Hamilton Beach Flexbrew Review
Could this be the Best Single Serve Coffee Maker?

Hamilton Beach Flexbrew Review

Hamilton Beach gained popularity thanks to the high-speed fractional motor they use in many appliances. It is a company with a history.

They are around since 1910, and even if they do not specialize in coffee machines, Hamilton Beach Flexbrew coffee maker that is able to prepare single-serve coffee as well as a full pot of Joe really does deserve your attention.

The main types of coffee machines are a drip coffee maker, espresso machine, pod (K-cup) machine, and a dual coffee maker.

Hamilton Beach Flexbrew is a modern 2-way brewer. What does it mean? A 2-way or dual coffee maker accommodates several brewing styles (and several people) because it has two sides - a single-serve and a carafe side.

To be specific, you can brew a single cup or a full pot or carafe of coffee.

Perfect if you are home alone, or you have company, as well as if you are an early bird and everyone else likes to sleep in.

Simply brew a single cup, and others can brew a full carafe. It also saves time.

The 2 other benefits are that a 2-way coffee brewer saves space and money since you do not have to own two different coffee makers.

But what to look for in a 2-way coffee maker? Depends on your needs:

  • If you enjoy coffee from a pod (capsule) or a K cup, check if you can use them, or you can brew only with fresh grounds.
  • In case you love to travel mug-sized coffee, check if there are different single-cup brew size settings.
  • Are you able to pick a brewing style?
  • Are the chambers see-through? It is a user-friendly feature - you simply can see how much water is there.
  • It is also handy if every side has a separate water chamber.
  • Is the carafe made from glass or is it a thermal one? Logically, a thermal carafe will keep the coffee warm, but machines with thermal carafes cost more.
  • How big is it - most of them are 10 and 12-cup carafes.
  • Do you also want to prepare tea or cocoa or only coffee?
  • Does it come with accessories, such as a milk frother, K-cup storage, or a tea basket?
  • Is it easy to clean or does it have a self-clean function? Can you clean and descale both sides at once?
  • And of course, its size - some coffee makers are bulky; and price.
  • Guide to the buttons of this coffee maker
  • How to use it
  • What paper coffee filters to use
  • What coffee to use
  • If you can use K-cups
  • Pros of this coffee maker
  • Cons of this coffee maker
  • How to program it
  • How to clean it
  • How to descale it
  • How to solve issues with the needle
  • Few of its competitors

Intro to buttons of Hamilton Beach Flexbrew

BREW NOW - starts the brewing process + warms up the warming plate

BREW STRENGTH - select between REGULAR and BOLD. Applies for both sides of the coffee maker.

PROG - shortcut for programming, this button lets you pick a brewing time so a fresh cup of coffee awaits at your convenience

SET TIME - before programming your Hamilton Beach Flexbrew, you need to tell it what time it is. Time is shown on the digital display

CARAFE - brew a large carafe (12 cups of coffee) that stays warm thanks to the warming plate

SINGLE - in case you want only a single cup, using grounds, K-cup, or pod, press this button

Hamilton Beach FlexBrew features

How to use a Hamilton Beach Flexbrew

To brew a single cup:

  1. 1
    Plug your Hamilton Beach Flexbrew machine in.
  2. 2
    Open the lid and insert a maximum of 3 tablespoons into the removable single-serve brew basket and close the lid.
  3. 3
    Open the water reservoir lid by lifting it up and add a desired amount of water, max. 14 oz. Always select a matching cup size.
  4. 4
    Put your cup on the cup rest, or, if you go big, and use a travel mug, remove the cup rest and put your mug in place.
  5. 5
    Press the BREW NOW button to start brewing.
  6. 6
    It shuts off automatically but you can also push it to stop it or turn the machine off.
  7. 7
    Unplug it and-wash all removable parts of your Hamilton Beach Flexbrew.

To brew a 12-cup carafe:

  1. 1
    Plug your Hamilton Beach Flexbrew in.
  2. 2
    Press the CARAFE button.
  3. 3
    Remove the carafe brew basket and put a paper coffee filter in (read the following section to learn more) and fill it with 1 tablespoon of coffee per cup of coffee. Never use whole beans, of course.
  4. 4
    Put the basket back in place.
  5. 5
    Fill the water reservoir with max. 12 cups of water and close its lid.
  6. 6
    Put the carafe with its lid in its place on the warming plate.
  7. 7
    Press BREW STRENGTH and select your favorite, REGULAR, or BOLD. The latter takes more time.
  8. 8
    Now you can press BREW NOW to turn it on and afterward, turn it off. The machine turns off automatically after 2 hours from the last brewing.
  9. 9
    If you remove the carafe during brewing, the flow will stop but you have to replace it in under 20 seconds.
  10. 10
    Clean carafe basket and carafe after every use.

What coffee filters to use with your Hamilton Beach Flexbrew?

You can use paper coffee filters or reusable coffee filters by Hamilton.

What coffee to use?

The manufacturer recommends Arabica beans for the best-tasting coffee and fine or medium grind.

Always try to use freshly ground beans, approximately 1 tablespoon per cup of coffee (15 ml of grounds)

With flavored or decaf coffee, use a little less, around 11.3 ml to prevent overflow.


Can you use K Cups with Hamilton Beach FlexBrew?

Yes, and you can use single-serve pods.

The process is the same as with ground coffee described before, just swap ground coffee for the single-serve pack, that you put inside a K-cup holder without removing the foil.

The previously mentioned needle will pierce it.

Use a maximum of 10 oz. of water, select brew strength, and push the BREW NOW button.

And again, after you enjoy your cup of coffee, clean the removable parts after use.


