Jennifer’s Rating: 4.5 Stars
Even in 2023, this machine represents great value for money.
The Hamilton Beach 49980A brewer has been a great achievement in that it combines the best of both worlds. It also does not take up a lot of real estate and would be great for entertaining and in-home hospitality since you can switch between single-cup coffee convenience and automatic drip brewing anytime.
In a nutshell, this is having your cake and eating it too (or pretty darn close) when it comes to coffee brewing on a dime.
Model Name and Number
This model’s full name and number are the Hamilton Beach Single Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker. It is also known as the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer 49980A.
Important: The 49983 2-Way FlexBrew Coffeemaker is the model that will accept K-Cups. (I know this is confusing as the model numbers are so similar I thought I would point this out.)
Overall item dimensions (height, width, depth):13.7 x 11.4 x 15.4 inches
The single-cup reservoir top, when open, is 16 3/4″ high, and the 12-cup reservoir top, when open, is 20 3/4″ high. The glass carafe holds 12 cups of liquid.
The single-serve side multilevel cup rest adjusts/stacks to fit all cup and mug sizes. Regarding its clearance, when on top of the base, there is a 7″ space for a mug/cup; without the base, the space amounts to 9″.
In addition to the unit, there is the glass carafe, start guide, and 1-year warranty. The 14 oz travel mug is not included, even though it is shown in the photograph. You are getting the glass carafe, as shown.
- You have the versatility of being able to switch between the drip and the single-brew functions via a switch setting on the front control panel. There are, however, separate reservoirs for each function-there is not one big reservoir shared between the two-this machine has been all figured out.
- On the single-serve side is a convenient soft pod basket that stores pods neatly. You can also choose between the regular or bold strength selector (also on the control panel)
- Say goodbye to the laborious scooping as you can drop a pod into the pod holder on the single-serve side like clockwork.
- There are various helpful brew programming features as well. You can set the brewing time within a 24-hour window, and the automatic shutoff feature cuts off the machine after 2 hours of idle activity, so you can go about your day worry-free!
Ease of Use
If you’ve had a fair amount of experience with drip models in general, basic everyday use should be flawlessly smooth. The addition of auto shutoff eliminates the “did I turn it off before I left?” anxiety, and it can be programmed to start brewing when you wish.
If you think you may be using the drip side more often, you can also purchase a permanent filter that will help prolong your machine’s life. These are economical, well-rated, and have a gold-tone look to them. Overall, they are much better long-term than disposable paper filters and dishwasher-safe and come in varying sizes and models depending on your machine.
Hamilton Beach 49980A Consumer Reviews and Ratings
A lot of people felt like the companies finally listened and delivered. Apparently, this one was a real winner-no joke. Not only did it meet their expectations on average, but it also had other bonuses- the warmer pad on both sides that kept the coffee at a reasonable temperature. Raves ranged from consistent temperature to time-saving features.
The top for the carafe is not removable, so if you are anything like me and used to popping it out to give it a run in the dishwasher (something I’m used to), just a thought.
A number of people were concerned about the travel mug that is shown in the picture. It is not deceptive advertising, as the description states.
Video Courtesy of Bee William
Brew stronger; take longer. A bold brew may take a little more than 2 minutes. If you like your coffee bold, this may be a non-issue once you get used to it. Be careful not to let the grounds end up on the wrong side: a few people learned to be careful and don’t overfill the filter.
It is hard for me to evaluate the comments on brew weakness as the issue of coffee strength/weakness is a subjective issue-what. One person might consider it a bold punch, and another might see it as regular. Also, making hot tea and hot cocoa has been observed to be a satisfactory experience.
- Versatility; being able to switch between single-serve convenience and the traditional drip method
- A nice size that will not dominate the countertop much
- The tray for the single-serve portal accepts grounds or pods.
- The bold setting for just a little more added flavor
- The carafe pours without dripping and doesn’t have to be tipped upside down to get the coffee out.
- The worry-free shutoff function
- Â It is programmable beforehand.
- This machine does not work with K-cups
- You must be careful when dispensing loose grounds to ensure they do not end up on the wrong side.
At the time of writing, the price is under $100, and it hasn’t changed much! In other words, the good news doesn’t end with versatile, compact, and good performance. If you’re used to buying loose grounds regularly, you won’t be experiencing much change in your coffee budget.
And the same extends to soft pods, which are also reasonably priced. The dirty little secret is that pods are a little more economical, AND they’re biodegradable too.
I believe this to be one of the best models out on the market to get more bang for your buck; I felt that most reviews were judicious and fair-minded.
The one big caveat, as you saw in this review, is that it does not accommodate K-cups, so you may choose soft pods instead, although it may be a small price to pay as this brewer is affordable, reliable, and made to perform consistently.
It is definitely one model I would consider for myself if I were shopping for a second brewer.