Review: Hamilton Beach One Press Dispensing Coffee Maker

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Erin Lawrence

Hamilton beach Coffee dispenser

 

Coffee is what gets us going, so if you can make getting coffee first thing in the morning easier, it seems to help the rest of the day go smoother too. I was intrigued by the premise of the Hamilton Beach One Press Programmable Dispensing Drip Coffee Maker with 12 Cup Internal Brew Pot, and Removable Water Reservoir, since it offers a few truly different features than some other standard coffee makers. In this review I’ll show you what it’s like to use, how easy it is… Or not to program, what the dispensing feature is really like, as well as weather and internal brew pot is helpful or just trouble to deal with. I’ll wrap things up with the pros and the cons and let you know if I can recommend this coffee machine to you.

Hamilton Beach One Press Dispensing Coffee Maker
3.8

Summary

With its small footprint and ability to keep the coffee hot and fresh, this is a solid standard coffee machine – so long as you have the patience to do the programming.

Pros

  • Makes great coffee
  • Keeps coffee hot
  • Sealed carafe keeps coffee fresh
  • Adjustable hold-warm time
  • Relatively compact size
  • Removable water reservoir
  • Makes very hot coffee
  • Brews fast

Cons

  • So hard to program & reprogram
  • Can’t pour until whole pot is ready
  • Awkward carafe

What you get: Hamilton Beach One Press Programmable Dispensing Drip Coffee Maker

Set up

Hamilton beach Coffee dispenser

When you unbox this coffee maker there’s a few parts that are going to seem unfamiliar, but only because of the unusual dispensing design.

There’s the main body of the machine, a removable water tank, and the front part of the machine comes out too; it holds the internal brew pot and a special lid with a metal straw that sucks up the coffee.

Under the top is the basket-style filter holder.

Programming

To use the programming feature you will want to get this set up right away. I’m going to say you will definitely want the manual for this process. It is not incredibly intuitive to program this machine. There will be a lot of pressing what looks like the same button over and over and over again and waiting for certain things to illuminate. For example when you’re setting the clock you’ll want to be sure you use the clock with the tiny gear on it and see see 12:00 hrs. flashing on the display, but when you’re trying to program a morning brew time, you’ll need to wait for the display to show 19:99 AM. If you ask me this is an extremely frustrating and maddening way to operate the system.

Hilariously while we were able to program the initial brew time for 5:30 in the morning, I was never able to adjust it. I tried unplugging the machine and plugging it back in again, but after a short time unplugged the programming was still there, which I guess is great in case you want to move it quickly.

Eventually I unplugged it for longer—about 2 minutes and that reset it. You have to begin the programming process right away once you plug it back in, or it will lock itself in. Again, frustrating and silly.

Brewing process

Hamilton beach Coffee dispenser

To make a fresh pot of coffee, remove and fill the water reservoir. Measurements on the side make it easy.

Replace the reservoir and make sure the machine is fully assembled. Place your coffee in a paper or reusable filter in the top of the machine and close the lid.

If you’re not using the programming feature, which I highly recommend you try not to, you can simply brew a fresh pot by pressing the power button on the front. The time to brew will vary based on how much water you used, but for me I usually made a 10-cup pot and it was ready in about 10 minutes.

One oddity about this is that you cannot dispense any coffee until the full process is complete; despite the fact there’s no craft to pull out and potentially spill or dribble with, the pump won’t work until the brewing process is over. I find this a bit frustrating since sometimes you want a cup before the whole pot is ready.

Press the dispenser with the side of your mug and fill. The pump makes a low whirring noise but otherwise it fills the cup quite quickly. As soon as you pull the cup away from the lever it stops right away with a minimum of drips. The machine can accommodate all sizes of cups and travel mugs up to 7″ tall.

There is a small window in the front of the machine under the dispenser which technically allows you to see how much coffee is left. But since there’s no light filtering in here and coffee is inherently black, it’s actually quite difficult to see clearly.

Coffee temp & warming

Hamilton beach Coffee dispenser

The water temperature at brewing is not disclosed in the manual or online that I could find. I checked the temperature of coffee as it came out of the dispenser and found that it was a piping hot 168 F/ 71 C

Auto-off

You can keep your coffee in the sealed carafe hot for anywhere from 1 to 4 hours, or have this feature turned off completely if you prefer. I found it kept the coffee piping hot and the fact the carafe is largely enclosed and sealed seemed to me to keep the coffee much fresher than using a traditional pot.

Cleanup

The cleanup is where this machine loses a bunch of points for me. The coffee reservoir with lid and dispensing straw needs to be hand-washed and dried. The filter basket and water reservoir are both dishwasher safe. This is either a big hassle or no problem depending on your preferences. I prefer that everything can go in the dishwasher for a more thorough cleaning, so the fact I have to hand wash the carafe every single day is a bit more work than I thought it should be.

Overall review

Hamilton beach Coffee dispenser

Overall there are things I really love about this machine and some things I think need to change if there’s going to be a generation two. Let’s start with what makes it great; it brews excellent coffee, and keeps it hot and fresh for hours. For a machine that holds up to 12 cups of water it has a relatively narrow footprint, and the removable water reservoir makes it super easy to refill. I found the coffee to be plenty hot enough for me. I also appreciated that I could keep the carafe hot for up to four hours.

On the downside, I’m pretty disappointed the pot and straw are not dishwasher safe. If this machine were not on loan to me for this review I would totally have tested it, but as it was I didn’t want to potentially break the pot. The other massive detractor here is the absolutely ridiculous programming settings. Hamilton Beach should really make this a little bit easier and more intuitive. In my review. I didn’t have much need to use the program timer so I didn’t bother with it, but I know others out there would be extremely put off by this. I would also love to understand the logic between not being able to get a cup of coffee while the rest of the pot is brewing.

Despite those downsides, I actually enjoyed my time with the Hamilton Beach one-press dispensing coffee maker and I think as long as you’re clear what you’re getting and what you’re not this will be a pretty good machine for you. It does its job well.

The Hamilton Beach One Press Programmable Dispensing Drip Coffee Maker sells for about $99USD/$149CAD and you can find it as I did, on Amazon.

If the nightmare of programming this one seems like more than you can handle before coffee, check out this Cuisinart coffee maker I’ve had for almost a decade and still love, or see what this Ninja Specialty coffee maker can do with both coffee and Pods….

You may also find these articles helpful in your search for coffee gadgets:

  1. Ninja CM401 Coffee Maker: don’t call it an espresso machine
  2. Review: Cuisinart Coffee Centre Grind & Brew Plus – jack of ALL trades, or master of NONE?
  3. SMEG Retro Style Drip Coffee Maker review: All looks & poorly engineered

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