Hamilton Beach 49981A Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker
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Affordable, fast ground-coffee brewer with built-in measurement

The Hamilton Beach 49981A is a unique fixture among single-serve coffee makers. You can brew favorite ground coffee using the convenience of a hot water reservoir and freedom of no K-cups. This is ideal for coffee lovers and self-declared experts who want that real, ground-bean taste. The Hamilton Beach is also affordable and easy to use.

8 oz. cup of coffee in less than 90 seconds

With the Hamilton Beach, you can make strong, hot coffee very quickly. In less than 90 seconds, you get an 8-ounce cup. You can also brew up to 14 ounces, which is how much water the tank holds. That’s nearly two cups and is a great amount for a travel-sized mug for when you’re on the go.

Measuring lines on scoop filters

The trickiest part about this brewer is you use scoops of ground coffee. Luckily, if you’re not sure how much to use, the scoop filter has measuring lines right on it so you can get the exact amount every time. No need to experiment and deal with too weak, too strong, or overflowing coffee.

Boldness levels

Another cool feature of the Hamilton Beach is you can select the boldness level of your coffee, depending on the ground you’re using. Selecting “regular” will create quick, automatic drip coffee that’s perfect for a busy Monday morning. By selecting “bold,” you’ll get stronger, more flavorful coffee ideal for savoring on a Sunday. Finer-grind, premium-brand coffees like Starbucks are best for the “bold” setting.



There are a lot of features that make the Hamilton Beach a convenient brewer. For one, you can always get the perfect single serving with the measured scoop filter that comes with the machine. It also has a built-in, adjustable stand so you can fit any size cup in there, from a standard mug to traveling thermoses. The drip tray catches any overflowing coffee, and the auto-shutoff activates after every brew.

More choice

By not using K-cups, you have a lot more choice about what kind of coffee you want. Brew any kind of ground coffee you like or even grind your own beans and scoop that into the machine. You also have more control over the strength of the coffee, which is a common complaint with other machines that tend to make weaker brews.

More affordable

All around, the Hamilton Beach is a very affordable choice. The unit comes with a steel, mesh scoop filter so you don’t need to buy paper ones, and you don’t have to use the pricey K cups. The entire machine is just cheaper as well, so investing in Hamilton Beach is easy on your checkbook.


More involved than K-cup machines

One drawback to the Hamilton Beach is that it involves more work than machines like Keurig that use K-cups. It’s a lot easier to mess up a brew if you get the wrong balance of coffee and water, even with the scoop. Cleaning is also more involved because it uses ground beans.

Only makes coffee

Unlike other single-serve units that can make tea and hot chocolate, this brewer pretty much just makes coffee. While this is okay for coffee lovers, children or non-coffee drinkers won’t get any use out of this.

Much smaller reservoir

Another weakness is the water reservoir size. It’s significantly smaller than other brewers, which can be up to 72 ounces as opposed the Hamilton Beach’s 14. With the reservoir so small, that means you have to refill it practically after each cup. If you’re the only person in your family who drinks coffee, or if there’s one other person, it won’t be a problem.

Overall Review

If you know good coffee, this is good for you. Having the freedom to use real coffee grounds and make strong coffee makes up for some weaknesses, like a small water tank and a little more work. The Hamilton Beach 49981A single serve is also way more affordable than machines that use K-cups, and you save a lot of money by using regular ground coffee.