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Ninja Coffee Maker Models Review! Detailed Look at all Ninjas

Ninja Coffee Makers Reviewed and Explained

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Sasha Pavlovich

02/02/2021 · 19 min reading

Ninjas are invading kitchens all across the country!

No, not the karate experts known for their stealth and deadly force. We’re talking about the Ninja brand of home appliances. Specifically, for this article we’re talking about Ninja coffee makers.

Ninja offers pressure cookers, blenders, indoor grills, air fryers, and much more. More recently, they have gotten into the coffee and tea maker business.

The Ninja brand is known for quality, convenience, and innovation. These coffee makers are no exception. Here, we’ll take a look at the three main types of Ninja coffee machines. We hope this can help you make a decision on which one will fit your situation. No matter which one you choose, you’re on your way to being a true coffee ninja.

Ninja Coffee Maker Model Types

Like with many Ninja products, you can get a coffee maker as simple or as complex as you need.

There are many features that are common to every Ninja coffee machine. First, they are all programable with a delay brew. Also, they all allow you to brew a single cup or up to a full carafe. These coffee makers also have a removable water reservoir, permanent filter, and a Ninja scoop that stores on the side of the machine.

Below is a break down the three basic model types. We also included a section on the phased-out Ninja Coffee Bar. Here’s to great coffee!

Ninja Coffee Brewer
CE251

This is the most basic model type Ninja offers. You can program this 12-cup coffee maker for a delayed start.

It’s basic, but still offers some versatility. You can choose from two brewing styles: Classic and Rich. It also offers a Small Batch option if you’re making between one and four cups. These models carry the letters CE in the model number.

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Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker
CM401 / CM407

These coffee makers offer four brew styles: Classic, Rich, Over Ice, and Specialty. The specialty brew style offers a concentrated coffee you can use to make espresso-style drinks like lattes and mochas.

These models offer a built-in, fold-away milk frother. You can identify a Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker by the letters CM.

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Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System
CP301 / CP307

As you could guess, the distinguishing feature of the Hot and Cold Brewed System is that it can make cold brewed coffee. It also allows you to steep any type of tea. Depending on what you’re making, the machine will adapt for the correct water temperature. Then, it holds the water in the tea or coffee grounds for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the specific variety.

The Hot and Cold Brewed System also includes a milk frother. The model numbers for these machines include the letters CP.

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Used only

Ninja Coffee Bar System
CF091 / CF097

Ninja Coffee Bar line is an older designation for a range of Ninja coffee makers. The Ninja Coffee Bar is now the Ninja Coffee Brewer. The Ninja Coffee Bar System is now the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker. These models have a CF designation.

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Features of Ninja Coffee Makers

Like all products offered by the Shark/Ninja company, Ninja coffee makers bring innovative solutions to the small appliance industry.

Many of these features, first developed for the Ninja Coffee Bar, hold patents. Ninja has more patents pending as they continue to advance the science of coffee making.

Below, you’ll find details about some of the common features.

Variable Brew Size

An important feature on any Ninja coffee machine is variable brew sizes. You want the same taste whether you’re brewing one cup or a dozen.

The Ninja Coffee Brewer models offer a Small Batch option. Use this function if you’re making between one and four cups. The setting ensures that your small batch will not be weak and watery.

Ninja’s Specialty and Hot and Cold machines have settings that determine the exact amount of water it will use. Like the Keurig, a touch of a button delivers anywhere from 4 ounces to 18 ounces of coffee. Unlike other single-cup machines, these Ninja coffee makers can also brew a half or full carafe.

Variable Brew Strength

With the touch of a button, you can tailor the strength of your coffee. On all models, you can choose Classic or Rich brew strength. The Rich setting gives more intense flavor without any bitterness.

The Specialty Coffee Maker adds two more settings: Specialty and Over-Ice. The specialty brew strength delivers 4 ounces of concentrated coffee. The taste is similar to a shot of espresso, but it is made without pressure. This is the feature that allows you to brew espresso-type beverages.

Not surprisingly, the Hot and Cold Brewed System has all these brew styles plus an added Cold Brew setting. For cold brew, the maker closes the drip valve under the filter basket. This allows the coffee (or tea) to actually steep before being sent into the cup or carafe.

Thermal Flavor Extraction

This technology is at the heart of Ninja coffee machines. It starts with a showerhead type spigot that delivers the water from the reservoir to the drip basket. This evenly saturates the grounds or tea leaves to get the best flavor.

Thermal Flavor Extraction technology allows for bloom time. You may see this term when talking about pour over coffee. Basically, you pour a small amount of hot water into the grounds. Then, you let it sit for about 30 seconds. This allows gasses to escape and the water to saturate the grounds. The result is a fuller, richer cup of coffee.

