Many consumers posting Hamilton Beach Ensemble reviews admire the 43254 model for its sleek, contemporary black and stainless-steel styling. Purchasers of the red version, model 43253, often comment on the snazzy color. But more important, consumers who have bought one of these basic coffee makers seem to find them solid machines that make good coffee, judging by reviews. While expert testers have found that the water temperature does not consistently reach 195 degrees, making for less than optimal brewing, consumers posting reviews on Amazon report that the coffee itself comes out quite hot.
The Hamilton Beach Ensemble 43254 (starting at $38, Amazon) has a 12-cup capacity, and no small batch setting, so it's good for a large family or any household that consumes a lot of coffee. It uses basket-type coffee filters and boasts a water filter to remove chlorine. The manufacturer touts the drip-free spout on the glass carafe, although consumers seem to disagree on the extent to which this is effective; some say the spot where the plastic rim meets the glass is prone to leaking. The pause-and-serve feature seems a greater concern. This is supposed to pause the cycle before it's complete, so you can remove the pot to pour out the first cup, but many consumers report in Hamilton Beach Ensemble reviews that coffee leaks out when you pull out the pot.
While most reviewers seem to find the coffee-making process easy, having to lift the lid on a 14-inch-high coffee maker requires most users to move it out from underneath their cabinets. Several consumers complain in Hamilton Beach Ensemble reviews that the opening on the water reservoir is way too small, making it easy to spill. As far as durability is concerned, one reviewer posting on Amazon bought the Hamilton Beach Ensemble 43254 for her son who was deployed in Afghanistan and used it to make five pots a day for a year. It was still going when the son left it for new recruits upon his return to the U.S.