So I think it’s abundantly clear that I am a coffee fanatic. I’ve been drinking it since I was 14 years old and I have no intention of stopping. For me, there is nothing more glorious than that first sip in the morning. I love, love, love when I am up before the kids (and up before the dawn!), when the house is quiet and the coffee maker is dripping, doing it’s thang, making my heavenly dark liquid gold. I pour myself a good dollop of cream, and then pour in the coffee and watch them swirl together that that delightful fashion. And iced coffee on a hot summer day? Pure heaven.
My love for the stuff is so intense, I’ve even managed to turn my former coffee-teetotaler husband into a regular morning Joe drinker. He never really cared for it much and then a few years ago, he rather sheepishly informed me that he had begun drinking it at work on a regular basis. I confess that I felt rather victorious. When you have a passion for something, it’s so nice to be able to share it with your closest loved ones. This particular passion might help you understand why I accept almost any offer to try out or review anything relating to coffee. And a good coffee maker is extremely important to the morning coffee ritual.
I’ve tried out a number of one-cup, single serve coffee makers in my time, both at home and when traveling. I think I like the idea of these things more than I like the actual maker for myself. It made good sense when I was working outside the home and could hardly manage to drink one cup while simultaneously juggling getting myself and small children ready and out the door. Now that I work at home, that single cup isn’t going to cut it. I need more, more, MORE! So it feels quite wasteful and expensive to use a single-serve maker and make 2 or 3 (or sometimes more) cups in a day. Plus, not wanting to get wildly over-caffeinated, I like to mix regular and decaf, and there aren’t too many pods or k-cups that do half and half. As cool as they are, single-serve coffee makers just aren’t right for me.
Now…enter the FlexBrew 2-way coffee maker from Hamilton Beach. This is a pretty revolutionary idea, a coffee maker that makes both a whole pot of coffee and allows you to make a single-serving straight into your mug. For those days when you are home all morning or making coffee for more than one person, the 12-cup pot is where it’s at. But for the days where you don’t have time for more than one, you simply flip the switch, pop in your k-cup and brew that single serving. The single-serve side also allows you to use the soft pods or your own coffee grounds. And it’s tall enough to fit most travel mugs (you can adjust the cup rest accordingly). It’s a very smart idea, no question.
Hamilton Beach asked for my honest opinion of the product so I will give it. The idea is great and I love it, but there are a few inconvenient things about the maker itself. For one, the warming plate for the carafe side is hot even when you are just brewing on the single-serve side. They do warn you about that in the instructions, so there must be some sort of design issue that makes it so. Another issue for me was the fact that the single-serve side keeps dripping coffee for a few minutes after the beeps. They warn you about that as well, but it dripped for quite a bit longer than I expected. Also keep in mind that this is not a dedicated single-serve coffee maker so it does not have a reservoir with hot water at the ready. You need to pour in the right amount of water every time you want to use the single-serve side, and it takes a little bit to heat the water and brew the single serving.
All of that said, it’s a pretty great idea and definitely allows you the flexibility of choice. You just have to be aware of the little idiosyncrasies of the machine. And the reality is that I have not yet met a coffee maker that doesn’t have its own little idiosyncrasies that you have to learn to embrace.
And Hamilton Beach is kindly allowing me to giveaway one of these flexible coffee brewing machines! Check it out below.
Disclosure: I received a FlexBrew coffee maker to review and Hamilton Beach will provide one to the winner of the giveaway. No other compensation was received.