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Showing 1-10 of 642 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 920 reviews
on December 3, 2012
I know I can be short tempered at times but this coffee maker is such a LET DOWN.

I am already the owner of a defunct Kuerig, so I got this one thinking Hamilton Beach might do better with electronics since they've been at this longer than Kuerig but no.

I have had this single brew for about 3 weeks. It's been used maybe 8 times. I rinse the k-cup holder carefully each time. This morning--stopeed working. It doesn't appear clogged--clogged with WHAT! It's a single serve!!

The Customer Service number is in GIGANTIC FONT in the user manual but no one answers. Thanks-- this is going back!
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on December 10, 2012
BACKGROUND: I am a fan of single-serve coffee machines. Why? Because it just makes sense. Most people in America do not live in multigenerational households so it is not necessary to brew 4+ cups of coffee at once. In my situation, it's just my husband and me. I have owned the traditional Black & Decker 12-cup coffee maker (donated), Keurig Special Edition B60 Single-Serve Coffee Maker (returned), Senseo 7810 Single-Serve Coffee Maker (donated), Hamilton Beach Personal One-Cup Pod Brewer for Senseo Pods (still own for the office, but not too satisfied), Hamilton Beach Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker (still own), and Aeropress Coffee and Express Maker (still own).

I have been looking for a well-built single-serve coffee maker for my husband's office, since the one he has there is the Hamilton Beach Personal Cup One Cup Pod Brewer, which is a GREAT and inexpensive coffee maker, but the insert basket is fitted for Senseo style pods only and they are discontinued. So to get around this, I taught him to create makeshift pods by folding regular filters. This method works fine, except that it requires a few extra steps and my husband is not the type to want to perform those extra steps. Needless to say, he rarely uses the coffee machine because of "those extra steps." Well, I guess Keurig seems to be the only option left in terms of convenience, freshness, and taste.

REVIEW:

PROS:
+ Accepts K-Cups, ground coffee, and pods
+ Flexible cup size (can hold a tall travel mug or a smaller 10 oz. mug)
+ Great tasting, hot coffee without using a lot of coffee grounds
+ Beautiful black/stainless-steel exterior
+ Easy to operate in 4-steps (Pour in water, put in coffee (cup/grounds/pod), push lever down, press "on")
+ Easy to clean (all you need to do is dump the coffee grounds and rinse), separate parts are washable
+ More affordable than any Keurig coffee machine

CONS:
- Hot steam comes out from "Push Down" lever opening
- Spits coffee grinds everywhere if the amount of coffee grounds in filter exceeds maximum limit (2 Tbsp)

I am writing this review after testing it for almost two weeks. Using K-cups, the coffee MAY drip slower (it takes about 1.5-2 minutes on average to brew a cup) than a Keurig machine, but it does come out hot and tasty. On the other hand, using just the mesh filter and coffee grinds require a bit of a learning curve. The directions note that you can only use a MAXIMUM of 2 TABLESPOONS of ground coffee. While this is true, I would recommend a MAXIMUM of 2-3 TEASPOONS. Any more and the machine will "spit" coffee grinds into your cup in the last 10 seconds of brewing (VIDEO INCLUDED). I have also learned that I have had more luck with a courser grind, closer to french press than drip. Another thing that may cause some concern is the steam that comes out of the "Push Down" lever is hot, but fortunately, not burning hot. For me, I don't mind it since I usually walk away after pressing the "on" button anyway.

In comparison between the Hamilton Beach Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker and this FlexBrew, I would strongly recommend the FlexBrew for its versatility, convenience, and best of all, it makes great tasting coffee with very little coffee grounds. It's ironic because for the Scoop, the more coffee you put in, the stronger/better your coffee tastes. Even 2 Tbsp may not be enough for the Scoop whereas 2 Tbsp is too much for the FlexBrew. With that said, I will be replacing my Hamilton Beach Scoop with this one.

Bottom line, if you are looking for a single-serve machine that can brew K-Cups, coffee grinds, and pods, look no further but keep in mind that this machine requires a very small amount of coffee grinds or it will start spitting all over the place (as you can see in the video).
33 comments| 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 9, 2013
I've had the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew coffee maker for about a week now, and I've given it a thorough workout. I purchased this to use at work. I wanted a single-cup brewer. I decided on the FlexBrew, but because of the range of the reviews, I tried it at home first. That unit will remain in my kitchen; I purchased a second FlexBrew for work that arrived this morning.

Of the units that can use K-cups, the Keurigs are freakin' huge for a single cup coffee maker, pretty expensive as far as I'm concerned, and I wasn't all that impressed with the build-quality. The FlexBrew isn't a Cadillac either, but the Keurigs are also all-plastic, and actually seem cheaper to me. Black & Decker and Mr. Coffee also make K-cup brewers; they're a bit less expensive than the Keurigs, but nearly as large and also can ONLY use K-cups. The FlexBrew costs half as much as the Keurigs, is much more compact, and while it allows K-cup use, it doesn't lock you into it.

