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Ninja Coffee Bar Takes the (Coffee) Cake

Updated on January 21, 2018
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Why the Ninja Coffee Bar Exceeds

Everyone loves variety—clothing, shoes, restaurant choices—but in terms of coffee makers, most models produce a batch of one single flavor for the whole family, however, the Ninja Coffee Bar offers five models that creates the café experience at home. From hot, frothy lattes to rich, decadent iced-beverages, each model features unique flavor modifications, thermal adjustments and straightforward usability; To decide which model is right for you, read on to discover what each brewer brings to the (kitchen) table.

1. Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer System with Stainless Thermal Carafe

Whether making a single cup, XL mug, or a full carafe, the Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer System with Stainless Thermal Carafe serves every size imaginable. Due to the Ninja’s thermal flavor extraction technology, richness levels can be adjusted, making coffee beans transition from delectable to heavenly. Custom Brews include Classic, Rich, and Over Ice, and Signature Brews come in two flavors: Specialty and Cafe Forte. Enhancing coffee beans to their fullest potential, Cafe Forte, amplifies every note of the roast. Specialty Brew concentrates coffee, allowing it to taste incredibly strong and rich (like espresso). Even more, when blended with frothed milk, a cup of coffee can turn into a decadent barista-style drink (think caramel macchiato or iced-vanilla latte). Equipped with an auto-iQ One-Touch Intelligence, the start-up and brewing process is quick and easy. Superbly, the drip indicator automatically lights up if the brew basket is not properly inserted. Features include, a measuring scoop, built-in frother, tumbler, a recipe book, and a 50 oz. coffee ice pitcher. Running larger than the Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer (the next model), it’s dimensions measure: 15.28 x 15 x 16.34 in.

PRO

  • Provides flavor flexibility
  • Keeps coffee hot and fresh for a long period

CON

  • Larger model, less counter space

2. Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer with Thermal Carafe

Similar to the former model, the Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer with a Thermal Carafe, includes: a hot and cold tumbler, a milk frother, a filter, and a coffee scoop, as well as, thermal flavor extraction technology. Flavor choices and drink options match the ones above, all except for Cafe Forte. On the plus side, the smaller design (10.8 x 10.5 x 14.9 inches), with a 43 oz stainless double-wall thermally insulated carafe, creates more counter-space. Furthermore, this model also has an auto-iQ one touch intelligence, creating the perfect water-to-bean ratio. Then finally, the stainless double-wall thermally insulated carafe, conceals heat and flavor for up to 2 hours. For the coffee enthusiast, perhaps the complex, lively aromas of the Cafe Forte option makes a difference, otherwise, this brewer model is just as efficient and convenient.

PRO

  • Smaller size
  • Keeps coffee hot and fresh for a long period

CON

  • Doesn't include XL cup size or XL multi-serve size
  • Excludes Cafe Forte option

3. Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer System with Glass Carafe

Using a clear glass carafe, this Ninja Bar Brewer System creates an aesthetic visual of coffee brewing, and reveals how much coffee is left. In addition, due to the open top on a glass carafe, coffee aromas can easily fill the room, creating an enticing environment. To keep coffee fresh and hot, the glass carafe system includes a warming plate (with temperature control). Like the Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer System with a Stainless Thermal Carafe, this model makes all three Custom Brews, and both Signature Brews (Specialty and Cafe Forte), and serves identical sizes—cup, XL cup, travel mug, XL multi-serve, half carafe, and full carafe. Other features include: a built-In frother, thermal flavor extraction technology, and auto-iQ one-touch intelligence. Slightly different in size than the first model, this brewer measures: 11.34 x 15 x 16.34. Overall, the major difference is the glass carafe, so if seeing and smelling coffee brew is essential to one’s experience, then it’s worth considering the Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer System with Glass Carafe.

PRO

  • Creates a comforting visual and aroma
  • Provides flavor flexibility

CON

  • Larger size, less counter space

4. Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer with Glass Carafe

Essentially, the Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer with Glass Carafe reflects the above Brewer System, but excludes the Cafe Forte option, and the XL size choices (for cup and multi-serve). Additionally, it too has smaller dimensions (10.8 x 10.5 x 14.9 inches), with a 43 oz glass carafe. Like the thermal brewer, the main variations are: less sizes, and no Cafe Forte flavor. Otherwise, it provides the aesthetic appeal as discussed above, while providing more counter space.

