Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker

Ninja Coffee Bar Comparison — Getting A Ninja For Your Kitchen

Having a ninja in the kitchen would work wonders. I imagine a ninja chef would have some serious chops for culinary arts. Imagination aside, a real ninja wouldn’t go around brewing coffee for me. A branded ninja, however, would be happy to oblige. 

Ninja coffee makers have long been considered as quality appliances for the kitchen. Good coffee, low maintenance, and rational pricing make great sense. But which one do you buy? Here’s a Ninja Coffee Bar comparison to make that decision easier. 

Picking the right machine is all about picking one that fits your requirements. You can’t go wrong with these coffee makers. However, there is a chance of choosing one that doesn’t meet your needs. Let’s get to business picking the best of what Ninja has to offer.

Top 3 Ninja Coffee Makers To Consider

Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed SystemNinja Hot And Cold Brewed System
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Ninja Specialty Coffee MakerNinja Specialty Coffee Maker
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Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee MakerNinja 12cup Programmable Coffee Maker
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Each of these coffee makers has their own set of strengths. There is also a difference in functions and offerings. Let’s put them to the test.

What’s The Deal With Ninja And What To Expect

As a kitchen-ware company, Ninja is fairly well known. There’s a good chance you, or someone you know, already owns a Ninja appliance. Or maybe you’re looking for a new machine to replace the old faithful Ninja that’s no more in action.

Before we move to compare the models listed above, here are a few things to know about these coffee makers.

What Is A Ninja Coffee Bar?

Originally, Ninja termed its machines coffee bars to represent their versatility. They offered more functions than the competition and brewed several coffee types. The new machines continue to offer those features. In fact, the new ones often offer more features. You’ll find the new Ninja coffee bar reviews find the new machines better, if not as good as the original models.

The company has now decided to drop the “coffee bar” tag from many new products. Although they continue to offer the same or better features. If you are looking for the older models, you’d have better luck buying them “renewed”.

Common Features We Love: Ninja Coffee Bar Reviews

Here are some common features that you will find in most Ninja machines. I highlight “most” because though these features show up in most machines, they aren’t a necessity. For example, a straight-up drip coffee maker doesn’t quite need a frother. Similarly, a coffee maker betting big on cold brew doesn’t need a hot plate. 

So yeah, there are exceptions in models that use these features. Still, they’re worth noting because of their presence in many models and their general relevance to Ninja.

Hot Plate

The hot plate is intended to keep the carafe heated and the coffee hot for a long time. It’s great that your coffee doesn’t get cold within minutes of leaving the coffee maker. However, remember not to keep the coffee on the plate for long, as it will start turning the coffee bitter.

Auto-iQ One-Touch Intelligence

Auto-iQ system is designed to give you the right cuppa. When this system is engaged, the machine measures up the right amount of water for your brew. It also accounts for the desired number of cups to brew. All the user has to do is choose the number of cups and the right brew size.

Pod Free

None of the Ninja machines are reliant on the use of pods. You can easily set most coffee makers to work as a single-serve. However, there is no need to use pods to achieve this. It is a good policy since pods tend to add to the waste and clutter of landfills.

Fold-away Cup Platform

The fold-away platform is an excellent companion to machines that use the Auto-iQ system. Once you decide on the brew size, use the cup platform to set your cup near the spout. That way, the brew doesn’t have to travel a long distance and the risk of spillage is reduced.

Programmable Delay Brew

Programmable features are available in practically all Ninja coffee brewers. This gives you the option of having a hot cup of coffee ready exactly at the time you want it. No waiting for the machine to heat up and brew for you. Simply set the time for when you want your coffee. 

At the set time, the machine will come alive at the right time and brew a cup for you. Excellent for when you want your coffee ready in the morning, or when you return home from work.

Dishwasher Safe Parts

The generous inclusion of dishwasher safe parts in all machines makes it easier to clean your coffee maker. Ninja generally recommends using white vinegar for deep cleaning, which is both convenient and cost-effective. Of course, you can use after-market cleaning products if you so choose.

Brew Choices Available With Ninja Machines

There are several brew choice options available with Ninja coffee makers. The classic and rich options are available in all machines. The other variants are available in most machines and show up when relevant.

  • Classic: The conventional and typical cup of coffee. This is the default brew from coffee machines.
  • Rich: A stronger cuppa than the classic. Enjoy the finer flavors of your coffee.
  • Iced: Make a hot cup of coffee and enjoy it cold. This is an excellent option to enjoy during the summer.
  • Specialty: This one tries to get in that espresso flavor to your regular, drip machine coffee. Specialty is closer to being a coffee concentrate. It won’t make a decent espresso but is fairly good at making espresso-based beverages like latte and cappuccino.
  • Cold Brew: This is a pretty interesting option. In terms of a NInja coffee bar, this isn’t quite the best cold brew coffee maker. It won’t take the same 14-24 hours for brewing. Though it will brew coffee fairly slowly (10 minutes) and get the taste pretty close to classic cold brew.
  • Cafe Forte: Available in older models, this setting creates a stronger coffee concentrate/beverage than the Specialty setting.

Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System

Ninja Hot And Cold Brewed System

Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System is a pretty impressive machine with several options available. It probably won’t be an overreach to consider this the flagship of Ninja coffee brewers. As the name implies, the system is good to go for hot and cold brews. Plus, it has a built-in fold away frother to fulfill your cappuccino and latte needs.

