Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker

Last updated date: January 2, 2020

DWYM Score
8.6

Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker

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Overall Take

Many coffeemakers force you to choose between a full carafe or single cup, but the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker gives you the best of both worlds. You can brew single-cup one day and a carafe the next, or brew a carafe and then make your own single cup, all in the same morning. You can program the carafe to brew up to 24 hours in advance, and it automatically shuts off after two hours of inactivity. During our testing, we loved the versatility of this maker and found it to be intuitive and simple to use. In our analysis of 76 expert reviews, the Hamilton Beach Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker placed 1st when we looked at the top 4 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note January 2, 2020:
Checkout The Best Coffee and Espresso Machine for a detailed review of all the top coffee and espresso machines.

Expert Summarized Score
8.5
30 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.3
12,358 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Plenty of useful features. Multiple brewing options: carafe, single cup, pod.
- BestReviews
On the carafe side of this drip coffee maker, you can either brew coffee at once or program the clock on the front as much as 24 hours in advance so you wake up to freshly made coffee in the pot.
- Top Ten Reviews
June 7, 2018 | Full review
One thing that I sure enjoy about this machine, because I am definitely not a morning person, is its drip coffee system. I can enjoy those extra minutes of sleep in the morning since I can prepare and program it well in advance (the night before).
- Coffee Dorks
This machine makes great tasting coffee and the options of pod, single serve ground coffee or a large carafe of coffee is a brilliant innovation.
- Dripped Coffee
May 18, 2017 | Full review
One of the most frequently cited benefits of the Hamilton Beach Two Way Brewer is its ability to produce hot coffee. That is, comfortably hot coffee.
- The Coffee Concierge
In a challenging test of coffee makers, we also brewed a full pot using a filter filled nearly to the top, as some consumers might. In this test, this model did not overflow.
- Consumer Reports
I just love the Hamilton Beach 2-way Brewer because it’s simple, cost effective, looks good and brews great coffee.
- Creators of Coffee
I also liked how the single serve side of the 49980A comes with a mesh basket filter which eliminates the need for filter papers. This filter is also compatible with both coffee grounds and coffee pods. The drip tray is also adjustable to fit different cup sizes.
- Full Moon Cafe
July 29, 2019 | Full review
One of the better features on the carafe side is its automatic pause and serve. If you remove the carafe to pour yourself a cup of coffee before it finishes brewing, it will pause, so that coffee doesn’t drip out onto the heater until the carafe is returned.
- Coffee Channel
Carafe design prevents spilling.
- Nerd Wallet
June 24, 2016 | Full review
If you are looking for ways to brighten up your morning routine, then it would be a good idea to get this single serve Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker. It will serve you with a delicious coffee in a standard-size as well as in a travel size coffee mug.
- Coffee Maker
If you want to sleep in for five more minutes, you can take advantage of the pre-programmable feature. Even better, our tasting panel thought coffee from this Hamilton Beach model was better than average.
- Good Housekeeping
March 10, 2014 | Full review
It’s made out of stainless steel and much more durable than other coffee makers while also being cleaner overall.
- Koobie's Coffee
July 31, 2019 | Full review
This is one of those straight down to business coffee makers that you will appreciate. No frills, no random options, just to the business of coffee.
- Coffee Urban
The Hamilton Beach 49980A single serve coffee maker is versatile. You can use it for parties where up to 12 people need a great cup of coffee, or just one. You get a glass carafe included, which is unique, and saves you a few bucks.
- ratingle
There’s also a user-friendly control panel and display along with the ability to program the machine to brew up to 24 hours before. Other features include a programmable timer and auto shutoff.
- Heavy
There are other nice features too. For those who like robust flavors, there’s a brew strength function for regular or bold coffee.
- AG Ferrari
July 15, 2019 | Full review
This coffee maker is perfect for people who intend on making smaller cups of coffee time to time.
- Get A Coffee Maker
July 12, 2016 | Full review
Pouring from the carafe is a dream. So many drip coffee makers fail roundly here and you end up with a kitchen surface covered with coffee. Whatever the speed of pour, it’s spillage-free with this excellent drip coffee maker.
- Fourth Estate Coffee
Can be programmed to brew coffee within 24 hours
- All Best Tops
If you are a big mug drinker, then just don’t worry, it brews up to 14 ounces in the travel mug and can adjust shorter if you want.
- Fried Coffee
You will most probably fall in love with the practical functions on this coffee maker because they work like a charm. Being a two way brewer means you have the convenience of using this splendid appliance as a single serve coffee machine when you are solo. This is made possible by the single serve side water reservoir that you can take advantage of for an easy one time filling.