PRO

  • Smaller size
  • Creates a comforting visual and aroma

CON

  • Doesn't include XL cup size or XL multi-serve size
  • Excludes Cafe Forte option

5. Ninja Coffee Bar with Glass Carafe & Auto-IQ 1 Touch Intelligence

Out of all the models, the Ninja Auto-iQ One-Touch Intelligence (with a Glass Carafe), makes brewing coffee the most easy. Here’s the steps: select a size, choose a brew; then the coffee-maker draws the perfect amount of water and does the rest. Brew sizes include cup, travel mug, half carafe and full carafe (thus excluding the XL options). Similarly though, this model uses a thermal flavor extraction to adjust richness levels, and includes every flavor, expect for Cafe Forte. Moreover, this model can turn concentrated coffee into a hot or frozen blended drink. Other features include: a warmer assembly plate, removable water reservoir, a scooper, frother, filter, brew chamber with drip stop, and a recipe book. Basically, if measuring out precise ratios takes too much time and stress, then consider the Ninja Coffee Bar with a Glass Carafe & Auto-iQ One-Touch Intelligence.

PRO

  • Auto-iQ Intelligence measures exact-ratios
  • Smaller size (13 x 17.8 x 13 in), more counter-space
  • Creates a comforting visual and aroma

CON

  • Doesn't include XL cup size or XL multi-serve size
  • Excludes Cafe Forte option

Up Next: Battle of the Coffee Brands

Ninja Coffee Bar VS Keurig

When deciding between the Ninja Coffee Bar or the Keurig Single Serve Brew, the main difference is that the latter uses K-Cups or pod coffee, and the former has its own filter for ground coffee. Moreover, the Ninja Coffee Bar has more brewing capabilities and beverage choices, and it’s adjustable concentration makes stronger, more intense coffee. In comparison, the Keurig Brewer System is limited to two coffee options: standard and rich. Thus, the Ninja Coffee Bar is the way to go, if you’re wanting to make iced-beverages and/or espresso-style drinks, in addition to standard coffee.

Ninja Coffee Bar VS Nespresso

Similarly, the main distinction between the Ninja Coffee Bar and Nespresso is that Ninja uses ground coffee, whereas Nespresso relies on pod-capsules. Furthermore, because certain Nespresso systems heat up to exact bar pressure, they’re able to make true espresso, not just “espresso-style” drinks (aka, a highly concentrated coffee). Overall, unless espresso is a must-have, the Ninja Coffee Bar offers more features and is more cost-efficient—Nespresso capsules usually go for $0.85 each, so it’d be better to buy ground-beans (in bulk).

Ninja Coffee Bar VS Cuisinart

Attempting to please all coffee-lovers, Cuisinart now offers a two-in-one coffee maker—featuring a K-cup compatible single-serve brewer, and a large 12-cup filtered coffee brewer. Like the Ninja, this brewer includes: a strength control, a carafe warmer, and a section that can blend fancy drinks. However, only one area can brew at a time, and the single-serve component has less strength and brewing control, and no warming plate; this causes one to wonder if this single-serve brewer is all that necessary. It’s understandable why Cuisinart combined a single-serve brewer with a larger coffee maker, however, unless K-cups taste significantly better, or is another “must-have,” then the Ninja Coffee Bar has more value. Yet, it’s worth noting that Cuisnart has specific, quality brewers for grinding whole beans (e.g. Cuisinart Grind & Brew Coffee Maker), as well as espresso makers (which includes a frothers). Therefore, if authentic espressos, or grinding beans is important, then go with a Cuisnart model, otherwise, the Ninja Brewer takes the (coffee) cake in terms of versatility, usability and quality.

FAQ

When should I clean my Ninja Carafe?

In order to keep the brewer brewing hot, fresh coffee, it’s recommended to clean the carafe before or as soon as the Clean Button goes off. Directions and safety precautions are listed in the manual.

Why is the Over Ice Brew not cold?

Since this feature is designed to brew hot coffee over ice, it’s important to fill your cup, mug, or carafe with ice cubes all the way to the top.

How long does it take the Ninja Coffee Bar to brew coffee?

A single cup takes 4 minutes, and a carafe brew takes 8 minutes. If it’s longer than that, consider running the clean cycle with descaling solution.

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