Single-serve coffee makers are a big part of the market today, with many people opting to ditch their coffee maker for something that produces a single serving in under a minute. The convenience alone makes the product worth the investment, but there is more to consider when looking to purchase one.
Most people think of the name Keurig when they make the decision to ditch their drip. If you look into the Keurig brand, you’ll end up finding a long list of different machines with various brewing abilities. Just trying to decide which Keurig to choose can be challenging in the sea of products.
There are other options for single-serve coffee makers. You’ve probably come across the Nespresso name if you’ve been shopping around. Another popular option is the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew.
If you’ve already compared the Nespresso and Keurig, you might want to look into the features of the Flexbrew before making your final decision. This machine is an affordable and high-quality single-serving coffee maker with many of the same functions as its competitors.
We’ve broken down the main features of the Keurig brand coffee makers in comparison with the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew machines. This should help clear up any confusion between the two brands.
Main Features of Keurig Coffee Makers
Keurig coffee makers come in a variety of models, so their functions range a lot between products. They all follow the same basic principles though.
They all brew with k-cups, Keurig’s brand of coffee pre-packed into a pod for instant brewing. The classic will brew 6, 8 and 10-ounce cups of coffee with each brew. Others have more capability, such as the K-Elite which brews 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12-ounce cups per pod.
See this post to get a full run down of the best Keurig machines sold today.
All of the Keurig coffee makers use k-cups, not all are compatible with bigger pods. They all brew a cup of coffee in under a minute with great consistency.
Then there are some, like the K575 that offer more technology like a touchscreen display, and a night light feature. The K-Elite even offers an iced coffee setting to get the perfect cup of iced coffee.
Main Features of the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew
The Hamilton Flexbrew is a nice alternative to a machine like Keurig or Nespresso, offering many of the same functions.
The most obvious difference is that this machine brews both ways, allowing you to brew a full pot or a single-serve drink from the same machine. With the Flexbrew, you get to select between separate water reservoirs for the full pot and single-serve options, which prevents any confusion.
The Flexbrew 49976 is very clearly set up, and clarity is important because using dual-functions isn’t always the most intuitive method of brewing. The needle used to pierce the k-cup is removable, which allows for fast and easy clean up.
The Flexbrew offers easy selection between bold or regular brew, allowing you to customize your drink easily. You can also set a timer on the full-pot side to turn the heat off of the carafe, so you’ll never have to worry about if you left the coffee pot on.
With the Flexbrew 49983, you don’t have to use a k-cup on the single-serve side if you’d prefer to just pack it with a single-serving of coffee grounds and brew a personal cup that way. This is a great option if you run out of k-cups, or simply don’t want to use them at all, which is a better choice from an environmental standpoint.
Main Differences Between Keurig and Flexbrew
Now that we’ve laid out the main features of the two items, we can clearly see where their differences lie.
The Keurig brand has a lot more to offer as far as variety among products. All of the Keurig machines can brew k-cups, but you have to be sure to select one that brews different pods if you want to make larger amounts, like k-carafe pods.
Flexbrew is compatible with k-cups, which puts its capabilities at equal level to the most basic Keurig machines that brew k-cups. Unlike Keurigs, which only brew with pods, the Flexbrew can be used to brew single-serve coffee by placing grounds directly into the brew basket. This eliminates the need for k-cups altogether, but you can still use them if they’re more convenient for you.
With Keurig, if you want to brew more than a small cup of coffee, you’ll need to use a machine capable of brewing larger amounts of coffee with a pod. The Flexbrew allows you to brew a full pot of coffee on the other side of the machine, allowing more functionality than the Keurig machines which cannot reach 12 cups in one brew, like the Flexbrew can.
While the option to brew a full pot with the Flexbrew is convenient, it means you will need to have fresh coffee grounds available first. You cannot brew a full pot of coffee in the Flexbrew using a pod.
