It’s been a while since I tried a Ninja brewing system.
Ninja recently sent me this one and, after playing around with it for a couple of weeks , I'm happy to say I like it.
Basically, the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System is a drip brewer, with benefits. Extras.
It makes both coffee and tea.
And it makes a Ninja version of specialty coffee. There’s even a milk frothing whisk included. We’ll get to that part later.
The unit I have has a glass carafe with a warming plate. If you prefer an insulated carafe instead, that option is available.
We’ve reviewed dozens of coffee makers over the years, so I’ve become a bit of a “materials” critic.
That’s the say, I don’t like flimsy plastic. I like a solid build, whatever the appliance.
This brewer feels seriously built in every way.
For example, when you flip down the platform for making a single cup of coffee or tea, it’s really solid, with a rubbery non-stick surface.
It’s the same for every part of the machine. Nothing feels like it’s going to break or crack any time over the next few years. (With the possible exception of the lid for the water reservoir, which does feel a little flimsy.)
The dials and buttons really mean something!
There are a lot of options with this brewer.
Tea or coffee… carafe or cup… hot or cold brew… and so on.
And when you choose an option, the machine makes adjustments to the brew cycle.
For example, if you choose a Rich coffee instead of Classic, there’s less water used in proportion to the ground coffee. So you get a stronger brew.
Or if you’re making black tea, the temperature of the water will be higher than if you’re making green tea.
Depending on what you’re brewing, the length of the brew cycle might change.
The period for the coffee to bloom or for the tea to steep might vary.
The point being, the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System is programmed to make sure you get a real good cup of coffee or tea.
It will do as good a job as the barista at your local coffee shop, or better. (You think your barista varies the water temperature and steeping time of the tea, according to whether its Oolong or herbal?)
While your local barista might be impressed by how this system makes regular coffee, cold brew coffee and tea, she’ll likely gasp in horror when it comes to specialty coffee drinks.
Yes, the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System has a specialty coffee setting, and a milk-frothing whisk.
But it doesn’t make espresso.
With this Ninja brew system, the base for specialty coffees isn’t a shot of espresso. It’s a shot of very strong, concentrated coffee. Remember, this is a drip brewer.
And you don’t get to froth the milk with a steam wand. You froth it with a whisk.
Here’s how it works… and I’ve done this a few times now.
First, I fill a little less than half my mug with milk and microwave it for about 25 seconds.
Then I use the Ninja’s whisk to froth it for a few seconds.
Next, I put the mug of frothed milk on the cup platform, add about two and a half scoops of coffee to the filter basket, make sure the machine is set to Specialty, and press the start button.
Add sugar to taste, stir it up, and you’re good to go.
Does it taste the same as a cappuccino or latte made with a shot of espresso? Nope.
But it tastes good enough for me to come back and make myself one of these specialty brews every afternoon.
Like I said at the outset, this is a drip brewer with a load of extras.
The Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System is solidly built, and a bit of a one-machine-to-do-it-all.
Make a carafe of coffee, or a single-serve cup of coffee.
Make your favorite tea.
Treat yourself to a specialty coffee.
All with the one machine.
If you like the sound of that, you can get the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System at Amazon.
NOTE: This product was sent to us free in return for a review. (That said, we always reserve the right NOT to review a free product if we don't like it, or feel you wouldn't like it.)