Best Hamilton Beach Coffee Makers in 2019 - Reviewed

Hamilton Beach has been a name in kitchen appliances since it was founded in 1910. Hamilton Beach coffee makers, in particular, are known for being affordable and reliable, making them a great option for people who caffeinate to live and live to caffeinate without putting a hefty dent in your wallet.

If you’re imagining that your only option in this brand is a plain ol’ coffee pot without any bells and whistles or customization, you’re not alone. You’ll be surprised to find that Hamilton Beach has coffee makers of all varieties, giving the options you want without adding extra dollar signs to the price tag. 

What Is a Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker?

Like we've mentioned before, Hamilton Beach Coffee Makers come in several shapes and forms and will typically cost less than $100 dollars, even for the top model, making them a nice standout from machines like those from Keurig, Ninja, and more, that easily exceed triple digits in cost.

Hamilton Beach offers single-serve, 5-cup, or 12-cup coffee machines. The most popular coffee maker is the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew 2-way coffee maker, which is both a single-serve and a 12-cup machine. We’ll get to more on that one later. But first, let’s discuss what you should keep in mind before buying a Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker. 

Things to Consider Before Buying

Hamilton Beach coffee makers aren’t designed to compare to the specialty drinks from your favorite barista, nor with machines in a higher price bracket. You won’t be able to make an espresso shot and your cup isn’t going to have the complexity of a slow drip, but it’s going to make you a consistently good-tasting brew every morning.

Hamilton Beach brews hotter than the standard coffee maker, which can result in a complex-tasting brew, so don’t get the impression that you’ll be forcing yourself to swallow sub-bar coffee. That’s not the case. It’ll just be a good, standard cup of coffee.

When it comes to the warranty on Hamilton Beach products (even the higher-end models), the warranty only covers manufacturer defects for up through the first year of ownership, and, the part that we're really not fond of, it requires the customer to pay for shipping it back to the manufacturer, as well as back to the customer. At this price level, there can’t be much of an expectation for a phenomenal warranty, but it should cover the shipping and handling for a suspected manufacturer warranty.

Most reviews on customer service for Hamilton Beach aren’t too positive so that, along with the lack of warranty that benefits the customer, the hope would ultimately be to not have an issue with the machine. Ultimately, if something goes wrong, it would be more economical just to buy a brand new machine rather than paying to ship it.

That being said, you can get a number of the basic parts for Hamilton Beach coffee makers online for very affordable prices. If you’re even a tiny bit handy, you can likely replace a number of parts on your own, should they happen to break or malfunction. 

FlexBrew by Hamilton Beach

Hamilton Beach FlexBrew 2-way coffee makers are the most popular in the Hamilton Beach lineup, and it doesn’t take 20/20 vision to see why. On top of being useful for entertaining with a 12-cup carafe, it can also serve single cups, which, as you know, has a variety of uses. It’s great for the mid-afternoon cup, when you’re the only coffee drinker in the residence, or for an on-the-go caffeine kick when you’re running late in the morning.

To be transparent, the FlexBrew from Hamilton Beach isn’t the only one of its kind. Keurig has its own flexible brew system called the K-Duo, but, as expected, it costs a significant amount more. The Cuisinart Coffee Center offers similar functionality to the FlexBrew, but it costs more and still isn’t as sought after as the Hamilton Beach model. That being said, let’s take a closer look at the FlexBrew options, especially since they’re such a popular model for Hamilton Beach.

Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Coffee Maker

The best feature on the FlexBrew is right in the name — the ability to flexibly brew what you want or need. Functioning as two distinct machines, the 12-cup carafe and single-serve machines have separate water reservoirs.

The 12-cup side has some nice functionality when it comes to automatic settings, including pre-setting your machine to warm up and brew at a specified time within 24 hours. You can opt for strong or regular brew, as well as pause the machine and sneak a cup before it’s done with the whole pot. Underneath the glass carafe is a heating plate, which has a two-hour automatic shut-off so you don’t have to worry when you leave the house in a rush.

