Unveiling the Ultimate Ninja Coffee Maker Guide: Find Your Perfect Brew
In today's busy world, a great cup of coffee is an essential morning ritual for many. With so many options out there, finding the perfect coffee maker can be overwhelming. But fear not, coffee lovers, because Ninja has got your back! Known for their innovative designs and top-notch brewing technology, Ninja coffee makers have become a favorite among coffee enthusiasts. From the sleek and powerful Ninja 14 Cup XL Pro Coffee Maker to the versatile and convenient Ninja DualBrew Pro System, there is a Ninja coffee maker for every coffee lover's needs. In this article, we will explore the best Ninja coffee makers on the market, along with helpful tips for using and cleaning them. So sit back, grab your favorite mug, and get ready to discover the perfect brew with Ninja!
Ninja 14 Cup XL Pro Coffee Maker
The Ninja 14 Cup XL Pro Coffee Maker stands out as a simple yet beautifully designed coffee machine in the company's lineup, and it is undoubtedly one of the best machines of its kind available for purchase today.
Although its appearance may resemble many other drip-style coffee machines with glass carafes on the market, it boasts several high-end features that set it apart from the competition. The most notable factor that distinguishes the XL Pro from the rest is its exceptional heating system, ensuring that coffee is brewed at the optimal temperature.
The machine's 14-cup water reservoir is a convenient standout feature, as it can be easily removed for refilling. Additionally, the reservoir is translucent, allowing users to monitor the fill level and anticipate when a refill is required.
Another distinguishing feature is the presence of two different flavor settings, which is uncommon in traditional drip-style coffee makers. Apart from the choice between "Classic" and "Rich" coffee, the machine also offers a 1-4 cup setting that maintains full flavor even in smaller batches.
- Boasts a traditional design that seamlessly blends with various kitchen aesthetics
- Offers high-end features such as flavor control and small-batch settings
- Utilizes one of the best heating systems among drip coffee machines
- Convenient removable water reservoir for easy refilling
- Includes a reusable filter made with a metallic mesh
- Some individuals may prefer pour over machines over drip coffee options
- Requires a separate coffee grinder for the best flavor
- Priced higher compared to other drip coffee machines in the market
Ninja DualBrew Pro System
Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro System 12-Cup Coffee Maker Check Current Price
The Ninja DualBrew Pro System serves as an all-in-one coffee-making station for your home, capable of brewing various styles of coffee. It offers compatibility with both K Cups and ground coffee, making it an excellent choice for households with multiple coffee drinkers, each having their own preferences.
This machine allows for the brewing of single cups of coffee or full pots using the included 12-cup carafe. In addition, it features a milk frother on the side, perfect for creating specialty drinks like cappuccinos or lattes.
While it may not be technically classified as an espresso machine, the Ninja DualBrew Pro System is compatible with espresso-style K Cups. These can be used in combination with the milk frother to create café-style drinks.
Another remarkable feature of this high-end Ninja coffee station is the dedicated hot water spout, perfect for making hot tea, Americanos, and even food items like oatmeal and instant noodles.
- Offers versatility, making it one of the most multifunctional coffee machines in the market
- Includes a dedicated hot water spout, ideal for hot tea drinks
- Four different brew settings allow for a wide range of drink styles
- Compatible with both K Cups and raw coffee grounds
- The integrated milk frother simplifies the creation of café drinks like cappuccinos
- Does not provide sufficient extraction pressure for proper espresso brewing
- Some individuals may find the machine's appearance less appealing
- The quality of the iced coffee produced has been a concern for some users
Ninja Specialty 10 Cup Coffee Maker
Ninja CM401 Specialty 10-Cup Coffee Maker CHECK CURRENT PRICE
The Ninja Specialty 10 Cup Coffee Maker immediately catches the eye with its unique and sleek design compared to traditionally designed drip coffee machines.
This standout design is more akin to an automated pour-over machine rather than a standard drip coffee device. The company has integrated an automated coffee ground blooming step, similar to pour-over brewing methods.
Moreover, this design promotes more even extraction from the coffee beans, minimizing the issue of water channeling. The machine allows for single cups to be brewed directly beneath the brewing unit, as well as full 10-cup carafes.
There are two carafe options available, with a glass carafe being the most popular choice. While metallic carafes may offer additional thermal insulation, most users prefer the convenience of a clear carafe for monitoring fill level and cleanliness.
