Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker CM401 Reviews in 2002: Pros Cons And Predict

The Ninja Coffee Maker is, all but in name, the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker. The brand changed the names, but the two brewers are nearly identical and come with a built-in milk frother, a variety of brewing sizes, and a number of brewing modes. With the help of all of these features, you can make anything from a simple carafe of black coffee to a caramel macchiato.

The Ninja Coffee Bar has undoubtedly made an impact on the industry because it offers more versatility than traditional drip coffee makers, as evidenced by the introduction of similar combination coffee makers by Keurig and Nespresso in the years since the Coffee Bar’s release. The Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker costs $170, which isn’t cheap but offers a lot of value when you consider how much less complicated drip coffee makers can run.


The Ninja Coffee Bar is a decent-looking appliance that is primarily made of black plastic with some metal accents. You’ll probably want to designate it at a specific location on your counter because it’s tall and fairly heavy.

This coffee maker is remarkably streamlined despite its size. When not in use, the cup platform folds up and the frother swings in and out. As you slide the filter basket, it rotates, keeping the handle in a useful position.

Interface And Settings

The Coffee Bar has a sizable, moderately complex user interface and provides a wide range of brewing options. You can choose between a cup, a large cup, a travel mug, a large multi-serve, a half-carafe, and a full carafe by turning a simple dial.

There are two concentration levels available for a straightforward brew: Classic and Rich. Two additional strong brew settings, Specialty (four ounces) and Cafe Forte are also available, along with an over-ice option. The Ninja calculates how much water to use for each set using a patented Auto-IQ system.

Additionally, a clock with a brew delay timer is present. Press the Stay Warm button to maintain the temperature of your coffee carafe. There are automatic Clean, Drip Stop, and Pre-Heating lights for indicators.

Unfortunately, there are no simple start, pause, or stop brewing buttons on this interface. To fully comprehend the features of your Coffee Bar, it is likely that you will need to spend some time with the user manual.

Notable Features

  • Six brewing sizes: A half-carafe (30 ounces), a full carafe (44 ounces), an XL cup (11.5 ounces), a travel mug (14 ounces), and an XL multi-serve (18 ounces) can all be produced by the brewer. For the last two sizes, the appliance includes a warming plate and a glass carafe.
  • Drip stop: If you simply can’t wait for your morning pick-me-up, the drip-stop lever on the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker allows you to quickly pour a cup before the entire pot is ready.
  • Four brewing modes: The Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker, like the original Ninja Coffee Bar, has four different brew modes: classic, rich, over-ice, and specialty. The specialty brew mode produces a concentrated 4-ounce cup that can be used to make lattes, macchiatos, and other coffee drinks.
  • Cleaning mode: The brewer features a dedicated cleaning mode with a “clean” button to activate it. If the machine suggests running a cleaning cycle, the button will glow. The calcium scale buildup in the machine’s internal lines can be removed using this specialized cycle in combination with either a descaling solution or white vinegar.
  • Built-in milk frother: It can be turned on by simply holding down the power button and pulls out from the left side of the device. Additionally, the frother whisk detaches from the appliance with ease, making it simple to wash it after use.
Ninja Coffee Maker


  • Many brew settings and features, like an automatic frother
  • Pieces fit together nicely, with a streamlined feel
  • High-quality permanent filter and effective drip-stop
  • The well-designed removable water reservoir


  • Complicated, non-intuitive interface
  • Plastic construction
  • Somewhat pricey

How Effective Is The Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker?

CR’s lab tests were performed on the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker, and we put it through its paces at home. Here’s what we found:

Our engineers put the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker’s glass-carafe version through its paces and discovered that it delivers excellent brew performance, brewing a full carafe of coffee in just 7 minutes. The brewer performs well in our convenience tests, which assess how easily you can fill the water reservoir, install the filter, clean the machine, and more. Its carafe is also very simple to hold and pour coffee from.

We set up and used the thermal-carafe version of the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker at home instead of our typical coffee maker. Although it was very simple to set up and operate the device, we found that it took us a while to become familiar with all of its modes and features without repeatedly consulting the user manual that was provided. Having said that, the instructions were very simple to follow and the machine was faultless, enabling us to make iced coffees, lattes, and just plain hot coffee with ease. The fact that we could brew coffee in a variety of sizes and with different levels of richness was also something we enjoyed.

Who Should Use A Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker?

The Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker is for people who are sick of making the same pot of black coffee every morning and want the flexibility of being able to make a full carafe one day and a travel mug’s worth the next, or a latte in the morning and an iced coffee in the afternoon. Customers who want a single-serve brewer that doesn’t use wasteful coffee pods will also appreciate it.

Ninja Coffee Bar Review

We carefully examined the Ninja Coffee Bar’s key features, such as how it looks, how the settings operate, and what is included in the box, to help you determine if it is the ideal drip coffee system for you. We also put its durability and cleaning prowess to the test. What was the outcome of our investigation? Find out by reading on! And if you have any additional inquiries, see our list of frequently asked questions at the end.

The Ninja Coffee Bar might be a great choice if you have room in your kitchen and money to spend. There are many different serving sizes and brew settings available, including extra-concentrated and over-ice options. A permanent filter for paperless brewing, a high-quality glass carafe, and an automatic milk frother is also included.

Consider more streamlined drip coffee makers if your budget is tight or your space is limited. If you don’t want to learn a complex interface and don’t require a lot of features and settings, you might not like the Ninja system. Unfortunately, some of the accessories on this large, mostly plastic coffee system aren’t very sturdy.

Ninja Coffee Maker

Should You Buy The Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker?

Overall, the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker is a flexible device with everything you need to create a variety of specialty drinks. Anyone looking for a coffee maker that can brew decent morning coffee as well as handle fancier drinks when necessary will find it useful.

For those who don’t need as many features as the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System, the Ninja Specialty is a less expensive option. These two Ninja coffee makers have a lot of similar features, aside from the Hot and Cold Brewed System’s capacity to produce tea and cold brew. It will ultimately depend on your preferences and budget because both machines are competent at what they do.

Bear in mind that Ninja Specialty makes espresso-style drinks. The DeLonghi Stilosa, one of the best espresso makers you can purchase, costs about $50 less than the Ninja if you’re looking for a true espresso maker. If you prefer a standard coffee maker instead, you can save even more money by selecting the Braun BrewSense drip coffee maker, which also supports single-cup brews.