The Hamilton Beach Flexbrew has distinctively different ideas about how my mornings should begin.
|Yeah, this is the fucker.|
Oooh, I brew pots and single cups! No you don't.
We used to have a Mr. Coffee single-cup brewer and it was trusty. The Hamilton Beach Flexbrew was a Christmas gift from my step-dad to my mom, meant to clear some premium counter-space, presumably so he could fill it up with a pop-up toaster to be friends with our toaster oven. Their kitchen is a menagerie of contrapshits and accoutre-junks.
Some background: step-dad prefers to brew a pot of half-caf and for all intents and purposes, insert a straw. Mom likes a cup at a time, sometimes regular, sometimes half-caf - which always results in us having an over-abundant supply of pointless sucka MC coffee pods rattling around - but lest I divide my ire today, let's stick to talking about what I've dubbed "The Asshole of Coffeemakers".
We'll start with my lesser gripes:
- It has no fill-line for the individual cups of coffee. It has a window on the side which ostensibly is meant to show you how much water you're pouring in, but trust me, it's as useless as ovaries on a boyfriend. You gotta pre-measure that agua. Might as well rustle up a batch of french toast at 6am.
- The drip-tray doesn't remove. I'd be angrier about this if I were the one tasked with removing stale, tepid coffee from the unit via siphon. But whoever thought that one up in the boardroom definitely moonlights as a total jerk.
- If you don't press that coffee pod directly down in one dextrous, practiced movement, you're getting a crunchy coffee-ground surprise, because Hamilton Beach is a fussy mistress.
- Finally, the doozlehopper you stick the pod into has many moving, yet seemingly non-removing parts which makes cleaning some sort of Russian Roulette hand acrobatics where you wait for the day when you slice a soap-slippery finger jiggling about, if you don't have the foresight and planning to get it into a dishwasher load. But again - not my circus, not my monkeys.
Now, the real reason I'm here: getting a single, consistent cup of coffee in a timely fashion is a distant memory if you purchase this small electronic appliance.
With most of the single-cup brewers I've dealt with, you press start and walk away (or slump in a quivering, desperate heap) to wait until the machine stops groaning to know you've got some coffee. The Hamilton Beach Flexbrew expects you to walk away and go fuck yourself.
It thinks it's really clever, too - with its adorable little beep to let you know coffee consumption is nigh. It lies to you. All too often, that cup isn't even one-quarter brewed when that beep occurs. Sure, sometimes your cup is perfect, and when that rare magic happens, you tell everyone you know that you've been gifted with the only thing you ever wanted: a hot, delicious singly-brewed cup of coffee in less than 20 minutes.
I've done experiments - albeit caffeine-fueled, fist-banging German ones. It doesn't care what brand of coffee pod you use, it doesn't care how much water you've incrementally measured out - it doesn't care how desperately you beg. It is simply filled with gremlins.
So if what you desire is to be soundly dominated by a machine first thing in the Christly morning - or any hour of day, for that matter - bring a box of k-cup - any brand, as long as it's caffeinated - to my home and run away screaming with this thing. I'm going to tell my parents that fairies did it. I'll even throw in a slightly-used pop-up toaster. We're going to need the counter space when I drag up the old coffee makers from the basement.