Auto IQ technologyWhen you think of the Ninja brand, you automatically think of tons of features at a great price. And with their new line of Ninja Coffee Bars, they continue that trend with numerous features packed into one package for a reasonable price. The Ninja Coffee Bars offer a number of very useful brewing modes and the versatility to tackle various drink sizes simple by flipping a switch making it an indispensable unit for the coffee lover that wants to save cash but not skimp on features. We absolutely love that it can handle so many coffee drinks without needing multiple pieces of equipment to clutter up the countertop. The units are a bit large, but if you had an individual piece of equipment for every type of drink that the Ninja Coffee Bar can handle, you’d have a lot less space.

Whatever shortcomings the Ninja might have like it’s slightly larger size and plastic parts (glass is usually better for brewing), it more than makes up for it in sheer functionality, particularly if you are looking for a machine that can accommodate a bunch of different brew styles and for less money than many other premium drip products. Not to mention the whole unit is BPA free.

Below we outline the best features of the Ninja Coffee Bar so you can easily see what makes this machine stand out in a crowded coffee market.


Brand & ModelWeightCarafeOur RatingPrice
Ninja Coffee Bar (CF097)15 lbs.Thermal
Ninja Coffee Bar (CF092)13 lbs.Glass
Ninja Coffee Bar (CF085Z)13 lbs.Glass
Ninja Coffee Bar (CF080Z)8 lbs.Glass
Ninja Coffee Bar (CF086)9 lbs.Thermal

Pour Over Technology

pour over coffeeWith your traditional drip coffee machines, the way that it delivers the water to the grounds is very rudimentary and leaves a lot to be desired. All that happens is the water heats up and is dumped over the coffee, which can leave much of the flavor and caffeine behind only to be thrown away after you’re done brewing. With the Ninja Coffee Bar, the brewing is done in a two-step process that looks more like a pour over brew method that a drip machine. First the machine pre-soaks your coffee preparing it for proper extraction, after the coffee grounds are properly soaked, it then flows the water through creating a much more flavorful and even brew. This is one of our favorite features that is included in all the models on the list and helps the Coffee Bar System rise above more traditional automatic brewing methods.

Five Main Brewing Modes

The Ninja Coffee Bar comes with four main brewing modes all producing various brews with subtle put important differences.

Class Brew Mode

ninja brew modesThe “classic brew” button is going to have the Coffee Bar make coffee that is smooth and balanced. In other words, this is the brew mode that is closest to your traditional drip coffee maker. In our tests, it performed just as good as any drip coffee machine we have ever used or owned.

Rich Brew Mode

The “rich brew mode” is going to produce a delicious java that is richer than the classic brew but still smooth. This is where the special functions of the Coffee Bar start to come into the picture. The “rich brew” is basically making you a coffee that is a bit fuller than your classic drip coffee machine, and can hold its own when adding things like milk, sugar and other sweeteners. Whereas the “classic brew” made become slightly watered down and loose some flavor when not drunk black, the “rich brew” flavors are able to come through and stand still stand out.

Specialty Brew Mode

The most unique brew mode is the “specialty brew” mode which whips up amazing coffee concentrates that can be used in your own signature coffee drinks and espresso beverages such as lattes and cappuccinos. Speaking of cappuccinos, the Ninja also includes a milk frother for steaming milk quickly when making youre favorite coffee shop drink. We especially love this mode as there is no other machine on the market capable of doing this and it really adds to the value and overall functionality of the Ninja Coffee Bar.

Over Ice Brew

Who doesn’t love a rich iced coffee when the weather heats up? We know that we do and the “over ice” brew mode could not be simpler. All you need to do is fill up the provided carafe with ice water, add the appropriately sized grounds, press the button and the Ninja Coffee Bar takes care of the rest. This has replaced the dedicated cold brewer that we have had at the house for years and we are glad to have the extra space.

Café Forte Brew

The “café forte” brew mode is basically the same as the specialty brew mode above with the exception that it will deliver 8 ounces of concentrated brew.

