Top critical review
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Final update. Replacement no better.
on November 22, 2012
I never considered buying a Keurig Coffee Brewer due to the high cost for the maker, the cost per cup of coffee, and the mixed reviews on flavor. When I received my " ", I wasn't expecting too much, but was pleasantly surprised and impressed. I went out and found my favorite "Eight O'Clock" brand coffee available in K-Cups and on sale at my local supermarket. Setting up and using the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew was simple and fast. My first cup of K-Cup coffee came out perfect. I was impressed. Despite maxing out the water capacity at around 10-12oz, the coffee was not weak or odd tasting. It was a perfect cup of coffee. Next, I tried brewing a regular cup of coffee using standard coffee grounds. The results were good, but not as good as my old $14 Black and Decker 1 cup "Brew N Go" coffee maker. The coffee was good, but tasted a little "off". I tried a couple of other cups adjusting the amount of coffee, but the results were the same. It was by no means bad, but I just like the taste of my old maker, and the K-Cup coffee better. Brew time was fast. It takes a little longer to start brewing, but once it starts, it flows faster than my old machine. Total time is about the same. About 3-4 minutes. One thing that is much better than my old machine is that the FlexBrew's coffee is hotter. All in all, the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Single-Serve Coffeemaker is an impressive machine, at a very good price. As long as you're not looking to make a large cup of coffee, I recommend it.
Very good tasting coffee.
Less than 1/2 the price of an average Keurig machine.
Compatible with coffee grounds, K-Cup packs, or soft pods.
Easy to use and convenient.
Well built with stainless steel and dishwasher safe removable plastic parts.
K-Cup packs cost per cup.
Maximum 10-oz brewing capacity.
Travel mug not included.
Results using regular coffee grounds are good, not great.
I left my original review up to show that I was at one time happy with this machine. Unfortunately, 2 months later that is no longer the case. I'm experiencing the same "water shooting all over the place" that others reported. The problem are that the nozzle that punctures the K-Cup is either no longer sharp enough to puncture the K-Cup fully, it gets clogged with coffee, or it has shifted to the point it is no longer puncturing it correctly. Either way, these are serious flaws that seems to pop up over time, or in the cases of some other reviewers, affects the coffeemaker right out of the box. Another issue is that sometimes it punctures the cup correctly, but water pressure builds up shooting water all over my kitchen after brewing a partial cup of coffee. I definitely can no longer recommend the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Single-Serve Coffeemaker.
I received a replacement unit from Hamilton Beach. The first thing I noticed is that the new coffee maker comes with another basket for using coffee grounds. This extra basket was not included with the first coffee maker. I've used the coffee maker several times using grounds and K-Cups. So far it works perfectly. I'm skeptical though since my first one worked perfectly too when I first used it. Has the design been improved, and the bugs worked out? Only time will tell, but it is only fair to report that Hamilton Beach seemed concerned about the problems being reported, and they did send me a working machine.
Final Update 03/14/13: Well, it didn't take long for my replacement coffee maker to show its true colors. After brewing about 10 or so K-Cup cups of coffee without incident, the new HB 49995 coffee maker decided to spray hot water all over my kitchen. It brewed about 1/2 the cup normally as it should, but apparently as some others have pointed out, the HB 49995 just isn't strong enough to force the water through the K-Cups all the time, resulting in pressure buildup until the water has no place else to go but out the top of the K-Cup holder and all over your kitchen. This is 2 coffee makers now that exhibit the same exact problems using the K-Cups recommended by Hamilton Beach. I'm done messing with this thing, and highly recommend you look elsewhere.