Hamilton Beach Two Way Brewer Review

by Benji Walklet on June 14, 2012 · 10 comments

Hamilton Beach Two Way Brewer Single Serve and 12 cup Coffee Maker
Editor’s Rating
Price
Coffee Quality
Coffee Maker Quality
Easy to Use?
Easy to Clean?
Durability
Appearance
Brew Speed
Made in USA? No
Versatility
Overall Rating

The Hamilton Beach Two Way Brewer is a versatile, sleek, and affordable auto drip coffee maker. Introduced in May 2011, this is still a relatively new model that has already established itself as one of the top value coffee makers currently on the market.

For those of us who commute daily, enjoy a post-meal cup of joe, or frequently host dinner parties, this is a coffee maker that can do it all with no extra hassle. Additionally, you don’t even have to be a big coffee drinker (shame on you) to enjoy this machine, as it is also a great option for making tea, hot chocolate, or any other hot drink that you can think of.

The Review

So what are some of the best features of the Hamilton Beach Two Way Brewer? Keep reading!

Please note: Although I am reviewing this top rated coffee maker, I have no experience using it. Instead, I summarize all of the most helpful reviews on this coffee maker from around the web. I do my best to make the reviews completely unbiased, making sure to cover both the positives and negatives of every coffee maker I review. Visit the about page to learn more…or feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.

The Good

  • Makes hot coffee.
  • Can brew a single cup of coffee, or 12 cups of coffee. It’s up to you!
  • Single-cup brewer holds coffee mugs and thermoses of practically any size.
  • No-spill carafe.
  • Auto shut-off after 2 hours.
  • Uses Senseo® pods or your own ground coffee.
  • Includes travel mug/thermos, permanent filter (for single-serve), and 16 coffee pods.
  • Programmable.
  • BPA free
  • Removable reservoir.
  • Many parts are dishwasher safe.

The Bad

  • Not compatible with K-cups.
  • Hot plate doesn’t keep coffee hot for very long.
  • No hot plate on single-serve side.
  • Can’t save multiple program settings.
  • Included filter leaves fine grounds at bottom of cup.
  • Lots of steam and moisture emitted.
  • No paper filters for single-serve side.

Hot coffee, but drink it quickly!

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. Ironically, one of the number 1 complaints about this coffee maker is that the coffee it makes it not hot enough.

So here’s our take: depending on whether you are brewing your coffee on the single-serve side or on the 12-cup side, your results will vary. The consensus on this coffee maker is that the coffee comes out piping hot no matter which side you are brewing on. However, if you are using the single-serve side the coffee will cool off considerably faster, as there is no hot plate on the single-serve side.

Still, not many consumers have raved about the hot plate on the 12-cup side, so if you are looking to drink your coffee half an hour after brewing, this probably isn’t the machine for you. Good news is that with the included travel mug, your coffee will stay warm if you do happen to wait half an hour before drinking it.

Finally, no spills

If you have ever owned any kind of coffee maker, you are far too familiar with the mess that comes with it. No matter how slowly/quickly you pour your coffee from the carafe, a spill or drip onto the counter is always around the corner.

Fortunately, that is not the case with this coffee maker. The folks at Hamilton Beach did a great job with the carafe, and this is one of the most highly cited benefits of this coffee maker.

No K-cups, but tea and hot chocolate make up for it

K-cup® fans out there will be sad to see that this machine is only compatible with coffee pods and ground coffee. However, this also includes the added benefit of using tea bags and hot chocolate pods for easy alternative single-serve options.

Given the absence of K-cup® functionality, this machine really makes up for it by offering so many single-serve drink options.

The Ratings

Breaking down the ratings one by one, the Hamilton Beach Two Way Brewer is one of the best coffee makers I’ve reviewed so far. Let’s take a look.

The Price

At $79 the Hamilton Beach Two Way Brewer is a bargain when compared to similar models. For a machine with this much versatility, you could do much worse for a price like this.