Using this coffee maker there's no fuss, no mess. Coffee temperature is right where I want it; hot enough that initially I have to "slurp" it a bit to cool it off, but not so hot I risk burns. Coffee I brought from home to work was still "cautious" hot an hour later. (I used a thermal travel mug, but it doesn't have great insulation.)

K-Cups - the coffees I've tried were excellent; no grounds in my cup. You can overfill the reservoir a bit when using K-cups, but don't do it with the other methods. Just leave the cup alone after the light goes out for about 10-15 seconds; the coffee will then finish up with another stream. I've successfully filled the reservoir past the max ridge and up to the next ridge. Several people have complained about the K-cups "melting". They distort a bit from brewing, but I don't consider that "melted". They're a thin plastic container that extremely hot water is being forced through under pressure. Thin plastic is flexible, and heat softens it further, so it bulges slightly and ends up the shape of the ridges in the holder. There are no burn marks, holes etc., it's just distorted a little. I've never noticed any plastic taste.

Coffee Pods - tried them with no problems. Just can't find them in stores.

Tea Bags - tea bags are just poorly shaped coffee pods. Flat packet-type tea bags work fine, but I haven't tried the "flow-through" type folded bags, though I wouldn't think it would make a difference. Lay the tea bag flat in the bottom of the filter, covering the three filter openings. You could shake the bag a little to even out the tea leaves, but I don't think it's necessary.

Ground Coffee - using grounds there was less than a teaspoon of water and only a few grounds on the counter near the unit, but nothing like other people describe. I noticed afterward that the "flap" under the filter element wasn't secured completely. I had opened it while getting familiar with the unit, and hadn't secured it properly. It *will* latch, but you have to press *slightly* hard right near the latch until you hear a little click. When it's latched properly, it's very secure.

I knew before I bought it that there was fix from HB that addressed the overflowing issues with grounds. If your FlexBrew doesn't have a separate filter basket insert and has only the three filter openings when looking down at the bottom of the coffee container, contact Hamilton Beach support and they'll send you the part free. (I emailed them and had the part in a couple of days.) Look up Thomas Towhey's review from February 28, 2013 - he worked this out, and gives a good explanation. Click on "Yes" next to "Was this review helpful to you?" for him while you're at it - (Thanks Tom!). Ground coffee works fine with the updated filter basket. I didn't have any spattter or leakage during brewing, or grounds in my coffee afterwards.

My only complaint is it's a little awkward filling it from a cup, but all coffee makers seem to have quirks in this regard. This is one of the trickier ones though. If you're having problems, try using a different cup to fill it. I have one coffee cup that *won't* pour cleanly at the slow rate needed to fill the reservoir without splashing. At work I feed it bottled water, so it isn't an issue there.
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on November 15, 2013
Works once in awhile but be ready to clean up your counter top when it decides to shoot out hot coffee grinds and muddy water. They say badly constructed K-cup containers will cause a mess but its a gamble each time you want a fast cup of coffee. Its not the containers - its the design. Returning today to Amazon. This is the new and "improved" Version II. Don't believe it!! What a mess it made. Not worth the hot coffee grinds mixed in diluted hot water all over our kitchen counter top and also dripping down the sides of the machine itself... No coffee and a half roll of paper towels later I packed it up and shipped it back.. A more important detail - Strong smell of plastic surrounds this unit. I believe the stainless steel claim is referring to the plastic color rather than the actual construction??
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on December 4, 2013
This machine is easy to use and works just as well as Keurig for a lot less money. It's basic but efficient and takes up no space at all. The detachable coffee holder should be handled with care (it's a pretty important piece after all, and you have to take it out completely to use it). But because it's detachable, it's also easy to clean (dishwasher safe) and will probably last a lot longer.

You don't have to buy any silly/expensive adapters to use your own coffee either. All you have to do is pop out the k-cup holder and use the PROVIDED and REUSABLE coffee grounds filter. Seriously, this thing is a dream.

Don't buy this machine if you like to fill giant travel mugs. It has a 10 oz maximum (though I've consistently fit 12 oz in mine). If you need more than that at a time you should be buying a regular coffee pot anyway... this is for people that like a little coffee and a little variety with their coffee flavors, not for hardcore addicts.

Do buy this machine if you've got a friend with a Keurig and you've always wanted one but you hate the idea of spending more than a hundred bucks on a machine that just makes coffee. Hamilton Beach consistently makes high quality products so it's not like you're getting a cheap knock-off. You're getting a great basic machine that's easy to use and easy to maintain.

Also, as soon as the machine is done brewing, it shuts off. That's a handy feature, especially since the machine isn't keeping the coffee warm for extended periods. It's designed to brew coffee you're going to drink right now, ensuring you always have a fresh cup.

One drawback to this machine is that it doesn't store water (you have to fill it every time) but honestly, I'm a little grossed out by Keurig's that hold water for a long time. Think of your friend that has a Keurig, how often do you think he/she uses the machine? Do you trust that the water that's in there is new? Also, there's no digital display or anything fancy like that. It's a one-button design and you decide how much coffee you're getting by how much water you're putting in.

