Hamilton Beach 49981A Review
The Hamilton Beach 49981A, also known as The Scoop, is one of our most recommended single-serve brewers. Sleek, stainless-steel, 2 super effective metal mesh filters and ease-of-use like you can only dream of.
- Quick brew time
- Easy to operate
- Sleek design
- Does not clog with dark/oily roasts
- Only 1-year warranty
The Hamilton Beach Scoop Coffee Maker is elegant to behold. It looks like it belongs in a professional coffee shop, and we don’t mean Starbucks.
With an adjustable tray, sleek stainless-steel, and mesh scoop filters that work with freshly ground coffee, this Hamilton Beach is bound to attract attention. If you are hunting for a professional, attractive yet practical coffee machine, the Hamilton Beach Serve Scoop Coffee Maker should be firmly on your list.
Check out the full Coffee Dorks review and rating to find out if this single cup coffee brewer belongs in your kitchen.
Hamilton Beach 49981A Highlights
- Mesh scoop filter – add the ground coffee of your choice.
- Not compatible with cups or pods.
- Brews single cup sizes from 8floz (90 seconds) to 14floz (2.5 minutes).
- 14floz reservoir.
- 2 permanent metal filters, one course, and one fine.
- Adjustable coffee mug platform.
- Regular and Bold settings.
- Sturdy, stainless-steel design.
- 5inches tall, 9.8inches deep, 7.6inches wide.
- 1 year’s manufacturer’s warranty – doesn’t cover filters, accidental damage or everyday wear.
Design & Features
First, let’s just take a look at the appearance of the single cup coffee machine… and salivate. This is a stainless-steel goddess. There aren’t many coffee makers that can compare to the beauty of this design.
The buttons are simple and easy to locate, the filters and reservoir are moderately easy to access – the top of the machine flips up – and adjusting the tray becomes quite easy.
The tallest coffee mug you can comfortably fit in this Hamilton Beach is about 7inches tall – the size of a Trenta Starbucks cup. The smallest is about 4 inches tall – the size of a small coffee mug.
The main features of the Scoop Coffee Maker are the adjustable brew sizes, and the “Regular” and “Bold” settings.
There is a noticeable difference between the settings – “Bold” gives you a much stronger flavor, especially when using premium brand coffees. For lighter roasts, we couldn’t discern a difference.
Whether it will brew strong enough for you, comes down to personal preference. However, as you can adjust your coffee grind coarseness (the beauty of ground coffee over pods), it’s very easy to adjust until you’re brewing coffee that hits your taste buds just right.
You will need to know your lighter roasts from your darker roasts, your chocolatey undertones to your caramel highlights, and your fine grinds to your coarse grinds. This is a professional-style single-serve brewing system – you need to know your coffee to really make this machine sing for you.
Freshly grinding coffee every morning is one of the biggest joys in life – if you’re a Coffee Dork with nothing better to do, like me. If you’re in a rush and like the convenience of a K-Cup or pod, you won’t be able to use this machine.
Performance & Functionality
We had no problems at all when the Coffee Dorks team tested this model. No reservoir overfills, no malfunctions, no hiccups or crying over spilled coffee. However, it wouldn’t be an unbiased review without mentioning that you may experience issues with this machine if you don’t follow the instructions.
For example, it’s super important that you rinse out the filters between every single serving of coffee. It takes a few seconds to rinse them clean, but you’ll find the coffee brewer performs so much better when you do.
Making coffee is fast with this machine. You can brew a small, 8floz serving in 90 seconds (once the water is hot). This is fast, but it isn’t super fast – it’s about the same as the other leading single serve coffee machines from the likes of Keurig. Once the brew cycle is complete, it will auto-shutoff.
The coffee comes out hot, but instantly drinkable. This is fine if you’re ready to drink your coffee, however, if you want a whole 14floz flask, it won’t be hot enough to last all day.
The 2 metal mesh filters are effective for fine to coarse grinds – you won’t have any particles floating in your coffee. However, you will have that slightly oily reside coming through, and super fine grinds won’t work well with this machine at all. There’s a simple solution: cut a paper filter to size inside the scoop filter (not sandwiched between the finer one and the scoop). Simple, effective, but not overly convenient for you.
This machine is sturdy – although it’s unlikely to survive falling off the counter. There were no signs of wear in the first few weeks of our coffee test – which is very good considering your 1 year’s warranty doesn’t cover wear or tear, or accidental damage.
Another thing to consider is that the filters aren’t covered by the warranty – even if they are damaged before you receive the product. If it’s faulty and you have a genuine claim on the warranty, you can’t take it to a Hamilton Beach store, you must pay for the postage of the coffee machine back to the manufacturer.
Considering that the coffee brewer only sets you back around $35, this isn’t worth the time and effort.
Honestly though, if you follow the manual when it comes to cleaning and brewing, you shouldn’t see any issues with the coffee system. It’s built with stainless-steel and simple mechanics to be durable and strong enough to handle everyday use.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Cleaning this machine is fast and easy. When you first unbox the stainless-steel beauty, you will need to run a few water cycles through her. This only takes a few minutes and then you’re ready to go.
It only needs a deep clean once a month – run through a ½ cup of white vinegar and ½ cup of water as a brew cycle, stopping it halfway to allow the vinegar water to cleanse for 30 minutes.
As aforementioned, you need to quickly rinse out the scoop between each brew. It takes a few seconds, but it is essential for fresh tasting coffee and a clean coffee brewer. The scoop brew basket, filters and adjustable drip tray are all dishwasher-safe.
Overall, we were very impressed with this Hamilton Beach (49981A model).
Looks are important, but this unit has the brains and functionality too. We’d highly recommend this machine for all coffee drinkers who love the process and flavor when brewing coffee with fresh grounds.
This particular model is only really suited to single people, or the lone coffee drinker in a family – as is the nature of a single serve brewers. For the price, you have nothing to lose by trying out this fantastic single cup coffee machine.
Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.