Practically all the brew choices that Ninja has to offer are available with this machine. These include classic, rich, iced, specialty, and cold brew. Given that the system is equally interested in cold beverages, it doesn’t include a heating plate. It does come with other features like Auto-iq, fold-away cup platform, programmable brewing, and filters for coffee and tea.

Even with its long list of features, the machine is fairly compact and doesn’t hog much space on the counter. Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System can brew hot and cold beverages, coffee and tea, and is easy to clean. Many of its parts are dishwasher safe, well, except the stainless steel carafe, which is quite a bummer.

Brewing tea in this machine requires using a separate brew basket. That way, you can use coffee and tea bags, and not risk mixing coffee and tea flavors.

Highlights

  • Auto-iQ One-Touch Intelligence
  • Can brew coffee and tea
  • Uses separate brew baskets for tea and coffee
  • Can brew hot and cold beverages
  • Has five brew choices
  • Dishwasher safe parts (except stainless steel carafe)
  • Built-in milk frother
  • Programmable functions for brewing coffee when you want it
  • The double-walled thermal carafe keeps your brew hot for longer
  • Fold-away cup platform
  • Removable, 50oz water reservoir
  • Water temperature slightly lower than optimal for brewing

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Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker

Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker

Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker is SCA certified. That means it has been rigorously tested to brew the right cup of coffee. As a requirement for certification, this ensures that coffee is brewed at the right water temperature. Additionally, the machine should be able to hold this temperature during the brewing process. 

This machine can brew hot and cold beverages and has several brew choices available. Specifically, it brews classic, rich, iced, and specialty coffee. That last one is pretty much expected given the name of this coffee maker. 

It also includes a built-in milk frother that can handle both cold and hot milk. Conventionally, machines have a steam wand to froth milk. This is not the case with these Ninja machines, they use a setup similar to a frothing wand as a way to froth milk.

Since this one deals with cold brews as well, there is no warmer plate. On the plus side, cleaning is easy since most parts are dishwasher safe. One thing I see as a negative is that the machine takes a wide stance. It is slightly smaller than the Hot and Cold Brewed System, but it looks larger!

Highlights

  • Auto-iQ One-Touch Intelligence
  • Can brew hot and cold beverages
  • Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker has four brew choices
  • It has dishwasher safe parts
  • A built-in milk frother
  • SCA certified
  • Programmable function for brewing coffee
  • Easy to clean
  • Fold-away cup platform
  • Removable, 50oz water reservoir
  • Relatively wider footprint
  • No hot/warming plate

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Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker

Ninja 12cup Programmable Coffee Maker

Ninja Coffee Brewer is pretty much your classic drip coffee machine. It doesn’t have as many features as the others on this list. However, if you need a no-nonsense drip coffee maker, this is it. 

To handle the larger carafe size, this machine depends on a larger water reservoir. Its removable water reservoir can hold 60oz of water. It makes a fair attempt to brew coffee at the optimal water temperature. Unfortunately, the machine seems unable to hold the temperature while brewing.

Where other features are concerned, this machine tends to keep a low profile. Its brew choices are limited to classic and rich. There is no auto-iq function, but it does allow the brewing of a small batch. So rather than going for a full 12-cup carafe, you can choose to brew one to four cups of coffee. 

This one can’t handle cold beverages, so it doesn’t mind having a warmer plate. The plate can keep the coffee warm for up to four hours. And while that is an impressive number, my suggestion is to never go beyond thirty minutes. The longer time your coffee spends on a warmer plate (this or any other), greater are its chances of tasting bitter.

Highlights

  • Can brew 12 cups of coffee in one go
  • The small batch function allows brewing 1-4 cups of coffee
  • Has a removable, 60oz water reservoir
  • Brew options include classic and rich
  • Has a warming plate
  • Programmable function lets you set time for brewing coffee
  • Several dishwasher-safe parts
  • Includes a permanent gold tone filter
  • No fold-away platform
  • Fairly compact coffee maker

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Quick Comparison Table


Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed SystemNinja Specialty Coffee MakerNinja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker
Auto-iQ One-Touch IntelligenceYesYesNo
Removable Water Reservoir50 oz50 oz60 oz
Can Brew Hot And Cold Beverages YesYesNo – Hot only
Warmer PlateNoNoYes
Brew ChoicesFiveFourTwo
Brew SizesSixSix12 cup, small batch brewing of one to four cups
Programmable BrewingYesYesYes
Fold-away PlatformYes YesNo
Dishwasher Safe PartsYesYesYes
Built-in FrotherYesYesNo
Dimensions (inches)11.8 L x 10 W x 15 H12 L x 8.8 W x 15 H8.7 L x 9.9 W x 14.6 H
PriceSee on AmazonSee on AmazonSee on Amazon

Which Ninja Should You Bring Home

This detailed Ninja Coffee Bar comparison takes note of the most relevant features of the three most popular coffee makers. As you see, each of them has its own specific approach to brewing coffee. And they’re all pretty good at it!

In my opinion, if you want the best cup of coffee, pick the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker. For those who just want a drip coffee maker, Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker is the right choice. Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System is best for those who prefer a versatile and feature-rich coffee maker.