So in short, a simple better valued design to create the same coffee at a much lower price.
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on November 29, 2012
I have had 2 Keurigs and each time they eventually just stop working soooo I decided to try something different. The Hamilton Beach 49995 FlexBrew Single Serve Coffeemaker is GREAT! It is small so it doesn't take up much counter space, it brews either a cup or a commuter mug, it turns itself off when done and it uses either K-cups or ground coffee. The price is perfect too.
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on December 19, 2013
I was skeptical because so many people had issues with this product, but it was $35 at the time, so I gave it a shot. I did have it act a little wonky once, but that was a mistake on my part. Several of the reviews I read complained of Hamilton Beach telling them that the problem was the kind of k-cups they used. I believe I determined what was meant by that, hence the one wonky episode. The issue is not with the brand of cup, but what's in the particular cup. Most coffees and tea have a filter inside the cup which keeps grounds and leaves from going through the hole with the water. However, the cocoas and cider and I'm sure others, are only a powder that isn't actually brewed so it is suppose to go through the hole. The latter is the kind that this machine has issue with. With this machine, The "drink" passes through a filter between the k-cup and your cup, so any undissolved clumps are caught in the filter. If there are too many, the filter clogs and then water will overflow back out the top. This is more of a concern in this machine than in a Keurig because of the way it punctures. A Keurig puts a small hole in the bottom of the K-cup, while this one takes a sliver out of the side, which allows bigger chunks to pass through.
Also, this machine does not puncture the bottom of the k-cup for you. You must make sure it punctures when you place the k-cup. If you do not puncture it fully, this will also cause it to overflow out the top.
The one issue I had was with an apple cider cup and it was most likely because I had not rinsed it out after the previous use.
Follow the directions, fully pierce the cup, and rinse IMMEDIATELY after EVERY use and you'll have no problems.
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on November 8, 2013
This is the worst coffee maker I have ever purchased. It claims to be able to successfully brew grinds, pods or k-cups. I found that with grinds you must course grind or the metal filter clogs and the coffee tray over flows making a mess of water and grinds. If you use k-cups be careful of the brand you use. This brewer has a blade that cuts the side of the k-cup and will cut into some k-cup brand filter and again over flow and grinds everywhere. I do not recommend this machine to anyone unless they don't mind the frustration of wiping down the machine and counter twice a day. This is a worthless contraption and not recommended.
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on December 25, 2012
I like the simplicity of this unit. It does what is says it will do. I've tried k-cups and grounds in this unit and it makes a good cup of coffee with each. The K-cups are the easiest to use but their is nothing really difficult about using your own grind. My only complaints, and this would be with all these types of units, is that 10oz is usually the largest cup of coffee they brew. When you have large mugs that are capable of holding 2 cups of coffee and you're use to pouring from a pot 10oz seems a little skimpy. With this unit they want you to wait a couple of minutes between brews so that can be a little time consuming if you wanted to brew another 8 or 10oz but I've done it without the wait so it is capable of doing it. I think since this unit is pretty small in stature that heat might be an issue with the suggested wait time. It's not the easiest unit to pour water into and there isn't a sight line for the water going in so you don't know you're reaching the top until it overflows. I suppose with some practice or coming up with a pre-measured container you could eventually get the right amounts figured out. Lastly, sometimes the unit spits water/grounds/coffee if the grounds are to fine and the water doesn't flow through the coffee fast enough. You will have to experiment with the grind to get it right. Having said all that, for the price and simplicity the unit is hard to beat. HB also makes a unit with a coffee pot and single serve built in that might be the best of both worlds for about $20 more.

Update 12/31/12: I've used this a few more time to make coffee from grounds and discovered a couple of things. I don't know why I didn't notice this before but there is a 8oz and 10oz marker under the lid. They look like steps towards the back of the pour area and since the numbers are molded into the plastic (thus the same color) they are hard to see. If you fill the reservoir to the 10oz mark you will get a decent cup of coffee. I haven't had any issues with making coffee with the grounds since my initial review. My theory now about the "exploding" coffee grounds is if you don't put enough water in the machine, and when you use the marks as stated above it actually looks like you are over filling it, I believe the machine starts spurting steam which blows the grounds out of the holder as it is expecting to be heating more water. Just a theory but so far every cup I've made has been perfect.
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on April 21, 2013
I bought this HB 4995 coffee maker a few months ago, but every time I used it with a K cup or ground coffee, the water will spill over from the tank above. I tried to change the extent of grind and different K cups but it did not make a difference. I wrote to Hamilton Beach within a month of purchase and after a lot of resistance they agreed to ship a new coffee-maker but I had to return the cord plug. I tried the 2nd coffee maker, this time it would brew good coffee from a K cup but with ground coffee, the spillover continued. So I examined the brewing cup and realized that the cup had only one central opening for the brewed coffee to trickle into my mug and that whole probably was being covered by coffee grounds and the water was overfilling the brewing cup and spilling over. So I tried an experiment. I took a round paper coffee filter, trimmed it from the top to fit into the brewing cup and inserted it in the brewing cup before putting in the ground coffee. Voila, it worked and I had good coffee without any water spill.

MC
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