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Ninja Coffee Bar vs Nespresso: Comparing two systems

At Coffee in My Veins, we love to compare various products and brands against one another so you get a good idea of what’s what. We’ve done a comparison of Ninja Coffee Bar and Keurig, so we thought it’s only right that we should do a comparison of Ninja Coffee Bar vs Nespresso.

Ninja Coffee Bar Vs Nespresso Compared

Before we start our Ninja Coffee Bar vs Nespresso comparison, it’s worth noting that this is not an apples to apples comparison. The Nespresso and Ninja Coffee Bar are different machines, so keep that in mind as we go through the differences and similarities.

Nespresso Essenza Mini Original Espresso Machine by De'Longhi, Black

Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System, Auto-iQ Tea and Coffee Maker with 6 Brew Sizes, 5 Brew Styles, Frother, Coffee & Tea Baskets with Thermal Carafe (CP307)

Types of coffee brewed

Ninja Coffee Bar

The Ninja Coffee Bar is a full fledged drip brewing system. You put coffee grounds(freshly ground from freshly roasted beans, preferably) into the filter basket, and the Ninja will brew 4 to 12 cups of coffee. If you use the Ninja Hot and Cold system, you can brew single servings, but from coffee grounds, not pods.

The Hot and Cold system also lets you brew directly over ice for making iced coffee. There’s also a separate brew basket for brewing tea.

Nespresso

Nespresso is a pod-based espresso brewing system. Nespresso machines are espresso machines at heart. Each pod is one serving of coffee and can typically be used to pull one shot of espresso or a lungo shot.

Verdict

The Ninja Coffee Bar and Nespresso are playing two completely different ballgames. If you’re into drip coffee, the Ninja is for you. If you’re into espresso, go for Nespresso.

Serving sizes

Ninja Coffee Bar

Ninja Coffee Bar currently offers two models: the original Ninja Coffee Bar and the Ninja Hot and Cold System.

The Ninja Coffee Bar is a traditional drip brewer which can brew 4 to 12 cups of drip coffee into a carafe. This is ideal for families or households where you drink multiple cups of coffee at a single time.

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The Hot and Cold System is kind of a foray into the single serve coffee maker market as it can brew a single Cup, an XL cup, a travel mug, an XL multi-serve, a half carafe, and a full carafe.

It’s worth noting that the original Ninja Coffee Bar has a 12 cup carafe, and the Hot and Cold system has a 10 cup carafe.

Nespresso

OriginalLine Nespresso machines brew just two sizes: espresso, which is about 1.5 ounces, and lungo, which is a bit more than double that.

You can program most Nespresso machines to pull more water through the shot in case you want a full cup, but the brewing method will still be pressure, so the coffee will be much stronger, if not bitter or acidic if you pull too much water.

Nespresso’s new VertuoLine machines are meant for the North American market and can typically brew 5 sizes of coffee from the regular espresso all the way up to what’s called an Alto, which is a large cup of coffee.

Verdict

Nespresso can only brew one cup per pod, whereas Ninja can brew up to 12 cups in a single go. If you need more than one cup of coffee, the Ninja is a good pick, as you can brew a lot of coffee at once to serve around.

Ease of use

Ninja Coffee Bar

The Ninja is a very hands on brewing system. For best results, you’ll want to get some freshly roasted coffee beans and grind them just before brewing. You can use supermarket ground coffee, but the taste just won’t be the same.

For a little extra effort, you get a much larger reward in better tasting coffee. In fact, getting good coffee beans and grinding just before brewing might just put you off ever needing to put sugar in your coffee again.

However, for all of this, you’ll need to get coffee beans and grind them using an automatic or a manual grinder.

Then you load the grounds in the filter basket, brew into the carafe, pour out, and drink.

As you can imagine, it’s some effort. We’re not saying the effort is not worth it, but just pointing out that there is indeed some effort involved.

There’s also a margin for error as using the wrong amount of coffee or getting the grind size wrong can result in poor tasting coffee. For best results, use a medium grind for drip coffee.

Nespresso

Nespresso is much, much easier to use by comparison. All you have to do is pop in a pod and press a button, and you’ll have a steaming shot of espresso or cup of coffee in just under a minute.

It does not get much easier than this. You also don’t need to worry about the dosage or grind, as everything is pre-packaged and hermetically sealed to preserve freshness.

The Nespresso machine is one-touch operation. Each brew size has a corresponding button, so you just turn on the machine, press the button, and you’re good to go.

Verdict

There’s no doubt that Nespresso is easier to use than the Ninja. Nespresso OriginalLine and VertuoLine are both one-touch machines.

Flexibility

Ninja Coffee Bar

The Ninja Coffee Bar is quite a versatile machine. You can brew regular dripped coffee, brew over ice for iced coffee, use tea leaves for tea, and steam milk using the built in cold milk frother to make milky drinks.

The whole system is very flexible and it’s a full-featured coffee station that will make almost any drink you want…except espresso.

