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Ninja Coffee Bar vs Keurig: Which Should You Pick?

In the battle of the single-serve coffee makers, this might not be the most obvious comparison. The Keurig is a common fixture in offices and homes across the country, while the Ninja Coffee Bar has a more niche market. But in terms of getting a single cup of coffee at the touch of a button, they both have plenty to offer.

Read our guide for the pros and cons when it comes to Ninja Coffee Bar vs Keurig.

Ninja Coffee Bar

This model is now sadly discontinued, but you should still be able to get your hands on one from a third-party seller. The brand is still going strong. However, just check out our guide to Ninja coffee makers. The Coffee Bar was designed to do it all – from espresso style to carafes of coffee and milk-based drinks like lattes.

Keurig

Features will depend on which coffee maker you go with. But the Keurig is known for combining the style of drip coffee with the convenience of a pod machine. 

Keurig has always aimed at creating convenient coffee machines.

The ability to make single serves through to large quantities has made this brand a hit with both offices and homes (1).

Ninja Coffee Bar vs Keurig: The comparison

The Keurig vs Ninja decision might look like it comes down to pod vs ground coffee, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Here’s how the two stack up in other areas.

User-friendliness

At first glance, the Ninja looks quite complicated, with plenty of buttons and the attached milk frother. But once you know what kind of coffee you want, it’s just a matter of making your selection.

But, unlike pod-based machines, with Ninja, you will need to grind and add your coffee.

Getting coffee out of a Keurig coffee maker should be a pretty intuitive process. Sure, when it comes to a coffee maker like the Keurig K-Cafe, you have the extra steps for milk frothing, but for the most part, these machines just need you to select your cup size.

Winner: Keurig. You really can’t beat the simplicity of adding a pod and pressing a button to get yourself a hot cup of coffee.

Versatility

Like most of their other coffee makers, the Ninja Coffee Bar system offers five different brew options. In this case, it’s Classic, Rich, Speciality, Over Ice, and Cafe Forte. These allow you to create everything from the perfect black coffee for sipping through to a strong brew to serve as the base for cappuccinos. The Ninja Coffee Bar also makes coffee in large quantities, with a glass carafe to keep it warm. There’s a built-in frother that allows you to make hot and cold textured milk.

The sheer number of options and brewing modes the coffeemaker offers is remarkable.

The Keurig doesn’t have much variety in brew styles, though there is a ‘Strong’ option on some models. However, among pod machines, it’s considered quite versatile. Keurig and third-party brand K-Cups run into more than 400 flavor options. These aren’t just for coffee, but also hot chocolate, tea, iced coffee, and even hot cider.

Winner: Ninja Coffee Bar. The Keurig might be able to make different drinks, but the Ninja wins if we’re talking specialty coffee.

Capacity

Keurig coffee machines’ capacities vary depending on the model. But the one with the biggest water reservoir can store as much as 90 ounces of water. Meanwhile, Ninjas can only store up to 50 oz.

Keurig coffee makers can make coffee in different brew sizes: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 22, 26, or 30 ounce. Ninja coffee bar, on the other hand, can brew coffee in the following brew sizes: a single cup of coffee, an extra-large cup, travel mug size, an extra-large multi-serve half-carafe, and a full carafe.

Winner: Keurig.

The final product

We’re not going to lie; neither of these machines makes café-quality brews. With the Coffee Bar, you use your coffee, and you have the option to tweak your brew to different strengths. 

However, the machine tends to run too hot to make good coffee (2).

With a quick brew time, the K-cups don’t produce the strongest flavor.

The Keurig is a pod system, which unfortunately means you’re never getting fresh grounds. While the Ninja runs too hot, the Keurig tends not to get hot enough and extract too quickly, resulting in a weak brew. But fans of the machine do appreciate it makes the same coffee each time.

Winner: Tie. The Ninja might have the benefit of fresh grounds, but the Keurig offers a more consistent brew.

The Verdict

The Ninja and the Keurig will appeal to different kinds of coffee lovers. So which one you buy will all come down to what you’re looking for.

Use the Ninja Coffee Bar if:

  • You want more specialty drinks
  • You want to avoid the waste created by pods
  • You want to grind your own coffee beans

Use a Keurig coffee maker if:

  • You don’t drink lattes or cappuccinos
  • You want the convenience of pods
  • You have limited counter space

FAQs

You can’t use K-Cups in a Ninja Coffee Bar. Ninja machines only use ground coffee and do not accept pods of any brand.

You clean your Ninja Coffee Bar by filling the water reservoir with a descaling solution or white vinegar. Select the full carafe size, then run the cleaning cycle. Follow this by a second clean cycle using only water (3).

You make iced coffee with Keurig by extracting your coffee over a cup of ice, then adding milk and sugar to taste. If you have a K-Elite machine, you can use the “Iced” setting for a stronger brew suitable for iced coffee (4).

  1. Maloney, J., & Maidenberg, M. (2019, February 28). Keurig Dr Pepper says sales of its coffee Brewers Fell. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/keurig-dr-pepper-says-coffee-brewer-sales-volume-fell-11551364971
  2. How To Cleaning Instructions. (n.d.). Retrieved February 24, 2021, from https://www.ninjakitchen.com/include/pdf/how-to-cleaning-instructions-60-cf090-17-18-19.pdf
  3. How to make iced coffee with Your Keurig® coffee maker. (2020, May 11). Retrieved from https://blog.keurig.ca/blog/how-to-make-iced-coffee/
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I come from a country where people drink domestic coffee (what the rest of the world knows as Turkish coffee) and where Nescafe designates all instant coffees ever made. So, imagine my first encounter with, say, Hario V60...Yes, it was love at first sight.  Today I’m a moderate coffee connoisseur and a huge coffee lover. My favorite brewing methods are the V60 and traditional espresso-making. Yet, despite my country’s long tradition of Turkish-coffee-adoring, I somehow cannot stand it. That’s just too dark, even for me.

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