For many of us, a cup of coffee is life. We need it to wake up in the morning or keep us fueled during the workday, while others enjoy the earthy tones this magical bean brew brings to our discerning taste buds. Gone are the days of the old-fashioned percolator, thankfully, but when you need a good cup of joe in a reasonable amount of time, what do you get?
A necessary appliance in any kitchen is the coffee maker. The Ninja CE251 is a great little workhorse that does more than give you a mediocre cup of java. With loads of useful features and hotter brewing technology, you’ll see why the Ninja CE251 is an excellent choice for brewing your favorite mug.
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Things to Consider Before Buying
Consider what you want out of your coffee maker before you plunk down your cash. Are you looking for a quick brew so that you can dash out the door to work? Or are you more of a coffee lover, always seeking the richest and purest flavor from your coffee beans? Do you need your next coffee maker to brew a few exquisite cups of coffee to enjoy on the weekend, or do you need a power horse capable of brewing 12 cups of caffeinated fuel while working from home? Is space a premium in your kitchen or office? Do you like all the bells and whistles a coffee machine can offer? Or are there some features that are more important than others? Listed below are some aspects to factor into your purchase.
Ease of Use
The Ninja CE251 makes the coffee brewing process easier than you think. If you don’t like messing with dials to refine the exact coffee-to-water ratio or set a time grid to please everyone’s schedule, the practicality of design should make any coffee drinker smile. With easy-to-use controls, a simple cleaning experience, and minimal assembly, this 12-cup coffee maker can do the job with little fuss.
Accessing the brew basket might cause some issues. The brew basket is only accessible by lifting the lid rather than conveniently swinging out. Due to the overall height and the brew basket location, if you place the coffee maker under cabinets, you may find yourself constantly moving it to make coffee.
With the Ninja CE251, you don’t have to be a programmer or tech guru to get the best brew. Setting the time is a breeze. More importantly, so are the controls for brewing. With the press of a button, you can select classic, rich, or small-batch brewing. Want to make your delicious coffee ahead of time? The Delay Brew button quickly allows you to set up your coffee making a day in advance.
Cleaning your coffee maker is essential to keep your awesome coffee tasting its best. The CE251 comes with a button to clean your coffee machine for you. Some consumers have found that this self-cleaning feature is inadequate and requires running multiple times. However, the water tank is removable for those with hard water and who need to give the water reservoir some attention, allowing you to run a deep cleaning cycle if desired. The coffee maker is plastic, minus some stainless steel trim, so some parts are dishwasher safe, including the glass carafe.
If you’re like us, having plenty of java in your home or office is a necessity. Most coffee makers come standard with 8 or 10 cup brewing capacity. However, the NinjaCE251 comes with a whopping 12-cup capacity, perfect for large gatherings or all-day caffeination situations.
The brew basket holds a generous amount of coffee, holding a maximum of 12 tablespoons of ground coffee.
Like many newer coffee makers, the Ninja CE251 comes with a reusable gold-tone permanent filter, eliminating any need for paper filters. However, if you decide to use a standard paper filter, you can use a standard #4 filter.
For those with limited counter space, you’ll be happy to know that the CE251 is a space saver in the kitchen with its compact dimensions. The product measures 10 inches wide by 9 inches long by 15 inches high and is relatively lightweight at 6.55 pounds. Its compact size is quite surprising, as it has such a large capacity reservoir.
As mentioned earlier, the Ninja CE251 is primarily plastic with sleek stainless steel trim giving it an upscale appearance. The plastic construction makes for a lightweight appliance, but it may not be as durable. For those with health concerns, you’ll be happy to know that the plastic is BPA-free. However, the water boiler is made of aluminum.
The CE251 comes with a glass carafe to give your hot coffee a cleaner flavor, which will please the coffee purist. Additionally, the glass carafe makes it easier to clean as it can be placed in the dishwasher if needed.
