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Appetito Review: Hamilton Beach Home Barista 7-in-1 Coffee Maker

A compact coffee machine, the Hamilton Beach Home Barista offers seven different brewing methods for hot or cold coffee.

Coffee maker surrounded by cups of coffee

Hamilton Beach’s Home Barista 7-in-1 Coffee Maker offers a variety of brewing options.

Let me start by saying my coffee bias assures that the Hamilton Beach Home Barista 7-in-1 Coffee Maker is an ideal fit for me. I prefer my coffee cold, drinking it over ice about 88.3 percent of the time. The exceptions are an espresso to finish the meal at my favorite Italian restaurants, and the occasional hot coffee when I’m walking around New York City on a cold day. And yes, that means I drink iced coffee during most of the cold Northeast winter.

The Hamilton Beach Home Barista makes hot coffee too, but for me, the main draw of this affordable ($64.99), compact machine is that it allows for a variety of preparations that work well over ice. In fact, the 7–in-1 coffee maker can brew coffee seven ways: pour over, French press, cold brew, directly over ice, into a single cup or travel mug, or into the 6-serving glass carafe that comes with the unit. 

In other words, this is a versatile machine not only for cold brew snobs like me, but for coffee drinkers who like to switch up their game. The array of parts that come with the device intrigued me—this is a Mr. Potato Head-like coffee machine, with items that screw in or pop out depending on the use.

coffee maker and equipment
The Hamilton Beach Home Barista comes with different attachments for use with different methods of hot or cold brewing.

Once I unboxed the Home Barista and inspected these different parts, I decided to first try making cold brew. I used freshly ground illy classico medium roast beans and followed Hamilton Beach’s instructions for placing 10 Tbsp. of grounds into the mesh cold brew basket, which screws into a rod that fits into the plastic lid, ultimately topped by a plastic knob that screws in over the lid. A diagram in the instruction booklet simplifies the process. 

Once the grounds were secured, I added 25 ounces of water into the glass carafe and submerged the basket, moving it up and down until the water became slightly cloudy. I allowed the grounds to steep in the refrigerator overnight—instructions say no less than 12 hours and up to 24 hours. After about 18 hours, I tasted the cold brew and found it to be among the best I’ve ever had, whether homemade, store-bought, or from a coffee shop. It was smooth, rich, and delicious. I have since added another tablespoon of grounds to make my cold brew stronger, but in general, I loved everything about it, including the cleanup. The basket makes discarding the spent grounds exceedingly easy—just flip it onto a paper towel or directly into the garbage can. 

Over the next few weeks, I tested the other six uses of the Home Barista and was consistently impressed. The French press and pour-over methods produced the type of dense, slightly creamy hot coffee that I prefer when not drinking it cold. Brewing a batch of hot coffee was simple and quick, and the automatic shut-off is a nice touch for such an inexpensive device. I tried the manufacturer’s method of filling the carafe with ice to brew iced coffee, as well as simply pouring hot coffee over ice; it worked well both ways.

The single-serve option is simple too—just lower the folding cup stand and let the machine do the rest.

My few complaints about the Home Barista are practical, technical, and etymological. While I like the aesthetics of the machine, the collection of parts makes storage slightly challenging. The removable knob, for instance, needs to be unscrewed to work with the French press attachment, and then screwed back on. If you’re brewing an entire carafe in the machine, you need to place the knob off to the side somewhere. The mesh cold brew basket and the French press attachment also become stray parts on your countertop; I’d have placed them in a drawer, but I feared losing any of the parts. 

For a machine under $100, I find the Home Barista surprisingly sturdy and well-manufactured with one notable exception. The water reservoir lid in the back of the device is made of cheap plastic and detaches completely, making for a clumsy situation when adding water to the machine to brew coffee.

As for the beef with etymology, barista is a term adapted from the Italian word for barkeeper, but has evolved to imply someone who makes coffee drinks with fresh-pulled espresso. It’s a minor quibble, but Hamilton Beach calling this a Home Barista machine implies that it can make espresso drinks, which it can’t. Yes, the broader use of the term barista can include any kind of coffee, so it’s technically accurate to use it here, but to me, at least, it creates some confusion.

That marketing ploy aside, Hamilton Beach’s other strategy with the Home Barista is shrewd, highlighting how much a consumer can save by spending 65 bucks on this one machine as opposed to owning separate hot/cold brew machines as well as a French press. By the company’s estimate, you can save “as much as 40%” versus buying individual appliances.

For me, the more enticing savings comes from the ability to make professional-grade cold brew from freshly ground beans rather than spend $5 and up per cup of cold brew at my local coffee shop. Or, if I’m in a hurry, to brew a batch of iced coffee for a fraction of the cost. For these reasons and others, I’d recommend the versatile Home Barista to anyone in the market for a versatile coffee maker that doesn’t take up much counter space—it’s only 5 inches wide by 11 inches deep—and a sleek enough look that will satisfy all but the most discerning design purists.

[Note: Appetito may earn commissions from products featured in links to this story.]

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