- Features a visually stunning high-end pour-over style design
- Automatically blooms coffee grounds prior to brewing
- Offers four different brew types for a variety of drinks
- Equipped with a fold-away milk frother for maximum convenience
- One of the most aesthetically impressive coffee machines on the market
- Price tag of around $160 may be too steep for some consumers
- Some coffee enthusiasts may prefer traditional machines and be resistant to change
- The "over ice" feature's quality has been questioned by certain iced coffee lovers
Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System
Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System Check Current Price
The Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System is a compact and versatile machine capable of creating a wide range of hot and cold beverages. It is an excellent option for households with both tea and coffee enthusiasts, as it enables the preparation of both hot and cold variations for each.
What sets this machine apart for tea lovers is the inclusion of a dedicated tea basket designed for loose-leaf brewing. Unlike other options that rely on hot water spouts for tea bags, the Hot and Cold Brewed System ensures proper hot brewed tea with full flavor extraction.
Additionally, the machine features a high-quality milk frother that opens doors to creative specialty beverages when combined with the tea brewing features. For example, it is one of the few coffee machines capable of preparing a Matcha Latte.
- Offers exceptional versatility for hot and cold beverages
- Capable of making both hot and iced versions of tea and coffee
- Integrated high-tech milk frother simplifies the creation of specialty drinks
- Includes two carafe options to choose from
- Considerably compact considering the extensive list of features
- Only available in a single color finish
- Other options may be more suitable for those who do not consume tea
- Price tag of nearly $200 might be too steep for some consumers
Ninja Espresso and Coffee Barista System
Ninja CFN601 Espresso & Coffee Barista System CHECK CURRENT PRICE
Among the Ninja coffee machines, the Ninja Espresso and Coffee Barista System stands out as the only model compatible with espresso-style pods from major brands like Nespresso.
While other models can brew coffee using standard disposable pods called K Cups—some of which are filled with espresso grounds for espresso-style drinks—Nespresso pods are specifically designed for brewing proper espresso with higher pressure extraction.
The Ninja Espresso and Coffee Barista System combines the advanced temperature control systems for which the Ninja brand is known with an impressive 19 bars of pump pressure, ensuring the production of premium-quality espresso using pod formats.
- One of the few machines capable of brewing both grounds and Nespresso pods
- Milk frother, in combination with Nespresso pods, creates high-quality café drinks
- Can brew a pot or cup of coffee, as well as a shot of espresso separately
- 12-cup carafe simplifies serving for larger families and gatherings
- Features a sleek and stylish black and stainless steel finish
- Larger size necessitates ample counter space
- Not all households require such a comprehensive range of features and options
- Can only make espresso using pods, not raw espresso grounds
Ninja CE251 Programmable Coffee Maker
Buy Now on Amazon
For those seeking a simple and straightforward coffee maker that offers an upgrade from regular machines, the Ninja CE251 Programmable Coffee Maker is an excellent choice.
This particular Ninja coffee brewer doesn't overwhelm with excessive advanced features, focusing on providing convenience. Users can select from two brew styles, "Classic" and "Rich," and choose between brewing a full carafe or a small batch of regular coffee.
The CE251 includes features such as a removable water reservoir, a permanent filter, and the Ninja Smart Scoop, making it user-friendly. Additionally, it offers the practical function of programmability, allowing users to set it up to a day in advance using the Delay Brew button to avoid forgetting to turn it on for their morning coffee.
With its affordable price of .99 on Amazon, the Ninja CE251 proves to be a budget-friendly option.
- Affordable price point
- Straightforward and easy-to-use design
- 24-hour programmable delay brew function
- Produces good-quality coffee
- Offers limited brew size options
- Some users report occasional leaking issues
Ninja CE251 Specifications
|Ninja CE251 Programmable Brewer
|Drip coffee maker
|Keep warm function
|Text display with buttons and dials
|Removable water reservoir
|Water reservoir capacity
|60.9 fl oz / 1.8 l
|60 fl oz / 1774 ml
|Single cup function
|Reusable coffee filter
|Coffee pod compatible
|Adjustable coffee temperature
|Coffee strength adjustment levels
|Hot water function
|7.0 lb / 3.2 kg
|14.0 x 10.0 x 8.0 in
35.6 x 25.4 x 20.3 cm
|SCA certified home brewer
|Included Accessories: Ninja integrated scoop, User manual.
|Current price on Amazon
|BUY NOW ON AMAZON
When it comes to purchasing a coffee maker, there are several factors to consider, but it shouldn't be a stressful decision-making process.