The Ninja CE251 comes with a handy storable scoop and guide for more accurate measurement and brew. The scoop conveniently attaches to the side of the coffee maker so you won’t have to hunt it down when making a fresh pot.
Unfortunately, those of us who enjoy a foamy cup will be disappointed as this coffee maker does not come with this useful feature.
While the type of water may seem like a no-brainer, the manufacturer recommends filtered water. Do not use well water or tap water as the minerals or impurities will quickly build up, requiring, at the very least, more frequent cleaning.
Brief Product Overview
The Ninja CE251 is the perfect coffee maker for those who need large capacity coffee brewing with easy-to-use controls. With a couple of button pushes, you can set your brew type to Classic or Rich for a more robust flavor. For smaller amounts of coffee, the CE251 has a handy small-batch feature that allows for a smaller amount (1-4 cups) of brew while maintaining a flavorful cup.
Despite its large capacity for coffee brewing, it only takes about 12 to 15 minutes for the entire brewing cycle. Best yet, the coffee is smooth and consistent because of its clever brewing and heating technologies. The coffee circulates using the flavor straw as it brews, ensuring a consistent sip every time. It also has hotter brewing technology, perfect for a bitter-free cup that maintains the optimal drinking temperature. Its coffee is no alchemy creation but does provide a good cup to please most.
You may be comparing the CE251 with the CE201. Most of the technology and design are the same. However, the hotter brewing technology and adjustable warming plate make the CE251 the better choice. The CE251’s adjustable warming plate allows you to choose more or less time. Need more than the default 2 hours? The CE251 can keep your coffee fresh and warm for up to 4 hours. Or, if you need to keep the coffee warm for a shorter time, you can set it to less than 2 hours. The beauty is in its warming flexibility.
Need a cup and can’t wait? The Ninja CE251 has a mid-brew pause, so you can get that coffee without making a mess or having to wait.
Things We Like
- One-touch brew settings for Classic and Rich brew.
- The Small Batch setting for smaller brews (1-4 cups).
- Removable water reservoir for easy filling and clean up.
- Large 12-cup capacity rarely seen in other machines.
- Removable water reservoir for easy refilling and cleaning.
- Easy to use control panel for time and brew settings.
- Modest price point.
Room For Improvement
- No milk frother.
- Lack of durability due to plastic construction.
- Water boiler constructed of aluminum.
- Inconsistent results from built-in cleaning process.
- The height may make accessing the brew basket cumbersome.
- Brew basket accessed by lifting lid up.
Whether you’re looking at the Ninja CE251 for home or office, its massive 12 cup capacity is hard to overlook. Its many brew settings, such as the Classic, for a typical coffee brew, Rich, for a bolder taste, and even the Small Batch setting for those who only want 1-4 cups (Really?), allows for a customizable cup suitable for most coffee brewers and drinkers.
The Ninja CE251 is pretty easy to clean, unlike more complicated coffee brewers. The built-in setting to self-clean with water or a descaler solution will take care of most cleaning needs but may need additional cycles to be completely spotless. The removable water tank makes cleaning easier and allows for easier refilling. No more spilling water all over your cabinet when getting your coffee ready.
While the Ninja CE251 coffee maker doesn’t come with a frother for delicious lattes or cappuccinos, it does come with a measuring scoop and chart to ensure you make the most optimal cup of java the machine can create.
If you’re looking for a coffee shop quality cup of joe, this coffee maker, like most commercial makers, can’t compete with the more expensive and complex machines that your favorite barista uses. So, if you’re a coffee connoisseur, this coffee maker isn’t for you. But if you’re searching for a decent quality cup brewed in a timely fashion, then this coffee maker is sure to please. The affordable price and useful features make the Ninja CE251 an excellent choice for the price.
Ninja CE251 Review: Brewing For A Crowd
Need to brew for a larger group? Check out our Nina CE251 review! Simple controls so you can start caffeinating as soon as possible!
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