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I used to have a Keurig coffee maker. It was so easy to put in a k-cup pod and make coffee conveniently and fast. However, I realized that I was brewing hot coffee in plastic. Hot temperature, acidic coffee liquid, plastic parts are not a good combination together. The plastic parts may leach harmful chemicals into the coffee while coffee is being brewed. I didn’t like the idea of hot liquids touching plastic parts in both the Keurig coffee maker and also in the k-cup pod. As soon as I realized I should avoid coffee touching plastic parts in a coffee maker, I started to research for a non toxic coffee maker. While I was researching for a non toxic coffee maker for my past post, ‘Plastic-Free, Non Toxic Coffee Maker – Coffee Makers Without Plastic‘, I found a stainless steel percolator, Presto Stainless Steel Coffee Maker. I loved the percolator. It made good coffee and it was easy to use. The reason I chose the Presto stainless steel percolator because it was made with stainless steel. It had a stainless steel interior and it also had stainless steel on the outside. It was great until a few of my readers inquired about the Presto stainless steel percolator having an aluminum heating element exposed to coffee in the interior of the percolator. Later, I found that the small well (heating element) which comes in contact with the liquid was made of aluminum. Acidic coffee liquid and aluminum are not a good combination. I didn’t want the coffee liquid to be exposed to aluminum. I was surprised because I thought the Presto percolator was made of stainless steel (interior and exterior). The interior was made of stainless steel except the small well located inside of the percolator was made of aluminum. Therefore, I started looking for a coffee maker that doesn’t have water coming in contact with an aluminum heating element. I didn’t want to get a French press or glass pour over coffee maker. I like a percolator as a coffee maker. I just wanted to find another percolator that had an all stainless steel interior. Luckily, one of the percolators I found previously had an all stainless steel interior. That percolator is the Farberware Stainless Steel Percolator. In this post, I share with you what I found with the Farberware Stainless Steel Percolator and how it has been for me using it as my every day coffee maker.
Aluminum In A Coffee Maker
Aluminum is a great heat conductor. It heats up quickly and transfer heat very well. For this reason, stainless cookware usually has an aluminum layer between stainless steel layers (at least in the bottom of the a pot or a pan) as part of its construction. Stainless steel is not a good heat conductor. Therefore, the stainless steel percolators typically have an aluminum heating element located in the base of the percolator to heat up water. That is all good. However, aluminum is a reactive metal which means it can interact with certain foods or liquids. When it is exposed to acidity, it can leach aluminum into the food and liquid. Coffee is considered to be acidic.
On the other hand, the amount of aluminum being leached from a coffee pot seems to be small. One study measured the amount of aluminum leached form aluminum moka pot when coffee was brewed. In the study, drinking a mixture of apple juice and mineral water in an aluminum bottle exceeded the total weekly intake (TWI) for adults by 86.6% whereas aluminum moka pot resulted in a 4% excess of the total weekly intake. The study does not recommend using acidic beverages such as apple juice with mineral water or tea in aluminum drinking bottles. However, the study mentioned that the amount of aluminum leached from the moka pot was small.
Health Effects of Aluminum
So it looks like a percolator with a small aluminum part exposed to water may not release a lot of aluminum. However, there is always a possibility that small amounts of aluminum can leach from the percolator. Then is aluminum harmful? Afterall, some experts say aluminum is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers found elevated levels of aluminum in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. However, some experts say it is not clear if aluminum has any association with Alzheimer’s disease. This is an controversial issue. According to International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, aluminum can enter the bloodstream and enter the brain through blood. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry also say that exposure to aluminum can lead to bone disease, decreased functions of the central nervous system and Alzheimer’s disease. Some scientists associate over exposure of aluminum to Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, central nervous system disorders, bone disease and learning difficulties. The World Health Organization limits the acceptable dose of aluminum per day. We may consume aluminum from drinking water, food, cookware, deodorants, food packaging, aluminum foil and many more. In one study, migration of aluminum to food from camping dishes and utensils made of aluminum exceeded aluminum limits for a child and an adult. Preparation of a fish dish with a marinade containing lemon juice in camping dishes resulted in the total weekly intake limit by 871% for a child and 187% for an adult over a period of one week. Aluminum intake of an individual can come from numerous things and they can add up and accumulate. Most of aluminum leaves the body but small amounts can accumulate in the lungs, spleen, skeleton, kidneys, parathyroid glands and thyroid. Therefore, if you can avoid aluminum intake by choosing a different material, that can add up too. Aluminum released from one coffee maker may not lead to immediate negative health effects but by avoiding aluminum material whenever possible, you can avoid adding your aluminum intake overall.