While there are multiple Ninja coffee makers to choose from, many share similar features, ensuring that finding the one that suits your needs is relatively straightforward.
To help guide your decision-making process, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- How much am I willing to spend on a coffee maker?
- Are there any limitations in terms of counter space or cabinet height in my kitchen?
- Do I want a coffee maker with a permanent filter?
- Do I prefer a glass carafe with a warming plate or a thermal carafe?
- How important is a milk frother to me?
- Do I want the option of multiple brew styles and the ability to make iced drinks?
- Do I desire the versatility of brewing tea in my machine?
- Should I consider a super automatic machine for a more comprehensive experience?
Cleaning Ninja Coffee Makers
If you're a regular reader of Coffeeness, you'll know that cleanliness is a priority for me when it comes to coffee equipment—or anything else for that matter.
The principle is rather simple: whenever ground coffee comes into contact with water in an enclosed space, conditions are created that promote the growth of unpleasant substances.
To ensure a great-tasting daily cup of joe, it's crucial to keep your coffee equipment as clean as possible.
Remember always to use fresh, filtered water in the removable water reservoir. After each brew, remove the permanent filter (if applicable) from the filter basket and rinse it thoroughly. A brush can be helpful for scrubbing away stubborn coffee grounds from the mesh screen, but avoid using dish soap.
Rinse the carafe with warm water, and a soft brush can be used for cleaning as well. If you've used the built-in frother, rinse it to remove any milk residue before it dries. Trust me, it's easier to clean while it's fresh!
Once the machine has cooled down, wipe all surfaces with a damp cloth, paying extra attention to the showerhead, warming plate, and the inside of the brew basket.
Mild dishwashing liquid can be used on removable parts, but it's wise to minimize its use to avoid any soapy flavors interfering with your coffee. It's also best to avoid putting any parts in the dishwasher, even if the manufacturer claims it's safe to do so.
Even with the use of filtered water, descaling your Ninja coffee maker periodically is essential. This is where the Clean button becomes useful, as it indicates when your machine needs a bit of extra care (i.e., deep cleaning).
You can use a descaling solution designed for coffee makers or create a mixture of white vinegar and water, which works just as effectively and costs less. Citric acid cleaner is another popular option, especially for those who dislike the smell of vinegar.
The cleaning cycle of the Ninja machine takes approximately an hour, but the effort is worth it. Once the machine has completed the cleaning cycle, rinse the carafe and water tank to remove any excess solution. Then, flush the system by running a full carafe brew cycle with water only.
Helpful Tips for Using Ninja Coffee Makers
Ninja coffee makers have been designed with simplicity of use in mind. You can start using your machine right away without any steep learning curves or the need to consult the instructions. During our review of the Ninja CM401, we found that making coffee was a breeze, and it didn't require much effort.
Just like with other drip coffee makers, it's recommended to use a medium-fine grind for the best results. However, feel free to experiment with different grind sizes to find the perfect one for your taste.
If you're using a permanent filter in your Ninja coffee brewer, you might notice some sediment at the bottom of your cup. You can try using a finer grind, but be careful not to go too far as it may lead to a clogged brewer basket. Alternatively, brewing with #4 paper filters can help eliminate silt at the bottom of your cup.
One great feature of Ninja coffee makers is their ability to let you know if anything is wrong. If you forget to push in the brew basket or fill the water tank, the machine will beep and display a message on the screen.
Leaking is a common complaint among users of Ninja coffee makers. In most cases, this can be attributed to an improperly mounted water tank. Ensure that the tank is securely clicked into place to avoid any leaking issues.
Ninja Top Picks Compared
While Ninja Coffee offers a wide range of products, we have selected and reviewed four models that we believe represent the best options available. If none of these models meet your requirements, we have also included a couple of recommendations for alternatives.
