Ninja Coffee Bar Review

Imagine waking up after a mediocre sleep. As you drag your feet to the kitchen counter for your morning cup of coffee, you’re greeted with a barista offering you a selection:

“Morning Sir/Madam, would you like a classic, cold brew, over ice brew, cappuccino, latte, or any other specialty brew?”

That will certainly perk up your morning. Now, you can do all that without hiring a personal barista.

The answer is the Ninja Coffee Bar.

Ninja Coffee Bar Coffee Maker

You don’t need an espresso machine, or a drip coffee maker, or the expensive single-serve coffee maker. This Ninja Coffee Bar does them all.

What’s so fascinating about this machine is that it is a drip coffee maker at heart. Yet still versatile enough to make a variety of coffee – from black coffee to over the ice coffee to café au laits. If you want a coffee maker that saves space, looks beautiful, and makes your coffee loving guests amazed by the wonderful tasting coffee, you’d love the Ninja Coffee Bar. That said, it does have a few caveats which I’ll talk about later.

Is the Ninja Coffee Bar Good?

Ninja has continued its reputation of making high-quality kitchen wares when it comes to coffee makers. In the crowded market of coffee makers, the Ninja Coffee Bar has made a name for its versatility in the world of coffee.

This coffee maker has built a fan base with its huge selling point of being an all-in-one coffee maker that ticks the checklist of brewing 4 different types of brews – namely Classic, Rich, Over-Ice, and Specialty. Not only that, the Ninja Coffee Bar has also been programmed to do everything for you.

>> Also read: Best thermal carafe coffee makers

That said, if you’re looking for the best of the best coffee quality, then the Ninja Coffee Bar will disappoint you. The beauty of the Ninja Coffee Bar is how it delivers good tasting coffee with a variety of brewing options at an affordable price. When you see this wonderful coffee machine from the

Pros
  • Makes coffee for a cup, travel mug, half, and full carafe.
  • 4 types of brew – Classic, Rich, Over-Ice, and Specialty – for a hot cup of black coffee in the cold morning, or an ice coffee in the hot summer.
  • Clever technology makes it easy to brew coffee by just pressing a few buttons.
  • Warming plate keeps your coffee hot for 2 hours.
  • Water reservoir is removable and easy to fill.
  • Can be programmed to brew 24 hours in advance.
  • Comes with 18-ounce Tumbler, 43-ounce glass carafe with warming plate, Milk frother, permanent filter, coffee scoop, and a 40-recipe cookbook.
Cons
  • Requires regular cleaning with a descaling solution or vinegar. (Dedicated cleaning mode available on the machine.)
  • Permanent coffee filter can leave some grounds in the coffee.

Features of the Coffee Ninja Bar

Let’s talk about the features of Ninja Coffee Bar.

Easy To Operate

The brilliance of the Ninja Coffee Bar lies in its Auto-IQ One Touch Intelligence, the same Auto-IQ technology found in their all-popular Nutri Ninja® Blender. You’re just “One Touch” away from a cup of rich-tasting coffee. Select your size, press a button for your desired brew, and let the machine work its magic while you’re off to make a sandwich or get the kids out of bed. Auto-IQ measures the exact amount of water needed, temperature, and time required for each brew. For example, the “over ice brew” setting halves the volume of brew to ensure the richness and flavor of the coffee is not lost when the ice melts. It even comes with a programmable option that allows you to set it up 24 hours prior. Waking up to the scent of freshly brewed coffee is not a fantasy anymore.

Easy To Clean

There is a clean light to indicate when you need to give the machine a thorough wash. But there is no need to worry when the clean light comes on because there is a dedicated cleaning button to do all the cleaning for you. Use a descaling solution or white vinegar to give your machine a good cleaning. To make cleaning even easier, you can leave the permanent coffee filter in the machine to wash it too.

The glass carafe can be washed easily with warm soapy water. Alternatively, you can use the top rack of your dishwasher to clean the carafe. The water reservoir comes with a detachable lid, which makes cleaning easier.

Good size

With the 43 ounce Glass Carafe, the Ninja Coffee bar allows you to brew a huge pot of coffee for all your guests at one go. Besides, the sizable water reservoir ensures you can brew multiple cups of coffee without refilling the tank. The transparent container makes it clear when you need to add water.

Rich Coffee Flavor

The Ninja Coffee Bar comes with the Thermal Flavor Extraction technology. This patented technology uses a careful process of temperature calibration, pre-infusion, and coffee saturation to create a variable of richness in your coffee minus the bitterness. It unlocks the full flavor of your coffee. Also, Ninja Coffee Bar comes with the Ninja Easy Milk Frother to create the perfect rich and creamy milk foam for your cappuccinos, lattes, macchiatos and other specialty coffees. Another thing I like is how fast the machine heats up the water to the required brewing temperature in just 20 seconds after starting the machine. This means I can get my coffee quickly, which is a blessing in the morning.

Impressive Variety

As mentioned earlier, the Ninja Coffee Bar can brew four different types of coffee. Let me explain further.

