If you love coffee but don’t want the trouble of weighing, grinding, and brewing in the morning, a coffee maker is the perfect solution for you.
The Ninja Coffee bar isn’t like any coffeemaker or product you’ve seen. Read on to find out why!
To give you a general idea, here are the basic details you need to know.
- Extremely convenient to use
- Plenty of recipes to choose from and experiment with
- You can use your own beans
- Built-in milk frother
- Name: Ninja Coffee Bar Glass Carafe System
- Brand: Ninja
- Model: CF091
- Weight: 12.73 lbs.
- Product Dimensions: 15 x 11.34 x 9.21 in.
- Wattage: 1400 W
- Material: Plastic/Metal
- Warranty: 1 year
- Included: Reusable filter, Measuring spoon, Recipe book
What We Loved
- Enormous variety of coffee sizes
- Removable water reservoir
- Integrated milk frother
What We Didn’t Love
- Not a genuine espresso machine
- Takes up more space
- Gold filter, not standard-sized
Who Is It For?
The Ninja Coffee Bar is for coffee enthusiasts who want the ability to use their own grounds and make a variety of drink sizes and strengths, without the hassle of making pour-overs or espressos.
Setting It Up
As you can expect with a product that promises convenience, set-up for the Ninja Coffee Bar is very simple. It only takes three easy steps to have this up and running:
- Set the time on the clock
- Clean the carafe, water reservoir, and other washable parts
- Put two fuel carafes of clean brewing water through the rinse system
If you are into the futuristic aesthetic, you will love the Ninja Coffee Bar. It looks just like a sleek robot, with its frother arm extended and the single cup holder in place.
The water reservoir sits on the right of the machine and is a removable, see-through carafe.
The markings let you know how much water you need for each type of coffee, but you can also keep the reservoir filled at all times. This works for many people since the carafe can hold 10 cups of water.
We love its molded hand-grip design, which made it easy to grab, lift, and move around regardless of whether it was empty or full.
And for maximum convenience, you can also choose to fill the reservoir while attached to the machine.
Just note that the reservoir is a little front-heavy, even when empty.
As with other coffee makers, the Ninja Coffee Bar has a drop-down tray that you can use whenever you need to brew into a single-serve cup. Afterward, you can easily store it away again as it neatly tucks into the machine.
This avoids a lot of splashing and lets you ensure every drop goes into your cup without the mess.
Included in the Ninja Coffee Bar is a gold-toned mesh coffee filter, similar to those in other coffee makers. It has a tab handle that makes it easy to remove after use.
However, note that the filter isn’t standard-sized, so it will be difficult to find a replacement at just any store if you damage it. If this happens, you can easily buy a replacement on Amazon here.
As an alternative, if you need a temporary solution immediately or don’t have a replacement readily available, we recommend using a paper filter instead, which has the added benefit of giving you a cleaner cup because it can strain out finer grind sizes.
Each coffee recipe uses the same filter basket, whether you are brewing a single-serve cup or a full carafe.
The splendid news is that even when using small amounts of grounds, the filter still does a fantastic job.
The menu includes many drinks that you can explore as you go through the included recipe book.
You can start out with a basic carafe of brewed drip coffee, which gives you significant results.
Note that the attached frother does not steam the milk but just works like an electric mixer that is attached to the machine.
They have a recipe called Specialty Brew, which makes espresso-like coffee [R].
For this, the Ninja Coffee Bar System will always brew a single-serve cup of 4-ounce extra-strong coffee that you can use to build a cappuccino-like drink.
While it is not legitimate espresso, it will taste strong enough that it can withstand being drunk with milk, similar to a drink you might get with an Aeropress.
We also recommend that you try the Ninja Coffee Bar System’s Over-Ice Coffee for an extra-potent brew that will not taste diluted, even when brewed on ice. This is the strongest brew you can make with this coffee machine.
There’s also the café Forte, which is made with 8 ounces of coffee, which has good strength when brewed with the recommended amount of coffee beans.
The one-touch option will churn out an 8-oz serving of coffee that is handy when you need to quickly get some into your travel mug before leaving for work.
You can also configure your preferred amount of ground coffee into the machine for this, so that out will always have the taste and ratio you want.