Ninja Dualbrew Pro Coffee Maker (CFP301)
The Dualbrew Pro is the newest and most innovative Ninja Coffee Maker on our list. It is incredibly versatile and caters to all kinds of coffee drinkers. Notably, it is the first Ninja Coffee Maker to brew both K-Cups and grounds, making it quite revolutionary. Whether you want a small cup of coffee or a full carafe for the entire family, this coffee maker is perfect for you. It also features a detachable frother arm, allowing you to add foamy milk or cream to your drinks, with options for hot lattes or iced creations. Additionally, it offers four different brew types, an independent hot water system, and the ability to brew specialty coffee, which is Ninja's take on an espresso shot.
Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System (CP301)
The Hot and Cold Brewed System is the model that replaced the previous Ninja Coffee Bar lineup. It offers versatility in terms of brew sizes, including cup, XL cup, travel mug, XL multi-serve/travel mug, half carafe, and full carafe options. You can choose from a range of brewing functions, such as classic, rich, over ice, cold brew, and specialty for both coffee and tea. It also includes permanent coffee and tea filters, separate baskets, a Ninja smart scoop, a quick start guide, and a 40-recipe book. The machine features a removable water reservoir, a 10-cup thermal carafe, and a fold-away frother.
Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker (CM407)
The Specialty Coffee Maker is similar to the Hot and Cold Brewed System but with slightly limited brewing capabilities. However, it still offers consistent and delicious cups of coffee, including lattes, macchiatos, and classic brews. You can also make ice beverages and choose from a range of brew sizes, from a single cup to a half or full carafe. It provides plenty of versatility and options to satisfy most coffee drinkers.
Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Brewer (CE251)
This 12-cup programmable coffee maker is an excellent choice for those who need a larger coffee pot without advanced features. It can brew both classic and rich coffees and delivers exquisite, flavorful, and never bitter beverages. The removable water tank can hold up to 60 ounces of liquid, allowing you to brew a full carafe or choose the small brew setting for 1-4 cups. The machine also offers useful additional features, such as a delay brew setting to schedule your coffee in advance and an adjustable warming plate to keep your coffee hot for up to 4 hours.
Previous Ninja Coffee Bar Models
The above models are Ninja's current offerings in the coffee brewing arena. However, many previous models of Ninja coffee machines are still available as "Renewed" or refurbished products. The "Ninja Coffee Bar" models are still sought after by many due to their reliability and performance.
CF112 Single-Serve System with Built-In Frother
The CF112 is an entry-level, single-serve coffee machine perfect for households with one or two coffee drinkers. It offers a range of brewing capabilities, from classic to forte, and comes with a tumbler and a built-in milk frother. It is compatible with both permanent and disposable paper filters and comes with a 1-year limited warranty. However, it is a bit on the larger side, measuring 12.2 x 11 x 16.3 inches, for its limited capacity. Some users have also reported issues with the cleaning light staying on even after descaling.
CF087 Coffee Brewer with Thermal Carafe
The CF087 can brew single-cup, travel-cup, half carafe, and full carafe brews, offering more capacity versatility compared to the CF112. It includes a 43-ounce stainless double-wall thermally insulated carafe, which enhances the taste of the brew over time. One of its notable features is the pre-infusion-esque feature, where grounds are wet before the brew cycle, resulting in improved flavor quality. However, it does not have a built-in frothing wand and cannot brew XL cup or XL multi-serve sizes.
CF097 Coffee Bar Brewing System with Thermal Carafe
This is the largest machine on the list, measuring 15 x 11.3 x 16.3 inches. It offers the most versatility in terms of cup sizes and brewing methods, allowing you to brew anything from single-serve to a full carafe. It features a built-in frother for those who enjoy microfoam and comes with a 10-cup thermal carafe. The built-in water reservoir can hold enough water to fill a full carafe in one go (50 ounces) and is removable. The main downsides are its larger size and the need for manual shutdown.
Consider your own coffee drinking needs when choosing a machine. Several Ninja coffee makers can smoothly transition from a single-serve to a full carafe, accommodating various preferences.
Do You Want Pods?
If you prefer the simplicity of brewing with coffee pods, the Dualbrew Pro model is the perfect choice. It allows you to brew a carafe for the family while also being compatible with pods for quick and convenient single-serve cups.
To Froth or Not to Froth
If you enjoy specialty drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, it's advisable to choose a model with a built-in frother. The CFP301, CP307, and CM407 all have convenient and effective fold-away frothers, providing the convenience of frothing milk without the need for a separate device.