Water temperature also affects the quality of your brew. Thermal Flavor Extraction controls the temperature of the water. Different types of brews need different temperature settings.

The temperature control also affects whether your tea will brew successfully. Different teas brew better at different temperatures to be able to release their full flavor.

Permanent Coffee Filter

Ninja coffee makers come with a brew basket and a permanent filter. A permanent filter has a mesh screen that acts to hold the coffee grounds while allowing the water to pass through. This means you never have to use paper filters.

Besides reducing the operating cost, the permanent filter can prevent frustration. There’s nothing worse than going to make a pot of coffee and realizing that someone else used the last filter!

Using a mesh instead of paper filter can affect taste. A mesh filter can increase the body and mouthfeel of the coffee. Also, paper filters can absorb some oils. These oils contribute to the flavor and aromatics of the coffee. So, using a mesh instead of paper filter can result in a more enjoyable cup of coffee.

Some might still prefer to use a paper filter. If so, simply remove the permanent filter and place the paper filter directly in the brew basket.

With the Hot and Cold machines, you actually get two permanent filters. One is for tea and one is for coffee. This prevents flavor cross-contamination. You can ruin a perfectly lovely cup of tea with traces of coffee grounds.

There’s also a functional reason for having the separate tea filter. The machine can detect which filter is in the machine. As a result, you’ll see either the coffee or tea menu. The tea menu offers choices, letting the machine choose the perfect brew conditions based on the type of tea.

Milk Frother

Most Ninja coffee makers come with a bult-in, fold-away frother. The exception is the basic Ninja Coffee Brewer. The frother lets you whip milk to produce café-style coffee or tea drinks.

Delay Brew

All Ninja coffee machines offer a delayed start. Simply set up the machine before bed, set the time, and push the Delay Brew button. The next morning, you awake to the perfect cup of coffee or tea.

Warmer Plate

Most coffee makers have a single setting for the warmer plate: hot. When brewed coffee sits at a high temperature, it turns bitter. Advanced technology brings more options to the Ninja warmer plate.

The plate is programmable by temperature and time. You can set if you want your brewed beverage just kept warm or kept hot. You can also set how long you want the warmer plate to be on before shutting off.

You should note that the warmer plate is only available on models that feature the glass carafe. Models that come equipped with the metal thermal carafe to not include a warmer plate.

Drip Stop

All model types have some form of drip stop. This lets you pour your coffee before the carafe finishes brewing. On the Coffee Brewer, the drip stop is automatic. On the Specialty and Hot and Cold Brewers, you can manually stop the drip. If you’re like me, you can’t wait to have that first cuppa.

Review of 3 Ninja Coffee Makers

A Ninja coffee machine delivers an outstanding cup of coffee or tea. We should not that reviewers have noted how easy it is to hold and pour the Ninja coffee pot.

Here are Ninja coffee maker reviews for three different types of coffee makers. We hope this helps you decide which one will work best for you.

Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker Review

The Ninja Specialty Coffer Maker is one of the few home coffee brewing machines that is certified by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). To be a SCA Certified Home Brewer, the machine must meet exacting requirements, including temperature and uniformity of extraction.

This model is available with either a glass or thermal carafe. Both types have a 50-ounce (10-cup) carafe. As mentioned earlier, models that come with the thermal carafe do not include the warming plate.

The Specialty Coffee Maker is recommended by Consumer Reports. They gave this machine high marks, and it has a five-out-of-five review for customer satisfaction.

If you like making coffee different ways but have limited counter or storage space, this may be the coffee maker for you. It includes features you would find on a Keurig, espresso machine, and regular drip coffee maker.

If you like the convenience of the Keurig-type machines, the Specialty Coffee Maker offers a one-touch, one-cup option. The advantage of the Ninja coffee maker is that you don’t need to waste money or precious resources on the disposable K-cups. Simply put the coffee grounds of your choice in the permanent filter and select your coffee cup size and brew type.

This coffee maker can also make drinks very akin to the espresso drinks you find at cafes. With the Specialty Brew option, you get four ounces of concentrated coffee comparable to espresso. It won’t taste exactly like espresso because it is not brewed under pressure.

The machine includes a milk frother. This allows you to whip hot or cold milk. The concentrated coffee stands up to milk and flavors. The resulting beverage tastes like a latte, cappuccino, or other espresso drink.

This machine is also great if you like iced coffee. Using regular coffee for iced coffee usually results in a watered-down drink. The Over Ice brew type uses less water to make a more concentrated coffee. Simply place a cup of ice on the base of the brewer and press the button for desired cup size.


Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System Review

If you like tea, then this is the machine for you. It does more than just dispense hot water. It actually steeps the tea for you.