However, the true flexibility comes from the freedom to use any kind of coffee that you want. Whether you like supermarket coffee or freshly roasted craft coffee, or even tea, you can use whatever you want.

Also, the Ninja can be programmed to start brewing at a specific time, so you can wake up to a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

Nespresso

Nespresso on the other hand is a specialized espresso machine. The only versatility is being able to change brew sizes on OriginalLine machines, and 5 brewing sizes on VertuoLine machines.

that’s where the flexibility ends. You’re pretty much locked into Nespresso’s ecosystem as there is no way to brew without pods.

Many companies make their own OriginalLine compatible pods, as well as reusable OriginalLine pods, though.

With reusable pods, the effort becomes even greater, sadly, as you have to measure, grind, fill the pod, and seal it before you can pop it into the machine.

Verdict

The Ninja Coffee Bar is the more versatile of the two coffee makers without a shred of doubt. There is just so much more that you can do with this coffee maker rather than the Nespresso machine. However, if espresso is your thing, you’re committed to Nespresso, as the Ninja just can’t brew espresso, period.

Size

Ninja Coffee Bar

Ninja coffee makers are pretty large machines and they’ll take up a decent amount of real estate on your kitchen counter. It’s also quite a heavy machine.

Ninja Hot & Cold Brew Size: 11.8″ x 10″ x 15″

Nespresso

Nespresso machines range in size, but entry level models like the Nespresso Pixie or Nespresso Citiz are quite small. The water tank is also smaller, but that’s a minor tradeoff.

Nespresso Pixie size: 44″ x 9.3″ x 12.9″

Maintenance

Ninja Coffee Bar

The Ninja coffee maker has a lot of different parts that require cleaning. The carafe, filter basket, frothing want all require regular wiping and cleaning.

After every brew, you’ll need to throw out the used coffee grounds.

The water tank should also be rinsed out every now and then, and you should periodically descale to keep your machine running well.

Nespresso

Nespresso machines are comparatively easier to clean up. Most Nespresso machines have an auto-eject feature that automatically removes the used capsule and deposits it into a used capsule bay which you empty every time it gets full.

The drip tray should be cleaned every so often, and you should descale your machine once every 3-6 months depending on the kind of water your home has.

Verdict

Both the Ninja and Nespresso require regular cleaning, but the Nespresso has a slight edge as the pod disposal system is much more convenient.

Specialty drinks

Ninja Coffee Bar

Ninja’s Hot and Cold system has a built in cold frother that you can use to froth cold milk into foamed, steamed milk to make lattes and cappuccinos.

Ninja coffee makers can’t brew espresso as you already read above, so they compensate by brewing a concentrated bit of coffee instead.

It’s not the same as espresso, but once you mix it with milk, it’s nearly the same.

Nespresso

Nespresso machines come in many varieties, but the entry level machines don’t have milk frothers built in. Instead, many come packaged with the Aeroccino milk frother, which adds to the cost.

Higher level machines do have milk frothers built in, and you can use those to make cappuccinos and lattes.

Verdict

If you’re only drinking cappuccinos and lattes and don’t like pure espresso, then you can get a similar result with Ninja as you can with Nespresso, but for much less money.

Cost

Ninja Coffee Bar

Finally, let’s talk about cost. The Ninja Coffee Bar comes in two models: the original Ninja and the Ninja hot and cold system.

Both can be found for $200 and under, which is not bad considering the features you are getting. Plus, Ninja machines tend to be quite long lasting and with regular maintenance, they can go for years.

Coffee is as expensive as you want it to be, since you’ll be buying either grounds or whole beans.

Nespresso

Nespresso machines start at around $100 for the cheapest model and can go all the way up to $500 for high end models with a built in milk frother.

However with Nespresso it’s not so much about the espresso machine itself as it is about the coffee pods.

Nespresso coffee pods cost a lot, with the cheapest pods being around $0.70 per pod and expensive special edition pods going all the way to nearly $2.

So even if the machine does not cost much by comparison, the cost of the pods will add up over time.

Verdict

While both models of coffee and espresso machine cost similar amounts of money, the cost of pods will add up with Nespresso and longer term, the Ninja will be a much cheaper coffee machine.

Ninja Coffee Bar Pros

  • Superb drip coffee
  • You can use any coffee beans or grounds
  • Included milk frother
  • Varied brew sizes

Nespresso Pros

  • Makes superb espresso, almost barista quality
  • Very cool designs and colors
  • Small footprint
  • Brews very quickly
  • Convenience of pods in both brewing and cleaning up

Conclusion: which one should you get?

The final decision will boil down to whether you prefer pure espresso or regular coffee, and that will be the main driving decision. Nespresso has the obvious added advantage of convenience and speed, but they both come at quite a cost.

Last update on 2020-10-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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About Shabbir

Shabbir is the Chief Caffeine Officer at Coffee In My Veins. When he's not weighing out coffee beans for his next brew, you can find him writing about his passion: coffee.

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