Pros & Cons of Hamilton Beach Flexbrew

This coffee maker is loved by many, thanks to:

Pros

  • BPA-free body
  • Single-serve pack holder
  • A 12-cup carafe with a "water window"
  • Single-serve "water window"
  • Separate water reservoirs
  • Small K-cup storage under the drip tray
  • 2 strengths of the brew
  • Removable basket for ground coffee
  • Mesh filters available for purchase
  • Warming plate
  • Easy-to-navigate control panel
  • Removable drip tray
  • Removable cup holder
  • Cord storage
  • Auto-start function (for carafe side only)
  • Auto-shutoff after 2 hours
  • Ability to use paper cone filters
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Even if it is BPA-free, this coffee maker is mostly plastic
  • The carafe is not thermal
  • The single-serve side is not programmable
  • Brewing (especially on a stronger setting) takes more time
  • It is only possible to brew on one side at a time
  • It is only possible to clean one side at a time
  • Does not indicate the end of the brewing process
  • Warming plate gets warm even if you are using the other side
  • A bit noisy

How to program Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker

You can program your Hamilton Beach Flexbrew coffee maker, but only the carafe side. Here are the instructions:

  1. 1
    Set the time by pressing the SET TIME button (bear in mind the AM and PM hours)
  2. 2
    Pulse or hold to set hour and minutes
  3. 3
    Press and hold the PROG button to program. The default time is 19:99
  4. 4
    Hold it and at the same time pulse the SET TIME button to the desired brewing AM or PM hour
  5. 5
    Wait three seconds and minutes will flash, pulse the button again to set minutes
  6. 6
    Release the PROG button, and press and release again to confirm the automatic brewing time (the light will illuminate if you did it right), and voilà , the coffee will wait for you next time. Feel free to sleep in 🙂
  7. 7
    If you want to double-check it, you can always press and hold the PROG button to see the time you picked.

How to clean Hamilton Beach Flexbrew 2-way coffee maker

Short answer: like any drip brewer. Let's look at the process closely:

  1. 1
    Always allow your Hamilton Beach coffee maker to cool down before cleaning it.
  2. 2
    Use a slightly damp piece of cloth for its surface.
  3. 3
    Clean drip tray, baskets, pot or carafe, and cups after every use and let them dry. All removable parts have a  ðŸ”’ locked / 🔓 unlocked sign next to them. We recommend checking the manual of your Hamilton Beach for detailed info.
  4. 4
    Hand-wash all removable parts (do not forget about the tray) and do not use a washing machine. You can use it only for rinsing and drying. Never use the "SANI" temperature setting on your dishwasher, as it can destroy these parts. The carafe is dishwasher safe, just be careful, since it is made from glass and fragile.

What does it mean when my Hamilton Beach FlexBrew says needle?

Many people forget about the piercing needle in the single-serve part of the machine - clean it with a needle or a paper clip to get rid of any stuck grounds or build-up.

How to know that the needle needs cleaning?

Your coffee is not dispensing or your Hamilton Beach says NEEDLE, which means that the needle is clogged because of the formed mineral deposits.

As we wrote before, remove the needle holder and clean the needle with a pin, needle, or a paper clip.

When in doubt, consult the manual or one of the videos online.


How to descale Hamilton Beach Flexbrew 2-way coffee maker?

The most important thing is that you should descale both sides - the one for a solo cup of coffee and the other one for a carafe.

Do it at least once a month, this, of course, depends on your coffee-drinking frequency and the quality of the water you are using.

Especially hard water, once heated, creates build-up thanks to the calcium crystals.

It is best to use filtered water, but even then, descaling is very important. You can use vinegar or descaling tablets, for example from Full Circle, or Urnex Cafiza.

To descale the carafe side, place a carafe in place, pour two cups of white vinegar into it, and press the BREW NOW button.

Once it starts to dissolve, press it again to stop brewing.

After half an hour, press it again and let the brewing cycle finish. 

Afterward, rinse and clean the carafe thoroughly.

Run 2 or 3 cycles of pure water before brewing a new pot of coffee to get rid of any leftover taste or residue.

To descale the single-serve side, do the same but pour in only one cup of white vinegar and place a 14-oz cup under the water reservoir.


Conclusion

Hamilton Beach Flexbrew is a bigger coffee maker but it is logical, you get 2 in 1 and can brew single-serve coffees, from K-cups or ground coffee, as well as a full pot of coffee, maximum 12 cups.

The big pluses for me are that you can select the strength of your brew, program your machine, and set automatic brewing, and Hamilton also makes mesh reusable filters.

The small minus is that this coffee maker is mostly plastic, the carafe is not thermal and that brewing (especially on a stronger setting) takes more time than with Keurig coffee maker.

You can also brew only on one side at a time, which also applies to cleaning.

Overall, for the price, this Hamilton single-serve and carafe coffee maker is a good investment, if you plan on making a full pot, or a single-serve, single cup of coffee from a K-cup or fresh grounds.

Or both, just not at the same time. If you look for a dual coffee maker that manages that, look into CucinaPro Double with two pots, or Kitchen Selectives Dual Brew Coffee Maker.

If you prefer a non-glass carafe, look into Keurig K-Duo Plus with a stainless-steel carafe, or Cuisinart SS-20 that also has a thermal carafe.

Do you like frothy drinks? Check the Ninja Hot And Cold Brewed System out.

  • Two Ways to Brew
  • Easy to Fill Water Reservoirs
  • Choose Your Brew Strength
  • Programmable to Fit Your Schedule
  • Auto Pause & Serve
  • Permanent, Gold-Tone Filter
  • Brew With or Without Single-Serve Packs
  • Cup Rest with Storage Area
  • Easy Cleaning

Did you try the Hamilton coffee maker out?

What do you think?

Or would you like me to review other dual coffee makers in the future?