What if you could choose your caffeine fix based on your mood? Seriously, are you feeling a cappuccino this morning? Done. Maybe you need an afternoon caffeine fix, but you want something a little lighter than coffee, like a chai latte. Done.
The Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System want you to enjoy your caffeine any way you like it without leaving the comfort of your kitchen. We decided to see if this machine lives up to its claims, and we’re here to share our findings with you.
It’s important to note that we received this machine for free from Ninja to test it out, and we also received their updated version, the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker (which we like a little bit better).
The two machines have a ton of similarities as you’ll see, so without further ado let’s get into the review.
In recent years, manufacturers realized that people didn’t want multiple coffee-making appliances cluttering up their kitchens, so they combined features from several machines. The result is a class of sleek appliances known as combination or dual coffee makers.
Not all combination systems offer the same features, so it’s important to know what you want to do with your machine. You may want to make a comparison of different dual coffee makers to determine which options you like best, and if there are any, you can live without.
You also may want to consider how often you intend to use the machine. Many of these systems cost a good deal more than your average coffee maker, so prepare to pay a bit more for the extra features.
If coffee is your lifeblood, you’re probably on the edge of your seat, licking your lips, and brainstorming the endless combinations you could concoct with a machine like this.
Before you get ahead of yourself, you probably should know what you’re getting into with this system.
The Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System is a combination coffee maker that may be the most versatile option on the market. There is more to choose from than just hot or cold coffee, and that means almost endless drink choices.
This machine boasts six brew sizes, five brew styles, and includes a fold away milk frother. It comes with a 50-ounce double-walled thermal carafe, but you can brew directly into a mug of your choice.
As a bonus, this machine boasts two permanent filters, one for coffee and the other for tea. The Smart Basket recognition identifies which basket to use to avoid cross-contamination. After all, few respectable tea drinkers want their tea leaves to taste like coffee.
- Six brew sizes mean you can serve a group, fill a travel mug, or make a single cup.
- Five brew styles allow you to create anything from a classic cup of joe to a fancy, frothy espresso drink.
- It makes cold brew coffee in 10-15 minutes, which is more convenient than the 12 hours it usually takes.
- You don’t need to use pods or K-cups with this one, so there is less waste, and you have more control over brew strength.
- The machine looks sleek and clean and fits conveniently on most countertops.
- Built-in scoop to measure your coffee is super handy.
- There’s no hot plate (on the stainless steel carafe model), and the carafe doesn’t keep coffee warm very long.
- While the frothing arm does a nice job frothing milk, it doesn’t heat the milk at all.
The Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System is a versatile coffee maker with a lot of perks, including the option to brew teas. Though it’s compared to other dual coffee makers, it has a few unique attributes that set it apart.
Do you enjoy coffee and tea, or is your household split between coffee and tea drinkers? The Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System make room for both, and they do it the right way.
There are separate, color-coded baskets with reusable filters in this machine. One set is dedicated to coffee and the other to tea, so the two flavors don’t mix. Additionally, the system recognizes which basket you’re using and displays the associated brew options on the screen.
Once you choose between coffee or tea, you need to decide how much to brew. Sometimes, you know you’ll need a full pot to get through the morning, but other times you just want a mug of tea, right? This machine solves that issue.
The Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System give you six size choices, including multi-serve for multiple, individual, or extra-large mugs. Your options appear on the screen as images to make your selection with a quick touch.
Have you ever brewed coffee to pour over ice only to be disappointed in a weak, barely coffee-flavored drink? Whether you’re drinking coffee or tea, you want the right steep time and temperature to produce the proper strength for your desired drink.
It may take a little experimentation to determine how the preset strengths gel with your individual preferences. Isn’t that half of the fun of breaking in a new coffee maker?
Coffee lovers know their tastes and can generally tell if they lean toward weaker or stronger blends. This machine provides a range of strength options to appease many tastes.
- The classic brew is the weakest level, but it provides a traditional flavor.
- The rich brew is stronger, but not bitter.
- Over ice, brew makes a strong enough coffee that you won’t water it down by pouring it over ice.
- Cold-brew steeps longer at a lower temperature to yield a smooth, deep flavor. Keep in mind, this is not an actual cold brew; this feature mimics the feel of a cold brew and takes far less time.
- Specialty brew is a Ninja signature setting that makes a concentrated bled for mixing, like lattes or cappuccinos.
If you drink tea, you know that there are five types of tea. Each type steeps for a different amount of time. You never want to steep a white tea as long as an herbal, and this machine takes that into account.
Just select your tea from herbal, black, oolong, green, or white and let the Ninja do the rest. Built-in presets ensure your tea steeps at the correct temperature and time.