- Kitchen Lola
This Hamilton Beach coffee maker is not only highly affordable, it’s also immensely useful, thanks to the dual operation of both the full pot and thermos settings.
- Gadget Review
February 25, 2019 | Full review
It also features a small, blue display screen with the time and offers a button-operated control panel. The Hamilton Beach 49980A is convenient in that it has an automatic shutoff, safely shutting down your machine even if you forget after brewing.
- Daring Kitchen
March 4, 2019 | Full review
This machine has a programmable timer so you can sleep in and wake up to your perfect cup, as well as an auto-shutoff feature that turns off after two hours.
- Bustle
April 29, 2017 | Full review
It is an excellent choice as you can use this 2-way brewer as a full pot machine that brews 12 cups or choose the compact single-serve option.
- Top Product Idea
This is potentially a great machine for one or two coffee drinker homes because of its convenient single-serve brewing option designed to make it easier to brew straight into a travel mug.
- Coffee or Bust
Soft pods remove the guesswork of getting the perfect cup of coffee. This feature has a pod holder that brews any brand of soft pod coffee, while still delivering the experience that you expect from freshly ground coffee.
- Little Coffee Place
April 9, 2019 | Full review
The model features stainless steel sturdiness and plenty of brewing utility, the 2-Way Brewer normally multiplies as a compacted single-serve device for daily personal gratification and a packed 12-cup vessel device.
- All Top Ten Reviews
July 14, 2019 | Full review
Another common feature present on the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew, the warming plate, ensures that your coffee stays hot for hours. Keep in mind, however, that coffee left out for more than hour begins to stale, decreasing in brightness and increasing in bitterness.
- Let's Drip Some Coffee
What experts didn't like
Occasional consumer complaints about durability.
- BestReviews
Some consumers might be disappointed they cannot do a variety of things with it
- Top Ten Reviews
June 7, 2018 | Full review
Be careful not to overfill the coffee filter. The extra coffee will not add to the flavor, but it may cause leakage and also impair the specially designed flavor extraction process.
- Coffee Dorks
The only real downside to this machine is that the pod holder isn’t compatible with Keurig K-cups which are probably the most popular and easiest pods to get hold of. The machine is compatible with Senseo pods.
- Dripped Coffee
May 18, 2017 | Full review
Ironically, one of the number 1 complaints about this coffee maker is that the coffee it makes it not hot enough.
- The Coffee Concierge
The pod holder is not compatible with Keurig K-cups.
- Full Moon Cafe
July 29, 2019 | Full review
Unfortunately, the single serve side brews a weaker, colder cup of coffee than the carafe side.
- Coffee Channel
Bulky, too tall for low cabinets.
- Nerd Wallet
June 24, 2016 | Full review
Not Compatible with the K-cup pods is a major drawback itself since it’s the most used coffee pods at all homes.
- Coffee Maker
Doesn’t brew at an optimal temperature for producing good-tasting coffee
- Good Housekeeping
March 10, 2014 | Full review
Takes up a lot of space and brews coffee slowly.
- Koobie's Coffee
July 31, 2019 | Full review
Can be very slow to brew a full pot of coffe
- Coffee Urban
One of the downsides to the Hamilton Beach is that it doesn’t make super strong coffee.
- ratingle
Loud at the end of a cycle
- Heavy
Single serving side only uses soft pods or ground coffee. You can only use one side of the machine at a time.
- AG Ferrari
July 15, 2019 | Full review
Like I said earlier it does not serve well when many guests are coming over but when you have a range of K-cups available with you
- Get A Coffee Maker
July 12, 2016 | Full review
The power of the hot plate is questionable. If you make a full pot and intend to leave it hanging around you might be disappointed.
- Fourth Estate Coffee
The carafe side has no permanent mesh filter. But you can overcome this by getting a permanent one or purchasing paper filters
- All Best Tops
Lid attached permanently so cleaning is difficult sometimes
- Fried Coffee
The only conceivable downside to this machine is that it is not compatible with K-cups which are fairly popular, however it is exclusively compatible with Senseo pods
- Kitchen Lola
However, it’s important to note that this model can only brew one side at one time – you’ll have to switch back and forth between carafe and cup, so it’s best to fill the carafe first.
- Gadget Review
February 25, 2019 | Full review
But some reviewers wish it had a permanent filter.
- Daring Kitchen
March 4, 2019 | Full review
One thing to know: the single serve side has a permanent mesh basket but the carafe side requires that you use disposable paper filters.
- Bustle
April 29, 2017 | Full review
Glass carafe side does not have a reusable filter so you'll have to use paper
- Coffee or Bust
There is no permanent mesh filter in the carafe. You will need to purchase a permanent mesh filter compatible with Hamilton Beach 49980A.
- Little Coffee Place
April 9, 2019 | Full review
Internal and external cleaning is done separately
- All Top Ten Reviews
July 14, 2019 | Full review
Low brewing temperatures
- Let's Drip Some Coffee

