The Ninja Kitchen coffee makers keep getting better and better. This is our second Ninja coffee review; the first was the Ninja Coffee Bar back in 2018. Ninja has made improvements over the years, including adding a tea brewing option with a more elegant design and interface, while maintaining the features that made it shine.
Retailing for $229.99, the Ninja Hot and Cold Brew System (Model # CP307) is a thoughtfully designed coffee machine that will look good in almost any kitchen. It comes with two sets of baskets and reusable filters; one for coffee and another for tea. The machine automatically senses which basket you installed, so you can quickly make your selection and brew your drink.
Our absolutely favorite feature is the fact that you can brew a single cup of coffee using ground coffee beans without the need for wasteful, landfill-filling pods like other popular machines. Plus, you can use any coffee you’d like and not be limited to the pod selection. Speaking of reducing waste, we’re fans of the reusable filters, so you don’t need to toss out a filter every day after you brew your coffee. The machine has a fold-away cup-holder that you can fold out when making a single cup. There’s also a fold-way milk frother that will transform hot or cold milk into microfoam that can be used to make several delicious coffee or tea drinks. There’s even a double-sided measuring spoon called the Ninja Smart Scoop that attaches to the side of the unit. It’s super convenient!
You’ll also get a 50oz insulated thermal carafe that will hold 10 cups of coffee if you’re having company over or just can’t drink enough coffee. The removable water reservoir is tucked into the back-right of the unit; it is much improved over the old Coffee Bar, which had some issues with leakage at the bottom. The water reservoir will hold around 50oz of water, allowing you to brew a full carafe of coffee.
You have six brew sizes to choose from: anywhere from a single cup or travel size mug, to a half or full carafe. There are five brew styles to choose from, including Classic, Rich, Over Ice, Cold Brew, or Specialty. The “Cold Brew” setting will brew your coffee or tea over ice at a lower temperature, and it’ll be ready in about 10-15 minutes. The “Over Ice” setting will brew your coffee with slightly less water so that when the ice melts, your drink won’t be too watery. The “Specialty” setting brews about 4oz of strong coffee and can be used to make espresso-style drinks, and while it’s not actual espresso, it makes a decent substitute.
The tea feature is pretty neat, as once you select your tea type, the machine knows the required water temperature and the number of steeps needed to brew that type of tea. You have many tea options, including herbal, black, oolong, white, and green. You can use either loose tea or tea bags, giving you plenty of options.
The display is illuminated and straightforward, which is great for early mornings. The dial at the top allows you to choose your serving size, while the dial on the bottom will enable you to pick your drink type. You press “start/select,” and you’re off to the races. The display is dark when the machine is off, except for the time. When the machine is on, the front of the unit illuminates, adding to the high-end aesthetics.
In our testing, we enjoyed the simplicity of the user experience, which is juxtaposed by the impressive amount of options you have. The Ninja Hot and Cold Brew makes a great cup of coffee, and we enjoyed the option to brew “cold brew” on demand. The option to make espresso-style drinks is a nice touch for those that don’t have a dedicated espresso machine. We LOVE the single-cup brewing as well as the fact that it’s flexible enough to make a full carafe if we have company.
While not the end of the world, our old Ninja Coffee Bar had vents on the top of the unit, allowing the steam to vent out of the top. The Ninja Hot and Cold Brew doesn’t have vents, which I assume is meant to prevent the steam from damaging the underside of the upper kitchen cabinets. However, this results in a concentration of condensation inside the unit. Once you swing the basket out, the condensation drops to the bottom of the unit, requiring you to wipe up the bottom every time you use it. If my assumption is correct, I understand the design intent; however, since we do not have ours under an upper cabinet, we’d prefer the vents. Also, not a deal-breaker, but the 2018 Ninja Coffee Bar had the choice between a glass carafe with a heating plate or a stainless steel thermal carafe with no heating plate. We’d prefer the glass carafe, but unfortunately, that’s not an option this time.
The key philosophy I’ve found with Ninja’s coffee machines is choice. You have the choice to utilize the permanent filter or single-use paper filter, and you can choose your own ground coffee and choose any size serving you’d like, you can use loose tea or bagged tea, you have several different types of drinks you can make, you have a measuring spoon and frother at the ready. The Ninja Hot and Cold Brew System is extremely versatile, allowing coffee enthusiasts to find their perfect drink.
You can grab your Ninja Hot and Cold Brew System directly from Ninja for $229.99. At the time of this writing, you can get $40 off with Ninja’s Fall promotion.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Has tea brewing option; Rear is enclosed, so you don’t get coffee splashes; Improved water reservoir doesn’t leak at the bottom; Status bar lets you know progress; Well designed; Makes a great cup of coffee; Lots of different settings to customize your brew
What Needs Improvement: No vents for steam to escape, so when you remove the basket, water drips down, and you have to wipe it up; No option to include a glass carafe with a heat plate, like in the past