The discussion below will help you choose between Keurig K-Cafe vs Ninja Coffee Bar. These coffee machines are equipped with integrated milk frothers, so they both are able to brew a wide variety of specialty beverages. However, there are huge differences in how they operate. One can accept pods while the other only works with ground coffee.
Continue reading to learn more about:
- The dimensions of Keurig K-Cafe and Ninja Coffee Bar
- The features and capabilities of each coffee machine
- Which model that is generally easier and more practical to use
- The comparison of their brewing speeds
- The coffee quality of Keurig K-Cafe vs Ninja Coffee Bar
- Which coffee machine that is generally better for you
Keurig K-Cafe: Design & Appearance
As one of the latest members in the Keurig family, Keurig K-Cafe immediately pulls attention to its unique capabilities. While previous models can only brew espresso or coffee, Keurig K-Cafe is able to brew specialty beverages such as latte, cappuccino, and cold coffee. It is a more versatile machine than Keurig K-Latte (see Keurig K-Cafe vs K-Latte).
Nevertheless, the design of Keurig K-Cafe is still more or less similar to what we expect from the company. The body has a soft black finish that is decorated with silver accents. It is obvious that the outer housing is plastic, but the machine doesn’t look cheap. In fact, the machine looks quite well-built and elegant.
The user interface has been streamlined for easy and simple operation. There are buttons for selecting the brew size, a few light indicators, and buttons for selecting the milk frother setting.
Perhaps the only downside of Keurig K-Cafe vs Ninja Coffee Bar design-wise is the large size. The base measures 15.3 inches x 11.7 inches, so it is a thud larger than a typical coffee maker. Make sure that you have enough space if you want to get this coffee machine.
Keurig K-Cafe: Features
Just like many of its predecessors, Keurig K-Cafe comes with a removable drip tray. You can fit a travel mug up to 7.2 inches tall under the brew head. The removable drip tray will also allow you to perform cleaning easily.
Keurig K-Cafe has a huge water reservoir which can hold up to 60 oz of water at once. As the effect, you will be able to make many cups of coffee before you need to refill. The water reservoir is removable, and it even has a carrying handle, so refilling will be very easy.
On the control panel, there is the “Add Water” indicator that will light up if there is not enough water to brew the next cup of coffee. This will prevent the machine from running without water, which can be dangerous for the internal parts. There is also the “Auto Off” indicator that is turned on by default. It will shut off the machine automatically after two hours in order to save energy.
When choosing between Keurig K-Cafe vs Ninja Coffee Bar, you should consider whether you want to use pods or regular ground coffee. As a member of the Keurig family, Keurig K-Cafe is meant to work with K-Cup beverage pods. People who want to make coffee quickly and easily will find this machine very practical.
In order to make coffee, you just need to insert a pod and select a brew size. Keurig K-Cafe will brew your coffee right away, and the process takes less than two minutes. When making a specialty beverage, just insert a pod and select the “shot” option. It will give you a concentrated shot of coffee to be used as the base of the drink. Then, pour milk into the frother and select for latte, cappuccino, or cold coffee.
Although this machine works with pods, Keurig K-Cafe can still brew regular ground coffee by using the reusable My K-Cup coffee filter. In other words, choosing Keurig K-Cafe will still allow you to taste coffee from freshly roasted coffee beans.
Keurig K-Cafe: Performance
How is the coffee quality of Keurig K-Cafe? To be honest, it is pretty good. It doesn’t taste as great as professionally-brewed coffee, and it is a little bit weak and watery; but the coffee is still good enough to satiate our caffeine craving in the morning. The fact that Keurig K-Cup beverage pods are available in a vast range of flavors is also another reason to invest in this coffee machine.
There is an option for “Strong Coffee”. This will brew the coffee at a higher intensity. The resulted coffee indeed tastes stronger without being bitter, though still not in the same league as professionally-brewed coffee.