This FlexBrew model comes with a Permanent Gold Tone filter which eliminates the need for paper products. Economical, environmentally conscious, and efficient, the 12-cup carafe on the FlexBrew is definitely a people-pleaser.

On the other side, the single-serve machine is just as enticing as it’s conjoined fraternal twin. The machine comes with two types of filters, one totally reusable for your favorite grounds and a second to fit K-cups. When not in use, the non-dominant filter can be stashed in the cup rest. That same cup rest can also be removed to handle travel mugs, an entirely underrated characteristic. Brewing up to 10 oz. with a K-cup and 14 ounces with freshly ground beans, you can pick how much caffeine your morning needs with ease. It also accomplishes the task in 3 minutes flat, so it’s ideal for those who may hit the snooze one or two too many times in the AM. 

Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Thermal Coffee Maker

Very similar to the previous FlexBrew on this last, the FlexBrew Thermal is nearly identical to the regular FlexBrew, but foregoes the hot plate and glass carafe.

In comes the stainless steel carafe for this model. There’s no hot plate on this model, which some people attribute as the problem when it comes to overheating, aka that burnt taste coffee can sometimes get. Because it’s constantly being hit with more heat until that auto shut off, it’s definitely a concern for slow or cup-at-a-time drinkers.

Thermal models work on the idea that the coffee has all the heat it needs to be delicious already, so why not, instead of a constant barrage of more and more heat, we just keep the heat that’s already inside… well… inside.

And that’s the motivator behind this FlexBrew model. The only downside to this is if you like the 12-cup option—the FlexBrew Thermal only makes 10 cups of coffee per go. 

Best Hamilton Brew Single-Serve Coffee Machines

Single-serve machines are great, especially when it comes to a quality cup with every sip. The primary reason to opt for a machine that makes one cup at a time is the taste factor — coffee begins to stale quite quickly after it’s brewed, so if you’re a slow-sipper, single-serve machines will be a great option for you. They don’t have to require expensive pods either!

Hamilton Beach The Scoop Single-Serve Coffee Maker

The Scoop is a single-serve machine that offers simple functionality. It doesn’t do the K-cup thing and it doesn’t have any programmable options — it doesn’t even have a clock on it. It’s just what it is: a single-serve coffee machine.

Fill The Scoop with as much water as you want coffee and load it up with your favorite grinds. Brew an 8 oz. mug in less than 90 seconds and 14 oz. for travel in less than 2.5 minutes — it only has one thing to think about after all: making coffee. 

Pros
  • Compact
  • Can fit travel mugs up to 13.5 inches
  • Quick brewing
  • Both Strong and Regular brewing options
  • Reusable, mesh filter
  • Easily-adjustable cup rest for mugs or travel
  • Auto-shut off after brewing
  • Stainless steel
Cons
  • Does not take K-cups (which I’d argue isn’t a con; less temptation, but it’s technically something you can’t do)
  • Has the potential to overfill if not set up properly
Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Hospitality Coffee Maker

Another simple single-serve model, the Hospitality Coffee Maker differs from the previous model in one simple way: it accepts K-cups. The adjustable cup rest allows for travel mugs on the shorter end, and the water levels are visible on the top and side. Outside of that, this model doesn’t offer any extra features than the previous model.

Approved for Hospitality Use, it’s a common choice for use in hotel rooms, which is important primarily because that also indicates its easy to maintain, which is always a plus. 

Pros
  • Takes K-cups
  • Adjustable cup rest for travel mugs
  • Approved for Hospitality Use
  • Compact
  • Offers both Bold and Regular brew
Cons
  • Reusable filter basket not included
  • Can only fit 8-inch travel mugs (which is on the short side)
  • Can only brew 10 ounces at a time
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Single-Serve Maker Product

While the previous FlexBrews had the ability to make a carafe and a single cup, this one offers a different spin on that flexible brewing model. If you like having options that revolve entirely around single-serve, this model fulfills that desire.

