The 3-in-1 Hot-Beverage Center uses one cup, no wastefulness. You can make a mug with 8 to 14 oz. of water measured in the graduated water reservoir. You put water in until you see the water touch the inverted steps for each size mug. This is very helpful in filling either a traditional coffee mug or a larger travel mug. You also use much less coffee (a tablespoon or two) per day, so your coffee will last longer. Speaking of travel mugs… the slide-out pedestal for a mug can be removed or pushed in to allow more clearance for a travel mug. Otherwise the pedestal helps keep a cup close to eliminate any splashing. Everything is washable. Simply dump out my grinds and rinse the basket and pour spout in the sink. It is plastic, but it’s no slump. I use mine daily and haven’t once felt like I was going to break. I keep mine next to the stove so it catches some spatter, however, it wipes clean very easily.
There is no timer in Hamilton Beach. Not that I really need one, since it makes a cup in 2-3 minutes, but I guess some people do not want to wait when they get up. All you do is push the button down, let it work, and then it automatically shuts off. If you need to shut it off in the during the cycle, though… be ready to unplug it. That’s your only option (even the manual says so).
The permanent metal filter is questionable. The first couple weeks I felt like there was too much sediment in my coffee. I was pretty turned off by it, leaving the last few sips. Since they don’t make paper filters that little, I just bought a pack of the traditional basket filters and cut out circles to fit. A pair of kitchen shears can do at least 20 at a time. Now I make my coffee with a paper filter inside the metal basket and voila–no more sediment!
Now, this is not going to brew as fast as one of those K-cup systems that brew in 15 seconds, but I have patience. It will brew you a pleasant hot mug of coffee in 2 to 3 minutes. The receptacle that the cup sits on is reversible to that you can place a travel cup under it. Using pods in this brewer is a easy. For best brewing, you will want to leave the filter in, and place the pod in the filter, flat side up. One pod is just fine for a daily cup of coffee, and two for a travel cup. I use the Senseo pods, since I feel they roast some really good coffee beans. I get the same quality mug of coffee every time. When I am making some tea, it brews it nice and strong, just the way I like it.
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