You’ve had a rough night, you’re nursing a hangover (we don’t judge here), or you need a boost of energy. One thing is clear: you’re in desperate need of an espresso, except… your go-to Ninja coffee maker is all you have at hand.
If you’ve taken the proper steps to pick the ideal Ninja coffee maker, you should be able to make an espresso-like drink, but can it make the real deal? Keep reading to find out!
What Makes Espresso – Espresso?
Espresso is a concentrated and flavorful form of brewed coffee beans. If you’re a coffee enthusiast, then you’re familiar with the rich flavor that engulfs you whenever you take a shot.
So, what makes such a small drink so special? A few things.
According to the Specialty Coffee Association, a shot of espresso consists of seven to nine grams (for a single shot) or 14 to 18 grams (for a double) of finely ground coffee beans that are brewed in 22 to 28 seconds under 9 to 10 atmospheres of pressure.
You can say that the coffee in an espresso machine is under pressure (cue the C.S.I intro).
All joking aside, this type of brewing gives you a highly concentrated shot of coffee with the “viscosity of warm honey” and a “thick dark gold crema.” This result usually requires a specialized machine, time, and practice.
But What About the Specialty Setting on the Ninja?
Now that we know what makes a shot of espresso tick, let’s talk about the specialty settings that came with your Ninja coffee machine.
Ninja achieves a rich and punchy 4oz of coffee concentrate by adding more coffee to the brewing and using a pre-infusion of water to extract more flavor from the coffee.
The Moment of Truth!
Does the specialty setting on a Ninja coffee bar make espresso? In short, No. Ninja’s specialty setting doesn’t make espresso per se.
Unlike espresso machines, Ninja’s coffee makers aren’t equipped with a system that allows pressurized hot water to be forced through coffee grounds. That system is the most crucial part of brewing espresso, but there is a silver lining.
The Silver Lining
With the Ninja’s specialty feature, you can brew a strong espresso-like concentrated coffee base. It won’t taste authentic, but it will make for a great alternative and save you a trip to the coffee shop.
Throw in a milk frother, and you’re on your way to making café-quality mochas, homemade lattes, and even iced coffee right in the comfort of your own home.
If you’re looking for other ways to recreate the rich bold flavor you can get from with specialty setting, you’re in luck. Let’s take a quick look at a few:
Making an espresso-like drink with a French press is similar to brewing regular coffee. Just double the portion of coffee grounds to a medium-fine consistency and brew like normal.
After about four minutes, you should have a rich and bold coffee concentrate that is great for a quick latte.
The Moka pot is probably the closest you can get to a shot of espresso without having to buy an expensive at-home espresso machine. This coffee brewer forces heated water up through a coffee puck at around one to two atmospheres of pressure.
This helps to give the final product a similar mouth feel and taste to that of authentic espresso. We even have a guide to help get a nice layer of crema to give you that espresso experience. Check it out here.
While you can only get espresso from an espresso machine, Ninja’s specialty setting gives you a great jumping-off point to make some wonderful milk-based drinks like lattes or cappuccinos.
So, grab your Ninja coffee maker and your favorite milk (or milk alternative) and try every latte, mocha, or cappuccino you can get your hands on. You won’t regret it!