Designed to take K-cups and ground beans alike, the FlexBrew Single-Serve gives you options that previous single-serve machines in the Hamilton Brew lineup simply don’t. It has a large, removable water reservoir so you can make multiple mugs without refilling and removing the cup rest gives room for a decent-sized travel mug. It also doubles as storage for whatever filter you’re not using, either the K-cup or reusable mesh filter (super bonus).

Pros
  • Designed for both K-cups and ground beans
  • Removable 40 oz. water reservoir
  • Regular and Bold Brew
  • K-Cups: 8-10 oz.
  • Grounds: up to 14 oz.
  • Great price for functionality
  • Light flashes when water is low
Cons
  • Made of plastic and there are some reports of a plastic-like taste and smell
  • Cup rest doesn’t hold much liquid so don’t forget to put your mug on before brewing
  • At this price range, a little more functionality is typically expected via programming, etc, but none are present on this machine

Best Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffeemakers

Hamilton Beach Programmable Coffee Maker

For the most affordable of the 12-cup coffeemakers in the Hamilton Beach lineup, this beaut has several nice features. The removable water reservoir is great for easy filling, the filter basket swings out for easy reach, and the pause and serve options are great for the most desperate caffeinator in the household.

You can program this machine to wake you up with the smell of fresh coffee with some help from the programmable clock and you don’t even have to worry about shutting anything off because it auto-shuts off after 2 hours. You can even opt between three brew strengths or get anywhere between 1-4 cups. Honestly, this machine is capable of providing a lot more than’s expected at this price range, making it a perfect addition for coffee drinkers of any household. Or even just to have for when guests come over — it’s that affordable.

Pros
  • Removable 12-cup reservoir
  • Can make 1-4 cups, up to 12
  • Reusable mesh filter
  • Programmable options
  • Regular and Bold Brew
  • Pause and Serve
  • Swivel feet on the bottom of machine
  • Two distinctive styles
Cons
  • At this price range? No. Cons are often dependent on a number of things, including price range. There are no dramatic flaws in this machine that negate the price tag.
Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Maker Programmable BrewStation

This BrewStation is a bit different than the 12-cup coffeemaker typically thought of. There’s no carafe (either steel or glass), leaving the coffee to brew and gather internally. This internal heating method actually keeps the coffee nice and toasty for up to 4 hours. When you need your first cup (or fifth refill), press your mug to the button to dispense the caffeinated beverage.

Whether you want your coffee Bold, Regular, or good for Iced Coffee, or even in small batches, this programmable machine can handle your request. You can also set it up to wake you up with the fantastic smell of your favorite coffee. 

Pros
  • Removable water tank
  • Internal heating for long-term coffee freshness (between 1-4 hours)
  • Programmable
  • Bold, Regular, Iced, Small batch functions
  • Reusable brew basket
  • Brews up to 12 cups, as well as 1-4 cups
  • Removable parts for easy cleaning
Cons
  • There aren’t many cons to this machine. It can’t use any sort of K-cup or Pod, but it can brew one cup of coffee, if so desired
Hamilton Beach Programmable 12 Cup Coffee Maker Easy Front Access Deluxe

Hamilton Beach really excels at jam-packing its 12-cup coffee makers chock full of features, and the Deluxe Coffee Maker is no exception. It offers similar functionality as the previous models, Bold and Regular brew, multiple cup sizes, and wake-up brew programmability.

Rather than a removable reservoir, it features a front-fill reservoir that doesn’t require removing it or moving the machine forward to access it. It also features a prominent time counter to show how recently the brew was made, which is great when you have multiple coffee drinkers ascending upon the coffee machine at various points in the morning. 

