The best coffee maker I have ever owned is the Ninja Coffee Bar. It makes single serve, full pot, specialty and even cold brewed coffee.
We purchased a Ninja™ Coffee Bar® Brewer for our kitchen and I thought I’d share our experience so far with this amazing coffee making machine!
Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links for products or services I think you’ll like. The Birch Cottage is a member of the Amazon Associates program. This means if you make a purchase from one of these links, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.
Do you love coffee? Do you love iced coffee? Do you love “good” coffee? Are you looking for a new coffee maker? Or maybe you’re considering buying a Keurig? Or are you more interested in finding a no fuss way to brew really good coffee every single time? Then you have to consider the Ninja Coffee Bar Read on…
Why We Bought the Ninja Coffee Bar
I am actually fairly new to coffee drinking. I started drinking coffee regularly about two years ago. Then a co-worker introduced me to Sugar Free French Vanilla Iced Coffee from McDonald’s. I thought it was amazing!
It Started with Iced Coffee
So, I began a journey to learn how to make iced coffee at home. I bought a French press and I honed my skills. I found I preferred the cold press method. The downside to the cold press method is the amount of time it takes to brew.
As we began to make plans to renovate our kitchen, I started looking at coffee makers. I’ve tried a Keurig before and although I like the idea of a reusable pod, I really didn’t care for the taste of the coffee or the inability to brew an entire pot of coffee. Then one day, I’m scrolling through an online auction and I see a picture of a coffee maker that caught my eye. It was called a “Ninja” and I thought, “Oh, great, another fad.”
Did My Research
Then I saw the Ninja show up in another online auction. I took a closer look. I did some research and found all sorts of ranting reviews. I told my husband, “When we renovate our kitchen, we’re going to have a Ninja Coffee Bar in it.” I should have known better. What I meant was that I would keep my eye on the auctions and would purchase one “someday” at a really great price.
Fount It On Sale!
We were out at an estate sale a couple of weeks later and on our way home, my husband asked me to stop by Best Buy. So, I did. I figured he wanted to check out a tape converter or something. Well, it just so happened that Best Buy had the Ninja CF081 on sale at a cheaper price than Amazon and the store had one in stock.
I was quite shocked and not sure how to respond. But my husband insisted and so we brought home our brand new Ninja Coffee Bar. We looked at two different models and I chose the CF081, which came with a glass jar frother, called the Ninja Easy Frother™. We also considered the CF091, which came with a built-in frother. I chose the model without the built-in frother.
Ninja Coffee Bar Features
Here are just a few of the features:
- Four Sizes: Cup, Travel Mug, Half Carafe, or Full Carafe. Brew directly into your favorite cup or travel mug or use the glass carafe.
- Four Brew Strengths: Classic, Rich, Over Ice, and Specialty. The various brew strengths allow you to make a variety of hot, iced, and frozen blended coffeehouse-style drinks
- Auto-iQ One-Touch Intelligence knows how to deliver the perfect amount of water at the right time for the size and brew type you select. No need to measure the water or refill the reservoir after every single serve brew.
- 43 oz. Glass Carafe and Intelligent Warming Plate keep your coffee at the ideal drinking temperature with 2-hour (expandable to 4 hours) auto shutoff. No more burnt coffee taste or smell!
- Program the Ninja Coffee Bar Delay Brew to brew any size or style at any time in the next 24 hours.
- Comes with a double-sided scoop. One side is for single serve and one for carafe.
Hot, Cold & Specialty Coffee
It’s hard to believe that one coffee maker can do all things well. But, I’m telling you it does! And that cold pressed iced coffee I told you I had perfected earlier? I can make it in less than 3 minutes with my new Ninja Coffee Bar! No lie! No exaggeration. And it tastes amazing!
I haven’t tried all 40 of the recipes that came in the little recipe booklet that came with my Ninja. But, I have tried quite a few. In fact, my husband who has never liked iced coffee, now drinks iced coffee! Here are a few of the recipes we’ve tried and really liked. I mean we REALLY like them!
Ninja Coffee Bar: Hot Coffee
- Perfect Classic Coffee
- Perfect Rich Coffee
- Creme de Caramel Coffee
- Too Good Toffee Coffee
- Cappuccino-Style Coffee
- Flat White
- Caramel Macchiato
- Cafe au Lait
Ninja Coffee Bar: Iced Coffee
- French Vanilla Iced Coffee
- Thai-Style Iced Coffee (another favorite)
- Classic Ninjaccino
- Iced Vanilla Latte
- Coffee & Cream milkshake (gotta try this!)
- Cinnamon Caramel Iced Coffee
- Sugar-Free Vanilla Iced Coffee
The options and possibilities are just limitless!