  1. Classic Brew – The classic brew showcases the prowess of the Ninja Coffee Bar. Even at the most basic brew, you can observe the Thermal Flavor Extraction technology at work. The preinfusion process soaks the grounds in hot water for 15 seconds, aiming to saturate each and every ground with enough water for an even extraction. What you get is a Classic Brew with a strong and rich flavor, coupled with deep notes with a slightly bitter finish.
  2. Rich Brew – The Rich Brew option uses less water than the Classic Brew. The end result is coffee containing a higher percentage of dissolved coffee, giving it a more pronounced, richer, and intense flavor. I particularly love the well balanced and smooth taste when I add milk to it. Yes, the Rich Brew is excellent for holding and balancing the flavor of milk in the coffee.
  3. Over Ice Brew – The tricky part of Over Ice Brew is how concentrated the coffee should be. As ice cubes vary in size and shape, too much ice in the carafe results in a less than desired flavor. Too little ice, and you get a caffeine brain-freeze. I’m proud to announce that the Ninja Coffee Bar gets it perfect for its Over Ice Brew. It cuts the volume of the coffee in half, and the clever temperature calibration melts enough ice to give you a dense cup of cold coffee with a few ice cubes left inside. You might need to try a few times to get the perfect number of ice cubes for different sizes of coffee.
  4. Specialty Brew – Get ready to be treated to the best coffee from Ninja Coffee Bar. The Specialty Brew is where the magic happens. Hold your horses if you think that espresso can only be made from an espresso machine. You’re right that this machine doesn’t make authentic espresso. I had the same doubts too, but the Auto-IQ One Touch Intelligence nailed it when it comes to the water and coffee proportions. The concentrated “espresso” you get is more than good enough to be used for any espresso-style concoction. Moreover, the bonus Ninja Easy Milk Frother makes it interesting and fun to manually make milk froth. You can even get your child to help you out. For me, I thoroughly enjoy my flat white. It is silky smooth with a deep concentration of coffee notes. Thumbs up!

Value For Money

In addition to the Ninja Easy Milk Frother, you also get many accessories to make it worth your money. What I love is the Ninja Hot & Cold 18 ounce Insulated Tumbler, which makes it the perfect Tumbler for carrying my coffee to work in the morning. The amazing thing is, the coffee still remains hot during lunch.

Plus, the permanent filter saves you money from using paper filters, and it saves the environment too. Other bonuses include the coffee scoop and the warming plate. The coffee scoop is nice to have as it has precise measurements written on the handle for consistent cup and carafe servings. The warming plate is a Godsend as it keeps my coffee at the optimum temperature for the whole of two hours!


The Alternatives

Now, let’s take a look at how the Ninja Coffee Bar holds up compared to the other popular coffee makers.

Nespresso VertuoLine Evoluo by De’Longhi

The Nespresso VertuoLine Evoluo is the Goddess of single-serve coffee makers. If you love a thick layer of crema on your coffee, you’ll love the Nespresso as the coffee comes with a signature layer of silky smooth crema that slides down your throat. It is a thick, generous layer too.

I like how it comes with the Aeroccino 3 Nespresso Milk Frother, which is an automatic milk frother compared to the manual Ninja East Milk Frother that comes with the Ninja Coffee Bar. The capsules are fuss-free, but expensive, which is the only thing I can complain about. Take a look at the Nespresso VertuoLine Evoluo here.


Ninja Coffee Bar Auto-iQ Programmable Coffee Maker (CF097)

This is the big brother of the Ninja Coffee Bar (CF080Z) mentioned in this review.

This particular model has three significant upgrades over the CF080Z. The first upgrade is that it has a fifth type of brew – the Cafe Forte. This is an exclusive brew for Ninja coffee makers. If you find Specialty Brew too strong for your liking, then this will be your new top favorite because Cafe Forte slots in between Rich Brew and Specialty Brew in terms of the strength of coffee.

The second major upgrade is the built-in milk frother. No more manual frothing. Yay! The last upgrade is the extra two XL sizes available on this model – namely the XL cup and XL multi-serve. So, should you pick this big brother instead? If you want to brew a larger pot of coffee or in the XL sizes, and have tried and love the Cafe Forte, plus a built-in frother, and a thermal carafe for additional $XXX, then take a look at the Ninja Coffee Bar (CF097) here.


Bonavita 8-cup Carafe Coffee Brewer

There are a few similarities between the Bonavita and Ninja. They are both “one touch” coffee makers. They make excellent coffee. They both have warming plates. The biggest difference between these two machines is the brewing method. Ninja Coffee Bar uses the drip coffee method. In contrast, Bonavita uses the pour-over method, which is what baristas prefer as it allows them to have complete control over the flavor extraction process.

What Bonavita has done here is to cleverly mimic the pour-over method by using a showerhead to shower the coffee. This careful calibration is designed to ensure the grounds have an even extraction. It does sound gimmicky, but it sure gets the job done. You are assured of a really good cup of coffee with a strong, distinctive flavor if you use the Bonavita. That said, you lose the 4 brewing options available on the Ninja Coffee Bar.


The Verdict

Are there other coffee makers which make better coffee? Sure there is.

But there aren’t many who can win the Ninja Coffee Bar when it comes to “The Value Triangle” for coffee makers.

The Value Triangle is my review criteria consisting of the price, taste, and features of a coffee maker.

Here’s how Ninja Coffee Bar fare:

  1. Pricing – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  2. Taste – ⭐⭐⭐
  3. Features – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The total score is 12/15, which is a very good score.

The Ninja Coffee Bar delivered on its features, giving you an array of brewing options at a price catered for the masses. On top of that, the coffee is pretty good. For us, the Ninja Coffee Bar isn’t just a coffee maker. With the option of the Specialty Brew, it makes coffee fun again.

Buy Ninja Coffee Bar here.

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