Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it is no longer available. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
Why, you ask, do we need coffee makers that are so high tech that they could live on the International Space Station? Well certainly nobody “needs” one of the programmable coffee makers; the coffee-making process simply requires introducing ground coffee beans to boiling water. A shepherd can easily make superb coffee in a tin can on a camp fire serenaded by coyotes under twinkling stars. But if you are not a cowboy on a cattle drive and you find yourself in the unforgiving grip of a career that requires you to wake up early enough to arrive at work with enough alertness and energy to be productive until dinner time, modern programmable coffee-making electronics are your friend. If your alarm clock fails you, the smell of coffee will awaken you a few minutes after you programmed it to start brewing. When you’ve got to make the 7:14 a.m. train to work, the Hamilton Beach BrewStation Deluxe is a good thing to have in your kitchen.
The key competitive differentiator of this model is the insulated holding tank with dispenser, which stores brewed coffee at the right temperature without developing the burnt taste that other coffee makers with glass carafes on hot plates eventually produce. Although the insulated holding tank prevents coffee from scorching, some owners find that the reservoir produces its own strange taste and report that the reservoir can be challenging to clean.
The BrewStation Deluxe has a 12-cup capacity and four strength settings: regular, increased flavor, iced coffee and an option to make up to four cups if you want to make a smaller amount than its full capacity. It also includes a water filter to deliver a clean taste and diminish the scaling that results from hard water. It dispenses coffee by the cup, and it is necessary to hold the cup against a button while it is dispensing. This is one of the coffee makers that include a permanent gold-tone filter. While some find it convenient and thrifty to use permanent filters in coffee makers, disposable paper filters are actually preferable because they produce a better tasting brew and they remove cafestol and kahweol, which are biological molecules (found only in coffee) that raise cholesterol. One option is to simply drop a paper filter into the permanent filter basket because cafestol and kahweol are lipid-like compounds that attach themselves to paper filters.
Because of its insulated holding tank design, the Hamilton Beach BrewStation Deluxe has no brew pause feature; it doesn’t need one. You can dispense a cup during the brew cycle because the coffee collects in the internal reservoir and does not drip into a carafe. It has a water level indicator and a fully programmable clock with glowing blue display. There is no audible beep when brewing is complete, which is a benefit if you think that robots should be seen and not heard and a bother if you want your coffee maker to channel the chirrupy R2-D2. To protect you from the potentially dangerous human trait of forgetfulness, the BrewStation Deluxe is in the class of coffee makers that can automatically shut down. Unlike many competing coffee makers that offer a non-negotiable two-hour automatic shut off feature, the BrewStation Deluxe can be programmed to shut down between zero and four hours after brewing. (Though, why anybody might be interested in four-hour-old coffee is beyond us.)
The warranty is for one year. Customer service is accessible by phone or email.
The Hamilton Beach BrewStation Deluxe is the only product in our review of coffee makers that dispenses directly from an internal insulated reservoir. There is no carafe and no hot plate to scorch the brew. A water level indicator takes the guesswork out of filling it before brewing. Four strength-setting options allow you to select a normal strength, increase the strength of the brew, make iced coffee or make fewer than 12 cups. It dispenses a cup at a time and holds up to 12 cups of ambrosia. The clock glows blue and is programmable to brew at a predetermined time of your choosing. Although it comes with a permanent filter, it is easy to drop a paper filter into the permanent gold-tone filter in order to enjoy better filtration and better tasting coffee that does not contain the two cholesterol-raising organic molecules found in unfiltered coffee. This is one of the coffee makers that shut down automatically after a few hours. The design is an attractive and functional alternative to coffee makers that use glass carafes.