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Score: 4 stars

The Coffee Quality

It’s always tougher to make a great tasting cup of coffee with an automatic drip coffee maker. Fortunately, this is not an issue with this coffee maker. The consensus is that no matter which side of the machine you use, you will get great tasting coffee.

Score: 5 stars

The Coffee Maker Quality

This well-designed coffee maker only has a few fallbacks in the quality department. For one thing, the built-in filter isn’t perfect, often leaving behind coffee “sludge” at the bottom of the pot. The inconsistencies in maintaining a hot temperature on both side of the coffee maker also detract from the overall score. Otherwise, this is a top quality coffee maker.

Score: 4.5 stars

Ease of Use

Given all of the bells and whistles this machine comes equipped with, you would think that the Hamilton Beach Two Way Brewer would be difficult to use. Fortunately, that is not the case. The majority of reviewers have remarked how it is easy to use.

Score: 5 stars

Cleaning Ease

Almost ever reviewer noted that this is an easy to clean machine. Additionally, the included parts are dishwasher safe.

Score: 5 stars

Durability

The majority of reviewers have had no issues with their machines as far as dysfunction goes, but there were still a number of reviewers who reported problems in short time periods. Good news is that the machine is covered by warranty and Hamilton Beach should send you a new one if something goes wrong.

Score: 3.5 stars

Appearance

While this is 100% subjective, I feel that this machine looks pretty nice. I’ll leave it up to you to decide for yourself.

Score: 4 stars

Brew Speed

You can get a single serving or a pot of coffee in under 5 minutes if you know what you’re doing. But a typical brew time will more likely fall in the 5-7 minute range. Let us know if you disagree.

Score: 4 stars

Not Made in USA

While I believe this coffee maker was originally made in the USA, it is now manufactured in China.

Versatility

The Hamilton Beach Two Way Brewer is best known for its ability to brew a single serving or an entire pot of coffee. The machine is also programmable, features a timer, auto shut-off, and includes a travel mug/thermos. All of this while maintaining an easy-to-use feel, this machine is a versatile as it gets.

Score: 5 stars

Watch the Two Way Brewer in Action

The Bottom Line

Currently, this is one of the top rated coffee makers out there for its price. After just one year on the market, the reviews for the Hamilton Beach Two Way Brewer are overwhelmingly positive. My opinion is that even if you have a few doubts about the machine, it is probably worth giving it a try.

Amazon.com offers great customer service and return policies, so if you run into the misfortune of a malfunctioning machine, chances are good that you will get a replacement or refund with little hassle involved.  For more info on Amazon’s return policies, please visit the following page.

Share Your Comments, Reviews, or Questions

While we collate reviews from all across the web when writing our own coffee maker reviews, our opinion in the end is only one opinion. For this reason, we encourage you to share your own review as well as any comments, questions, or disagreements you may have.

One final note: if you found this coffee maker review helpful and are considering making a purchase, please share the credit by clicking the “buy on amazon” link above. We will get a small commission if you do this, and would totally appreciate it. If not, no problem whatsoever!

Hamilton Beach Two Way Brewer Review1.362520

About Benji Walklet
Benji Walklet is the founder, owner, and head writer of topratedcoffeemakers.com. When he isn't writing coffee maker reviews he is likely just drinking coffee. Or maybe drinking coffee and writing at the same time? In any case, he spends his free time playing basketball, reading a pop psych book, or spending time with friends and family.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily December 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm
Feedback: 2 positive

I just picked up one of these coffee makers at a local Meijer store. I noticed that mine actually is made in China, not the US, and that it didn’t come with any Senseo pods. It did come with some circles of paper that I can only assume are meant to be filters. This stuff isn’t a big deal to me, just wanted to put the info out there.

Overall Rating
Price
Coffee Quality Not Rated
Coffee Maker Quality Not Rated Easy to Use? Not Rated Easy to Clean? Not Rated
Durability Not Rated Appearance Not Rated Brew Speed Not Rated
Versatility Not Rated
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Benji Walklet December 7, 2012 at 4:40 pm
Feedback: 1 positive

I’ve checked with Hamilton beach and you are indeed correct. Thanks for pointing this one out! I’ve updated the review to state that this coffee maker is not manufactured in the USA, but instead, China.

