Here’s something Keurig can’t do. They might have been the ones to bring single-serve coffee machines to the forefront of the market, but they will always have little pods. This is what makes a Keurig…a Keurig. These other coffee machines not only are single cup coffee machines, but they’re grind and brew coffee machines.
They combine two amazing little appliances in the kitchen into one machine, thereby streamlining two separate processes. The first one is the coffee grinder. These can be electric, or they can be manual mills. They give you the ability to buy whole coffee beans that provide the freshest cup of coffee you can have. The only way you get a fresher cup is if you own the plant, pick to the bean, and roast the coffee yourself. Owning a coffee grinder is the next best thing, and far fresher than any store-bought coffee.
The single brew coffee machines are much more personalized than those that feature a carafe. They allow you to put your cup on a drip plate while it pours the freshly brewed coffee directly into your cup. There is no pouring, and there are no messes. Remove your cup from the coffee machine with freshly brewed coffee, and it’s ready to drink or add your favorite creamer straight from the machine. Aside from the thermal carafe, single-serve coffee makers have the ability to eliminate burnt coffee, cold coffee, and old coffee. It only brews a single cup so you won’t have any coffee left over to microwave. It will be fresh each and every time.
Single cup grind and brew coffee machines provide the best of both worlds. Add a whole beans directly to the coffee maker, grind them using the coffee maker, and make fresh coffee with that same appliance. The result is a fresh cup of coffee that needs to be experienced to be appreciated.
Leave it to Cuisinart to be one of the few manufacturers who make a single cup grind and brew coffee maker. It will brew up to 16 ounces of coffee at one time. The removable drip tray and enables you to use your favorite travel coffee mug – even the taller ones.
There are times – in fact, most times – where the grinding blades of the grinder are integrated directly as part of the filter basket. This is not one of those times. Instead, the blade grinder is engineered to transfer freshly ground coffee beans from the grinder to the filter basket automatically, ready to brew the fresh cup of coffee.
By separating the group the grinding chamber and the filter basket, you are given the option to use store-bought coffee if you wish. Just like any other coffee maker, fill the filter basket full of ground coffee beans, add a little bit of water, insert your cup and turn the machine on. Within three minutes, you will have a fresh cup of coffee with your name on it.
Here is what Cuisinart doesn’t tell you. Any grind and brew coffee machine – not just a single cup ones – allow you to control the strength of the coffee directly. They do this based on how much coffee grinds you add to the filter basket. This is a manual way of doing things. However, you don’t need special settings to control the strength of your coffee. This is something you can do all by yourself.
The only thing I would caution you against as you consider this coffee maker is the amount of cleaning you need to do between each and every cup of coffee. Some condensation builds up around the grinding chamber so you’ll need to clean that and the filter. Personally, I would not recommend you going from cup to cup without thoroughly cleaning out the grinding chamber.
As Hamilton Beach is a commercial brand, I have high expectations for any home appliance that carries the Hamilton Beach name on it. I was not disappointed with this one. If only every single-serve grind and brew coffee maker would have this feature, I believe these coffee makers would receive a lot more credit than they actually have. That feature I’m talking about is the ability to rinse the grinding chamber automatically. It makes the operation of this coffee maker so much easier between cups.
As with most grind and brew machines, this one allows you to use either whole beans or the standard store-bought coffee. Believe it or not, the majority of people prefer pre-ground, store-bought coffee. There’s a reason you see shelf after shelf of this coffee in the grocery store – because people buy it. So, if you want to use your own store-bought coffee, this machine will accommodate you.
One of the beautiful things about this coffee maker is it’s not just a single-serve machine. Although it does limit you to 16 ounces, it does have a nice little pause feature allowing you to switch cups in the middle. The result is you can fill two cups up from a single brew.
You know what they don’t tell you about grind and brew coffee machines? For the most part, you don’t need to deal with coffee grinds. That means you won’t have spilled coffee grinds on your counter. Coffee grinds are gritty. They may not be sticky, but they do present a mess when spilled. With grind and brew coffee machines, you’re dealing with whole beans! Has anyone ever told you that whole beans are a whole lot easier to clean up than coffee grinds – especially if they spill on the floor?
These machines present the best of not one world, not two worlds, but three worlds. Single serve abilities represent one world. Coffee grinders and coffee machines represent the the other two. There is no other better way to get a single cup of coffee that is fresher than what you can get with these machines. Coffee is an art to be appreciated. The only way to appreciate it is to experience it.