The Hamilton Beach Flexbrew is #10 on our:
Top 10 – Best Drip Coffee Maker
Top 10 – Best Drip Coffee Maker
Hamilton Beach Single Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker, 2-Way Flexbrew Coffeemaker
The Hamilton Beach 2-Way Flexbrew Coffeemaker is a mid-range automatic drip brewer with a unique spin: beyond brewing into a standard 12-cup carafe, the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew can also brew a single 14-Ounce serving of coffee directly into your cup or travel mug. This “2-Way” brewing, as Hamilton Beach dubs it, is the machine’s standout feature, and a welcome convenience for personal home brewing.
Features of the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Flexbrew Coffeemaker
It is fully programmable, meaning that you’ll be able to command the machine to automatically begin a brew cycle at a time of your choosing. This is especially convenient for the mornings.
There are few wake up calls better than the smell of freshly brewed coffee.
The Hamilton Beach 2-Way Flexbrew Coffeemaker also features your run of the mill “strength” controls. By modifying the rate at which hot water flows through your coffee grinds, different “strengths” can be achieved. A slower flow extracts the coffee more thoroughly, resulting in a bolder, bitterer cup of coffee. Coffee aficionados would seldom use a dripper’s strength adjustment, however, recognizing that a slower drip flow merely results in over-extraction. To brew a proper cup of bold coffee, darker beans and finer grinds are necessary.
Another common feature present on the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew, the warming plate, ensures that your coffee stays hot for hours. Keep in mind, however, that coffee left out for more than hour begins to stale, decreasing in brightness and increasing in bitterness.
The most notable feature, and the Flexbrew’s namesake, is a double brewer design; The Hamilton Beach 2-Way Flexbrew Coffeemaker is actually two separate coffee makers sharing a single enclosure.
The first coffee maker, simply dubbed “carafe side,” is the same sort of batch brewer that you could purchase for $30 from your local WalMart. It has its own 1.8 L water reservoir, a filter basket for paper filters, and a 12-cup glass carafe.
The second coffee maker, dubbed “single-serve side,” is akin to brewers of the Nespresso and Keurig variety. In fact, newer versions of the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew natively support K-Cup brewing. Making use of its own 14-ounce water reservoir and miniature gold tone filter, the single-serve side brews coffee directly into a cup or travel mug.
Unfortunately, both brewers fail to hit optimal coffee brewing temperature. The ideal temperature for excellent coffee rests between 195° F and 205° F. The Hamilton Beach 2-Way Flexbrew struggles to make it past 170° F. Although this is to be expected of a lower-end device, it is an important factor to note.
AestheticsLooks wise, the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew does little to distance itself from the pack. Its curved housing is somewhat sleek, if not garden variety.
By and large, the Flexbrew is a plastic construction, enveloped by two stainless steel bands. Its first band, the thinner of the two, wraps around the base of the machine, and accommodates the Hamilton Beach logo. The second, thicker stainless steel band, wraps around the top of the machine, and houses the entire control panel.
This inclusion of stainless steel appears to be strictly aesthetic, however. All the functional parts of the Flexbrew—both water reservoir lids, both filter enclosures, and all of the controls—are built from a black plastic.
One commendable design choice: the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Flexbrew makes expert use of geometry to visually separate its individual elements. For example: the widest portion of the machine exhibits a disparate flatness, signifying a single element (the batch brewer). This flatness tapers off in winding curves towards the other side of the machine, signifying another element (the single-serve brewer).
While the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Flexbrew seems to hit a lot of checkmarks in textbook appliance design, it lacks individuality and personality. Ultimately, it will look right at home on a kitchen counter, but it isn’t likely to turn any heads.
Although the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew uses a decent amount of stainless steel in its construction, its purpose seems to be purely aesthetic. The parts of the machine most prone to wear and tear, like the reservoir lid and filter drawer, are all made from cheap plastic.
While the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Flexbrew is a heavy machine, this can be simply attributed to the fact that it houses two separate brewers. The reality is that this machine feels somewhat feeble, its weak hinges and flimsy controls giving way to the slightest pressure.
As is common for Hamilton Beach products, there are many reports online of quick degradation and flat-out failure. While these cases are in the minority, the numbers are significant enough to warrant caution.
While this isn’t a bad drip coffee machine, you’re better off choosing on of the other coffee makers we reviewed. Be sure to check out our comparison table.
Hamilton Beach 2-Way Flexbrew – Pros vs. Cons
- Full programmability
- Strength controls (regular and bold)
- Hotplate keeps your coffee hot
- Convenient single-serve brewing
- Low brewing temperatures
- Subpar build quality
How Much Does The Hamilton Beach 2-Way Flexbrew Coffeemaker Cost?
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