Do you enjoy making a warm, savory cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home? Then the Hamilton Beach Coffee Brewer might just become your favorite appliance.
The Hamilton is perfect for those who enjoy a large amount of coffee to sip on, and for those who want to brew something small and quick without going through the hassle of brewing an entire carafe of coffee. Encompassing the best of both worlds, this machine makes the perfect addition to any coffee lover’s kitchen.
History of Hamilton
Known for its manufacturing of household appliances, Hamilton Beach has been in the innovative business since 1910. Though they don’t only specialize in making coffee makers specifically like some other brands (such as Keurig or Mr. Coffee), they make a wide variety of machinery. Some of these items include blenders, cookers, juicers, ovens, slow cookers, and of course, coffee makers.
Created in 1904 by the dynamic duo: L.H. Hamilton and Chester Beach, they began innovating and manufacturing smaller electric motors for household appliances. Originally employed at the U.S. Standard Electrical Works in Racine, Wisconsin, the pair teamed up with the goal of developing engines for common household appliances to make everyday home life easier and more efficient.
Nowadays, the company is primarily based in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Annually, the company sells an average of around 34 million appliances per year.
Meet the Hamilton Beach 49980a
One of Hamilton’s Two Way coffee makers, this little machine is capable of almost any brewing job. Possessing both a single-serve side and a carafe side, this machine is versatile enough to give you whatever amount of coffee and concentration you’re craving.
We also need to clarify that there are actually two different versions of the Hamilton 49980. The one we will be reviewing is the 49980a, and the other version is the 49980z. The primary difference between these two models is that the 49980a weighs a bit more than the 49980z, the first weighing approximately 11.85 pounds and the second a little under 5 pounds.
On the single-serve side of the machine, you have the option of brewing with a coffee pod or brewing a single cup/thermos of coffee. This is ideal for those who need a quick sip of coffee before they hit the road, or they just want a smaller serving just for themselves.
Contrary to this, the carafe side of the Hamilton allows you to brew an entire carafe of coffee, up to about 12 cups. This option is perfect for people who enjoy brewing a large amount of coffee to sip on throughout the day, or if you’re entertaining a large group of people.
Carafe vs Pods: An Overview
Since the Hamilton has both options of brewing for single-serve and a full carafe, it’s nice to have a quick reminder of what these two options are. Both are great choices to brew with, but some coffee drinkers may ultimately prefer one method over another.
Traditionally, many coffee makers that made their way into many American homes in the mid-twentieth century were electric drip coffee makers that used carafes to make large amounts of coffee. The primary downside to these was that they required paper filters or a reusable filter to brew coffee with. If you enjoy drinking large amounts of coffee throughout the day, then traditional drip coffee is going to become a quick favorite
In the long run, traditional coffee will save you more bang for your buck. On this front, buying affordable ingredients like large bags of ground coffee will save you more money over a longer period of time, and will also give you a large amount of coffee to brew with.
On the opposite end, the single-serve side of the Hamilton allows you to easily brew a quick, more concentrated, a lesser volume of coffee to take with you. However, many who enjoy the pod brewing method argue that where they don’t pay off in long-term affordability, they pay off in their efficiency. They typically take about 1-2 minutes to brew, making a savory cup of coffee for you in no time at all.
Likewise, the single-serve method also allows you to try a variety of blends without the risk of spending a certain amount of money on a bag of beans that you end up not enjoying. For those who want to enjoy a fast, flavorful cup of coffee, then single-serve and pod brewing is a perfect option.
Basic Beach Accessories
The Hamilton couldn’t be as adaptable as it is without the aid of its equally adaptable and impressive accessories. Each of these tools you will use for both the single-serve and the carafe option. From filters to baskets, here’s a quick explanation of each accessory you’ll encounter.
Permanent Mesh Filter
Tired of spending money on disposable paper filters? The mesh filter provided by Hamilton will allow you to brew over and over again without throwing your money in the trash. This gold-tone filter fits perfectly on the single-serve side, allowing you to brew whatever roast or blend you may already have. It also has a sturdy handle, allowing you to use it as a coffee scoop.
Able to hold about 12 cups of water, the carafe is able to hold an impressive amount of liquid. Made out of strong glass, it’s dependable and durable. Not to mention that it’s also dishwasher safe, making it simple and efficient to clean. Furthermore, it also has a solid, sturdy handle that supports whatever amount of liquid you hold in the carafe
Coffee Maker Brew Basket
For the carafe side, this basket is sturdy enough to hold any amount of coffee while brewing. Easily removable, it’s simple to fill with coffee and even simpler to take out and clean. You can brew this with a disposable paper filter, or a permanent mesh filter of your choice.
Single Serve Filter Basket
Similar to the larger brew basket, this is a smaller version that’s compatible for the single-serve side of the Hamilton. However, though it may be smaller in size, it’s equal in durability. Its solid stature also makes it easy to hold coffee and its easily removable to allow easy cleaning.
For brewing with pods, the pod basket is going to become an accessory that you’ll use often. You can place this inside the Single Serve Filter Basket, and place your pod in the Pod Basket to begin the brewing process.
Buttons and Settings
When looking at some of the buttons on the Hamilton, it’s nice to know what each one does. Since this machine is so adaptable and functional, it can be slightly overwhelming to operate these buttons without some knowledge about them. So, here’s a quick rundown on what each of these buttons does so you can brew like a boss.
Single Serve/Carafe Switch
This simple switch is probably the first button you notice on the machine itself. It’s an easy switch to push back and forth, its only operation requiring you to simply slide it to whatever option/side of the machine you wish to brew on. Sliding this switch will be the first button you use at the beginning of every brewing process.