Pros
  • Easy front-fill reservoir
  • Makes 1-4 cups, up to 12 cups
  • Programmability
  • Bold and Regular Brew
  • “Time Since Brew” counter
  • Cleaning cycle reminder
  • 2 hour auto shut off
  • Swing out coffee basket
  • Reusable filter
  • Removable filter basket for easier cleaning
Cons
  • Non-removable reservoir makes for more difficulty cleaning

How to Clean a Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker

Regular cleaning keeps a machine working in tip-top shape. Mineral deposits and coffee residue can be the death of a good coffee maker. Luckily, cleaning Hamilton Beach coffee makers is pretty easy. Unlike other machines, the manufacturer doesn’t even recommend buying any special, expensive cleaner—they just recommend using white vinegar. 

What do you need? Not much.

  • 2 cups of white vinegar
  • 2 reservoir’s worth of water
1.

Put the two cups of vinegar in the water reservoir. Press the ON button to begin the brewing process, but don’t go anyway. After 30 seconds, press OFF to cut the cycle short. The goal is to get the vinegar distributed throughout the machine.

2.

Wait 30 minutes.

3.

Finish the vinegar-brew.

4.

Fill the reservoir with fresh water and run a full brew cycle with just water. Repeat this process again.

Done! The process is exactly the same for single-serve machines, but with one cup of vinegar instead of two. The FlexBrew will need you to perform both of these processes, one for each side. It’s recommended that you perform this routine cleaning once per month.

Cleaning the exterior of the machine, such as the hot plate and facing, a damp paper towel should do the trick! 

Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker Troubleshooting: Tips & Tricks

Things happen. It’s one of the prime reasons we end up using the internet hive mind. Something went wrong, what do I do, etc. That said, let’s chat over some of the problems you may encounter and what to do if they happen.

(Click the [ + ] to expand.) 

What do I do if my Hamilton Beach coffee maker won’t brew?

One of the most common reasons, truthfully, is likely attributable to human error. Take a glance at the water reservoir—if it’s not full, the machine won’t brew. Fill it and get brewing!

The other likely cause is (again) human error: you haven’t been regularly cleaning your machine. The first step would be to scroll back up and use the easy-to-follow instructions on how to clean your Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker.

I was able to brew the coffee, but it tastes bad. Why?

There are always the standard reasons, which include the incorrect coffee-to-water ratio or the grinds are too coarse/fine. A medium coarseness is recommended for typical brewing, and it’s roughly 1.5 tablespoons of coffee per 6 ounces. If that doesn’t fix the taste, try another source of water and clean out your machine.

My brewer keeps leaking/overflowing. What do I do?

If your machine is leaking or overflowing, it likely has something to do with the grounds in the filter basket. If it’s leaking, clean around the filter basket. If you see any stray grounds that aren’t where they’re supposed to be, flush those buggers out.

If it’s overflowing, odds are that the filter can’t handle the quantity of grinds you’re putting in it. Double check how much coffee you’re filling the basket with. If you’re using paper filters instead of a reusable mesh one, you may also want to check the quality of your paper products. Or switch to a reusable mesh filter.

In Conclusion

Hamilton Beach Coffee Machines are a great option when you’re looking for something affordable that still provides quality brew. Easy to use and easy to maintain, Hamilton Beach machines are simple to incorporate into any morning routine.

The standout options for Hamilton Beach are the 12-cup coffee makers, which pack a lot of features into super affordable packages. They can make 12 cups, as well as anywhere between 1-4, which means they have a lot of flexibility. Then again, the FlexBrew machines are also very popular.

All of that said, figure out your daily needs and pick a model that fits you! Happy brewing! 


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About the Author

Hi! My name is Rachel Bean and I love coffee. Despite what it may seem like, my last name and deep love for a cup of black brew is a total coincidence. While I was informed at the wee age of 18 that majoring in coffee wasn't really an option (at least not the way I wanted to major in coffee) (i.e. drinking it day in and day out), I do have an MA and an MFA in Writing. I type words day in and day out, for both work as well as fun, and coffee is the magic bean juice that lets me do that. And that's pretty much me. Writing and coffee. Oh, and rescue dogs. Writing, coffee, and dogs. You get me.

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