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If you’re looking for quick, affordable coffee-making devices, you need the best Hamilton Beach coffeemaker. These models are famed for their ease of use and low prices. They also tend to be compact and highly adaptable to different coffee-drinking preferences. This makes them excellent office or workroom coffee makers. But if you want the best coffee pods, we have you covered there too. Or, take a look at our guide to the best coffee maker.
When it comes to the top Hamilton Beach coffee maker, the Hamilton Beach 49980A 2-Way ($54.43) single-serve coffee maker is an easy recommendation for the busiest locations. Anyone can use this simple coffeemaker, but it can easily switch between a 12-cup carafe and a separate thermos/cup pouring option for different preferences. It can also use either soft pods or coffee grounds, depending on your setup, making it affordable and versatile.
How do we judge the best Hamilton Beach coffeemakers, when so much is dependent on the beans and the style of coffee people prefer? It’s true, a lot of decisions in coffee come down to preference, but there are still specific things we look for when making calls about the best models on the market. If you’re looking to upgrade your coffee in the morning, take a look at the best espresso machine.
For example, one important specification for coffee makers is extraction – or how much coffee the machine extracts from the grounds on a single pass. Many coffee makers have problems with overextraction, or extracting too much essence from the grounds, which leads to an acidic, sharp taste that true coffee fans will avoid at all costs. Fortunately, Hamilton Beach coffee maker models have one of the best “total dissolved solids” ratios in the coffee making business, at around 1.27 – 1.30 percent – where overextraction starts to become a problem in the mid-1.30s. This is mattering less now that coffee makers are turning to pods and cups, but for traditional brewing and filtration methods, it’s still an important measurement.
We also care a lot about ease of use. We look for simple buttons and screens that make it very easy to program and control your coffee maker. Hamilton Beach coffee makers fall into the highly traditional category here: they offer a few small buttons and a small timer screen that takes up as little room as possible. Within that framework, we looked for settings that were easy to understand and use.
Wondering how to clean a Hamilton Beach coffee maker? Ease of use also extends to prep and cleaning, so we also considered what carafes and water tanks were the easiest to take out, clean, and replace easily. A smooth latch design, without any crevices for coffee to hide, is important when cleaning your Hamilton Beach coffee maker.
Speaking of the carafe, how well does it work? We looked for carafes that were easy to hold (no one likes spilling hot coffee) and quickly pour into a mug, as well as replace without slipping out of the coffee maker by accident. About that hot coffee: for those who like truly hot coffee, heat needs to be between 190° and 200° Fahrenheit when it is poured, so that’s the range that we look for. Heat retention is also important in a Hamilton Beach coffee maker – we give weight to carafes that have heating plates and insulated designs to keep coffee warm for as long as possible (without coming too close to burning it in the process).
Finally, we looked at price. Here Hamilton Beach coffee maker models really shine, making it easy to find competent coffee makers below $50. They may not have a lot of fancy bells and whistles, but they still get the job done when you need a cup of coffee on the go.
Hamilton Beach coffee maker models make excellent first-time coffee machines, or last-minute replacements. If you are moving into a new space and don’t have a coffee maker or a lot of money to purchase one, these models make excellent choices – plus they are relatively small and can easily fit onto tiny counters without taking up too much space.
Or perhaps your office/home coffee maker suddenly broke down, and you’re facing the prospect of a whole lot of grumpy people unless you can come up with an immediate replacement. Here, the right Hamilton Beach coffee maker models can come to the rescue with a simple coffee machine that you don’t need to save up for or spend time studying complex features to purchase. Sometimes, the easiest way to get something done is still one of the best.
Price: $54.43 | Capacity: 12 cup, single serve | Strength Options: Regular, Bold | Timer: 24 hour, 2 hour automatic shutdown
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: A 2-way coffee maker perfect for busy areas.
This Hamilton Beach single-serve coffee maker is not only highly affordable, it’s also immensely useful, thanks to the dual operation of both the full pot and thermos settings. The coffeemaker has options for both a single serve option, and a 12-cup carafe with an included warming plate to keep the coffee hot. Either can be filled, which means that people who just want to pour a cup of coffee can do it, and people who brought their own thermos or mug can simply put it down on the alternative stand and brew themselves their own, private pour. The single serve option has its own mesh filter that can use either pre-packaged soft pods, or coffee grounds, so it’s highly flexible. It’s an ideal solution for a busy, high-traffic area where a variety of people need their coffee fix and have personal preferences.