The functionality of the Flexbrew is pretty basic, though the options are the most useful ones needed by the typical consumer. Keurig offers a lot more creativity and customization with their line of products.
You can choose between bold and regular brew, and full pot or single serve with the Flexbrew. The single serve side can be filled with a k-cup or by filling the grounds bin for a single-serving.
Beyond that, the Flexbrew does not offer much more flexibility.
Keurig has a variety of products offering different functions. With the K-Elite, you can easily select the iced coffee setting and have yourself a perfectly brewed cup of iced coffee. You will get consistency each time with Keurig, because everything is preprogrammed and you don’t have to do any measuring.
With Flexbrew, there is a lot more room for error. If you’re not brewing a single cup with the single-serve side, you have to measure out your own coffee and water ratio. This can be fun for some, but others may yearn for the convenience of having everything programmed already.
Keurig ranges in cost, from the smaller classic Keurigs which are fairly inexpensive, to the larger, more expensive machines offering lots of functionality. Flexbrew tends to fall on the less-expensive side of any Keurig machine.
If you’re struggling to choose what single-serve coffee maker will be best for you, be sure to keep in mind the needs most specific to your lifestyle. Don’t buy a machine that offers way more than you’ll need, but don’t sell yourself short and buy something that does not accommodate your lifestyle properly.
Either brand of single serve coffee maker is a great choice, and they will all help you achieve a delicious cup of coffee. It’s important to figure out what you need beyond that, though.
Someone who wants to forget about drip coffee altogether, and move on to the simple life of coffee in a pod would not be helping themselves by buying a Flexbrew, because half of the machine offers functionality to brew a full pot of coffee. It would be a waste to buy a machine that you will only use half of. Something like a classic, smaller Keurig would be a better option.
If you’re looking to brew lots of coffee, you’ll either want a Keurig that can brew large amounts with k-carafe pods, or the Flexbrew. If you don’t want to have to use your own ground coffee, a Keurig with k-carafe compatibility would be a better option.
Not everyone wants to brew straight from a pod, so Flexbrew’s option to brew single serve or full pot coffee from fresh grounds is useful. Of course, if you’re going to go this route you’ll want to have a grinder to get the most out of your fresh coffee beans.
I prefer the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew over any Keurig machine, but that is because part of me is not ready to move to full-pod life. I enjoy the practice of preparing my coffee in the morning, but I don’t always want to make a full pot because it usually goes to waste. In these cases, filling the single serve grounds bin with my own coffee and brewing a single cup would be a great alternative.
I try to minimize my waste as well, so I would use the Flexbrew without pods unless I was really in a pinch. I can’t deny the convenience of the k-cup pod, but I do appreciate the ability to choose between the two with the Flexbrew.
Whatever you decide to go with, know you will be equipped with a great machine that will add more convenience to your daily life. Finding the time to make a quality pot of coffee can be difficult, and that’s why single serving coffee is so common.
Be sure to take all of the main features and differences between the brands into consideration as you decide on your next machine.
Hamilton Beach Flexbrew vs. Keurig 2.0 Coffee Machines
The popularity of the coffee pod has skyrocketed in recent years, partly due to success of the original single serve coffee maker from Keurig Inc.
These machines are favored for their speed, ease of use, affordability, and compact sizes. Despite this newfound popularity, many people have not heard of options available, which is unfortunate, since not all brands and models rank equally. Even the pioneer Keurig does not stack up when faced against all your choices, such as Nespresso or Hamilton Beach.
The kitchen giant Hamilton Beach manufactures many popular appliances, but did you know they also manufacture a single serve coffee maker, known as the Flexbrew?
In this post, I’ll go over the details and specifics to the newest Keurig line, the Keurig 2.0, and compare it to the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew. I’ll also provide a few a reasons as to why you might want to purchase a Flexbrew instead of go mainstream and choose Keurig.
