Hamilton Beach 49976 Review
Jennifer’s Rating: 4.2 Stars
Well, this one caught me by surprise – well worth a second look. A 2-way brewer that lets you have your weekend pot of joe and the single-serve for those busy mornings -for when you’re entertaining company with varied tastes, here it is.
A brand new Flexbrew -and better yet, one with a great track record so far. In this review I’ll tell you what I discovered and what you can expect, what to be prepared for, and why I think it’s worthy of consideration.
The Hamilton Beach 49976 runs a little on the larger side than its 49983 predecessor, measuring 10.2″ in length, 10.6″ depth and 13.9″ in height according to info on Amazon’s page.
The power cord is 21″ in length, and has a little stowaway compartment for it to retract back into.
The resting drip tray when in place, allows for a cup with a maximum height of 5″ to fit comfortably. When the drip place is removed a tumbler up to 8″ in height will be easily accommodated.
The Hamilton beach 49976 2 way brewer comes with a glass carafe and a myriad of unique attachments:
There is a drip tray/stowaway compartment for small accessories, brew basket for the carafe side, a black funnel to be inserted into the single serve side with each brew, a single-serve brew basket and a pack holder.
Lastly, there is a user guide and a 1 year warranty.
- Convenience of switching between traditional pot brewing and single-serve
- Drip tray doubles as a stowaway compartment for small attachments, e.g. the pack holder
- Easy pour glass carafe
- Dual reservoirs for each side
- Water window on each side to let you know how much water is present
- Carafe side is programmable
- Auto shut-off
- Pause and serve function
- Bold strength option for richer flavor
Buttons and Controls
The locus of function is the push-button controls located on the left side of the unit. Each button indicates Carafe/Single Serve, Program, Set Time, Strength, and Brew Now.To the right, there are a few “status” illuminations that are visible depending on the function taking place, and the “Brew Now” button shows a blue light to its left when in operation.
Unlike its predecessors with the “shared reservoir” design, the 49976 model has a different approach – there are separate reservoirs for each side. The lids ease and close for easy refilling. Thee is a “water window” on the outside of each reservoir which makes it easy to determine the right volume or avoid overfilling.
In addition to the carafe full pot option, the single-serve side of the Hamilton Beach 49976 is not without its advantages. You are provided the option of a make your own cup with a refillable loose grounds basket as well as a K-Cup pack holder for those eponymous pods to be inserted into. In addition to these 2 attachments, is a black funnel insert which needs to be inserted into the compartment prior to inserting either the single-serve basket or the pack holder. The brown single-serve basket has a kind of cone/wedge shape to it and a hinged lid that snaps back into place
All of the attachments here have a rim/lip extending out which I feel is the best feature. (I am glad they are all different colors as I can see how this could otherwise be confusing for someone just getting started) There is one last attachment to mention here and that is the piercing tool that is located on the underside of the K-Cup chamber which detaches easily for a rinse under the kitchen faucet when necessary. All the attachments here are top-rack dishwasher safe or you can use warm soapy water.
One other unique feature I like about this brewer is the way the cup rest is also designed to be a storage compartment for the spare attachments such as those described above. To have yet another couple of spare parts that you don’t have to wonder where to stash them into is yet another nice advantage. The cup rest has a plate that comes off easily to be rinsed when necessary and a tray below it which follows suit.
Move the cup rest aside and your tumbler will have plenty of room with the 8″ of clearance – at 7 and 3/4″ in height a slight tilting may be necessary at first. A round depression is revealed when the drip place is removed to allow for the tumbler’s secure placement.
Hamilton Beach 49976 Ease of Use
While you may get into the swing easily of having flexible coffee brewing options on demand, a little look at what you can expect with consistent use shows that one thing is that the unit is a little larger , even though its height is about 13″, -which is not huge by a long shot – but when you consider the daily in’s and out’s of opening and closing the reservoir lids to replenish the water or opening and closing the K-cup chamber, it can be quite a pain to pull a coffee maker out from the wall and back again repeatedly. I guess if your kitchen has one of those island features, this may not even cross your mind.
