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Hamilton Beach - All - Gregg Aydelotte's Review
Posted: November 13, 2003, 4:11pm
review rating: 0.0
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Hamilton Beach Coffee Makers - All
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Arrow The Hamilton Beach - All has 8 Reviews
Arrow The Hamilton Beach - All has been rated 6.33 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since May 13, 2003.
Arrow Hamilton Beach - All reviews have been viewed 44,747 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Alex Kovach 9.00
Rick Hunter 7.33
Sheryl H 5.50
Barbara Testut 3.00
Gregg Aydelotte 0.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.0
Product Reviewed: flavor plus
Manufacturer: Hamilton Beach, others Quality: 8
Average Price: Varies Usability: 7
Price Paid: $29.99 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Walgreens Aesthetics 7
Owned for: 2 weeks Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: braun aromaster, flavor select, kitchenaid ultra compact
Bottom Line: Bottom line: If you're not very concerned about great cup taste, and just want a decent cheap auto drip for sleepy work mornings, this auto drip may suit you.
Positive Product Points

Has a flavor plus setting that allows the machine to give the coffee time to bloom, but only to a degree. Can produce a decent cup of coffee., especially considering the price. Programmable if you care.

Negative Product Points

Does not brew hot enough, especially on flavor plus setting. Remounting the filter basket is awkward.

Detailed Commentary

I was a bit disappointed in this machine's ability to brew at temperatures between 195-200 degrees F. The flavor plus setting is nice because it allows the coffee about 45-60 seconds to bloom (HB cxalls this pre wet)before actual brewing begins in earnest. The problem is that the initial spurts of water are at 180 degrees based on my cheap but accurate analog thermometer ( measures 212 for boiling water). If you leave the setting on flavor plus the machine cycle on and off every 30 seconds for the first 5 cups, then it reverts to normal brewing for the remainder. This extends brew time and can result in a richer cup of coffee, but the potential for a bettercup  is lost due to the low temps. I never measured over 185 degrees for the first five cups on this setting. Its too bad because I believe that allowing the coffee to bloom and  proper temps is key  to getting a better cup.  I base this assertion on coffee I've made with a chemex. With the chemex I''ve skipped the bloom stage and gotten a decent but not great cup; I've also allowed bloom for about 1 minute and used water that cooled below 195 and gotten pretty much the same results. But, I've gotten the bloom right and used water with a measured temp of 198 and gotten an  exceptional  cup with the chemex.  I say all this about the chemex to make this point about the HB flavor plus: it gets part of it right, but drops the ball on temps. Once the coffee is brewed using the flavor plus setting, I noticed a bit of burnt taste after a few minutes on the warmer pad.  

You can improve its performance by switching on the flavor select for about 1-2 minutes then turning this setting off so that all the other cups after the initial pre wet/ bloom cycle are brewed faster and hotter, as the temps on the regular setting range from 185-190. I got a better cups of coffee this way. Of course, this sort of defeats the convenience of having an auto drip which is why I bought the HB flavor plus in the first place.

Buying Experience

Walgreens drug stores have these for $29.99. I'm not sure if they will let me return it, but I intend to try. HH Gregg electronics stores had these also for the same price.

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Posted: November 13, 2003, 4:11pm
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