Provides full bodied flavor
Offers multiple options from Standard, to Rich, to Iced
Iced coffee option makes sure it’s not watered down
Offers cup, thermos, half carafe, and full carafe options
Burner keeps coffee warm without burning
Includes scoop with recommendations for sizes
Twist on/off water tank feels more secure
Removal water tank eases refilling
Lever allows brew to stop for pouring
Coffee can be a bit cool after a while on the warmer
Scoop doesn’t have a place to set or hang
The filter area always drips on the carafe when pulling open
Icon for full carafe looks almost half full leading to initial confusion
Over the past few years the trend has been towards one serving, convenient pod or cup style coffee makers. Cost and arguably flavor was sacrificed in favor of convenience. The Ninja Coffee Brewer doesn’t follow these trends and focused on the taste of the coffee first and it looks like they have succeeded.
At first glance, the appearance of the Ninja Coffee Brewer can be a little odd compared to other coffeemakers. It is distinctly the style of Ninja products. After unboxing and putting in place the look seems to be much better and overall seems to take up less space. In fact, it took up nearly half the space of the previous pod style brewer. A scoop is included with two sizes and recommended scoops for each cup size. A place to hang the spoon would have been a nice final touch. The carafe carries the same unique design which Ninja describes is intended to keep as much coffee near the warmer as possible to keep coffee warm without burning. This task is achieved for the most part but if left long enough the coffee will get cool instead of burning and the flavor will still change. Thankfully the coffee is not ruined during this process like traditional pots. If you expect to not have another cup for more than an hour, it would be best to make a single cup or half carafe to get the best flavor.
Regarding the flavor, it seems Ninja has been able to live up to their better tasting coffee. The way it brews coffee is a little slower since it must first soak the grounds and let them sit but the slightly longer wait is worth it. In blind taste testing, the Ninja Coffee Brewer won out over pod style coffeemakers each time. The flavor was as strong or as weak as the way it was made but it always had more flavor than pod style brewers while also tasting smoother. In a group of avid coffee lovers, every one of them found themselves drinking more coffee and enjoying it more. For those who love coffee extremely dark, this coffeemaker seems capable of accommodating. If you put extra grounds and put it on rich brew it can make a cup so rich and smooth that choice coffee shops don’t seem to even compete on standard drip coffee. Overall it seems capable of pleasing both the dark and light coffee fans equally. There is a small sacrifice in convenience but a huge gain in flavor and customization of brew. If you like iced coffee this coffee pot has you covered. There is an iced coffee setting that, when used, adjusts the brewing cycle to reduce how much water is used while retaining flavor. You fill your cup full of ice, choose iced coffee, and once done the ice is almost completed melted but you don’t have watered down coffee. Add some chocolate syrup, half and half, and liquid sugar and you have a highly addictive iced coffee to help you cool down after working outside. The bonus is you spend far less than buying it at a chain coffee shop while having all the flavor, unlike the old way of pouring regular hot coffee over ice.
Convenience is the main area where the Ninja Coffee Brewer falls short but only slightly. There is of course the normal cleanup of the filter but the good thing is the filter is reusable. No trips to the store to get more filters right when you want a cup. The water reservoir conveniently twists off allow you to secure attach and remove for easy refilling. The size of the reservoir matches a full pot so there is no worry about overfilling the carafe. It’s a small but thoughtful touch. A small oddity is that the reservoir has a built in handle which held blocks the markings for pot size. If the markings were moved 90 degrees in either direction it would be more intuitive. The twist method of removing and installing the reservoir means that you know exactly if it is fully secured and working. Some other traditional coffee pot water reservoir attachment systems have a less secure mount and, if set on a timer, could lead to a pot not being brewed because the water could not come out. The Ninja had a distinct click feeling as it is secured letting you know it is installed correctly. A small negative in the convenience factor, besides cleaning, is that the filter basket leaks when moved even well after the brew is complete. The carafe can be filled and the brewer off and yet the moment you pull out the pot a few drips come out. If you pull out the filter basket, coffee will drip over the handle of the pot and in front of the coffee pot. It can be an inconvenience but thankfully there is an easy workaround. If you turn the switch on the bottom of the filter basket to closed you don’t get any drips.
Pod/cup style brewers may be what most people see today but given a chance, the Ninja Coffee Brewer would likely convert many. Coffee drinking has turned from more of a daily habit into an enjoyable experience. Our entire family has doubled the amount of coffee they drink while saving money.