Coffee Maker Review: Hamilton Beach FlexBrew

Table of Contents

Hamilton Beach Flexbrew

5.3

Price

6.5/10

Coffee Quality

3.8/10

Coffee Maker Quality

3.6/10

Ease of Use

6.3/10

Cleaning Ease

6.2/10

Durability

3.5/10

Appearance

7.3/10

Brew Speed

4.6/10

Versatility

6.3/10

Pros

  • Versatility: you can brew a full pot or single mug
  • K-cup compatible
  • Brew strength selector
  • Programmable
  • 2 hour auto shut-off

Cons

  • Plastic taste and smell of coffee
  • Faulty K-cup brewing with water overflow
  • Not programmable for the single serve side
  • Slow brew time

A few years ago Hamilton Beach introduced one of the most versatile auto drip coffee makers on the market: The Two-Way Brewer. The brewer was definitely one of their top-selling coffee makers, with the ability to not only brew a full pot of coffee, but also an individual mug.

Well, HB built off of the Two-Way Brewer’s success and introduced the FlexBrew in the last year. Think of the FlexBrew as an upgraded, and even more versatile version of the Two-Way. This review will show you what makes the FlexBrew better (and maybe worse) than the Two-Way.

The Review

Please note: Although I am reviewing this coffee maker, I don’t have any personal experience with it. Instead, for this coffee maker I’ve collated reviews from around the web to highlight the pros and cons. While I do plan to eventually review this coffee maker personally, this disclaimer will remain here until that happens. If you want to know more about how I review coffee makers, please go here.

Let’s talk about the single serve side…

Because this is the part of the coffee maker that I gather most people care a lot about, yet is frequently cited as one of the FlexBrew’s biggest flaws.

Reports of malfunction, water overflow, and lack of programmability is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what people dislike about the single serve functionality.

However, the most frequently cited issue was the plastic/chemical taste resulting from the single serve side. It seems like the K-cup use resulted in more reports of this issue, but there were also those who didn’t use K-cups claiming the resulting coffee just tastes bad.

To me, simply hearing about other people experiencing this would discourage me from buying the coffee maker all together.

Is it for you? Probably not…

If you must have K-cup coffee, definitely look elsewhere, as K-cup users had the most issues of all the reviewers. I should also mention that you have to pierce the pods/K-cups before putting them into the machine. Seems to defeat part of the coffee pod’s main purpose.

If you must have a versatile brewer that can handle single servings as well as full pots, I would look into the Hamilton Beach 49980A Single Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker, 2-Way. It may not have all of the features that the FlexBrew has, but overall it has fewer issues and still remains as one of the most referred coffee makers here at The Coffee Concierge.

You can read my review of the Two-Way Brewer here.

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  • Price

    2.4

    Coffee Quality

    4.9

    Coffee Maker Quality

    0

    Ease of Use

    0

    Cleaning Ease

    0

    Durability

    2.1

    Appearance

    5.7

    Brew Speed

    1.5

    Versatility

    0

    The worse coffee machine i have ever owned. Water every where, thing is its brand new. All i want is a decent cup of coffee, not a floor washer. This is the kicker. We can send you a replacement part for 6.99 plus shipping. I dont think so… WARNING SAVE YOUR MONEY , IF USEING KCUPS BUY MACHINE DESIGNED FOR IT.

  • Price

    0

    Coffee Quality

    0.7

    Coffee Maker Quality

    0

    Ease of Use

    10

    Cleaning Ease

    0

    Durability

    0

    Appearance

    6.7

    Brew Speed

    6.8

    Versatility

    0

    I ran 64oz of water through it and the water still comes out with a chemical/plastic taste.

  • Price

    9.1

    Coffee Quality

    8.8

    Coffee Maker Quality

    8.6

    Ease of Use

    8.6

    Cleaning Ease

    8.6

    Durability

    8.9

    Appearance

    8.6

    Brew Speed

    8.9

    Versatility

    8.7

    K cup coffee tastes great right from the beginning. Only difficulty on that side was the water not all coming through after a while. Phoned number on warranty and was told to unfold and use large paper clip to clear probable jam in water dispenser nozzle and it worked like a charm. A bit on water on counter once in a while

  • Bought the flex brew for Christmas and it worked for 2 months. Now water pours out of the bottom. I have tried everything I know with no answers. Pretty much consider this a huge rip-off.

  • Price

    4.9

    Coffee Quality

    0

    Coffee Maker Quality

    4

    Ease of Use

    0

    Cleaning Ease

    0

    Durability

    0

    Appearance

    9.6

    Brew Speed

    0

    Versatility

    0

    The single serve function is worthless. I’ve wasted numerous k-cup pods where the coffee cup ends up filled with coffee grounds. What’s weird about it is that it doesn’t always do it. I just read through the instructions again, and noticed a note that indicates 10 oz max for the single serve. So, I poured only 10 oz into the reservoir and this time the pod didn’t explode coffee grounds into the cup. That’s too specific a metric to follow around this household. We have small to large cups. Measuring only 10 oz is ridiculous. Of note, the gage goes up to 14 oz! …….and the coffee tastes plastic…..horrible investment.

