I’m frequently in a hurry in my need to be decaffeinated so I’ve loved my Keurig single serve coffee maker and sung its praises to anyone who visits our kitchen. However, it is not inexpensive and each cup of coffee comes with its own carbon footprint in the form of a plastic filter that must be disposed of afterwards. I’ve seen traditional single cup coffee makers but they still didn’t fulfill my need to fill up my cup with fresh coffee every few hours. I try to limit myself to 3 mugs a day so I never need a full pot, plus I’m not a fan of that lovely burnt taste most coffeemakers give you. Recently, I came across the Hamilton Beach BrewStation® 6 Cup Coffeemaker which comes as close to what I want as I think I’m going to find!
The BrewStation® Coffeemaker brews a whole pot of coffee and keeps it hot within the enclosed brewing system for hours. The coffee is not sitting on a hot plate, getting burned, nor is it cooling in a thermal container
Josh, my own personal food snob, is also a coffee snob and doubted how it could be better than a traditional coffee pot. I’m not a coffee snob, but I’m picky in addition to being lazy when it comes to making coffee so I questioned Hamilton Beach’s brand manager. Here’s what she explained to me:
There are two heaters in the BrewStation®: the main heater that is usedto brew the coffee and thesecondary which keep warm heater is a low wattage heater that cycles onandoff to maintain the coffee’s optimal temperature. In a traditionalcoffee pot, there is one heater that is on the base where the carafesits and afterbrewing the coffee stays on the heater at maximum wattage and inessence continues cooking so the coffee gets scorched and burnt andloses its correct flavor.
As for why it’s better than a thermal carafe, she told me that for the first 30 minutes after brewing, the flavor and temperature of BrewStation® coffeemaker and a thermal carafe are about the same. After that, the flavor of the carafe coffee drops off quickly as the heat dissipates and the coffee is exposed to air.
Additionally, it offers one-hand dispensing, similar to the single serve coffeemakers that I favor. You can fill your cup whenever you like – with the cup activationbutton (similar to the water/ice dispenser on the refrigerator).
The BrewStation® line includes a 6-cup basic version ($29) and five 12-cup makers ($52-80) that include a variety of features like a timer, programmable clock, auto-shutoff, 1-4 cup mode, and Flavor Plus mode. With 1-4 cup mode, it slows down the flow of water, allowing for betterextraction (if you brew on regular with a small amount of groundsneeded for 1-4 cups, the water passes through at a much faster rate). If you’re brewing in Flavor Plus mode, the hot water steeps the grounds longer, therefore improving extraction and flavor.
The BrewStation® is not without its faults. The auto shut-off time of the 6-cup model is two hours- for me, this is way too short because I usually drink my second cup of the morning about 2.5 hours after my first and then my third, another 2-3 hours after that. One of the 12-cup models has a four hour shut-off time, which would be better for me (after four hours, the quality of the coffee is going to suffer). Additionally, the top of the water reservoir gets a little too close to the top of the machine which means when I fill it and then move it to the back of the counter, it spills a little.
Final Thoughts: For under $30, the Hamilton Beach BrewStation® 6 Cup Coffeemaker is a fabulous option for someone who wants easier caffeination, but there’s room for improvement.