Simple enough in their description, these buttons allow you to set and change the time that’s displayed on the screen of your Hamilton. You can set the time by pressing the buttons repeatedly until you reach the time you’d like to set. These two buttons will also come in handy for selecting what time you’d like to program your coffee to brew at in the future.
Perhaps one of the most beloved characteristics of the Hamilton 49980a’s versatility is its ability to be programmed. You can program your coffee maker up to 24 hours in advance, so you can go about your day without forgetting to start your brew. If you hold this button down, it will also show you what time you currently have your machine programmed to brew in the future.
There are two different brewing strengths that you can choose from with the Hamilton: regular and bold. This button allows you to choose between the two. Automatically, your machine will brew with the regular setting. If you like your coffee a little stronger and more concentrated, you can push the “Brew” button once and it will switch to the bold setting, which you should be able to see on the screen of your Hamilton.
With the option of having two different brewing strengths, this may make dedicated drip-coffee lovers pretty excited. However, for those who may not be as familiar with the differences between these two brewing strengths, here’s a quick introduction to each.
If you’re wanting a larger amount of coffee with less caffeine, then the regular setting is probably for you. This will still give you a delicious amount of coffee, it’ll just pack less of a caffeine punch. If you’re wanting to brew a large amount of coffee to sip on throughout the day, then this setting will probably suit you best.
Needing a pick-me-up? The bold setting works fantastically if you’re looking for a small amount of coffee that packs a big caffeine punch. Not only is it a more vibrant and more concentrated brew, but it’s a great refresher to drink at any time of day.
Features We Love
There are several things to love about this powerful little machine. From its brewing capabilities to its sleek outward appearance, this machine has quickly become one of our favorite drip-coffee makers on the market today.
Obviously, we love the two brewing options. In our book, the more brewing options you have, the more delicious cups of coffee you can create. Likewise, with a variety of volumes to choose from, the two different brewing methods also create more options to choose from.
In comparison to other drip coffee makers that are often made entirely of plastic, the Hamilton Beach is also made partly out of stainless steel. This makes it sturdier and more durable than other coffee makers similar to it. Not only can you depend on this machine to make delicious coffee, but you can also rest assured that it’ll last you a while as well.
Accessories and Parts
With so many accessories, the Hamilton has many tools to assist you in the brewing process. From filters to baskets to everything else, the Hamilton gives you more than just the machine itself. It gives you everything you need and more, fully equipping you for the brewing process.
Another handy thing about the Hamilton is the convenient location of the water filters. The Hamilton 49980a has two, one located on the back of the carafe side, and the other located right above the single-serve basket.
On the carafe side, the water reservoir holds the same 12 cups as the carafe. Its location in the back is also convenient because it is behind the machine, allowing it to be out of the way from the other working parts of the machine. There’s a flip-open lid that you can open easily to quickly and efficiently pour water into the reservoir.
Over on the single-serve end, the smaller 14 oz water reservoir is located just above the brewing area. This chamber also has an easy-open lid, allowing you to pour water in without any hassle. Furthermore, just like the larger reservoir, it’s positioned to where it saves as much space in/around the machine as possible.
It’s always nice to enjoy a cup of coffee while knowing that the remaining coffee in your machine is still warm and ready for you to enjoy again. After the brewing process is completed, the warming plate on the carafe side will remain heated for 2 hours. This works well for those who enjoy sipping their coffee slowly, or for those hosting a large get-together with several coffee lovers in attendance.
For the coffee lover who likes to plan ahead, the Hamilton’s programming settings will probably become your favorite feature. The ability to program your coffee 24 hours in advance only adds to the efficiency of this powerful machine. This capability makes the brewing process simpler, easier, and more enjoyable.
Pause and Serve
The pause and serve option on the Hamilton is also an effective feature during the brewing process itself. If you’re craving a cup of coffee NOW, then all you have to do is remove the carafe, and the sensor on the machine will momentarily pause brewing until you place the carafe back in its position.
Not only does the Hamilton guarantee you a delicious cup of coffee, but it’ll do so without breaking your bank. With so much innovation and efficiency wrapped up into one machine, affordability is the final trait that makes this machine almost perfect. If you’re looking for a dependable machine that’ll keep you from waiting in line at the coffee shop and spending tons of money on coffee each year, the Hamilton might just be for you.
Things to Improve
Alas, not everything is perfect. Before you consider purchasing this powerful little machine, it’s important to not only know the positives but the negatives as well. Though we love this Hamilton, there are always things that can be improved.
Double Brewing Capability
Unfortunately, the Hamilton is not able to brew both the carafe side and the single-serve side at the same time. This is primarily because the machine can only concentrate on one brewing process at a time. However, both methods of brewing are fast, so it shouldn’t take long to perform both brewing processes back to back.
Perhaps one of the greatest downsides to the Hamilton is that it isn’t compatible with K-cup brewing. Since Keurigs and K-cups have become a popular brewing method for both home brewing and office brewing, it’s a disadvantage for many machines to not offer it as a brewing option.
Coffee Flavor Alteration
Some buyers of this machine have mentioned a slight plastic flavor that can sometimes alter the flavor of the coffee. Though this problem isn’t super common, the best way to combat it is making sure that you clean your Hamilton thoroughly once you purchase it, and that you continue to deep clean it regularly. The most common way to do this is by using a mixture of vinegar and water to remove any strange flavor or build up.
Ultimately, the Hamilton Beach 49980a is one of the best dual coffee makers that you’re going to find on the market today. It’s efficient, affordable, and makes a delicious brew for you to enjoy, no matter what brewing method you choose. If you love drip coffee, this machine is one you can easily adapt to your everyday routine.