The Awkward Arm
Reviews found the little frother arm was a bit awkward to use.
Since it swings out but remains permanently attached to the machine, you need to keep one that hadn’t pressed on the top button while the other held out the milk jug.
This is inconvenient and difficult because it is harder to control the milk jug and keep the splashes to a minimum with just one hand.
Reviews say they also had to be careful not to have the Ninja Coffee Bar too close to any other appliance to avoid getting blocked because the arm swings out from the left side.
The Ninja Coffee Bar has a drop-stop feature that uses a button to stop the flow of the coffee automatically.
We love this because it means you can brew coffee straight into a single cup or travel mug, even without the glass carafe in place!
This also allows you to dispense the perfect amount of coffee into whatever sized cup you have at all times.
When engaged, the light on the drip-stop button will blink to remind you it is enabled.
Auto-IQ One-Touch Intelligence
The Ninja Coffee Bar panel lights up to easily show you all the options you can choose from. The icons for the different cup sizes and containers were also easy to understand.
When you are brewing, the light on the button you chose will pulse to let you know that the coffee isn’t ready yet.
With a convenient preheating feature, the Ninja Coffee Bar will ensure that you always get water at the perfect brewing temperature.
And while you can skip this step by adding already-boiling water with no noticeable disadvantages, we’d still recommend letting the machine do its job.
To keep your coffee warm and at the perfect drinking temperature at all times, the Ninja Coffee Bar has a warming plate, similar to other coffee makers.
You can easily with this plate on or off with the push of a button. You can also program it to keep your coffee warm from zero to four hours, depending on your need and preference.
Automatic Brewing and Auto-Off
If you are like us and need coffee before you can start your day, you will love the scheduling feature system. You can schedule it to make fresh coffee at a particular time, which is easy enough to do.
However, note that it will not keep the time if your machine suddenly gets unplugged or the power goes out, as it is a purely corded electric coffee machine.
You also have to remember to keep the machine turned on for the delay timer to work.
If you’re like us and you forget to turn off your appliances, the Ninja Coffee Bar has an excellent feature for you. Its auto stop function will automatically shut the machine down after detecting two hours of inactivity.
Serving Size Options
As we have already mentioned, you can brew in various sizes, from single-serve, one travel mug, an extra-large travel mug, one-half carafe, or full carafe.
The manual will tell you the number of ounces in each size so that you can pick the right container for your coffee, whether single serve. (And don’t forget about the drip-stop feature in case you choose one that’s too small!)
Maintenance on this machine is very similar to other coffee makers, from the carafe down to its intricate parts.
Use a damp cloth to wipe the exterior and wash the removable parts as needed.
You can put the glass carafe and brew-through filter on the top rack of your dishwasher or choose to clean them by hand. Everything else requires hand washing.
You can cleanse all the nooks by taking the lid off the reservoir.
As for the frother, we suggest cleaning it after every use as rancid milk can stick to it. It’s as simple as twisting off the end, then twisting it back on once it’s clean.
Once in a while, the Ninja Coffee Bar will require descaling to remove lime deposits. The machine will let you know when it’s time by turning on the “clean” light.
What We Wish They Would Improve
While the ninja Coffee Bar looks like a robot, it doesn’t have the most premium-looking appearance. You can still clearly see it is made of plastic, but we can see why this is considering its price.
While the Ninja Coffee Bar can make great coffee, it can over-extract its drinks because its internal temperatures can reach up to 208°F. This is at the higher end of the brewing temperature spectrum.
We do not recommend using high temperatures, especially for dark roast beans, because this will probably over-extract your coffee and bring out the more burnt/bitter taste.
However, for medium roast beans, this temperature should more or less be okay, as long as you do not keep the coffee on the heating plate for long.
This coffee system is pretty sizable, so it takes up a lot of your counter space. Plus, keep the left side free to swing out the milk frother. This is something you should consider when deciding whether to get this for your kitchen.
Despite all the points where it can improve, we still think the Ninja Coffee Bar is a machine that is well worth it for anyone who wants delicious coffee, whether single-serve or for the entire family.
It is effortless and intuitive to use. Plus, it gives you a bit of flexibility to experiment with your drinks without all the hassle of manual brewing!