True coffee lovers pay attention to every minute detail while brewing their coffee. From coffee concentration, temperature to brewing time, everything has to be just right to create the perfect cuppa. The good news is, you don’t have to visit a fancy coffee boutique anymore to get your dream cup of Joe.
A-list brands like Hamilton are coming up with two-way coffee makers suitable for both homebrewers and professional baristas. Do you want to quickly make a single-serve portion and hit the office? Or do you need to quickly ready a full-pot for a bunch of guests? Doesn’t matter. Hamilton Beach Flexbew lets you do both.
The tricky part is, there are 5 different variants of Flexbrew to choose from. While their basic functions are the same, there are some striking differences too. Read my in-depth reviews below to determine which variant will be ideal for your individual brewing needs.
Top 5 Hamilton Beach Flexbrew Coffee-maker Reviews
1. Hamilton Beach (49976) FlexBrew Coffee Maker
This one is the most versatile of all the FlexBrew models featured in this article. Be it a single-serve to-go or a full pot for a party, it can do both. Before I get down to more details, take a quick look at its notable features:
Key Features :
- Can brew a single cup using 10 oz. K Cup Pods or without Pod Holder.
- Brew a full pot that holds 12 regular cups of coffee.
- Pod piercing assembly tool for easy cleanup.
- 2-hour auto-shut off, programmable timer, and auto pause.
- Takes about 3-4 minutes to brew each cup.
- Can fit tall, to-go coffee mugs.
If you are mostly going to brew a single serve, here’s a good news for you. This machine will work without licensed K-Cups. Just keep an eye on the amount of water you are putting in the single serve side. You can brew 10 oz. of coffee with a K cup and 14 oz. with ground coffee.
You can even fit an 8” coffee mug in it by removing the cup rest and brew directly in it before dashing off to work. If you are brewing a pot, you can make up to 72 oz. coffee in one go. With its Strength Selector option, you can modify the brew strength depending on your mood.
It is a fully automatic digital coffee maker with easy-to-use functions. You can set the timer 24 hours in advance. The 2 hours auto-shutoff feature saves energy when you accidentally forget to switch off the machine. We also loved the auto-pause that lets you easily remove the carafe and pour the coffee without spilling.
- Brews both single-serve and a full pot containing 12 cups.
- Programmable carafe for quick and efficient brewing.
- Easy to clean. Prevents dripping while pouring coffee.
- 2-hour auto shut-off.
- Brew Strength Selector.
- You have to fill the cup every time to brew a single serve.
- The grind has to be just right to get the desired taste.
This coffee brewer screams of versatility, flexibility, and convenience. Sure, it is not as fast as traditional K-cup coffee makers. But it lets you make different types of coffee in different quantities to please your tastebuds. Add to that, the clean-up is a breeze too.
2. Hamilton Beach (49950C) FlexBrew Coffee Maker
Those of us who like their cuppa strong, aromatic and piping hot will love coffee-maker. Its sleek modular design could be a great addition to modern kitchens. Before get to more details, let me quickly sum up the key features of this model:
Key Features :
- Free gold tone permanent filter.
- Auto shut-off, auto pause, and an auto-timer.
- Single-serve side for K-cups.
- Carafe side for full pot brewing.
- Feature cup rest can be adjusted to fit an 8” tall travel mug.
- Black matte finish masks fingerprints.
Design-wise, there aren’t many noteworthy differences between 49950C and 49976. The major reason why 499050C costs a little more is the permanent gold tone filter included in the package. While paper filters work just as fine, coffee grounds filtered through a permanent filter tastes way better.
Moreover, paper filters are disposable. You will need one filter per brew. If you can’t function without caffeine like most of us, buying bulk paper filters is going to be expensive. Considering this, having a permanent filter is economical as well.
The brewing strength, taste, and temperature are the three pillars of making a great cup of coffee. The brains behind this coffee machine design know this well. You don’t have to be an expert and know the exact grind to water ratio to make an amazing pot of coffee.