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew – an option for everyone
Hamilton Beach is a solid, reputable and affordable brand making kitchen appliances. The company’s products are sold at most major retailers, like Target, Walmart, and of course, Amazon. It’s easy to find, and all of these websites have hundreds of reviews, should you want to educate yourself before making a purchase.
Recently, the brand has come out with a single serve machine known as the “Flexbrew.” The Flexbrew is a user-friendly, reliable, and quality machine available at an entry-level price.
Being a green consumer, while saving your own “green”
The machine comes with a carafe and a reusable filter, meaning you won’t need to buy anything else in your time with the Flexbrew besides coffee, or one-time use pods. The price you see is the price you pay (unless, of course, you break a part after the warranty is up – then you can easily replace it!)
The Flexbrew’s single serve setting makes it great for unmarried people, because there’s no wasting coffee when you brew just one cup. But, since it does have the full carafe option, the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew still works for couples, families, workplace offices, and for entertaining.
The two methodologies use separate water reservoirs and result in different size cups.
I can be impatient first thing in the morning when I’m craving my coffee, and most professionals I know are the same way.
The Flexblend has a pause feature, which allows you to pour a cup mid-brew without coffee continuing to drip. Where has this been all my life?! I had never seen a coffee machine with that capability, so I was thrilled when I discovered this feature. No more long waits, and no more drippy messes on the hot plate.
Plus, if a Flexbrew is kept in the office, a cup can be brewed quickly for an on-the-go professional, right beside the already made, still hot carafe.
Oh, did I mention that?
The machine also has a hot plate that stays on for two hours and then automatically turns off. The single-serve side has an adjustable cup rest, allowing for either a standard mug or a taller travel mug. Specifically, it can fit a travel mug up to seven inches tall for the single serve side.
Flexibility in brew size, strength, and bean
I love the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew and personally, I’m more fond of it than Keurig machines (I’ll get more into that topic later).
It allows me to have options in my coffee. Hamilton isn’t kidding when they say “flexbrew” – flexibility is included in every feature.
For starters, you can choose between making a single serving, or a 12-cup pot of coffee. If you’re making a single serving, you can pick whether you feel like using a pre-made coffee pod or using the included, reusable filter with your own fresh ground coffee from a favorite local roaster (I usually opt with local beans – we’ve got some great roasters here in Oregon).
Fresh ground coffee, or pre-packaged pods?
I’ve noticed many of my friends own both a standard drip coffee machine as well as a Keurig, but that can take up a lot of unnecessary space—the Hamilton allows you to condense both appliances into one.
Generally, I prefer standard drip coffee or French press to K-pods. Besides the fact pods use excess packaging, I find the coffee inside them often isn’t strong enough for my tastes.
The Flexbrew comes with a reusable single serve filter, so I can brew the coffee of my choice. Another reason why Hamilton is awesome: the reusable filter is included for FREE!
Many people do prefer the taste and variety K-pods offer, so I appreciate how this machine is customizable for the individual consumer’s preferences, and allows you to use ground beans or a coffee pod.
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew: Pricing and competitors
Some espresso machines range into the thousands of dollars, while high end coffee makers can be hundreds of dollars. The Flexbrew will not cost you anywhere near those high dollar figures. In my opinion that’s great price especially if you’re currently spending money on lattes or house coffees when you’re out and about running errands or commuting to work.
If that’s your current situation, investing in the Flexbrew will certainly save you money long term. Click here to see current pricing on the Flexbrew 49976.
Technology and appliances are expensive, and in my experience, their lifespans aren’t nearly long enough. Hamilton is backed with warranties, no matter what big box store you shop at. Hamilton offers a 5-year warranty, while Amazon offers a 3- and 4-year protection plans for a nominal charge.
Best Buy sells the machine for roughly the same price, but only offers a 2-year warranty for an additional charge. On hamiltonbeach.com, the model is even sold out – that alone exemplifies the products quality.