Farberware Stainless Steel Percolator Materials
Presto stainless steel percolator had been a great coffee maker for my husband and me. We loved it! However, I personally made a decision to get a percolator with no aluminum exposure to water. So then, what materials is the Farberware Stainless Steel Percolator made of? Does it have aluminum parts exposed to water? Any plastic parts? Let’s take a look!
Farberware Stainless Steel Percolator has a stainless steel interior and exterior. It does have some plastic parts. The plastic parts include the handle for the lid, the handle for the percolator and also the base of the percolator. The plastic lid knob and the handle for the percolator are located only on the outer part of the lid and percolator. Therefore, there is no plastic parts touching liquid in the interior part of the percolator.
The Farberware percolator comes with some parts you place inside of the percolator. The parts include a basket for coffee, a basket lid and a tube. They are all made of stainless steel.
Now, below is where Farberware percolator is different from the Presto percolator. The picture below shows the interior of the Farberware percolator. Everything you see inside is made of stainless steel. Farberware percolator’s heating element is made of aluminum, however, it is located in the base of the percolator (underneath of what you see.). The heating element is not exposed, and does not come into contact with water.
In the Presto percolator, the small round well you see in the picture (in the middle) is made of aluminum and it is exposed to water.
So does the Farberware Stainless Steel Percolator make good coffee? I like the taste of coffee made from my Farberware stainless steel percolator. The Farberware stainless steel percolator makes about one cup of coffee per minute. I have a 12 cup model and I find it quickly makes coffee. It has an automatic keep warm function. The percolator automatically goes in to ‘keep warm’ function right after the coffee is brewed. The power cord is detachable so you can move and pour coffee easily. However, the power cord should be attached to the pot if you want the ‘keep warm’ function to work. I find percolators simple and easy to use. I can keep coffee warm for a while if I want to. I like the taste of coffee made from percolators. Therefore, a percolator is my first choice of coffee makers among a percolator, french press, pour-over-glass coffee maker. I wanted to find a percolator with no aluminum parts exposed to water and this is exactly what I wanted.
Farberware Percolator Sizes
Farberware Percolator comes in 2-4, 8 and 12 cup. Let’s take a look below. My husband and I both drink 2 to 3 cups of coffee every day. For us, the 12 cup size is perfect. We owned the 8 cup when we used to use Presto Percolator and it turned out that the size was too small for us. Therefore, we got the 12 cup for the Farberware Percolator.
Farberware 8 Cup Stainless Steel Percolator
Farberware 8 Cup Stainless Steel Percolator
Farberware 2-4 Cup Stainless Steel Percolator
I would like to apologize to my readers about stating in my previous post that the Presto Stainless Steel Coffee Maker is made of all stainless steel. I thought it was made of stainless steel in the interior until a few of my readers inquired about the small aluminum part touching liquid in the Presto Stainless Steel Coffee Maker. Don’t get me wrong. The Presto Stainless Steel Coffee Maker makes good coffee and my husband and I loved it. The aluminum part in the interior of Presto Stainless Steel that is in contact with water is very small. It may or may not leach aluminum at very small level. However, my husband and I made a personal decision to avoid our coffee being in contact with any aluminum (whether the part is small or not) so we decide to change our percolator to Farberware Stainless Steel percolator. We wanted a percolator with an all stainless steel interior. We have been quite happy about our new Farberware Stainless Steel percolator ever since. If you are on the lookout for a stainless steel percolator with no aluminum parts exposed to water, the Farberware Stainless Steel Percolator is a great option.
If you want to find out which bottled water brands are safe, please read my post ‘Safe Bottled Water Guide: Which Bottled Water Brands Are Safe?‘
If you are interested in non toxic dinnerware, please read my post, ‘Non Toxic Dinnerware – Which Dinnerware Is Lead-Free?‘
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