Pros: Interior reservoir lets you serve coffee by the cup, Timer, Easy cleanup
Cons: Brewing temperature isn't high enough
There's another new coffee maker in the house and it's turned out that while I like the Hamilton Beach BrewStation 6-Cup Coffee Maker, I can't say that it's perfect. After several weeks of pretty regular use, I've found some things I really like about it and other things I wish I could change, but overall I think it's a pretty good machine and for now, I'm satisfied with it.
Me and coffee makers...
Some would say I go through coffee makers as often as I go through shoes. There's been quite the collection of the years in our house in my quest to find a coffee maker that's convenient and makes a good cup of coffee, especially for smaller batches. That smaller batch thing is important to me since there are only two of us and even if we're in a coffee drinking mood, we tend to maybe go through four of five cups of coffee in a single sitting.
So even though I was mostly happy with my last small batch coffee maker, I really wanted something that gave me some more coffee (it was only a 4-cup coffee maker). That's how I came across the 6-Cup BrewStation in Walmart.
There isn't anything too fancy about this coffee maker. It has all the basics including a clock, a programmable timer, a water reservoir, and a filter holder. The difference comes about when you brew the coffee. Instead of going into a coffee pot, the coffee is kept in an interior reservoir that has its own heater. So the coffee is brewed hot and then is kept hot in the machine by the heater. From there, it's like being at a restaurant at a soda station, when you want coffee you put your cup in the machine and push it up against the pour button and the coffee exits the interior reservoir into your cup.
The brewing process is pretty traditional though I'm not terribly keen on the small arm that swings in and out where the hot water drips into the coffee grounds. It seems like it would be awfully easy to snag or break, though after some pretty regular use, it hasn't so maybe my fears are unfounded.
It takes about five minutes to brew the full 6-cups of coffee with this machine.
Coffee isn't brewed at the hottest temperature I've seen in coffee makers. I've found that I end up leaving it in the reservoir for a few minutes after it's brewed, which actually heats the coffee hotter than when it was brewed.
Clean up is easy. The filter holder lifts out and you can dump out the used filter and grounds. The reservoir also pops right out and you can rinse out any leftover coffee from it. The only place where grounds tend to get stuck is on the bottom of the top cover, which is easily cleaned with a quick wipe from a sponge or a damp paper towel.
There's a clock on the BrewStation that lets you set the time and then lets you program an automatic brewing. I don't use it too often, but it does work.
I really like the idea of a coffee maker without the coffee pot. I mean, I know it's the same idea, but I do think the coffee is kept hotter in the interior reservoir. Not only that, but since I'm someone that will have a cup of coffee here and there, I like the option of just serving myself a cup of coffee whenever I feel like it, instead of wondering if what's in the pot is still warm.
I have to admit to being disappointed about the temperature of the coffee brewing. I've found that the hotter coffee is brewed, in general, the better it tastes. The BrewStation doesn't make awful coffee, but it's definitely not the hottest coffee I've had right out of brewing. The internal heater on the reservoir does help make it hotter, but I would imagine that the coffee would have a more robust flavor with a hotter brewer temperature.
That said, it's not awful coffee. I'd say it's on par with most basic coffee makers that I've had coffee from.
Cleaning the machine and keeping it clean has been easy. There really aren't too many parts to get dirty. The coffee filter holder makes it easy to dump out the old filters without getting grounds all over the place and besides a quick rinse, the interior reservoir doesn't need any special cleaning. The only thing I have to stay on top of is the bottom side of the covers, since really fine grounds accumulate on it as the coffee is brewed. I just wipe it down each time.
I've had the BrewStation for several months without any real change in its workings. It seems to be fairly sturdy and I'd expect that it'll last for a while, since it's been working perfectly since I got it.
I like the fact that I can have a couple cups of coffee throughout the morning that all taste good and are hot with the BrewStation. I also like that it's easy to clean and that there's the programmable timer so I can have the coffee maker brewing when I'm waking up.
I don't like that it brews the coffee at a pretty low temperature. It doesn't make horrible coffee, but I know it would taste better if the brewing temperature was hotter.
Overall, I like the Hamilton Beach BrewStation 6-Cup Coffee Maker. I think there is some room for improvement, but the coffee tastes pretty good, cleanup is easy and having the coffee stay warm in the interior reservoir so you can serve it cup by cup is a great idea that I like.