From The Manufacturer

For all the coffee drinkers and aficionados in search of an affordable, low maintenance coffeemaker that can brew a basic or premium roast coffee in a fraction of the time and cost as the coffeehouse: Meet the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer. Voltage 110 volts. The 2-Way Brewer unit will only brew one side at a time. For a particular preference, simply switch the lever left or right. Any soft pod coffee brand, available in the coffee aisle of your local grocery store, or any loose coffee grounds can be used. The 2-Way Brewer is not compatible with the K-Cup pack.

Overall Product Rankings

Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker
1. Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 30
Nespresso Vertuo Coffee & Espresso Machine
2. Nespresso Vertuo Coffee & Espresso Machine
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 4
SharkNinja 12-Cup Coffee Maker With Classic & Rich Brew
3. SharkNinja 12-Cup Coffee Maker With Classic & Rich Brew
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 10
Cuisinart 10-Cup Classic Thermal Coffeemaker
4. Cuisinart 10-Cup Classic Thermal Coffeemaker
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 2

An Overview On Coffee And Espresso Machines

If you’re like many people, your day doesn’t start without a good kick of caffeine. For those who stumble to the kitchen, barely awake, only to have to struggle to get the coffeepot going, a programmable coffeemaker may be the best purchase you’ll ever make. Simply get everything set up and tell your brewer when to start the next morning. If you wake up at 6 a.m., set it so that by the time you walk into the kitchen at 6:05, all you have to do is grab a coffee cup and pour.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

“In addition to the general consistency, reliability, and speed of an electric coffee maker, smart machines go one step further: they allow you to control your coffee maker with your smartphone,” says culinary expert Julie Chernoff, food journalist, dining editor of Better magazine and member of Les Dames d’Escoffier. “Start your coffee brewing from the comfort of your bed on a cold winter morning or have it ready when you get home. Working from home? No need to leave your desk to start it brewing.”

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

But programmability isn’t the only advanced feature available on today’s smart coffee machines. There are brewers that will give you the option of switching to carafe or single-cup mode. This can come in handy for those who prefer to grab a single cup to go during the week, then enjoy a full carafe on weekends.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

If you’re buying a carafe-based coffeemaker, make sure it has a pause and fill feature. This means once your coffee starts filling the carafe, the unit will pause if you pull it out to pour yourself a cup. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for the entire brewing process to complete to even get your first cup.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

In addition to programmability, automatic shut-off is a handy feature to have in your coffeemaker. This is especially helpful when using a carafe-based coffeemaker, as accidentally leaving it on can damage the bottom of your carafe and even create a fire hazard. Most coffeepots with auto shut-off power down within an hour or two. If you like to leave your coffee on the warmer for longer than that, make sure you can disable this feature.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

While searching for a coffeemaker, check carefully into compatibility. If it’s a single-cup brewer, make sure you can easily find the pods you’ll need. Keurig’s pods are the most widely available, but they don’t work with all single-cup brewers. For carafe-based coffeepots, you’ll need to buy paper filters, but some come with mesh baskets that serve as eco-friendly alternatives. Simply wash and reuse.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Also, check about compatibility in terms of operating systems before you buy! Is the smart coffee machine you’re looking at enabled for Alexa or Siri? Does it work with iOS or Android? Also check to see if it requires a Bluetooth smart outlet or other smart plug in order to operate with peak functionality when it comes to setting timers, controlling temperature, and other tasks.