I did read that you cannot brew tea in the Ninja Coffee Bar (at least the model we have). You can brew water and steep your tea bags in the carafe. You can even brew an entire pot of iced coffee. Here’s how:
Full Pot Iced Coffee with Ninja Coffee Maker
- Ninja Coffee Bar
- 4-6 Ninja carafe scoops ground coffee
- 4 cups ice
- Fill reservoir with water to the max fill line.
- Add coffee according to the Ninja directions (4-6 Ninja carafe scoops).
- Fill carafe with ice and place on the hot plate.
- Select Full Carafe. Press the Over Ice brew button.
- Once coffee has finished brewing, fill your glasses with ice (we use coffee ice cubes), add your flavorings and fill your glass with your fresh brewed iced coffee.
Awesome, right?! I think the particular model we have is no longer being manufactured by Ninja. You can, however, still find it for sale at places like Wal-Mart, Target and Amazon.
Here are a few of the models available from Amazon. The particular model we purchased is no longer available as a new product from Amazon.You can bet that when it comes time for us to replace our coffee maker, it will be with another Ninja.
What Other’s Say
I’m not the only one who says the Ninja Coffee Bar is the absolute best coffee maker for brewing really good coffee and specialty coffees at home. Some would dare say the results are better than your local barista.
Our Test Kitchen Found the Very Best Coffee Maker! After brewing up pots and pots of coffee over a few months, our Test Kitchen got a good feeling for each coffee maker we tried (a whopping 10 options!), but in the end, Ninja’s coffee maker ($80) stole our hearts.Lisa Kaminski for Family Handyman
If you’re looking for a new automatic drip coffee maker, I can heartily recommend The Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System with Thermal Carafe. It makes a delicious pot of hot coffee and has lots of terrific features that eliminate so many of those headaches associated with using other machines (like a carafe that dribbles and a basket that’s annoying to fill).Sharon Franke for the Kitchn
If you are looking for a versatile, reliable coffee machine to create the caffeination station of your. dreams, Ninja Coffee Makers might be the the answer.Roasty
We love our new Ninja Coffee Bar so much that we even took it on vacation with us. It was a HUGE hit with the kids! We had iced coffee, cappuccino, lattes and even espresso every single day.
Ninja Coffee Bar Tips
Here are a few things I have discovered now that I’ve been using my Ninja for over two years:
- The initial and subsequent cleaning cycles take time. Like maybe close to 2 hours. So, be sure to start it when you have plenty of time to follow up.
- Also, be sure to use plenty of white vinegar if you have hard water. It will make a big difference. Then, of course, you’ll want to run through a couple cycles of just water before brewing coffee after cleaning.
- The single and travel cup settings brew a lot of coffee — too much for most standard mugs. I often times brew the coffee into the carafe and then pour into my cup. Just know that when you have it set to cup, travel or xl cup size the burner/warmer does not turn on.
- The coffee basket is a reusable filter. No coffee filter required. You will want to rinse it off really well between uses as the coffee tends to cling to the basket. If this annoys you, you can always use a disposable filter, too.
- Rinse the frother immediately after using it.
- Be sure to check the water level in the reservoir before brewing your coffee. Although the coffee maker will alert you (audible tones) if it runs out of water, it will not alert you before you start to brew that pot of coffee.
I have made all sorts of concoctions in my Ninja Coffee Bar. My favorite is to make a half-pot of coffee the night before, set the time and have fresh brewed coffee waiting on me at 6:30 in the morning.
My other favorite is the “over ice” iced coffee. I make a full pot and store it in the refrigerator so I always have iced coffee ready. Although there isn’t a brewed tea setting in my machine (I’m told there is in some of the newer models), I love to make chai lattes using the specialty brew setting.
Here are a few other recipes you might want to try with your Ninja Coffee maker:
- Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha
- Cinnamon Spice Latte
- Caramel Macchiato
- Cookies & Cream Frappe
- Mocha Latte
Plus, you’ll find even more coffee recipes on the Ninja website.
Ninja Customer Service
I have to tell you that I had two opportunities to talk to customer service. The first was shortly after we purchased our Ninja Coffee Bar the display stopped working. I contacted customer service and since the coffee maker was under warranty, they sent me out a replacement base at no cost. Except, of course, I had to pay for the cost of shipping. Fair enough.
Ninja Customer Service was fast, prompt and answered all my questions.
So, if you’re looking for a new coffee maker, wanting to try some specialty coffees at home or just really like the idea of saving a lot of money by brewing your own cappuccinos, lattes and specialty coffee drinks, I hope you’ll consider the Ninja brand of coffee makers.
Til next time…