Brewing Amounts

ninja-coffee-sizesWith all Coffee Bar models available, you can easily adjust the amount of coffee you’ll be making with the turn of a dial. Whether you want to brew a full pot, or just a cup for the road, the Ninja can accommodate you in all of its various brew modes. The four volume sizes are: standard full carafe, half carafe, travel mugs, and a single coffee cup. While the different brew modes will produce slightly different amounts depending on the size you select, we found the final amount of liquid to be pretty consistent throughout.

Many Models, Subtle Differences

There are no shortages of different models of the Ninja Coffee Bar on the market, which can make figuring out the best one to buy a challenge. On top of that, the company is not exactly forthcoming about what makes one different than the other. But, we did a ton of testing with each of the models reviewed and have a good sense of what makes each one tick, the pros and cons of every model, and ultimately which one you should buy.


Ninja Coffee Bar Thermal Carafe System, Stainless Carafe (CF097)

Ninja Coffee Bar Thermal Carafe System, Stainless Carafe (CF097)The CF097 is at the top of our lists and probably our favorite model because of the thermal carafe system and stainless steel carafe. This unit comes with everything you need for professional coffee drinks made at home. It ships complete with the permanent removable filter, glass iced coffee pitcher, and of course the stainless steel carafe. It arrived in very secure packaging so none of the glass pieces were at risk of breaking during transit, which has been a problem for us with other coffee systems in the past. Pieces showed up cracked or completely broken and it was a real pain getting the replacement parts shipped out in a timely manner.

Like all the Ninja systems on our list, the brewing amounts range from a single serve pod-free size all the way up to a full carfare for serving coffee to a large group of people. The eco-friendly reusable coffee filters fits nicely in the cradle and there is a nice large tab making it easy to pull out and put back in. By using the Ninja Brew Bar System, we have also been able to save a good amount of coffee as we noticed that we only needed about half of what would be used in a traditional drip coffee maker.

Pros

  • Stainless-steel carafe system
  • Pod-free single serve coffee option
  • Save on coffee as the unit requires fewer grounds than traditional drip makers
  • The frother is exceptional coffee

Cons

  • Carafe stays warm for about an hour with no heating plate
  • Brewing must be stopped with a push of a button instead of automatically

Ninja Coffee Bar Glass Carafe System (CF092) with Cookbook and Tumbler

Ninja Coffee Bar Glass Carafe System (CF092) with Cookbook and TumblerThe CF092 model comes with a bunch of extras making it another favorite of ours simply for the valued added by the included bonuses. In addition to the standard components available with all Ninja models, the CF092 ships with a 22-ounce double-walled tumbler for hot and cold beverages, a double-walled carafe for iced coffee, a double-walled stainless 22-ounce travel mug, a 14-ounce glass specialty brew mug and a recipe cookbook to help you along your brewing journey. We are constantly surprised by the thought that went into the design and features of this coffee maker. Even though some of the exterior parts are plastic, the system as a whole is very sturdy and well-built, and good looking enough to add to the style of your kitchen as it sits on the countertop.

The main difference between this model and its predecessor is the older version utilized a hand held agitator which you would have to plunge up and down to create a froth in your milk, whereas this version is now upgraded to a powered mixer arm and whisk which is attached to the side of the unit. It’s a welcome evolution and makes using the machine easier than ever.

Pros

  • Lots of extras included adding to the overall value
  • Upgraded whisk and agitator arm
  • Advanced Thermal Flavor Extraction Technology
  • Auto-iQ One-Touch Intelligence

Cons

  • Frother does not technically steam milk, but rather heats and simulates an espresso machine
  • Cannot brew in-between sizes

Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer, Thermal Carafe with Ninja Hot and Cold 18 oz. Insulated Tumbler and Recipe Book (CF085Z)

Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer, Thermal Carafe with Ninja Hot and Cold 18 oz. Insulated Tumbler and Recipe Book (CF085Z)The CF085Z sits high on the lists for it’s balance of form and function and goodies thrown in on top to really round out the value of the system. With it you will receive an 18-ounce hot and cold tumbler, Glass Ninja easy milk frother, 40 recipe cookbook, permanent filter, 5 paper filters, Ninja coffee scoop, & 43-ounce and a stainless double-walled thermally insulated carafe. The Auto-IQ Tough Intelligence systems makes brewing a no brainer by drawing up just the right amount of water from the reservoir based on the brew type and amount you select. We are always impressed with the patented brewing technology that always seems to deliver a better result with coffee that is never over extracted or bitter. The automated controls handle everything from temperature calibration, pre-infusion and coffee saturation.