Using the carafe side is just a matter of putting in a paper filter (cupcake shape) filling with the desired grounds and then pushing start -the single-serve side (though not difficult) is slightly bewildering as you have to insert this black funnel and then the accessory holder of choice; but it should quickly become second nature.
In general, the carafe seems to work well and isn’t prone to dribbling like some out there. The “pause and serve” function will let you “steal” a cup early in the game (with a 20-second window to pour before replacing to finish.)
Hamilton Beach 49976 Consumer Reviews and Ratings
Although it’s only had a short stint, it appears to be a good enough of one to make this unit make the Amazon Bestseller list (at the time of writing) The general tone of a majority of the reviews was very much positive or satisfactory. The many favorable comments included remarks like “very happy with the resulting temperature” “great being able to see how much water is in there” “carafe pours nice and neatly” and yes, most importantly “works so much better than that old Flexbrew; why didn’t this one come out first?”
One reviewer commented favorably on the push buttons and how they were pleasing to the eye. Which is pretty fair – since only the “start” button lights up to the left, and there is a digital readout to the side, but that’s it.
If there were some features that would enhance their experience, some things noted were “wish it had a water filter” “the power cord is so short” and “wish the single-serve side could be programmed” These faults, however valid, do not affect the enjoyability of the unit overall. I kind of agreed about the not-programmable single-serve side comments -it is what it is, would be nice to have, but not a total deal breaker.
A few comments expressed a stray dissatisfaction with the moveability of the unit under cabinets – however a couple of solutions were revealed in the process -the use of a power strip or the use of a “Handy Slider” that rests under the unit and lets the consumer slide it forward when using and then slide it back when done.
Sounded like a great idea so I thought I’d pass that along. Short clearance doesn’t have to be an obstacle to getting the most out of your coffee maker 🙂
Ok and on to a few negatives…one could be a minor one, but it did come up now and then…remarks about the brewing time being “slow”. This could be a matter of perception and may be coming from people who had previous models to compare it to in terms of operation speed.
When I’m making my coffee I’m often going from room to room – but yeah, it is a different story early in the morning and getting caffeinated is the only thing you can think about. I’m presuming these comments are coming from use of the single-serve side since it cannot be programmed to start at X time.
A few K-Cup mishaps were reported; and one thing I want to point out is that the customer service representative responded well with the direction that the absence of the black funnel insert can lead to problems.
So if you’re still with me here, this is something to keep in mind if you wish to purchase the machine, you will want to perform due diligence and insert those accessories right!
- Brewing flexibility on a dime
- Glass carafe has a drip-free dispensing design
- Programmable timer and clock
- Pause-and-Serve function
- Being able to see how much water is in each reservoir
- Open-platform with regard to what brand of K-Cups you can use
- You can use loose grounds in addition to K-Cups on the single-serve side
- Pack holder assembly piercing tool detaches easily for cleaning
- You can’t program the single-serve side
- Machine’s girth may require more ample cabinet space (or you may have to get creative with its placement)
- The single-serve attachments may be a little tricky for some
- Some people said it functioned “more slowly” than competitors
The price is nice…considering what you get in addition to the machine (see “What’s Included” list again 😉 Getting all of these items for less than $100 (at the time of writing) is certainly something I would jump on. And in terms of your coffee budget, since you can use loose grounds of your favorite brand anytime you want with both sides you would not be paying extra for things beyond the norm. Pretty great huh?
I like this unit…I’ll pretty much say what you’re thinking right now…it is what the previous Flexbrew should have been 🙂 The two-way convenience but minus the annoyances of an over-hot burner and chemical plastic smell. Although it’s only been out on the market for about six months, it is definitely looking like a winner – or pretty close.