On the note of preferences, the Hamilton Beach coffee maker also comes with two strength options, regular and bold, along with basic programming that allows for control over a 24-hour cycle. This includes a 2-hour automatic shutoff to help save energy. There aren’t many other options here, but Hamilton Beach coffee makers aren’t about stacking multiple programming features, they’re about getting you coffee fast and reliably, and this model does just that. Plus, for fans of traditional coffee makers there’s nothing new to learn, which is a big advantage when replacing a coffee machine for multiple people.
This Hamilton Beach coffee maker model is clearly ideal for both offices, and any personal users who prefer using their own tall thermoses but hate pouring a full carafe into them. With the single-serve coffee option, you can make just one cup, but you also have the other coffee pot option of brewing 12 cups of coffee, and you can either use pods or ground coffee. It’s also worth noting that this is probably the best-looking HB model we’ve seen, with a curved profile that’s well-detailed with stainless steel pieces. However, it’s important to note that this model can only brew one side at one time – you’ll have to switch back and forth between carafe and cup, so it’s best to fill the carafe first. You can compare it to the best Keurig coffee maker to see if it works for your kitchen.
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Price: $47.08 | Capacity: 12 cup | Strength Options: Bold, Regular | Timer: Programmable clock with 2-hour automatic shutoff
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: A simple, highly affordable large-carafe coffeemaker ideal for no-nonsense coffee.
Don’t need the single serve option? Then this HB model has you covered with its basic 12-cup carafe. It’s the same basic design that has been unchanged for decades, but updated with a more modern design, and more compact than ever (7.41 inches wide) so that it can fit in tighter spaces. The design includes a swing-out brew basket with a release catch and a removable water reservoir…as well as the interesting addition of a swivel base with little wheels that make the model easy to turn around for maintenance.
When it comes to adjustments, the Hamilton Beach coffee maker model has options for brewing bold, regular, or brewing 1-4 cups individually for filling mugs. There’s also adjustable “keep warm” functions, a programmable clock, and pause/serve options for putting the machine on hold. Just the basics, but the basics are done well, and that’s exactly what certain buyers are looking for.
Price: $16.99 | Capacity: 12 ounces | Strength Options: Melitta coffee pods only | Timer: Auto shutoff only
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: A single cup coffee maker for those who need one.
Two important things to note. First, some people need a private coffee maker for their own apartment-based cup of joe in the morning. Or they may need a small travel coffee maker for business trips or for setup in a secondary location (study rooms, etc.). Either way, there’s certainly a place for such a small, 12-ounce Hamilton Beach coffee maker, especially one that works as well as this.
Second, while there are no timer set options here, this Hamilton Beach coffee maker more than makes up for it with affordability. How many other new coffee machines can you find for $16.99? It’s a great option if you don’t have any extra money to spend on coffee. Of course, note that it’s specifically designed for use with Melitta coffee pods. No coffee grounds here, and no, K-Cups will not work, so you will have to invest in some new soft pods.
Related: Best Coffee Maker with Grinder 2019
Not considering size and use: A 12-cup carafe is important when the coffee maker is going to be used by a lot of people – a single serve option is best suited for just a few people. If you need a carafe larger than 12 cups, you’ll have to search more carefully. Consider how much coffee the machine will go through, and then make sure you have a coffee maker that can meet demand.
Assuming coffee will last beyond two hours: Hamilton Beach coffee makers, like many coffee makers, come with an automatic shutoff after two hours. This shuts off any warming features too, which means that the coffee will quickly go cold. Of course, it may be unlikely that a pot will last that long anyway, but it’s something to think about in busy areas. These coffee makers are not really suitable if you want a pot of coffee that lasts for the whole day, or stays warm indefinitely (a thought that hardcore coffee fans would find unpalatable anyway).
Forgetting about the water tank: Water tanks need love, too! Regularly clean and rinse these tanks if they are present. They have a big impact on taste, and you really don’t want them getting dirty. Also make sure they are filled, or that programmable timer isn’t going to do you much good.
Not buying extra pods: A couple of the Hamilton Beach coffee maker models we picked have options – or requirements – to use Melitta coffee pods. Yes, you should always use Melitta brand in this case, because other pods may not work. Melitta pods are fairly inexpensive, so it’s a good idea to stock up on them.
After looking for the best Hamilton Beach coffeemaker, you may want to take a look at our piece on how to descale pod coffee makers, an important step for all single serve coffee machines that helps prevent problems with build-up and clogging. Yes, coffee machines need maintenance too! For more options, you may want to take a look at our lists for the best drip coffee maker and the best Cuisinart coffee maker too, just to expand your options.
If you’d like to expand in an entirely different way and consider your own espresso maker, there are many speedy espresso machines on the market. The consumer-friendly Nespresso machines are particularly popular, but there are a variety of home espresso machines to look at as well, including hybrids that can also make coffee.