Looking for the best single-serve option but can’t make your mind? Well, we hope to make it easier for you with this Keurig vs Ninja Coffee Bar comparison. Both of these are well-known coffee makers with their own set of strengths and virtues. Though both these coffee makers can be used as single-serves, their operation and approach are radically different.
What To Expect From The Ninja
Ninja coffee bar systems are quite popular and a great pick. You can reasonably expect your Ninja machine to be reliable and brew great coffee. Exact features can vary by model, but some are common throughout the line. A quick look should help us figure it all out!
Brew A Pot And Keep It Hot
You can brew a full pot of coffee with Ninja coffee makers. Once a full carafe is brewed, we need to keep it hot! In coffee makers with thermal carafe, the vacuum-insulated carafe keeps the coffee hot for a couple of hours. Ninja models that use a glass carafe can rely on a hot plate to keep the coffee hot.
The choice of carafe is up to you, but either works great, depending on consumer preference. Plus, brewing 10-12 cups of coffee in one go is great for larger groups.
Brew Size Options For Ninja Machines
Brewing a full carafe is awesome, but we don’t always want a full pot of coffee! What if I just want a quick cup of joe for myself? Well, Ninja Coffee bar can handle it. Calling it a Ninja Coffee Bar single-serve system might be overkill, but it is possible to brew a single cup of coffee.
In fact, Ninja offers several brew size options. The exact number of available options depends on the specific model, but up to six brew size options are possible.
Ninja Hot and Cold Brew System offers six brew sizes, including full carafe, half-carafe, travel mug, single cup, and large cup.
While it has a smaller number of options, Ninja 12-cup coffee maker too will allow you to brew a full carafe or a small batch of 1-4 cups. In a sense, this is quite similar to the original (now discontinued) Ninja coffee bar system.
What Is This I Hear About Auto-iQ One-Touch Intelligence?
When considering Ninja machines, you’ll often hear or read the term Auto-iQ One-Touch Intelligence. Simply put, this is a system to ensure the right brew size and quality of the brew. This ensures both consistency and better quality for your coffee.
No Pod System
The biggest difference in the Ninja Coffee Bar VS Keurig comparison is that while Keurig coffee makers are best known for their use of pods and K cups, Ninja coffee makers don’t use pods. Though they don’t use the single-serve pods, it is remarkably easy to use the Ninja Coffee Bar to brew a single cup of coffee.
What Does Keurig Offer?
Keurig machines are best known for their convenience and quick use features. The K cups available are as much a highlight as the coffee makers themselves. These single-serve machines are remarkable and quite enjoyable.
The Favorite K Cups
Keurig wouldn’t be where it is today without the magic of K cups. These small pods make it remarkably easy to brew the coffee of your choice. All you have to do is place your choice of K cup in the coffee maker and hit a button.
The range of K cups is vast and includes practically all types of coffee. From gourmet coffee to flavored coffee and breakfast blends, everything is available as K cups. Keurig coffee makers aren’t essentially limited to coffee – you can make other beverages as well. For example, you can also get hot chocolate K cups and green tea K cups.
Brew Size Options – Can I Brew A Carafe With Keurig?
Most Keurig coffee makers are built as single-serve machines. You put a pod, you get a cup of coffee. It is possible to adjust the brew size, but you are limited to brewing a single cup. Brew size options generally range from 4oz to 12oz in increments of 2oz. This covers practically all desirable brew sizes for single-serve options.
While they’ll happily brew a cup of coffee for you, Keurig machines generally can’t brew a carafe. That’s simply because K cups aren’t built to handle carafe volumes. Keurig 2.0 line flirted with K-carafe pods, but these pods have since been discontinued.
As an aside, there are a few Keurig models that can brew a pot of coffee. These fall into the category of dual coffee makers. These machines can work through K-cups/pods as classic Keurig machines. However, they can also use “regular” coffee and filters to brew a larger batch (carafe) of coffee. The most notable example of these machines is the Keurig K-Duo coffee maker.
However, it should be remembered that the “real” heart of Keurig machines lies with the single-serve system. That’s what most Keurig machines cater to, and it is the most remarkable aspect of Keurig coffee makers.
Ninja Coffee Bar VS Keurig – Salient Points
Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when comparing the Ninja Coffee Bar and Keurig coffee makers. This comparison is based on major features, not outliers that may sometimes be seen on random models from Keurig or Ninja.
Brew Time – Get My Cup Of Coffee Quick
Keurig coffee makers will get your coffee ready in less than a minute. Sometimes, it can even take as little as 30 seconds to get your coffee ready and good to enjoy. Ninja coffee bar takes a longer time to brew coffee. Even the classic single-serve option can take more than a minute. Brewing a carafe obviously takes much longer.
Brew Size Comparison
Keurig machines are best known for being single-serve coffee makers. Generally speaking, you can get a cup of coffee ranging from 4oz to 12oz, in 2oz increments. Simply put, a Keurig will brew a single cup, but lets you fine-tune the volume of coffee in the cup.
Ninja coffee bar offers versatility in coffee size selection. You can go all the way from a full carafe to a single cup. While there are easy variations of the brew size, the range is wider. A Ninja machine can go from a single cup to 10/12 cup coffee maker.