  • My experience with this coffee maker.
    #1 At first I LOVED this machine!!! The ability to choose between a full pot or single serving was what I was looking for.
    #2 During a party, several people used the single serve side – one after another – and the water reservoir cracked. I found this out when I filled it with water for a full pot the next morning and walked into the kitchen with a puddle of water under the machine. Not awake enough to realize what happened right away, I re-filled it and as it brewed it also slowly dripped out of the bottom. ie: if you want a single serving coffee maker for multiple persons, this may not be the coffee maker for you.

  • Price

    0

    Coffee Quality

    0

    Coffee Maker Quality

    0

    Ease of Use

    0

    Cleaning Ease

    0

    Durability

    0

    Appearance

    7

    Brew Speed

    0

    Versatility

    0

    What a pile of GARBAGE . Brand new out of box. single serve takes forever to heat, then it overflows… next try it exploded a pod. Keep your garbage Hamilton Junk! Back to Bed Bath and Beyond..and they can clean the unit up!

  • Bought a flex brew, blew up pods and didn’t work. The worst part? Trying to get Hamilton Beach to acknowledge me. Average call wait times? 43 minutes. First call? Well get us the model and serial and we can help you. Sent. Response? Can’t process cause you didn’t send a picture. Sent. Next response? Oh, gotta send the severed cord of the product. 3 calls, 3 delays, each call lasting about 30 minutes. I still don’t have resolution.! Don’t buy anything from Hamilton Beach. They suck.

  • Price

    8.7

    Coffee Quality

    9

    Coffee Maker Quality

    0

    Ease of Use

    7.6

    Cleaning Ease

    0

    Durability

    0

    Appearance

    8.3

    Brew Speed

    6

    Versatility

    3.5

    I have two Hamilton Beach Flex Brews and never one work on the single serve side. I sent Hamilton Beach two emails and waited on the phone for over a hour and finally had to leave a phone message for someone to call me back (As instructed on the phone message. ) I have yet to hear from anyone.

  • Price

    1.6

    Coffee Quality

    2.2

    Coffee Maker Quality

    2

    Ease of Use

    5.5

    Cleaning Ease

    5.2

    Durability

    0

    Appearance

    7.5

    Brew Speed

    1.5

    Versatility

    1.2

    We ordered ours about 2 months ago, this is the second one we purchased. We returned the first one. The single serve sucks! Always has coffee grounds in the cup of coffee and then sometimes the blade wont cut through the k-cups. This morning I went to brew a pot of coffee came back downstairs and water everywhere. The water is coming out of the bottom. For the price you pay it is not worth it! JUNK! DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!

  • This is the LOUDEST coffee maker ever takes for ever to warm up making all kinds of noises. Hate the single serve side it’s very hard to get the handle down to pierce the K-cup.

  • Price

    7.9

    Coffee Quality

    0.3

    Coffee Maker Quality

    0.2

    Ease of Use

    3.1

    Cleaning Ease

    0.3

    Durability

    0.3

    Appearance

    0

    Brew Speed

    0.3

    Versatility

    0.4

    It is the worst coffee pot that I have ever purchased! After 6 months it leaks water . I contacted Hamilton , what a joke. Pure “JUNK”!

  • Price

    5.2

    Coffee Quality

    4.7

    Coffee Maker Quality

    0

    Ease of Use

    5.7

    Cleaning Ease

    5.6

    Durability

    0

    Appearance

    2

    Brew Speed

    0

    Versatility

    4.3

    What a piece of junk,only a couple months old and will only make a half pot,the rest of the water just steams away.Havent used used it enough to need cleaning,going back to cuisinart.They’re pricey but at least they work and they last.

  • Price

    9.9

    Coffee Quality

    9.9

    Coffee Maker Quality

    9.8

    Ease of Use

    9.7

    Cleaning Ease

    9.9

    Durability

    9.8

    Appearance

    9.8

    Brew Speed

    9.8

    Versatility

    10

    I am 62 yrs. old and have always drank coffee. I absolutely love this coffee pot! I hate wasting coffee and it fulfills my needs whether I’m needing one cup or many cups. I love the Bold setting as well. I find it easier to clean then many other common coffee pots I’ve had in the past.
    Bravo and Thank you HB! Finally a coffee pot I feel happy to own.

  • Price

    5

    Coffee Quality

    0

    Coffee Maker Quality

    0

    Ease of Use

    0

    Cleaning Ease

    7.5

    Durability

    0

    Appearance

    7.1

    Brew Speed

    1

    Versatility

    0

    Worst K-Cup brewer I’ve ever owned! It works okay with small cups but anything over about 8 oz. causes the K-Cup holder to overflow with grounds in the coffee, down the front of the machine and on to the floor.

    Hard to do a review when the unit simply doesn’t do its job!!

  • As a plumbing designer I see the problem as simply the company just not addressing the problem. The needle system needs a back flush system in it using some of the unused hot water to flush clean the needle completely.It can be done, someone just got lazy.

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