One of the coolest features on the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System is the frothing arm. It’s even retractable, so it doesn’t alter the profile of your machine when it’s not in use.
As we noted above, it doesn’t heat your milk for you, but it does provide a café-quality froth. If you’re making an iced latte, you won’t have an issue. However, for a hot drink, you may want to heat the milk first and then froth it.
The best features of this machine are the variety of brew options and the frothing arm. While this versatility may be enough reason to love the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System, there are a few other key attributes worth mentioning.
The straightforward control panel is a user-friendly touch screen. You don’t have to worry about dials or knobs that can break off; it’s an entirely low-profile panel. It even has a progress bar, so you know much time remains in the brew cycle.
Built-in Coffee Scoop
While this sounds minor, this little scoop has estimated marks of how much to use depending on your serving size of coffee and tucks away nicely on the side of the machine. I use it all the time and have found it’s way more convenient than looking for a different measuring device tucked away in some drawer.
Who struggles with filling their coffee pot at least once a week? Another reason we like this machine is the removable water reservoir. Simply slide it off the machine, fill it over the sink, and slip it back in place.
For people who like prepping for the next day in advance, this feature allows you to set your coffee (or tea) the night before. Program the delayed brew with the time you desire, and your coffee will be ready when you need it.
Did you know that altitude affects your brewing point? The Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System include a feature that optimizes conditions for high-altitude residences.
Be honest, were you questioning how a machine could handle a full-size carafe and a regular-sized mug? Admittedly, we were skeptical and feared this machine would splatter coffee everywhere if we chose the single-serving options.
Ninja solved the splatter issue by adding a retractable platform that reduces the distance between the drip point and the mug. If you choose the single-serving option, simply pull down the platform and brew.
If you own a coffee maker, you know that it can build up calcium and other residues over time. Not only does the build-up affect the performance of your machine, but it also makes your coffee taste gross.
With this coffee maker, you never have to worry about tracking time between cleanings or waiting for your drinks to taste terrible. The Ninja detects build-up and alerts you on the display by illuminating a “clean” message below the “start” button.
Are you having a tough time deciding what to drink? Maybe you’re looking for something new, but don’t know where to start. Ninja has your back. You can download more than 50 pages of recipe ideas, including tips to make scrumptious drinks.
No product is perfect for everybody, so if the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System don’t fit your coffee maker needs, don’t sweat it. We’ve assembled a few side-by-side comparisons.
The Hamilton Beach FlexBrew is a popular option for coffee drinkers because it can brew a full pot or a single cup. You can use pods or coffee grounds, so technically, you can still make tea, but without a dedicated filter.
This machine will occupy a bit more space on your counter than other systems, but it makes up for that inconvenience. The FlexBrew uses a side-by-side setup, so you could brew a single cup while waiting for the full pot to finish.
It would be nice if the FlexBrew had a thermal carafe instead of a glass one. However, it does have a warming plate for the pot, so your coffee still stays warm.
Like the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System, the FlexBrew has some issues with leaks, especially during brewing. It’s also a challenge to replace parts, like the single-serve basket.
Another side-by-side machine, the Cuisinart SS-20, has three different single-serve options and a 10-cup thermal carafe. It’s a sleeker machine than the FlexBrew, but it comes at a higher price.
Like the Flexbrew, the SS-20 can handle pods or fresh grounds. It’s fully automatic and includes programmable delayed brewed and a brew strength control.
Additionally, the SS-20 has a removable reservoir and removable drip tray on the single-serve side. Both sides have charcoal water filters for better flavor. Unfortunately, the SS-20 seems to suffer from leaking issues like the others.
This system offers a different take on the side-by-side setup. If you really loved the frothing arm on the Ninja, you’ll appreciate the frothing wand on De’Longhi’s BCO430 Combination Brewer.
For people not ready to dive into a heavy-duty espresso-making machine, this is a good compromise. This system gives you a lot of options and brews some tasty espresso for the occasional latte drinker.
De’Longhi added carbon filters for fresher water and a removable reservoir for convenient filling. You can even pause the brew cycle to pour a quick cup if you’re desperate. Simply pull the carafe out, fill your mug, then put the carafe back to resume brewing.
The downsides to De’Longhi echo the other machines of this class. It seems that several have leakage issues, and there are concerns about this brewer holding up for more than a few months.
If you want a machine that can give you an old-fashioned cup of joe, a frothy espresso drink, or a refreshing iced tea, the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System could be a solid choice. While it’s pricey and has a few shortcomings, it is a versatile option that delivers tasty beverages.
Still not sure? See how it stacks up in our list of the best coffee makers for your kitchen.