At Coffee In My Veins, we deliver reviews and analysis for connoisseurs of coffee – for those in whose veins – coffee runs. So if your preferred status is caffeine, read along this review – comparing two of the best coffee makers – the champions of the coffee making industry.
Ninja Coffee Bar and Keurig are both top notch manufacturers when it comes to coffee brewing machines. Comparing them is like enjoying clash of the titans.
A brief introduction on the manufacturers
Keurig is a well known company, and is in this business since 20 years, (although Keurig Inc was founded in Massachusetts in 1992). Their tag line “A leader in specialty coffee & innovative single serve brewing” – speaks their story. In the most of America especially the northern region – it is very difficult to find a better pod-style coffee maker than Keurig.
The Ninja Coffee Bar System made by SharkNinja – a company established in 1995 – advertises its coffee brewers as giving you “better than a coffeehouse experience – at home”. Recently, Ninja Coffee Bars are becoming more and more popular.
Both the coffee machine makers have a lot of models in the market, but for the ease of comparison between both the manufacturers, I will take examples of the most high end products from these companies – Keurig’s K155 and Ninja’s CF097.
If you already know about these two enterprises and these products, and just want the comparison report, then scroll to the very bottom of this page where I have discussed 9 detailed comparison points, or else read along – to know coffee makers better.
Keurig K155 officially known as – Office PRO Premier Brewing System brews coffee, tea, cocoa, and other beverages all in hot and cold variations.
The coffee maker is fully programmable with an interactive touch screen giving you control over many features (discussed shortly).
This is a pod based machine which means you can prepare your cup in less than a minute at the touch of a button, and can choose between four cup sizes.
Pod and Pod based Coffee Makers
Now it’s time to introduce pod and pod based coffee makers to you, and a brief note on their working.
A pod is a plastic container lined with filter paper and sealed with foil. This container has ground coffee filled inside it. The ground coffee (in a pod) comes in many flavors and varieties, which means you can choose pods having exact flavor and quality of coffee, tea or any cold beverage you prefer.
In a pod based coffee maker – you just have to place the pod (make sure your system is compatible with the pod you are using) inside your machine, and remember to not break the foil.
As you press the on/off switch the machine will heat the water close to boiling temperature. The water will be forced down at high pressure into the pod, breaking the foil. Hot water and your preferred ground coffee – mix instantly and your drink is then delivered into your cup. All this process happens in less than a minute.
Back to Keurigs’ K155
Keurig K155 and all other Keurig models are pod based coffee makers. They have their own brand pod cups, famously known as K-Cups. Many branded ground coffees are available in K-Cup pods in different strengths and varying sizes.
K155 accommodates 500 varieties of pods – including coffee, tea, specialty beverages, and even iced beverages.
Two most important features of K155 are:
1) A Full color LCD touch screen, on which certain important controls are provided as follows:
- a) Temperature Control – Allowing you to adjust temperatures for brewing coffee,
- b) Multi language display,
- c) Programmable time clock,
- d) Auto On/Off feature,
2) Quiet Brew Technology – This is a trademark feature of Keurig products, which enables their machines to work silently, providing you with a noise free atmosphere.
Other additional features of this coffee maker are:
- Extra large 90 ounce Water Reservoir,
- A removable drip tray (this can accommodate travel mugs).
- A drain-able internal hot water tank (this is highly relevant for transport or storage).
- 12 K-Cups of different flavors – the cups come as a bonus with this machine.
Ninja Coffee Bar CF097
Ninja’s CF097, officially named as NEXT GENERATION NINJA COFFEE BAR is a single serve thermal carafe (more on this shortly) coffee maker.Ninja’s coffee makers do not accept pods. They are Pod-free brewers,which mean you have to pour in ground coffee yourself. The coffee is placed in a standard filter basket that you would find on any drip coffee maker.
In a pod-free system you have more control and freedom over the amount and brand of ground coffee you want to use and you can personally customize the kind of coffee you drink.
The machine comes with a stainless steel carafe. A carafe is a flask in which your prepared coffee gets stored, and hence a thermal carafe stores your coffee and keeps it hot. This machine accommodates a hot and cold carafe both, to keep hot coffees’ hot and iced coffee cold.
Adding to your coffee fantasy, almost all the Ninja Coffee machines features a frother allowing you to froth milk and top your coffee with silky foam cream.
In this high end model Ninja has introduced two fascinating new technologies:
- The Advanced Thermal Flavor Extraction (patent for which is still pending).
This technology is designed to extract full flavor of the ground beans and allows you to choose between three varieties of brews – Classic, Rich and Over Ice Brew.
- Auto-iQ One-Touch Intelligence
With this technology the machine draws just the exact amount of water from the reservoir, based on the brew size and brew type you choose, giving you perfect taste which is neither diluted nor concentrated.
Other additional features of this coffee maker are:
- A medium 50 ounce reservoir.