But let’s start from the beginning. The Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System can do everything the Specialty Coffee Maker does. It’s the cold brew setting that makes the different.

Hot water can destroy the taste of coffee. You must find a balance between hot enough to extract flavor but not so hot that it ruins it. The best temperature for quickly brewing coffee is between 195- and 205-degrees Fahrenheit.

People like cold brew because it produces a sweet, full-flavored drink. Typical cold brewing methods require the grounds to steep for 12 to 18 hours. This machine speeds that process up.

For the cold brew setting, the water is only heated to about 110 degrees. This lower temperature brings out more of the coffee’s sweetness without having to wait half a day. While it’s not quite a true cold brew, it brings many of the characteristics of cold brew in about 15 minutes.

The cold brew setting works by closing the bottom of the brew basket. That way, it holds the warm water to let the coffee grounds steep.

This ability to steep is why this machine is also great for brewing tea. And it doesn’t just brew tea one way. It has precise settings to brew five different types of tea!

As mentioned before, the Hot and Cold Brewer comes with two different permanent filters: one for coffee and one for tea. Through advanced technology, the brewer senses when the tea filter is inserted. It then automatically brings up the tea menu. If for whatever reason you are using the coffee filter to brew tea, simply press the tea button to bring up the tea menu.

Once you’re on the tea menu, choose the type of tea you’re using. Settings for herbal, black, oolong, white and green tea are preprogrammed. Programming includes temperature of the water and how long to let the tea steep.

Overall, you just might feel like a coffee ninja when operating this advanced machine.


Ninja Coffee Brewer Review

The Ninja Coffee Brewer is recommended by Consumer Reports. It received five out of five for both customer satisfaction and brew performance.

This 12-cup programmable coffee maker is designed to do one thing: make good coffee. It has precise temperature control to extract the most flavor from the coffee grounds without any bitterness.

A unique feature of this coffee brewer is its Flavor Straw. This pushes the fresh coffee to the bottom of the carafe. As a result, the hot coffee circulates to ensure that each cup is the same temperature and strength as every other cup.

When making a full pot, you may appreciate the automatic mid-brew pause feature. When you pull out the carafe, the brew basket closes so you don’t get drips of coffee onto the warming plate.

If you only drink one or two cups of coffee a day, you might be wondering if you’d be better off with a mini-brewer or a Keurig-type machine.

The biggest advantage of the Ninja Coffee Brewer to these other types of coffee machines is flexibility. With this one machine, you get a satisfying single cup while still being able to brew a whole pot when you have guests.

Can this machine deliver a truly flavorful single cup of coffee? Many 10- and 12- cup drip coffee makers deliver weak, flavorless coffee when making just a cup or two. But with Ninja’s Small Batch setting, you get full flavor even when making a single cup.

One important thing to note about brewing a small batch. Unlike their more advanced coffee machines, each time you brew coffee with this maker it will use all the water in the reservoir. With other brewers, you can keep the reservoir full and just select the size you want. With this machine, if you’re brewing a single cup, be sure to only put a single cup’s worth of water in the reservoir.

This coffee maker also delivers flexibility of brew strength. You can select Classic or Rich brew. With the Rich setting, the water pulses, which allows a little more time and circulation through the grounds. This results in a cup similar to what you get with a traditional pour-over coffee maker.

Things to Think About

While it may be tempting to go all out with the machine that has all the bells and whistles, do you really need it. For some, only the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System will do. Others can get by quite happily with the simpler Coffee Brewer. Here are some things to think about when making your decision.

How Much Coffee Do I Actually Drink?

If you usually want to make just a single cup of coffee, you might want to go with the Specialty or Hot and Cold Brewer. With both of these, you can keep the water reservoir full. When you want a cup of coffee, you select the size of cup you’re using and the machine will deliver the exact amount of coffee. This way, you may only have to refill the reservoir once a week or less.

If you almost always want to brew a full pot of coffee, then you will likely be satisfied with the simpler Ninja Coffee Brewer. If you occasionally want only a single cup or small batch, this less expensive machine can accommodate that. With this brewer, you get a good combination of price, convenience, and flexibility.

Do I Drink Tea or Cold Brew?

If you often brew tea, you might consider the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewer. The biggest advantage to their top-of-the-line model is its ability to steep coffee and tea. You can use loose leaf tea or tea bags.

If you love cold brewed coffee should you get this model? Maybe, and maybe not. People like cold brew for its sweet richness. That comes from not exposing the grounds to hot water.

The cold brew cycle does use a lower temperature than for its standard brews. But because it uses heated water, it will not yield the exact same results as the typical cold brewer. On the plus side, it only takes about 15 minuses as opposed to 15 hours. The cold brew setting balances the characteristics of a typical brew with speed and convenience.

