the pot are hard to see, finding a good-tasting brew ratio is difficult, and brewing requires having a timer to time the percolation. It's very easy to under or over boil, so we had a hard time keeping things consistent. Finally, when cleaning up, the filter basket on the Yosemite is much harder to clean than on the Bialetti and the curved lip of the pot makes getting all the water out almost impossible. Long story short, this is not an easy brewer to use compared to all our other options.
Once the top of the Yosemite starts percolating, you will need to start a timer in order to not destroy the flavor of your brew.
This was the least portable coffee maker in our review. Tipping the scales at 27.7-ounces, the Yosemite is wide and takes up a lot of room. It also has a lot of pieces, and the top percolator knob is glass and could get broken (though it is quite thick). The Bialetti Moka Express was moderately more portable, though still large. For a truly light and portable method, perfect for backpackers, check out the Primula Single Serve Coffee Brew Buddy, our Top Pick for backpacking.
The Yosemite percolator has a lot of parts to keep track of, something that generally isn't very conducive to traveling and camping.
As mentioned above, this brewer weighs a whopping 27.7-ounces, making it the heaviest in our review. The Bialetti wasn't much lighter (25.6-ounces), but did have a slimmer profile. Besides instant coffee, the lightest brewers in our review were the GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip and the Primula.
We wanted to try this percolator out because it's cheap and can produce a lot of coffee at once. Unfortunately, it fell short for us in a lot of ways and we walked away feeling that the other items in our review, across the board, were easier to use, more conducive to camping, and produced a better flavor.