You can use both small filter cups or a 10 oz. K-cup to prepare a strong cup of Joe in just 3-4 minutes. It includes a pot warmer too with 2-hour cycle, making sure you never run of this piping hot goodness.
- Allows you to choose between bold and regular strength.
- Permanent filter for better tasting coffee.
- Easy-to-fill dual reservoir.
- Digital clock with auto shut off and pot warmer.
- Large brewing basket.
- Has a large footprint.
This Hamiton Beach coffee maker is perfect for modern home kitchens. The single cup brewing basket in this device is slightly larger than usual. It provides sufficient room for pouring coffee without spilling. Short brewing time, delicious coffee and no mess- that’s Hamilton 49950C in a nutshell for you.
3. Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Thermal Carafe 49966
This model comes with a thermal carafe to keep your coffee fresh and hot for a long time. The single-serve brewing side of 49966 has the most technically sound design, among all the 5 variants. I am going to discuss how this machine works, its strengths and weaknesses in detail. But before that, here are some of its top features:
Key Features :
- Thermal carafe to keep the coffee hot for a long duration.
- The single brew side is compatible with a variety of reusable pods.
- Built-in storage for K-cup.
- The carafe side brews 10 cups of coffee.
- The parts are easy to remove and clean.
- Pre-set timer, auto pause, and 2-hour keep warm cycle with auto shut-off.
The design and performance of its single-brew side is a huge upgrade from the older versions. It supports more style of pods than any other FlexBrew unit, allowing you to taste a wide range of flavors.
The thermal carafe holds 10 cups of coffee and has an astoundingly fast brewing time. Once the brewing is done, you can put it on warmer and enjoy piping hot coffee all day. The single-serve side takes about 4 minutes to reach between 192 degrees-205 degrees, an ideal brewing temperature for your morning cup of Joe.
Setting the timer on the digital clock takes some getting used to, though. Besides that, there’s no serious flaw worth highlighting. Cleaning up the reservoir and the brew basket filter is fairly easy. If you are an avid coffee drinker, make sure to clean the unit frequently to avoid clogging.
- Keeps the coffee steaming hot for hours.
- Cleaning the mineral buildup from the reservoir is super easy.
- Well-built brewing basket.
- No spillage while pouring coffee.
- The single-serve brewer supports a large variety of pods.
- Adjusting the timer, especially the minutes, is a little tricky.
This model is suitable for homes, offices as well as coffee shops. It will keep the freshly brewed coffee for a decent amount of time, letting you enjoy as many refills as you want. It also supports more types of reusable pods than any other 2-way coffee maker in its price range.
4. Hamilton Beach (49979) Single Serve Coffee Maker
Do you live in a small apartment or dorm room and only make coffee for yourself? If so then investing in a single-serve coffee maker is a more reasonable option. Unlike K-cup coffee makers, this Hamilton unit supports both pods and your own ground. Before we delve into further details, here’s an overview of its top features:
Key Features :
- Can be used with both K-cup pods and coffee grounds.
- Comes with re-usable brew basket.
- Parts are easy to detach and clean.
- Just press the Brew button to start brewing.
- Smart adjustable cup rest lets you fit up to 8” tall mugs.
- Operates on 120V, can be used in an RV too.
This single serve unit is ideal for people who prefer both K-cups and fresh grinds. It comes in two individual units, one for the pods and one for the ground coffee. The working mechanism is pretty straightforward. You fill in the reservoir by measuring the water in your serving cup, add coffee, adjust the brewing strength, lower the lid and press the brew button. That’s it.
Wait for two to three minutes and your coffee is ready. The unit also allows you to choose between bold to regular strength. Parts like the brew basket filter and K-cup puncturing tools are easy to remove and clean. You can also use it for brewing in your RV as long as it has a 120V electrical outlet.
- Separate pieces to fit reusable pods and fresh grinds.
- Takes just 3 minutes to get a cup ready.
- Compact and highly portable.
- Fuss-free cleaning.
- No need to use a separate filter for your own ground.
- Watch the amount of water you are adding in the reservoir. Adding extra water will lead to overflow.
