Ninja coffee makers are the ultimate one-size-fits-all when it comes to brewing coffee. No matter if it’s drip coffee, iced coffee, or a cappuccino, Ninja can brew it with the touch of a button.
There are a few different Ninja models available and they all have their own pros and cons while specializing in various brew methods. To help you out we have put together the ultimate Ninja coffee maker review including all the current models and what they’re best suited for.
If you like the look of any of the options here then click on Price and Reviews to check current prices on Amazon.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s in store and then we’ll dive right in and take a close look at each option.
Top 5 Best Ninja Coffee Makers
- Best One-Size-Fits-All – Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker CM401 and CM407
- If You Love Coffee and Tea – Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System CP301 and CP307
- If You Want Your Coffee Fast – Ninja DualBrew Pro System CFP201 and CFP301
- Specialty Coffee Lovers – Ninja Coffee Bar Auto-iQ
- If You Love Drip Coffee – Ninja Programmable Brewer
Ninja Coffee Makers Review
1. Best One-Size-Fits-All
The Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker CM401 and CM407
The Ninja Specialty coffee maker is a perfect choice, no matter which cup of coffee you prefer. You can choose between six brew sizes by simply pressing a button. These options include single-serve, XL single cup, travel mug, multi-serve travel mug, half carafe, and full carafe that holds 50 Oz of hot coffee.
With four ways to brew coffee, you can choose from a beautifully balanced classic brew, a bold and intense rich brew, an espresso-like specialty brew, or over ice for a cooling treat. You can enjoy the coffee black or use the fold-away milk frother to make lattes or cappuccinos.
It’s fully programmable with a delay brew button so you can put off the brew cycle if needed, there’s an auto shut off that turns the machine off after an hour of inactivity, and it even has an automated cleaning cycle. The removable water reservoir makes it easy to clean and refill and a lot of the parts of this machine are dishwasher safe which is a nice extra.
The Ninja Specialty comes in two design options, the CM401, and the CM407. The 401 comes with a glass carafe and warming plate whereas the 407 has a thermal carafe so you can choose the coffee machine that bests suits your needs.
This machine is a really good option for functionality and versatility, the only downside is that it does take up a lot of counter space so isn’t the best for small kitchens.
2. If You Love Coffee and Tea
Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System CP301 and CP307
If you can’t decide whether you prefer coffee or tea then this is the Ninja coffee brewer for you. You don’t have to compromise as this option can do both with ease. It features six brew size options ranging from single-serve to a full pot in the 50 Oz carafe.
The brew settings include five coffee and tea brew styles; classic, rich, over ice, cold brew, and specialty brew. Alongside this are five tea settings for black, white, green, oolong, or herbal tea so this machine can handle any kind of tea you enjoy best. It even comes with individual tea and coffee permanent filter baskets so any residue doesn’t affect the flavor.
The fold-away frother makes it easy to make frothed milk so you can make tea or coffee lattes, just like a barista. Similar to other machines it’s fully programmable and has a delay brew button. One-touch settings make it very easy to use.
You can choose between the CP301 which features a glass carafe and warming plate or the CP307 with a thermal carafe. The thermal option will keep a pot of coffee warm for 2 hours or more when pre-heated so is good if you’re always too busy to keep an eye on the machine.
This machine is a really good option for everyone that enjoys all types of coffee and tea and allows you to brew coffee shop quality drinks from the comfort of your own home.
3. If You Want Your Coffee Fast
Ninja DualBrew Pro System CFP201 and CFP301
If you’re always in a rush in the morning and you never seem to have enough time then you need a coffee maker that can act fast. The Ninja Dualbrew Pro has a faster brew time compared to a standard k-cup, single-serve coffee maker whilst still brewing the same amount of coffee.
There are two models available for this coffee machine and they feature different brew options. The CFP201 is perfect for regular coffee as you can choose from classic, rich, or over ice. The CFP301 is similar but it can also act as an espresso machine. It brews espresso-like specialty coffee and has a fold-away milk frother so you can make all kinds of specialty coffee.
Both machines have nine cup sizes to choose between and these are small cup, cup, XL cup, Travel mug, XL travel mug, 1/4 carafe, half carafe, 3/4 carafe, and full carafe. The dual feature means the machine can use fresh coffee grounds or k-cup coffee pods so you can choose whichever option suits you best.
4. Specialty Coffee Lovers
Ninja Coffee Bar Auto-iQ
- Brew Options: 5
- Cup Sizes: 6
- Programmable: Yes
- Thermal Carafe and Fold Away Frother
If you can’t decide between a drip coffee maker or a specialty coffee machine then why not get a coffee maker that does both? The Ninja coffee bar auto iQ is the best coffee maker for brewing high-quality coffee drinks tailored to you.
There are five drink options starting with your classic brew strength. Next is rich for a bolder brew, specialty brew is perfect for espresso-based drinks, and over ice will give you a refreshingly cool coffee, perfect on a hot summer’s day. The final option, cafe forte, is designed to get the most out of your coffee and showcases all the flavor notes.
You can choose from six different cup size options starting from a single cup, XL cup, travel mug, XL travel mug, half carafe, and finally, full carafe. Enjoy these black or use the milk frother to create any specialty coffee you enjoy most.
5. If You Love Drip Coffee
Ninja Programmable Brewer CE251
- Brew Options: 2
- Cup Size:2
- Programmable: Yes
- Removable Water Tank: Yes
- 60 Oz Glass Carafe
If a carafe full of wonderfully rich coffee is everything you desire then this simple drip machine is the right choice for you. It can brew up to 60 Oz of delicious coffee into the glass carafe and the hot plate will keep it warm until you’re ready to enjoy it.
