Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Review and Comparisons
A coffee maker that combines a single serve and a full pot option, also referred to as a Two Way coffee maker, is a great versatile option for brewing a quick to-go cup or a full pot to enjoy over a period of time. The Hamilton Beach FlexBrew is a popular choice in this category.
Features of Hamilton Beach 49976 FlexBrew:
- Two-way coffee maker: brew a full 12-cup pot or a single cup only.
- Brew a single cup using K-Cup pods or your choice of coffee ground.
- Single serve brewing capacity is 10 oz for K-Cup pods or 14 oz when using coffee ground.
- Single serve side can accommodate tall cups and travel mugs up to 8” high.
- Separate water reservoirs: each brew size uses its own water reservoir with a window to show water level.
- Choose your brew strength setting: regular or strong brew.
- Digital clock with 24 hrs programmability. Can be programmed for automatic start.
- Included with the machine a brew basket for K-Cup pods and a basket for using coffee grounds.
- Full pot side uses paper filters or permanent gold-tone filter (not included).
How Does Hamilton Beach FlexBrew 49976 Compare to Other FlexBrew Models?
Hamilton Beach has a bunch of FlexBrew models available on the market. When it comes to FlexBrew 2-way coffee makers, they’re pretty much just updated versions of the same machine. The machines will vary in design along with other few improvements. Let’s have a closer look:
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew 49976 vs. FlexBrew 49983:
Both of these model have two sides: one for a full 12-cup pot and another for single-serve cup. For the single serve size, both machines also use K-Cup pods or coffee ground. But here’s where these machines are different:
- The FlexBrew 49976 has a dedicated water reservoir for each side. While the 49983 model has a single reservoir for both sides.
- There’s some difference in design. The 49976 model uses button controls while the 49983 uses a rotary dial. The 49983 model also has some stainless steel accents while the 49976 is all plastic.
Which Is Best?
I highly recommend the Flexbrew 49976 over the 49983 simply for the separated reservoirs. Having one reservoir for both sides can eventually lead to many errors when trying to brew a single serve, since the machine will only allow a certain amount of water for the single serve. So having an independent reservoir for each side with MAX level clearly marked for them makes it easier to use.
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew 49976 vs FlexBrew 49980A:
The 49980A model like the 49983 model has a single water reservoir for both full-pot and single serve size. Like the other models it brews up to 12 cups on the full pot side and up to 14 oz travel mug using the single serve size, but here’s the big difference:
- The 49980A model is NOT compatible with K-Cup pods. It can use coffee grounds or soft pods, but not K-Cup pods.
So with this one, you have to know what would you prefer to use for your single serve brewing, would you prefer the convenience of K-Cups (which means skip this model), or will you be mostly using ground coffee? If you don’t mind using ground coffee for single serve brewing, then you can save some money by picking this model, since it cost less than the 49976.
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew vs. Cuisinart SS-15 Full Pot and Single Serve Coffee Maker:
Cuisinart’s SS-15 is another Two way coffee maker worth considering. It has the following features:
- Brews 12-cup full carafe or up to 10 oz single serve cup.
- Choose from three single serve sizes: 6 oz, 8 oz and 10 oz.
- Single Serve is compatible with K-Cup pods or brew coffee grounds using the included filter.
- Separate reservoirs for each side. The single serve side has 40 oz reservoir enough for multiple uses. Carafe side has 60 oz capacity.
- Control panel includes options like: program, clock, Bold setting, carafe temperature, warm coffee and more.
The Cuisinart and FlexBrew are quite similar in what they do, however, the FlexBrew can brew up to 14 oz in its single-serve size, which makes it great for anyone filling up a travel mug. On the other hand, the fact that the Cuisinart, although only brews up to 10 oz, has separate buttons for each serving size means that you don’t have to worry about filling the reservoir with correct amount of water for each use. You can fill up the 40 oz reservoir and the machine will automatically draw the water it needs for your preferred brew size.
Another difference is the temperature options on the Cuisinart. On the control panel, you’ll find a dial for Low, Medium or High, which operates the option for carafe temperature and how hot you want to keep your coffee.
The Cuisinart includes a refillable filter for coffee ground and a gold-tone filter, while the FlexBrew only has a filter basket for single serve brewing.
The Cuisinart is also available in a thermal carafe option, but it has 10 cup capacity instead of 12 cups.