- It allows four different brew types – Classic, Rich, Over Ice and Signature Brews.
- Allows a variety of Brew Sizes – Normal Cup, XL Cup, Travel Mug, XL Multi-Serve, Half Carafe, and Full Carafe.
- Includes a measuring scoop, and a recipe book.
An overall side by side comparison between both these machines is summarized in the table below:
|Model Name||Office PRO Premier Brewing System – K155||Ninja Coffee Bar CF097|
|Coffee Compatibility||Pod Coffee||Ground coffee which requires a standard conical filter basket|
Serves very strong, strong, medium and mild brewed coffee, in addition to iced and specialty beverages
|Serves very strong, strong medium, and mild brewed coffee, in addition to iced and specialty beverages|
|Brew Size||Four brew sizes
– 4 oz.,
– 6 oz.,
– 8 oz,
– 10 oz
|Up to 38 oz carafe|
|Water Reservoir||A 90 oz. reservoir allowing you to make up to 18 cups of coffee before refilling it||50 oz reservoir allowing you to make up to 10 cups of coffee before refilling it|
|Dimensions||12.2 x 9.5 x 13.2 inches||15.0 x 15.3 x 16.3 inches|
|Weight||6 pounds||15.1 pounds|
After this substantial discussion highlighting the features of both the machines – let us look at:
Comparison Results –
1) Experience and Brand Value – Both the establishments are experienced firms in coffee makers market, with Keurig having a little edge in experience over its other rival.
Second important feature to note about Kurig is – its specialization in making coffee machines best suited for offices and for commercial use.
Another important thing, again in the favor of Kurig is that – it is a company specialized in manufacturing only coffee makers. On the other hand shark ninja makes a variety of products – having a subsidiary firm named NINJA COFFEE BAR being responsible to handle coffee makers production.
2) Pod or Pod Free – Keurig is pod based whereas Ninja is not. So what does this mean for you?
If you choose a Pod style coffee maker:
- you will be free from all the mess and maintenance that a full sized espresso machine needs (although pods needs to be trashed). Ninja machines can never become so convenient.
- you can have fully prepared coffee in less than a minute. Ninja’s can never by se so speedy.
- you can easily store pods as they are seal packed containers whereas ground coffee needs to be consumed quickly or else it will lose flavor.
If you choose Pod free coffee maker – a Ninja CF079:
- you will have an all-in-one type brew station, rather it will be like your own mini coffee house, and nothing can beat the experience of brewing your own coffee – start to finish.
- you will have the independence of preparing the coffee exactly to your preference, whereas in pod machines you are directed to drink someone else’s preparation.
- and most importantly pods are expensive then ground coffee. So every time you are saving time with a pod, you are spending a little more than what ground coffees cost you.
3) Reservoir Size – Keurig’s 90 ounce size can never be bettered by Ninja’s 50 ounce water reservoir, which means Keurig runs long.
4) Specialty Beverages – Ninja brews concentrated coffee, iced coffee and other specialty beverages. In Keurig coffee makers you can only make coffees.
Note – Keurig’s K155 is an exception which accommodates iced coffee and other beverages pods too. Generally Kurig models accommodate only coffee.
5) Frother – All Ninja models come with a frother, either built-in or hand-pump, and a bubbled up top on your coffee cup is a pleasure to lips.
6) Mobility – Ninja’s machines are very bulky, which means you can never move them to and fro. Secondly the drip tray in Keurig’s makes the equipment easy to carry, and in offices ease of carrying coffee makers – counts a lot.
7) Technology – Technologically both the coffee makers are balanced. Ninja’s “Auto-IQ One-Touch” is a remarkable feature, whereas Keurig’s Quiet Brew is a must, especially if you are an early morning or a late night coffee drinker.
8) Accessories – Ninja gives away a lot of accessories, whereas Keurig comes with the machine only.
9) Price – Ninja and Keurig both are in above two hundred dollars range. Distinct products but same price!
After a lot of research on pod and pod free coffee-makers and drinkers preferences – I have made a rating table which ranks how much it means for you to buy these machines.
|Experience and Brand Value||10||9.5|
|Pod or Pod Free||10||9|
|Frother and other Accessories||5||10|
If you want a no mess pod system then without blinking – select Keurigs. It is easy to use; requires no clean up and saves a lot of your precious time.
And most importantly if you are looking something for your offices and corporate work places then buy a Keurig without comparing it to any other brand or coffee maker.
However if you want a traditional style coffee maker which gives you an experience of a coffee bar preparation – then go for Ninjas. It allows many different styles and serves your preferences very well.
But simultaneously be prepared to spend a little more time and efforts in its operation and cleaning.
Ultimately your decision on which machine to buy depends on your preferences and the specifications that appeals you from the 9 detailed comparison points listed above.
But remember one thing – If you are buying something related to coffee then buy the best. Because Coffee is personal – and every drop of it runs in your veins and provides you will blissful experiences.