There is one crucial feature built into the Coffee Bar system that differentiates it from the rest and creates an awesome cup of coffee and it has to do with the way the machine heats up the water and distributes it over the grounds. Instead of the heated water flowing over the grounds all at once which can easily leave behind a lot of the coffee bean’s flavor and oils, the Ninja system first simply saturates the beans, and then enters the full brew cycle making the java it produces more like a pour over than a drip machine.

Pros

  • Can used fine or coarse ground coffee
  • Only 15” high meaning it can fits comfortably under most cabinets
  • Perfect for blended coffee drinks
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Some have had issues with the clean light staying on after cleaning
  • Does not include as many extras as other models

Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer, Glass Carafe with Ninja Hot and Cold 18 oz. Insulated Tumbler and Recipe Book(CF080Z)

Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer, Glass Carafe with Ninja Hot and Cold 18 oz. Insulated Tumbler and Recipe Book(CF080Z)With the CF080Z Coffee Bar system, flexibility is king. With it, you get the best of both worlds in that you can have the full pot of coffee that you would get with a drip coffee machine and also the single serve pod size that you would get with a Keurig. We love the fact that you can simply fill up the water reservoir to its maximum level and then forget about having to measure out precise amounts for various types of brew cycles to come.

Some of the standout features of this particular unit are the removable water reservoir lid which is totally dishwasher safe, the permanent micro filter which does not require paper filter making it a more eco-friendly option, a swing down platform for your cups and mugs (larger vessels and carafes just rest on the base of the unit, fully programmable brew cycles for a delayed start, a dedicated cleaning cycle, and a scoop which is built into the side of the Ninja system

Pros

  • Recipe book included
  • Easy to clean using the dedicated clean cycle
  • Swing out try for cups and mugs
  • Extra double-walled tumbler included

Cons

  • Unit is slightly taller than other makes it tight for some countertop spaces
  • Other models include more extras and bonuses

Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer, Thermal Carafe (CF086)

Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer, Thermal Carafe (CF086)With the Ninja Coffee Bar CF086, you have the best coffee shop in the city right in your own kitchen. With the patent-pending brewing innovations available with this system, you’re going to get better, richer coffee that is extracted to perfection and is never bitter or burned. When using the Thermal Flavor Extraction feature included with this machine, you will be truly unlocking all of the subtle flavors of your coffee that you have been missing with the outdated drip-brewing machine. And, with the Ninja Auto-iQ One-Touch System, you can choose a size and brew type within seconds; cutting down the time it takes to get exactly what you want to almost nothing. The added frother will froth milk for even the most specialty style coffee drinks that will rival any coffee shop in town.

The included thermos carafe works incredibly well and kept our coffee hot for over four hours without a warming plate in our tests. The recipe book that comes with the unit is surprisingly good and we have made several of the recipes in it and they have all come out rather tasty, each one far exceeding our expectations. The smooth coffee produced with all brew modes is decidedly less acidic than most other brew methods and machines we have tried and the Ninja Brew System has won us over for good.

Pros

  • Carafe keeps coffee warm for hours without a heating plate
  • Brews smooth, less acidic coffee
    IQ technology creates super fast brew times

Cons

  • No extras included

When all is said and done, we can’t reccomend the Ninja Coffee Bar System Enough. We love all of the features wrapped into one package and the value you get with a single piece of equipment. They are made well and built to last and produce coffee good enough for the casual drinker and coffee snob alike. They are an awesome addition to any home and also make a great gift.

Remy Bernard

Owner and Editor at Miss Mamie's Cupcakes
A baker, chef and writer, Remy started missmamiescupakes.com as a way to deepen and spread her passion for making delicious food.

Latest posts by Remy Bernard (see all)