Hamilton Beach Brew Station Review: Convenient No-Carafe Coffee Maker

Conveniently priced and backed by a strong brand name, Hamilton Beach Brew Station has enjoyed the confidence of customers. We could imagine that this isn’t a machine with lots of bells and whistles. But as this Hamilton Beach Brew Station review shows, it is a fairly capable and feature-rich coffee maker. 

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One interesting feature that sets it apart from others is that this is a coffee maker without carafe. It will brew the full 12-cup pot, but the BrewStation is a dispensing coffee maker that doesn’t use the classic carafe system.

Product Highlights — What Makes The BrewStation Tick

Hamilton Beach (47950) Coffee Maker

Pros

  • Large water reservoir for 12-cup coffee maker
  • Built-in carafe with heater
  • Programmable, with auto-on and auto-off functions
  • Can brew regular, bold, or iced coffee
  • Easy to use actuator for dispensing coffee
  • Excellent value for money

Cons

  • Questionable longevity
  • Dispenser can be problematic and lead to long dispensing times
  • Internal carafe heater can overcook coffee
  • Can cause condensation in the coffee maker

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Features And Options That Make The Hamilton Beach Brew Station 

What Is The No Carafe System For This Coffee Maker?

When we think of a drip coffee maker, it is almost second nature to imagine a carafe placed with the machine. It is a useful tool, but not everyone necessarily needs or wants a carafe with their coffee maker. 

These dispensing coffee makers (no carafe coffee makers) make it possible to brew a full pot. Yet, they don’t need an external carafe. Brewed coffee is stored in an internal carafe and dispensed on-demand.

Anytime you need a cup of coffee, simply hit the actuator on the machine, and it will pour a cup. Simple, straightforward, and convenient. If handling a carafe feels like a hassle to you, this is the solution you’ve always wanted. 

It is not rare for this model to develop some problems with the dispenser. Generally, users will notice a slower flow as time passes. Cleaning should fix this problem, but that’s not always the case, as some Hamilton Beach BrewMaster reviews show. This one from Amazon is especially enlightening and humorous.

Does The Coffee Maker Keep Coffee Hot After It Has Been Brewed?

Many carafe style coffee makers have the option of using a hot/heating plate. Put on this plate, the carafe stays warm and the coffee stays at the right temperature. A no carafe coffee maker like the Hamilton Beach BrewStation obviously doesn’t have a hot plate. 

Instead, the company has placed a heater with the built-in carafe. The heater performs the same function as the hot plate and can keep the coffee hot for up to four hours. Since the carafe is completely enclosed, the heater doesn’t have to be aggressive. Due to the enclosed setup, coffee stays hot for longer in the BrewStation, even with the heater switched off.

It is best not to rely much on the heater or the hot plate. Heating means that the extraction process continues, though it’s significantly slower. The longer you let the coffee stay on a heater, the greater are the chances of it feeling overcooked, bitter, or burnt.

This is less of a problem for the Hamilton Beach BrewStation because the heater isn’t as aggressive. However, leave it long enough, and your coffee will start tasting overcooked (if you’re lucky) or bitter. 

My suggestion for the BrewStation is to avoid keeping the heater running for more than an hour. If you’re using a coffee maker with a hot plate, the heating plate shouldn’t be used beyond 30 minutes.

These times are more of a general recommendation than an exact science. So if you find that your coffee tastes great after three hours on the heater, that’s good enough to stay with it.

Aesthetics And Design Elements Of This Coffee Maker

Hamilton Beach BrewStation looks fairly decent. It is fairly sleek and can be placed on most available spaces with ease. Remember, this is still a 12-cup coffee maker, so the use of space is a relative term. Dimensions for the 48463 model are 15.16 H x 8.19 W x 11.03 D inches. 

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The overall design and look are fairly interesting and modern. What it lacks is construction quality. It could do with being a sturdier and premium look. It does seem acceptable given the price and features, but the construction quality (or lack thereof) is pretty apparent.

The coffee maker sits on rubber base/feet. By itself, this is no problem at all. However, it can be annoying for people who have to pull out the coffee maker on the counter for brewing coffee.

Its LED screen is placed quite conveniently and shows all the necessary information. A brighter screen with more contrast would certainly be desirable. 

