I just used this pot for a week on a wilderness camping trip, and I have to say that it makes a seriously good cup of coffee. However, you need to get a feel for how you use it. I also recommend getting some percolator filters since they will make the pot more forgiving, but they're not required (I bought some but lost them in a box and never used them). First things first. Make sure to make a couple of practic pots at home first. Don't even drink the first one since it will contain any oils from the manufacturing process. You'll likely also overcook the coffee, which will make it bitter.Here is what worked best for us. Keep in mind that we like strong coffee, so you can adjust as needed. First, fill the pot up to the 9 cup line with decent water. The better the water, the better the coffee. I have to say the water out of the Merced River in Yosemite was outstanding. I didn't worry about bacteria because we were boiling the water. But I digress. Get course ground coffee. Not fine expresso grind, but a coarser grind that's less likely to fall through the holes in the basket. Dump coffee in the basket. We didn't measure, but you can if you want. We filled the basket up to about 1/8 of an inch of the rim...pretty much a full basket, give or take a little. Assemble pot and put on a consistent flame, like a camp stove. Oh, before you do this, flip out the little lifing ring on back so it's easy to grab later. You'll thank me. Turn on medium heat, then wait. We found that the pot started percolating in about 7-10 minutes depending on how cold our starting water was. Here's the secret: As soon as you get the first perc, turn down the heat! If you keep the heat up, two things will happen. First, the violence of the boil will give you more grounds in the pot. Secondly, you can scorch the coffee. Just turn it down to as low as it will keep perking.We found that 10-12 minutes of low heat percolating was about right for us. Just turn off the heat source, let it settle for a few minutes (the grounds will sink), and you're ready to go. DO NOT REMOVE THE TOP. The folks on here that complained that the plastic top melted or pulled off caused the issue themselves. If it melted, you had the heat WAY too high. Slow perc over low heat, folks. You also have no reason to take the lid off while this is hot. None. Just gently pour yourself a great cup of coffee using towels or hot pads. The pot is all aluminum, and hot. If you really hate grounds, just pour through a paper towel or something similar. However, if you pour gently you should get minimal grounds assuming you let them settle. Clean-up in generally a pain, but all percolators are. After cooling, the unit comes apart easily. We always keep a bucket of water available as a wash basin, and this worked great. You'll need a small nylon dishes brush to clean the unit well, but it takes just a couple of minutes.I hope this was helpful. We read several negative reviews on here before we tried the pot, and we were intent on avoiding the mistakes of others. We did, and it was easy to do so. The pot works great and we loved the coffee out of it. An added bonus is the fact it's very LIGHT. When packing into a camping area, having an aluminum pot that's virtually weightless is a big plus.
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]