After deciding to embark on a mission to find the best single serve coffee makers on the market, as you can imagine, we tried a lot of machines and made a lot of coffee!
Out of all of the machines we tested, we loved the Hamilton Beach 49981A – and its bargain price under $40 made it the obvious choice for our best budget single serve coffee machine.
Often with budget products, you will find they are badly made, or don’t function as well as they should – this isn’t the case at all with the Hamilton Beach Scoop.
It’s a fantastic little machine that works well, looks good and won’t make a dent in your pocket!
The Features of the Hamilton Beach Scoop
“The 49981A single serve coffee maker goes where no coffee maker has gone before, brewing hotter, faster and better tasting coffee than most gourmet machines out there.”
The features of the Hamilton Beach 49981A include:
- The mesh scoop filter allows for any kind of coffee grounds you want to use
- Differing boldness levels: You can choose a standard brew, which works like any drip filter machine. Or for more premium coffee, you can choose the bold setting for a richer coffee
- Easy to understand measuring options: The filter has two clear serving lines marked on it so you simply add grounds to your desired level
- Moveable drip tray: The moveable drip tray allows you more choice in which cup size you would like to use. Not only do you get room for a large mug or travel cup, but when using a smaller cup, you can position the drip tray so that your cup is closer to the nozzle to prevent splashing
- Automatic shut off: This means that after each brew, the machine will automatically shut down so you never have to worry about wasting power again
The Hamilton Beach package comes with the following:
- HB 49981A coffee machine
- The user manual
- Steel mesh scoop
- Standard twelve-month warranty
The beauty of this model is that you don’t need anything else. No extra equipment is required to use the machine (except a coffee grinder of course).
There is also an option for:
- An extended warranty of three or four years for a small additional fee.
How Well Does This Machine Work?
The truth is, the Hamilton Beach Scoop works well!
It’s really easy to use, as there’s no need for programming anything. Simply add your coffee and choose whether you want a standard cup or a bold cup.
The bold cup setting is ideal for people who want a stronger, richer flavour to their drink. As a rule of thumb, if you use a fine grind, choose bold, as the brew is much slower allowing the water to really extract the full flavour from the bean. If you use a denser grind, the standard drip speed will work just fine.
The only things to look out for are to make sure you don’t fill the scoop above the max fill line, and you don’t add more than 14oz of water to the water tank. As long as you stay within those guidelines, both of which are clearly marked, you won’t have any leakages.
The main advantages of choosing this machine over others available are:
- The super low price
- The ease of use that means even a complete beginner can work this
- The good temperature of the coffee
- The choice of standard or bold brewing processes
- The mesh scoop means there’s no need for paper filters which will save you more money in the long run
- Not having to use expensive coffee pods will again save you money through time
The main disadvantages of choosing this machine are:
- The machine only allows for freshly ground coffee and isn’t compatible with pods. This could actually be seen as an advantage by genuine coffee lovers as the pods will never match freshly ground coffee for density and flavour, but it does mean that you have to be willing to put the time in to grind your own coffee.
- The machine is a bit slower than other options the market. An 8oz cup takes around ninety seconds, and a 14oz cup takes around two and a half minutes.
Tips to Get the Most Out of this Machine
To ensure your machine works as well as it should, and lasts a long time, here are some top tips:
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
- Prime the machine before using it by running one or two cycles through before your first brew
- Ensure you clean your machine regularly using the manufacturer’s instructions
- Ensure you descale your machine regularly using the manufacturer’s instructions
- Use only good quality coffee – it is recommended that you use coffee beans which have been roasted within a week of use
- Grind your coffee as you want it to keep it fresh and flavourful
Who is the Hamilton Beach 49981A for?
The 49981A Scoop machine aims to combine simplicity of use with value for money and great tasting coffee. By that standard, the machine is a perfect choice for anyone!
The machine is ideally suited to anyone who doesn’t want to use pod coffee but still wants the ease that comes from a single serve machine rather than an often complicated barista style machine.
Who isn’t the Hamilton Beach 49981A for?
The Hamilton Beach 49981A isn’t best suited to large families where you all want to sit down and enjoy a coffee together. The combination of the auto shut off feature and the time taken to brew the coffee means it’s best suited to making one cup at a time.
After reading this, we’re sure you can see now why we chose the Hamilton Beach Scoop as out best budget single serve coffee maker. It really does do everything a more expensive model will do, and the simplicity is an advantage.
For the price you will pay, fill your travel mug daily.
Within a couple of weeks, the Hamilton Beach 49981A will have more than paid for itself on what you will save by not having to buy expensive coffee house coffee every day.
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