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.
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.
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