ninja-vs-keurig

Keurig® K475
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In 2017, home coffee makers are more popular than ever. While it’s still nice to sit in a coffee shop, take in the atmosphere, and have your barista make you a delicious pour over, advances in home coffee technology are making it increasingly easier to bring a coffee shop quality product into the kitchen. The two largest and most popular manufactures in the home coffee maker space are undoubtedly Ninja, who produces the multi-functional Ninja Coffee Bar, and Keurig, who is know for their K-Cup coffee pods and one cup coffee makers. The reviews for both are great, and in our testing, both performed extremely well.

Often times people are confused about what the differences between the two coffee makers are, and more importantly, which is the right one for them. In this guide, we set out to settle the Ninja Coffee Bar vs. Keurig debate once and for all.

As we review the unique features of both the Ninja Coffee Bar and the Keurig 2.0, you’ll quickly see that the Ninja has packed a lot of gadgets and features into one unit, while the Keurig’s focus more on efficient simplicity. Now this is not to say that one is better than the other; they both do what they were designed to do quite well. It simply comes down to if you are the kind of coffee drinker that craves all sorts of specialty drinks on the fly, or you’re good to go with a quick cup of well made coffee made with little mess.


Ninja Coffee Bar vs. Keurig Comparison Chart

 Ninja Coffee BarKeurig
BrewsCoffeeCoffee, Tea, Chai, Cocoa, Mocha
ConstructionPlastic & Stainless SteelPlastic & Stainless Steel
Serving Sizes4 Single-Serving Sizes
Carafe Options
2 Single-Serving Sizes
Carafe Options
Special FeaturesCoffee Pod Free
5 Specialty Brew Modes
Built-in Milk Frother
Auto-iQ Technology
Large Color Touch-Screen
Multiple Brew Settings
Strength Control Feature
Multiple Drink Types
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Let’s take a look at some of the defining characteristics of each and uncover what makes the Ninja Coffee Bar unique when compared to the Keurig.

Unique Features: The Ninja Coffee Bar

The Ninja Coffee Bar stands out for it’s truly one-touch functionality and broad range of single-serve coffee drinks it makes available on demand.

Pod-Free Single Serve Coffee

Unlike the Keurig, the Ninja does not rely on single serve coffee pods, but allows you the flexibility to use any coffee from any roaster and, through additional features unique to the Ninja, further customize the taste to your liking. The fact that you don’t need to buy K-Cups or pods, but can still make single serve beverages, is a BIG advantage that the Ninja has over the Keurig. Not only is it better for the environment, it’s cheaper and more convenient too.

5 Specialty Brew Modes

The specialty brew modes are what allow the Ninja Coffee Bar to make so many different kinds of drinks through just one machine. The Classic, Rich, Over-Ice, Café Forte and Specially brew modes allow for a variety of extraction methods, flavor profiles and coffee drink types. If you are interested in seeing what each of these brew modes does specifically, check out our complete Ninja Coffee Bar Review guide for details.

Built-in Frother

Most Ninja models come with a built in frother that can make hot milk froth for your standard lattes and cappuccinos, but also a creamy cold froth, which makes an interesting addition to iced coffee and other cold coffee drinks. This creamy froth is one of our favorite features about the Ninja. While some of the Ninja models, don’t come with a frother, the majority of them do. We found the frother extremely easy to use and clean. The milk frother goes a long way in turning a regular cup of coffee into a great specialty coffee drink.

Auto-iQ Technology

When researching the Ninja Coffee Bar, you’ll probably comes across mention of the Auto-iQ feature again and again, without ever quite understanding what it does. It’s really just a fancy way of saying that the coffee maker will pull the right amount of water from the pre-filled reservoir based on the brew mode and drink type you select. It’s a nice feature, but most coffee systems handle this task too.



Unique Features: Keurig Coffee Maker

keurig-K550

Keurig® K550
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If you have ever seen or used a Keurig coffee maker, you’ll know that it made it’s mark on the home coffee making industry with the introduction of the patented K-Cup single serve coffee pods. While the Ninja offers single serve coffee without the need for a pod, you can buy K-Cups made with other beverages like tea, cocoa, chai and macha. Although you can make tea in the Ninja, it’s not nearly as convenient as with the Keurig. The Keurig coffee makers are now made in two separate product lines: the Classic Keurig and the slightly upgraded Keurig 2.0. Let’s take a look at some of the other features designed into the Keurig.

Large Color Touch-Screen

This is one feature where the Keurig wins out over the Ninja in the Ninja Coffee Bar vs. Keurig battle. While some touch screens don’t work well and are hard to operate, the Keurig’s touchscreen is large, bright and incredibly responsive to the touch. I half expected to have to mash the screen with two fingers to get it to select a brew mode, but was pleasantly surprised by just how well it worked. The pressure needed is just right and the digital buttons feel snappy and tactile.

Multiple Brew Settings

Like the Ninja, the Keurig has multiple brew settings. But unlike the Ninja, the Keurig’s settings are for specialty beverages other than coffee. Keurig makes K-cups with hot cocoa, teas, chai and mochas, in addition to the well-known coffee K-cups. The coolest part about this feature is that the Keurig will automatically recognize what kind of K-cup you inserted and adjust itself to the recommended settings for that drink.

Strength Control Feature

keurig-k250

Keurig® K475
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With the first generation Classic Keurig, if you wanted to make your coffee stronger you were forced to brew your cup using a smaller size setting to make the coffee more concentrated. Less water with the same amount of coffee ground will equal a stronger cup of coffee. However, with the updated Keurig 2.0, you have multiple settings for different brew strengths, regardless of the cup size. After doing a bit of research, I found out that the Keurig 2.0 achieves this by extending the brew time based on the strength setting you choose. So for example, if you selected the “regular” strength, the Keurig 2.0 takes about 45 seconds to brew. If you were to select the “strong” strength, it would take about 75 seconds to brew. The Keurig 2.0 is taking advantage of the fact that increasing the extraction time also increases the overall strength of the coffee.

Single Serve and Carafe Brewing

Unlike the Class Keurig, the Keurig 2.0 now has the option to switch out a single cup of coffee for a larger carafe for brewing pots. With the 70-ounce reservoir tank, the newer version attempts to be that much more versatile by providing the option to brew coffee for a number of people at once. This is a very welcomed addition as it became quite time-consuming brewing coffee for multiple guests one cup at a time. The only downside is that you need to use the large K-Carafe brewing pods for brewing larger batches of coffee.



The Ninja Coffee Bar or the Keurig Coffee Maker: Which One Wins?

Ultimately, the Ninja Coffee Bar is going to offer a lot more bells and whistles over any Keurig model you might buy. The two products, while often compared to each other, are designed for very different users. The Ninja Coffee Bar is great for someone that wants a variety of specialty drinks, tons of options, and the ability to bring the coffee shop into their kitchen. The Keurig, while an awesome machine, is more of a one trick pony. It makes coffee tea, and cocoa, usually for one, but can also be used with a carafe if you’re looking to make a large pot for a 3-8 people.

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.