What About Lattes and Mochas?

The specialty brew selection on the Specialty and the Hot and Cold Brewers gives a concentrated coffee that stands up to milk and flavors. With the frother, you can make a drink very close to the Latte or Mocha you get at the café.

But these are not espresso machines. These Ninja machines do not use pressure. If you want the rich creaminess that comes with espresso, you might need to get a true espresso machine.

Counter Space Considerations

The Ninja Specialty and the Hot and Cold Brewer can actually be space savers. Because they can do the job of a Keurig, espresso machine, and regular drip coffee maker, you might only need one appliance instead of three. And the Hot and Cold Brewer also does the work of a tea pot and cold brewer.

However, do keep in mind that some of these Ninja coffee makers are taller than your average coffee maker. Be sure to measure your clearance between your counter top and cabinets if this might be a concern.

Why Buy a Ninja?

Ninja small appliances are not the cheapest ones around. So, are they worth the expense?

The Ninja brand is part of the SharkNinja Company. The other brand under this company is Shark. Shark specializes in vacuums and other cleaning products. SharkNinja is known for innovative designs that stress quality and function. Overall, the company holds over 550 patents.

One of the biggest selling points with these coffee makers is their all-in-one capability. This is not new for Ninja. Personally, I have a Ninja Foodi, which is a pressure cooker, air fryer, slow cooker, and rice maker that can sauté and do much more. It does all of those things very well

If you’re looking for any type of reliable small appliance that serves multiple purposes, Ninja is a good place to start. These Ninja coffee makers consistently get high marks by reviewers.

FAQ

Do All Ninja Coffee Makers Offer the Specialty Brew?

No. The only brew styles on the basic 12-cup Ninja Coffee Brewer are Classic and Rich. To be able to make specialty drinks with concentrated coffee, you need either the Specialty Coffee Maker or Hot and Cold Brewer System

How Do I Clean a Ninja Coffee Maker?

If you’re like me, times slips by and I never remember when I’m supposed to clean the coffee maker. Luckily, these Ninja coffee machines will remind you! When the light comes on, simply run the clean cycle with water and vinegar or a commercial coffee maker cleaning solution

How Do I Reset My Ninja Coffee Maker?

The easiest way to reset all the settings on your Ninja coffee maker is to simply unplug it.

What Is the Over Ice Brew?

The Over Ice brew setting makes a slightly more concentrated coffee. That way, the final beverage doesn’t taste watered down when poured over ice. Simply place your cup or carafe of ice on the base plate and press the Over Ice button.

What Kind of Filters Do I Need for my Ninja?

None. Zip. Nada. You never need to buy a disposable coffee filter again. All of these Ninja coffee makers come with permanent filters. You simply rinse and reuse. If you do prefer to use a paper filter, use the #4 Cone filter.

What Is the Drip Auto Stop?

With the Drip Auto Stop on the 12-Cup Coffee Brewer, the valve under the brew basket closes when you pull out the carafe. For the Specialty and Hot and Cold Brewers, there is a switch to manually close the valve so you can pour a cup from the carafe without making a mess.

Do Ninja Coffee Makers Come With a Warranty?

Yes, all Ninja coffee makers come with a 1-year limited warranty.

Should I Get a Glass or Thermal Carafe?

There is one major difference between models that have a glass carafe vs. a metal thermal carafe. Glass carafe models have a warming plate and thermal carafe models do not.

Models with the thermal carafe are slightly more expensive, but warming plates use more energy. Also, you cannot put the thermal carafe in the dish washer. It comes down to personal preference. You’ll likely be pleased with the results whichever Ninja coffee pot you choose.

And the Winner Is…

All of the above.

Honestly, which of these coffee makers is best for you is entirely dependent on your needs. For all Ninja coffee maker reviews, you’ll probably notice the emphasis on quality and flexibility. The brand is tried and tested.

Because the Specialty Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker is actually certified by the Specialty Coffee Association it may have a slight advantage. The certification just about guarantees that the machine will consistently deliver excellent coffee.

Whichever maker you choose, please remember the other factors that contribute to the quality of the drink in your cup. Two major ones are freshness and roast level.

At this site, you can find many articles that deal with these issues. Always buy the freshest coffee available and use it as soon after grinding as possible. With one of these machines along with quality, fresh coffee beans, you may never need to buy an over-priced cup of coffee again.

Ninja Coffee Maker Review

Sasha Pavlovich

Hi, I'm Sasha, and this blog is about coffee!

I'm myself an experienced barista with a high passion for coffee. Love brewing, cupping, and talking coffee non-stop. I hope you enjoy my blog and feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.

View all posts by Sasha Pavlovich

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