If you’re on a budget or prefer to control the process mechanically yourself, recognize that a smart coffee maker may have appeal because it’s a cool new luxury item with fun features — but it might not be for you, and that’s okay too.

“This may be one one-note gadget too many,” says Chernoff.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

DWYM Fun Fact

If you use webcams for any aspect of your daily life, you have coffee to thank for it. A group of computer scientists at Cambridge University invented a webcam way back in 1991 just to keep an eye on their coffeepot. The camera was set up near the coffeemaker and set to monitor coffee levels. The scientists saw a 129 x 129-pixel grayscale image of the pot, displayed at only one frame per second, but it was enough to let them know when their coffee was ready or close to empty. The camera continued to run until 2001, when it was switched off during a move, and later sold on eBay for a whopping $5,000.

The Coffee And Espresso Machine Buying Guide

  • If you haven’t seen the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker, it’s worth a look. The number of brewing options far exceeds most of the competition. You’ll have the option of making an entire carafe, a single cup, or a pod. That means you can use it for your single cups most of the time, then use the carafe future when you have company. You can even fill your carafe, then make your own personal cup using the type of coffee you prefer.
  • Programmable coffeemakers are nothing new. If you’re operating outside the single-cup model, which tends to heat up and brew quickly, it’s important to consider a brewer with programmability. The carafe function of the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker will let you program your coffee up to 24 hours in advance. The SharkNinja Ninja 12-Cup Coffee Maker With Classic and Rich Brews has a “delay brew” function that lets you set brewing up 24 hours ahead of time, and the Cuisinart 10-Cup Classic Thermal Coffeemaker also lets you program as much as 24 hours in advance.
  • Auto shut-off can help save energy and protect your home. The Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker and SharkNinja Ninja 12-Cup Coffee Maker With Classic and Rich Brews both shut off after two hours.
  • The Cuisinart 10-Cup Classic Thermal Coffeemaker beeps when your coffee is ready, which may come in handy if you start brewing and walk away.
  • No matter what convenient features your brewer has, it all comes down to how the coffee itself tastes. The Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker lets you choose between either regular or bold, and you’ll find the carafe side brews a delicious, rich cup of coffee. The single-serve side isn’t quite as impressive, but still good. With the SharkNinja Ninja 12-Cup Coffee Maker With Classic and Rich Brews, you get Ninja’s special XL Showerhead Thermal Flavor Extraction technology, which brings out the full flavor of the coffee you’re brewing. The Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle uses Centrifusion technology to spin the capsule at an exceptionally fast rate to make your coffee thick and smooth.
  • Coffee makers can be especially tough to clean. If this is a concern for you, steer toward the Cuisinart 10-Cup Classic Thermal Coffeemaker, which brings convenience with its self-cleaning feature. The SharkNinja Ninja 12-Cup Coffee Maker With Classic and Rich Brews is slightly easier than competitors to clean, thanks to the water reservoir that can be removed for cleaning and refilling.
  • Your coffeemaker becomes part of your kitchen aesthetic, so it’s important to consider design in your choice. The Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle has a unique contemporary look that will enhance your décor.
  • Ease of use is also important. The simplicity of the Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle puts it ahead of competitors in this area. You’ll only deal with one button that controls all the functions you’ll need.
  • When brewing an entire carafe, you’ll probably want to be able to pour while it’s brewing. The pause-and-serve feature on the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker and SharkNinja Ninja 12-Cup Coffee Maker With Classic and Rich Brews lets you pull the carafe out to pour a cup, pausing the brewing until the carafe is back in place again.