With most coffee brewers you’re either stuck with making one cup at a time or a whole carafe-full. However, with the two-way brewers available today, you can have it both ways.
In this article, we’re going to be talking about the very popular 49980A dual brewer from Hamilton Beach, covering all of the important aspects from its size to the flavour of its coffee. The unit comprises two separate sides: one for single-serve brewing and the other for a carafe. The former is perfect for making a single mug of coffee on the go while the latter allows you to brew a 12-cup pot at once.
Unfortunately, the 49980A doesn’t have more nuanced controls for achieving specific flavours and strengths. If that is an important requirement for you, we recommend checking out the alternatives listed in this guide to buy best dual coffee makers.
The Hamilton Beach 49980A at a Glance – Pros and Cons
- Extremely affordable
- Doesn’t take up too much space
- Automatic Pause and Serve feature
- Allows toggling between Regular and Bold brew strengths
- No nuanced controls for adjusting flavour
- Not compatible with K-Cups
- Cannot adjust hot plate temperature
The 49980A doesn’t take up much counter space at all. Measuring just 13.7 x 11.4 x 15.4 inches, the coffee maker is liable to fit in any small kitchen.
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Both the single-serve side and carafe side have separate reservoirs, which they draw water from. The former is smaller, measuring just 16.75 inches high while the latter is four inches taller.
The Hamilton Beach 49980A comes with both a glass carafe and a guide which details comprehensive instructions on how to set up the coffee machine. Even though most product pictures display a 14-ounce travel mug, it is not included in the package.
The 49980A comes packed with a ton of excellent features:
- Easy Switching – A simple switch located on the machine’s front panel allows you to select between single-serve and carafe.
- Height-adjustable single-serve side – if you use a variety of coffee mugs (both short and tall), the 49980A can fit them all. All you need to do is simply adjust the height of the single-serve side by placing the included plastic rest at the bottom. This way you’ll be able to bring short cups closer to the dispenser, thereby not experience any spilling or splattering while coffee is being poured.
- Mesh filter – The single-serve side of the coffee maker is equipped with a mesh filter for when you want to use coffee grounds.
- Automatic brewing – you can configure the 49980A to start brewing a pot of coffee at a specified time slot. For instance, if you wake up at 7:00 A.M you can set it to brew at 6:55 and have fresh coffee ready by the time you’re out of bed. The brewing time must be set within a 24-hour window.
- Hot plates – If you don’t plan on going through the entire pot of coffee at once or you can’t pour yourself a cup immediately, there’s nothing to worry about. Both sides of the unit come fitted with hot plates, which prevent your freshly-poured coffee from getting cold.
However, the 49980A does not allow you to adjust the temperature of the warming plates. Hence if the default temperature is too warm or not warm enough, you won’t really be able to do anything about it.
- Automatic shutoff – If you’re negligent about turning off your coffee maker, you may end up wasting a lower of electricity. Thankfully, Hamilton Beach 49980A’s automatic shutoff feature prevents this from happening by turning off the machine after two hours of being idle.
- Soft pod compatibility – The 49980A is compatible with both loose coffee and soft pods. In fact, on the single-serve side, you’ll find a built-in pod basket for neatly storing the latter. However, the 49980A is not compatible with the popular Keurig K-Cup pods.
- Brew Strength – The 49980A allows you to switch between Regular and Bold strength settings via the front panel.
- Automatic Pause and Serve – This is available for the carafe side only. Whenever you remove the carafe from the machine, any ongoing brewing will be paused immediately and won’t be allowed to run again until the carafe has been returned.
The included starter guide suggests that you use the following when brewing coffee: medium grind coffee (preferably a brand-name one), a paper filter (standard) and tap water. The brewing temperature is set at 171 degrees Fahrenheit and is non-adjustable.
The result? A flavour that’s quite strong and contains just the right amount of bitterness. While most regular coffee drinkers will find this appealing, there will be some that don’t. The only way to adjust the flavour is to change the grind, brew strength, try a different brand or simply use a flavoured soft pod.
Right now, the Hamilton Beach 49980A retails for just $54 at Amazon. That’s quite a steal considering all that it offers.
If you’re looking for a two-way coffee maker in the $50 to $70 range, the Hamilton Beach 49980A is hard to beat. It’s compact enough to fit on counter spaces, offers a long list of convenient features and most importantly, makes great-tasting coffee.
However, if you’re looking for a dual coffee maker that offers a lot of control over the brewing process, then the 49980A isn’t it. This machine is for the more casual brewer.