The brew options are simple enough with a choice of classic or rich and the brew sizes include full carafe or choose the small-batch setting for 4 cups or less. The water tank can hold enough for the full 60 oz, 12 cup brew option and is removable for easy refilling.
You get a reusable filter and coffee scoop for ease of use and this even has a storage point built into the machine to save it from getting lost. You can choose between stainless steel or black housing, whichever option suits your home.
Tips for Brewing Great Coffee
Use Whole Bean Coffee
The best tip for brewing the richest tasting coffee is to use whole coffee beans. When coffee is pre-ground it loses a lot of the rich flavors and aromas and goes stale a lot quicker. Whole beans lock in all that delicious taste and this is released when the coffee is ground up.
If you want to take it a step further then choose freshly roasted coffee beans and you’ll be amazed at how good home-brewed coffee can taste.
Get a Good Quality Grinder
Once you have whole coffee beans the next thing you need is a good quality coffee grinder. A burr grinder is a must as they grind up coffee evenly and never burn the beans. A conical burr grinder with steel or ceramic blades is an investment that is not only worth it for the amazing tasting coffee you end up with, but it will also last a long time.
All these Ninja machines come with reusable filters which are handy in terms of reducing waste but the downside is that they don’t make the best coffee. The idea is they are supposed to work like a french press to allow more coffee oils into the brew to give a bolder taste.
The difference is that a french press uses immersion brewing so the coffee sits in the water for around 4 minutes whereas a drip machine pours the water over the coffee so it doesn’t stay in contact as long. This can give a weak-tasting cup of coffee. Paper filters slow down the flow of water so give a richer taste.
Some people do prefer the taste of coffee when using the reusable filter and it is down to personal taste. I’d recommend trying it once but if you find the coffee tastes a bit off then best opt for the paper ones next time.
Coffee to Water Ratio
The amount of water you add in relation to the coffee used is really important as a good coffee: water ratio ensures a balanced flavor extraction. Accurately measuring out your coffee and water also ensures your brew method is repeatable so great-tasting coffee doesn’t end up being hit or miss.
For drip coffee, a good ratio to use is 1:15 coffee to water. That’s 1g of coffee for every 15g (or ml) of water added. This value can easily be adjusted if you find it too strong or weak.
All the Ninja coffee makers come with a recipe booklet to help you choose a good ratio for your chosen brew method.
Iced Coffee Tips
Iced coffee is made by brewing hot coffee over ice so that it cools down very quickly. Make sure you adjust the brew ratio as described in the Ninja recipe booklet as the coffee has to be extra strong so that the melting ice doesn’t water it down too much.
If you like your coffee strong enough to keep you buzzing all day then a good tip is to brew a batch ahead of time and let it cool before adding it to ice cube trays. Freeze it overnight and then you have coffee ice cubes. Brew your iced coffee using these to avoid any dilution of flavor.
A few of these Ninja coffee makers come with a built-in, fold-away milk frother. Unlike steam wands, they don’t heat up the milk as they froth it. It’s best to warm the milk first in the microwave or on the hob on medium heat and then froth it.
Milk with a high fat content will froth better and hold its shape well. Use whole milk or half and half for best results. If you’re choosing a non-dairy option then opt for a barista blend. these contain stabilizers that help give a similar result to dairy.
Glass Carafe with Warming Plate or Thermal Carafe
Ninja coffee makers usually come with two options available for the carafe. You can choose a glass carafe with a warming plate or a thermal carafe. Here are the pros and cons of each option.
The glass carafe requires no preheating as the warming plate does all this for you. It stays piping hot as long as the machine stays on and the glass gives you the advantage of being able to quickly see how much coffee you have left. The downside of this option is that the plate can end up heating up too much and often leads to burnt coffee. It’s a good idea to avoid leaving the coffee there too long.
A thermal carafe keeps the coffee hot using insulation so can keep it warm for hours without any risk of burning it. The downside with this option is you do need to preheat it with hot water beforehand and fix the lid in place after the brew cycle to ensure your coffee stays hot. It’s not transparent so you can’t quickly see how much coffee you have left but it is portable so you can take it anywhere with you which is great for busy mornings.
Is the Ninja Coffee Maker any good?
Ninja coffee makers are a great option for brewing drip as well as specialty coffee. They keep the brewing process really simple and are very user-friendly. They don’t conform to the SCA standards so are not a high-end choice and they’re not equipped with a high pressure pump like an espresso machine is but for the price you pay, the versatile machine you get makes it a really good choice.
Which is better Ninja or Keurig?
Keurig mainly focuses on single serve coffee makers that use K-cup pods to brew a cup of coffee. They are compact and simple to use and are great if you’re short of space.
Ninja coffee makers are much larger and bulkier but can do a lot more than just brew single serve. They are good if you have plenty of space to spare and you’re looking for a coffee maker that can brew all kinds of coffee.
Do Ninja coffee makers last?
One downside with Ninja machines is the lifespan. They typically only last for 1-2 years as they get issues with the pumps or water reservoir. Descaling your machine regularly can help improve its lifespan and some parts are replaceable helping it to keep going.
Is the Ninja coffee maker worth the money?
Ninja coffee makers are very good at doing lots of brew methods but are not especially great at any one method in particular. They are worth it if you like to brew different kinds of coffee with ease but if you’re looking for a high-quality, SCA approved option then don’t choose Ninja.
So that’s it for Ninja coffee makers. They are a great option if you want an easy to use machine that brews all kinds of great tasting coffee drinks. Whether you prefer drip coffee, lattes or even over ice, there’s a Ninja that can brew this with ease. Now it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a fresh mug of java!