Making a single cup of strong and aromatic coffee has never been that simple. This coffee maker lets you customize your brew any way you want. It is an ideal brewing machine for individuals who enjoy pods as well as their own coffee grounds. The ground basket with a filter makes brewing freshly ground coffee a cakewalk. Moreover, the cleanup is much easier than most homestyle drip coffee machines.
5. Hamilton Beach (49974) Single Serve Coffee Maker
This unit offers more or less the same features and functions as 49979. Except, this one doesn’t have the Adjustable Strength feature, hence the lower price tag. Before moving on to the detailed review, take a glance at the salient features of this small and stylish coffee maker:
Key Features :
- Easy-to-use controls.
- Super simple to clean.
- Easily holds a variety of pods.
- Brew basket with filter for brewing fresh coffee grounds.
- Lets you brew straight into a K-cup or travel mug.
- Takes just about a minute to prepare a cup.
This small and sleek coffee maker is designed to make coffee brewing a cakewalk. It is a single serve coffee utilizes a reservoir with a viewing window. It also has clear markings on it, allowing you to monitor how much water you are adding.
Once you add your coffee and filtered water, press the Brew button and wait for 2:30-3 minutes. The brewing time of this unit is unbelievably fast. And the coffee comes out at a perfect temperature too. By adjusting the cup rest, you can turn in into a neat storage for the brewing basket and K-cup holder. That way, all your accessories will be in one place.
- Simple working mechanism.
- The reservoir comes with a viewing window and markings.
- Low maintenance.
- No need of buying filters.
- Auto shut-off after every brew.
- A little noisy.
If you want a slim and highly efficient coffee maker to carry wherever you go, this is probably the one. Although the pods create a lot of trash, cleaning it up isn’t really that difficult. Most of all, it offers you the flexibility of using both pods and grounds, that too at a fairly affordable price.
Okay. So hopefully, by now, you have acquired all the necessary information about Hamilton Beach FlexBrew coffee makers. But one question still remains- why choosing FlexBrew instead of a K-cup or traditional drip coffee maker?
Why Does Every Coffee Lover need to Own a Hamilton FlexBrew?
There are tons of great single-serve K-cup pod coffee makers in the market to choose. Then you also have hi-tech traditional drip coffee makers to help you prepare large pots of coffee in one go. You are literally spoilt for choices.
What if a coffee maker could combine the best of both worlds? Well, guess what? The Hamilton Beach FlexBrew does exactly that. It has single-serve units that support both pods and grounds. These units are super quick, energy-saving, compact and easy on the pocket too. Unlike most K-cup coffee makers, unclogging the trash in this unit is actually easy.
On the other hand, they have specialized 2-way coffee makers with a 10/12-cup carafe on one side and a K-cup brewer on the other. The controls are smooth and incredibly easy to operate. Brownie points for the ease of maintenance. The cleaning mechanism of these units is way simpler than that of K-cup or traditional drip coffee machines.
The Downsides of Hamilton Beach FlexBrew
Budget coffee makers have some inevitable pitfalls. In Hamilton’s case, the glitches are minor and can be easily dealt with.
- The most common user complaint is that taking care of two reservoirs is a hassle. This is technically true. You have to clean two reservoirs every now and then. Failing to do so will result in nasty scale buildup, which will absolutely ruin your coffee.
- The 2-way coffee maker units have a large footprint. You will need a tall kitchen cabinet for storage.
- For the single-serve pod side, you can pour only as much water as your cup can hold. The tank cannot hold extra water. Adding extra water will simply lead to overflowing. This also means that you will have to be careful with the grind to water ratio. Otherwise, you will end up with either a weak or a mind-numbingly strong coffee.
The Bottom Line
Versatile coffee machines like Hamilton Beach brings the experience of fancy coffee shops to your house. Every brew has the same strength, consistency, and punch. It lets you personalize the brew right according to your mood, taste and quantity needs. Whether you are a single user with a fascination for different flavors or a staunch admirer of strong filtered coffee, FlexBrew will serve you just right.