The milk frother works well. It can froth milk properly for lattes and cappuccinos. The cold setting is also nice for making iced coffee. The resulted drinks taste good, but try to use a bit less milk than the recommended amount as indicated by the fill lines on the frother. This is because the recommended amount leads to a milk-to-coffee ratio that is too high.
The main advantage of Keurig K-Cafe is the very fast performance. When the machine is just turned on, the initial heating only takes 15 seconds. The actual brewing time is also very quick. You can get a cup of coffee within 2 minutes. So, Keurig K-Cafe is a very convenient solution for people who don’t have much time to brew coffee in the morning.
Ninja Coffee Bar: Design & Appearance
Now, let’s take a look at Ninja Coffee Bar. At first, it may appear elegant and quite advanced. The black and chrome finish is obviously modeled after high-end coffee makers. But after a closer look, you will notice that the construction is almost entirely plastic. As the effect, while it doesn’t look cheap right away, it still doesn’t really feel well-built.
If we compare the size of Keurig K-Cafe vs Ninja Coffee Bar, we can see that Ninja Coffee Bar is smaller and more space-friendly. It measures 14.9 inches x 10.8 inches x 10.5 inches. However, it is still quite bulky. The milk frother on the side will require some free space in order to allow unhindered movement. You still need to make sure that you have enough space in your kitchen.
Ninja Coffee Bar doesn’t accept pods. It only works with ground coffee. Nevertheless, Ninja Coffee Bar is quite versatile that it can brew single-serve cups and also brew into a large pot. So, you can choose one of the single-serve sizes when you just want to make coffee for yourself, but you can also brew enough coffee for multiple people in one go.
Ninja Coffee Bar: Features
Ninja Coffee Bar supports several brew sizes, but it can’t brew small shots. The smallest size available is “Cup”, which is 9.5 oz. The other sizes are Travel Mug (14 oz), Half Carafe (19 oz), and Full Carafe (38 oz). However, there are dedicated buttons for making specialty drinks and iced coffee.
Nevertheless, Ninja Coffee Bar boasts a very simple operation with the Auto-IQ One-Touch Intelligence feature. In essence, this feature will allow you to brew coffee with just one simple push of a button. The machine can adjust the water temperature and saturation automatically, so you won’t need to deal with any technical complexity.
When brewing into a pot, there is the “drip stop” feature that will allow you to pause the pouring of the coffee temporarily to sneak a cup. Ninja Coffee Bar also has a “delay brew” function, which is for making the machine start brewing automatically at a chosen time – great for preparing for the next morning so that you’ll wake up to a fresh pot of coffee. Ninja Coffee Bar also has an auto-off feature to save energy after two hours of inactivity.
As mentioned above, Ninja Coffee Bar has a milk frother on the side. When making a specialty drink, the machine will produce a concentrate shot to be mixed with frothed milk. The machine can make a wide range of drinks, such as latte, cappuccino, mocha, and Cafe au lait.
Ninja Coffee Bar: Performance
In terms of performance, Ninja Coffee Bar does have some nice things but there are also some weaknesses. To begin with, it is not as practical as Keurig K-Cafe. You need to add ground coffee into the filter, insert the filter, and press some buttons. In comparison, with, Keurig K-Cafe, you just need to insert a pod and hit fewer buttons. The brewing process of Ninja Coffee Bar also takes longer.
Since Ninja Coffee Bar doesn’t work with pods, you won’t be able to try the wide range of flavors available on beverage pods available in the market. This is probably fine if you are not interested in beverage pods and you exclusively drink “real” coffee. But, then again, the coffee quality of Ninja Coffee Bar is not that great. It tends to overbrew the coffee, as the brewing temperature goes to 208 degrees Fahrenheit. Hence, the resulted coffee tends to taste bitter.
Keurig K-Cafe vs Ninja Coffee Bar
In general, Keurig K-Cafe is better and more recommended. It works with K-Cup pods, but it can still brew regular ground coffee by using the reusable My K-Cup filter. The performance is very fast, and the coffee quality is pretty good. Keurig K-Cafe can make coffee and specialty drinks, including latte, cappuccino, and iced coffee.