The Flexbrew’s main competitor is the Keurig 2.0, which is a single cup and carafe brewer with programmable features for multiple brew sizes and strengths. It’s the most flexible, customizable Keurig to date, so we will see how it compares.
Keurig 2.0: The most flexible Keurig yet
Admittedly, Keurig machines are not my favorite for a few reasons. Even so, I have to say the brand has improved its models markedly in the past 10 years. In college, I used the most simple Keurig model ( K-Compact Single Serve Coffee Maker) mostly for its size, but also for its ease, and speed.
It got the job done, and allowed me to save some money in the dorms. The Keurig 2.0 does more than “just get the job done.” It truly does brew a rich, smooth, flavorful cup of coffee, which I was not sure possible of a solely pod-based machine.
In addition, it used to be Keurig did not offer a reusable filter but recently the company started manufacturing them, so for now my environmental concerns regarding Keurig have been assuaged. Besides being green, the reusable route is much more affordable than purchasing pods (of any brand).
Keurig 2.0 costs a bit more than the Flexbrew on Amazon and it comes in super fun colors, including Imperial Red, Turquoise, Strawberry, Orange Zest, and Peacock Blue.
If you’re like me and tend to stick to a more “sleek,” refined look, they offer Black, Sandy Pearl, and White.
So, how much coffee does the Keurig 2.0 brew?
The Keurig 2.0 only utilizes pods, however, past models have been just single serve machines, while the Keurig 2.0 has the ability to brew a 4-cup carafe, making it a strong competitor with the Hamilton Flexbrew.
Unfortunately, customers have to buy a carafe and carafe size pods for the feature (carafe size pods cost more than standard k-cups and typically come in smaller packs of eight).
Otherwise, a single serve size can brew up to 14 ounces, with 4, 6, 8, and 10 ounces as other options. Including the carafe option and the different brew strengths, there are a total of nine different brew choices
Keurig 2.0: Monopolizing the coffee pod industry
When the new 2.0 was released, Keurig received a lot of backlash from previously loyal customers. Many customers were upset that, unlike other Keurig brewers, the new machine didn’t accept non-Keurig brand coffee pods, making it that much more expensive to use.
Simultaneously with its release, the company raised the prices of K-pods by 9%, forcing consumers to spend more on the company. A box of 16 single serve K-pods costs $12 from Target, while the off brand Melitta offers a box of 18 single serve coffee pods for $5 from Wal-Mart.
Senseo is another popular off brand company that offers 16 count packs, ranging from $6 to $10 depending on type and flavor. Senseo advertises specifically for use in Hamilton Beach machines.
But perhaps the highest quality and value is offered by San Francisco Bay Gourmet Coffee. There is a variety pack of 80 pods on Amazon at bulk pricing levels.
NOTE: San Francisco Bay pods are not Keurig brand, but Amazon lists them as compatible with most Keurig 1.0 and 2.0 models.
A few community members said they were not compatible no matter what the box says, so I would be wary if trying these – as mentioned before, Keurig received some backlash for making the model specifically not compatible with other brands of pods.
There is a freedom clip you can purchase that is also supposed to allow a 2.0 to read and brew any and all single serve coffee pods.
Which to buy? The Hamilton Beach Flexbrew or the Keurig 2.0?
I am a proponent of individuality and free choice.
The very fact Keurig released a machine with the intent to monopolize the market and force consumers to pay more outrages me, and incentivizes me not to purchase their products, especially when there are options on the market of equal quality.
If you buy an additional reusable filter or a freedom clip, you can use the coffee or pod of your choice in the 2.0, but I personally don’t want to invest in a product I know I am going to have to buy more stuff for immediately.
Plus, with the additional carafe I would purchase, freedom clip, and reusable filter I would spend way more than I would buying any Flexbrew coffee maker.
The Flexbrew offers coffee drinkers everything they could want in a cup, in a customizable, quality, and fully equipped machine that doesn’t cost them an arm and a leg and is backed by the company. Cheers to having your coffee, your way!