Free Real Estate
Ninja coffee makers occupy a moderate amount of space on your countertop. Consider the measurements of each model before making a purchase to ensure it fits comfortably within your available space.
Before you Brew
Keep in mind that Ninja coffee makers require you to purchase and potentially grind your own beans. The flavor of your coffee will depend on the quality and freshness of the beans used.
Are all Ninja Coffee Makers Ninja Coffee Bars?
No, they are not. The term "Ninja Coffee Bar" refers to the older models of Ninja coffee machines that are still available as "Renewed" products. These models offered a wider range of brew strength, type, and size compared to other drip coffee makers. The newer Ninja coffee makers retain this versatile functionality while also introducing additional features like cold brew and K-Cup compatibility.
Is a Ninja an espresso machine?
No, Ninja does not currently produce an espresso machine. However, several Ninja coffee makers offer a "specialty" brew that resembles a 4-ounce, strongly brewed concentrate, suitable for making drinks like lattes. Keep in mind that a Ninja coffee maker is not a substitute for a traditional espresso machine if you prefer standalone espresso shots.
What's the difference between glass and thermal carafes?
Glass and thermal carafes are commonly mentioned features when shopping for a coffee maker. Thermal carafes are generally preferred as they trap heat and keep coffee warm for longer without the need for a hotplate. This helps maintain the freshness and flavor of the brew. Glass carafes, on the other hand, rely on a hotplate to add heat back to the coffee, which can result in a burnt taste if left on for too long.
Are Ninja coffee makers hard to clean?
No, Ninja coffee makers are not difficult to clean. They typically have indicator lights that signal when the machine needs cleaning. The process of descaling a Ninja coffee maker is simple and takes around 15 minutes. It involves running a descaling solution or white wine vinegar through the machine. For a detailed step-by-step guide on cleaning your Ninja coffee maker, refer to our guide.
What size filters do I need for my Ninja coffee maker?
Most Ninja coffee makers use size four cone filters. However, various filters, including standard-sized paper filters and reusable filters, can be used in Ninja machines. Some models come with a reusable filter included.
Are Ninja coffee makers reliable?
Yes, Ninja coffee makers are known for their reliability. The brand has gained a reputation for producing effective and dependable coffee machines. While some older models may have had certain issues like reservoir leaks or ineffective cleaning cycles, Ninja has made improvements in its latest models to address these concerns. Overall, feedback on the new products is positive.
What drinks can you make with Ninja?
Ninja coffee makers offer a wide range of drink options. You can brew anything from a classic cup of black coffee to lattes, cappuccinos, and iced coffee. The specialty brew feature allows you to experiment with various flavors and create unique drinks, such as peppermint white chocolate latte or s'mores latte. However, it's important to note that Ninja coffee makers do not produce traditional espresso shots. For standalone espresso, you may need a dedicated espresso machine.
How are Ninja coffee makers different from other brands?
Ninja coffee makers set themselves apart from other brands through their versatility and ability to produce high-quality coffee at an affordable price. They offer a combination of pod coffee maker and drip-feed machine capabilities, saving you both money and counter space. Ninja machines also feature programmable settings, allowing you to have coffee ready at your desired time. Additionally, their attention to detail, such as the warming plate and glass or thermal carafe options, enhances the overall coffee brewing experience. While there may be some minor drawbacks mentioned by users, Ninja coffee makers have made significant improvements over the years and continue to receive positive reviews.
What is the warranty on Ninja coffee makers?
All Ninja coffee makers come with a one-year warranty and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Where are they made, and by whom?
Ninja Coffee Basics (formerly Euro-Pro Operating LLC, SharkNinja Operating LLC) produces a variety of household appliances, including coffee makers. The company is based in Needham, Massachusetts but manufactures its products in China. Despite the manufacturing location, SharkNinja has gained recognition for its creativity, simplicity, and affordability.
In conclusion, whether you're a coffee connoisseur or just looking for a reliable and versatile coffee maker, Ninja has got you covered. With their range of innovative and high-quality coffee makers, there's something to suit every coffee lover's needs. From the sleek and efficient Ninja 14 Cup XL Pro Coffee Maker to the versatile Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System, Ninja has consistently proven itself as a top contender in the coffee maker market. So, why settle for anything less when you can enjoy the perfect cup of coffee every day with a Ninja coffee maker? Upgrade your coffee experience and elevate your mornings with one of Ninja's top picks today!
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