Understandably, it does not offer the same fine tuning of the brew size as a Keurig. On the other hand, the Ninja coffee bar can brew a full carafe, while Keurig is essentially limited to single-serve sizes.
Does My Coffee Maker Have a Hot Plate?
Being single-serve coffee makers, Keurig machines don’t have a hot plate.
Ninja coffee makers with glass carafe do have a hot plate. The idea is for the hot plate to keep the coffee carafe hot for a few hours, so users don’t have to brew coffee every time they want a cup.
Water Reservoir For These Machines
Ninja and Keurig are quite similar when it comes to using water reservoirs. While size and options can vary across models, generally speaking, both brands rely on coffee makers with removable water reservoir.
The Cost Factor
As upfront cost goes, Keurig and Ninja machines are largely within the same price range. The pricing of individual machines and models varies, but the full range of each brand can largely be considered to be within comparable pricing.
However, there is a difference in running costs, because K cups are inherently more expensive. Individual K cups won’t break the bank, but for a comparable amount, they are significantly more expensive than regular coffee.
The difference becomes more pronounced for those of us who like (at least) a couple of cups every day. With Ninja, you can pretty much buy whatever coffee you prefer and brew it at a significantly lower cost per cup. Keurig K cups have a significantly higher cost of coffee per cup.
You could pull down the cost by moving to reusable K cups. Even so, the cost advantage is clearly on Ninja’s side.
Programmable Options For The Machines
Many coffee makers offer the advantage of being 24-hour programmable. Simply put, you can set a time for the coffee to brew. At the preset time, the coffee maker will come alive by itself and brew amazing coffee for you.
This feature is generally limited to carafe brewing options.
That means, you can set your Ninja coffee bar to brew coffee at a time of your choosing. However, it will brew a full carafe. The delayed-brew feature will not be accessible for brewing smaller sizes like a single cup of coffee.
Keurig single-serve coffee makers don’t have programmable or delay-brew options.
Coffee Maker Picks From Ninja And Keurig
Keurig K-Cafe Coffee Maker
This coffee maker comes closest to being a Keurig coffee bar system. It has a set of interesting features that put it in a league of its own, even among Keurig coffee makers.
Keurig K-Cafe Coffee Maker has all the features of a classic Keurig machine. It works with all Keurig-compatible pods and offers brew sizes of 6, 8, 10, and 12 oz. Picking either of these will get you a wonderful cup of coffee. You can also pick the strong brew to get a stronger and more intense cup of coffee.
What really sets this coffee maker apart is the ability to brew a shot of coffee. When you use this feature, Keurig K-Cafe Coffee Maker brews an intense and strong 2oz shot of coffee. It works with any pod, but it is best suited for espresso K cups.
Once you have this strong shot of coffee, you can work with the machine’s built-in milk frother. The automatic frother is built for single-serve systems and can be set to user preferences. At the touch of a button, it will prepare cold froth, or foam milk to match cappuccino or latte requirements.
A Keurig that can brew regular single-serve coffee as well as cappuccinos and lattes is something to love!
Coffee Maker Highlights
- Single-serve coffee maker
- Works with Keurig K cups and compatible options
- 60 oz removable water reservoir
- Brew size options at 6, 8, 10, and 12 oz
- Can brew a strong, concentrated 2 oz shot of coffee
- Includes automatic milk frother for use with cappuccino and latte
Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker
Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker is a remarkable SCAA-certified coffee maker. Simply put, that means this machine is true to the golden cup recommendations of the Specialty Coffee Association. It has the right water temperature and coffee extraction time as recommended by the SCA.
You get six brew size options with this machine, ranging from a single cup to a full 50 oz carafe. Variants on offer include glass and thermal carafe. Various brew-strength options are also available, including regular, bold, over-ice, and specialty. The latter option gets you to aforementioned golden cup recommendations.
It is not as easy to use as a Keurig machine, but it is convenient in its own right. Plus, the range of brew-size options and programmable delay brew make things better. You can make a strong brew and use the coffee maker’s fold-away frother to get yourself a nice cappuccino or latte.
The frother is fairly powerful and useful. However, its foam quality isn’t nearly as good as that on the Keurig K-Cafe.
Coffee Maker Highlights
- Multiple brew size options from single cup to 50oz carafe
- 50 oz removable water reservoir
- SCA-certified coffee maker
- Can work with multiple brew-strength options
- Includes fold-away frother
Final Talking Points For The Keurig-Ninja Showdown
Both of these companies are well-known for their appliances and coffee maker quality. Given the high-quality, you can’t really go wrong with either brand or coffee maker. However, if you must choose between Keurig vs Ninja Coffee Bar, the comparison there can help you make the right choice.
Both these coffee makers have their individual strengths and differences, but they’re both capable of brewing a kick-ass cup of coffee.
The convenience and range of choices that come with using K cups and pods really speaks in favor of the Keurig machine.
In the same vein, the ease of adjusting brew size from a single cup to a full carafe works great for Ninja. Plus, you won’t be dependent on pods, and can brew any coffee you prefer your own way.