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Benji Walklet December 7, 2012 at 12:24 am

Thanks for your comment, Emily!

I will check in with Hamilton Beach for a definitive answer. I do know that many coffee makers out there that had originally been manufactured in the U.S. ended up moving overseas…so I suppose the same is possible with this one.

Please let us know what you think about the coffee maker once you get some use out of it!

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Pam February 21, 2013 at 2:35 pm
Feedback: 2 positive

I cannot find brewing temp on this machine, not on their website or listed in manual. I would not have purchased if I had realized it was made in China, trying to buy American. Coffee not that good, trying different coffees to find a good one. A little disappointed.

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Pam February 21, 2013 at 2:37 pm
Feedback: 1 positive

I failed to rate machine on 1st. Comment.

Overall Rating
Price
Coffee Quality Not Rated
Coffee Maker Quality Not Rated Easy to Use? Not Rated Easy to Clean? Not Rated
Durability Not Rated Appearance Not Rated Brew Speed Not Rated
Versatility Not Rated
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Benji Walklet February 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm
Feedback: 1 positive

Thanks for your review, Pam.

I’m sorry to hear the machine has been a disappointment thus far. It’s a shame they shifted their manufacturing to China…because I do know this machine was originally made in the US.

Would be curious to know what temperatures you are getting on both the single serve and carafe side. If it’s not close to 195˚, it’s not good enough in this department.

If you are ever looking for a replacement machine I suggest you check out the SCAA certified coffeemakers or the USA made machines. You can find both listed under the reviews tab. SCAA certification includes a sufficient brew temp between 195-205˚ F.

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Linda Johnson May 1, 2013 at 3:28 am
Feedback: 3 positive, 1 negative

I purchased this coffee maker for myself 2.5 months ago. I look forward to making my own coffee each morning since owning this wonderful coffee maker. I bought a permanent gold filter for the carafe side of the machine. Hamilton Beach makes one that works perfectly. The single serving side already includes a permanent gold filter. It is the best cofee maker that I have owned, and It has all the features that I want in a coffee maker. I love the fact that I can set it to “bold,” which makes a perfect cup of coffee i my opinnce they’re more expensive to use and a bit difficult to find locally in my area. Everyone sells K-cups, and they are not compatible. I think the coffee stays hot for a very long time – longer than other coffee makers I have owned. It is an extremely versatile machine, and I love it every time I use it. I do not have a single complaint. It takes a little longer to brew a cup or pot when using the bold setting, but it is worth waiting for a few extra minutes. Buy good coffee, and it will taste great when using this machine. I am very happy with it.

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Benji Walklet May 1, 2013 at 5:52 am

Thanks for the great review, Linda. Glad you are liking the Hamilton Beach Two Way Brewer!

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Keri January 16, 2014 at 8:42 pm

I’m interested in purchasing this coffee maker but only if it truly is BPA free…this is the only site that says it is. I can’t find any info on this on the Hamilton Beach site. Can you verify that it truly is BPA free?

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Benji Walklet January 21, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Hi Keri,

Thanks for your question!

Copied below is an email I received from Hamilton Beach several months ago. The short answer is that it is BPA free, as well as all of their coffee makers:

Dear Benji,
Thank you for contacting us.

We are pleased to inform you that all plastics used in our products are BPA free in all food zones.

For over 100 years it has been our priority and privilege to develop and manufacture high quality small appliances. Please be assured that our products and components meet all government requirements and are FDA and UL approved. They are also tested by independent laboratories to ensure the high quality that is expected of Hamilton Beach brand products. The rigorous tests we employ often exceed the standards set by our government making us a leader in the industry for quality and safety.

Thank you for your patronage!

Sincerely,

Fahlyn
Consumer Affairs

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