Condensation Problems Are Rare But Troubling

It’s good to remember that not all BrewStations have this problem. However, some machines do and it’s very annoying. Hamilton Beach has put in safeguards to prevent this problem, but it can sometimes happen. 

Simply put, the coffee in the built-in carafe releases steam. Some of this steam escapes and water starts pooling outside the carafe. Eventually, like after 3-4 brewing cycles, this pooled water will make its way to the dispenser and start dripping out of the nozzle. Say hello to a mess on the counter!

This is a problem to consider, but again, it is rare and only a few customers ever experience this situation.

Models And Options For The Hamilton Beach BrewStation

There are three models available for the Hamilton Beach BrewStation. While the overall performance and features remain the same, there are some minor changes to consider. The most notable change is the appearance, which can be an important factor in your decision. It doesn’t change the major factors for our Hamilton Beach BrewStation review, but they’re worth considering anyway.

  • Hamilton Beach 47950 Coffee Maker: 12-cup coffee maker with easier control options and better contrast for the LED screen. The water reservoir is placed on the side of the machine. This is the most expensive variant of this model.
  • Hamilton Beach 48463 Coffee Maker: Standard 12-cup coffee maker with feature list similar to the Hamilton Beach 47950. However, there is a slight change in appearance.
  • Hamilton Beach 47380 Coffee Maker: 10-cup coffee maker with an appearance very different than the other variants. There is no ice coffee brewing option with this machine.

Ease Of Use And Functions Of The Hamilton Beach BrewStation

Hamilton Beach BrewStation

Programming And Use Of The Coffee Maker

Hamilton Beach BrewStation is 24-hours programmable. This means users can set it to automatically wake up and brew coffee at a chosen time (the machine must be plugged in). The time setting can be done up to 24 hours in advance. 

You could, for example, have your morning coffee ready as you wake up. Enjoy your morning coffee as you get ready for work!

Once the coffee is brewed, the heater kicks in and keeps it warm in the carafe. Depending on your preferred setting, the heater can keep the coffee warm for up to four hours. That’s more than enough time to enjoy your coffee. Automatic shut-off ensures that the machine doesn’t needlessly stay running and waste electricity.

How Does It Perform On Ease Of Use?

Fabulously. From brewing to dispensing, the Hamilton Beach BrewStation is remarkably easy to use. Practically, all you need to do is hit a button and the coffee maker chugs into action. The programming options are fairly easy to manage as well. 

There is no complexity in the controls and they remain easy and intuitive. 

Options, Taste, And Quality Of The Coffee Brewed

Hamilton Beach BrewStation can brew 12 cups of coffee, which is a very convenient volume for most requirements. However, you don’t always want a full pot. In such cases, it is possible to pick a smaller volume and brew 1-4 cups of coffee.

The machine also offers multiple coffee brewing options. You can choose to brew “regular” coffee, or hit a button and have your coffee “bold”.

As far as taste is concerned, it is fairly decent. It won’t match the skill and careful regulation of SCAA-certified coffee makers, but it’s enjoyable coffee. The BrewStation lacks the ability to reach the right coffee brewing temperature for water and/or to hold that temperature through the process. 

Unless you consider yourself very specific on coffee needs, this coffee maker should do just fine. A good way to bridge that gap is using good quality coffee and, where possible, grinding coffee right before you brew it. 

Cleaning And Maintenance Of This Coffee Maker

The necessary maintenance of descaling and cleaning this coffee maker is necessary. A simple run using white vinegar every couple of months should be enough. However, there is an extra element to consider here: the built-in carafe.

You can bring the carafe out of the machine for cleaning. It is not dishwasher safe, so you’ll have to clean it manually. When you’re done descaling the machine, get the carafe out and clean it with warm, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly with water and put it back in its position.

Overall, it isn’t much of a problem to clean this coffee maker. The process remains largely the same as other coffee makers.

Is This Coffee Maker A Good Choice?

Yes, if you need a no carafe coffee maker, this is a good choice. As detailed in this Hamilton Beach Brew Station review, the coffee maker is feature-rich and offers great value for money. It’s also convenient and very easy to use. Its construction quality could have been better, but for its price and feature range, it does splendidly.

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