Ninja Dual Brew is a popular coffee maker.
But it’s the rave really worth it?
Before you set on buying one, you have to know all the facts.
Don’t worry. I got you covered.
After thorough research, I’ve poured down all the important facts in this Ninja Dual Brew review. Hopefully, it should solve your doubts.
Let’s dive in!
Ninja Dual Brew: a Quick Overview
This Ninja coffee maker is an entry-level machine with some premium features.
The first thing you notice is a sleek, modern design. But aside from looking good, this is a pretty sturdy machine as well.
The biggest advantage of this machine is that it’s a dual coffee maker.
Here’s what I mean.
Whether you prefer coffee capsules or grounds, you can use both. This is thanks to the pod adapter that you can add or remove depending on what you’re brewing.
Now, I’ll say it right away – this is both good and bad.
It’s good because you have more options.
But it’s bad because it’s a bit annoying having to switch between the adapter and the basket.
Plus, the adapter is pretty bulky. If you’re not using it, it will take up a bit of space in a drawer.
Speaking of options, there are plenty when it comes to a brew size. From a 6-ounce cup to a 12-cup carafe, you can make just the right amount of coffee.
I also like that you can make the brew more concentrated if that’s what you prefer.
If you’re making a whole drip coffee carafe, the coffee maker features an adjustable warming plate. It can remain hot for anywhere between 0 minutes and 4 hours.
The water tank is also pretty nice. It can hold 60 ounces of water, which is slightly above the amount you need for a whole carafe. In most cases, you can go for days without refilling.
- Tons of brew sizes available, so it’s suitable for both solo drinkers and whole households
- Pretty affordable, meaning you don’t have to break the bank to get a decent machine
- You can choose between pod and grounds, so you have plenty of brew options
- The 3 strength settings allow you to adjust your cup up to your preference
- Switching between pods and grounds is a bit annoying
- A bit loud, so it can wake up your household in the morning
Ninja Dual Brew: Features Rundown
Alright, let’s get into the nitty gritty of Ninja DualBrew. We’ll talk about each feature individually so that you can really see if this machine is worth it.
First things first, the design
The sleek and modern look of this Ninja coffee brewer is surely going to look nice in every kitchen.
Both body and removable parts are made of BPA-free plastic, but they don’t look cheap at all. The material is thick and has a smooth finish, so this really looks like a high-cost model.
The glass carafe is much thicker than those on previous Ninja models.
You’ll notice that it features a lid with a long tube that reaches almost to the bottom of the carafe.
What on earth is that? – you might ask.
This part is called the mixing tube, and it brings the freshest brew to the bottom, where the first few drops remain. This causes coffee to mix adequately, so the first cup is as strong as the last one.
Now, I really like the large display and the touchscreen control panel. Each touch point has an intuitive icon, so you know exactly what it’s for. In other words, you probably won’t even need to flip through the manual before using this machine.
When not brewing, the display shows a large clock, which is always a nice touch. Once you turn the machine on, it lets you choose your brew parameters. These are:
- Brew style
- Brew size
- Type of coffee
We’ll get into details later on what each option does.
For now, I just want to touch up on one thing you may or may not like.
You see, after it’s done brewing, Ninja DualBrew beeps 5 times. Now, this can be quite handy if you’re in the other room doing something else in the meantime.
But if your household is sleeping, and you have thin walls, this feature might not be that great. It’s not that it’s super loud, but light sleepers could probably hear it.
This machine gives off premium vibes thanks to its sleek design and quality of workmanship. It’s also super easy and intuitive to use, thanks to the large display and simple control panel.
How good is the pod adapter?
If you like to switch between pods and ground coffee, you’ll surely like this feature.
This model comes with a coffee pod adapter that goes directly above the brew head. It features 3 needles at the top and a single one at the bottom.
Once you lock it in place, it pierces the pod, allowing the coffee to come through. Having 3 needles on top instead of just 1 allows coffee to get saturated more evenly.
Of course, there’s a catch.
The pod adapter is compatible with K-cups but not with reusable pods. This somewhat limits your options.
However, I’ve got some good news.
The pod adapter is removable. Underneath it, the machine has a large filter basket. The basket uses the regular number 4 cone filters, which are readily available at stores.
Alternatively, you can also use a permanent filter.
Now for the not-so-good news:
It has to be Ninja or Ninja-compatible. So not just any permanent filter on the market will do. However, there are a few brands on the market that make compatible filters, so finding one shouldn’t be too hard.
I must mention that the pod adapter is quite bulky. And if you’re using it only once in a while, it will take a good portion of your drawer most of the time.
Okay, so this coffee machine allows you to choose between coffee pods and grounds.
But how do you know which brewing option is selected?
On the left side of the display, you have two icons:
- Coffee bean – indicating you’re using ground coffee
- Pod – indicating that it’s set to brew a capsule
To switch between them, simply add or remove a pod adapter from its designated position and add the filter. While this is an additional step, it still means you have a drip coffee machine and pods coffee maker in one.
The pod adapter allows you to switch between coffee grounds and capsules. However, there are a few catches. You can’t use reusable pods or regular permanent filters with this machine.
What’s the quality of the coffee?
The most important question of them all – is how does the coffee turn out?
Thanks to an XL shower head, coffee gets evenly saturated. As a result, it’s extracted just the right amount.
Ninja DualBrew offers 3 brew style options:
- Classic – standard
- Rich – bold and more full-bodied
- Iced – very concentrated
What’s the difference, you might ask?
The amount of water used.
Rich brew uses slightly less water than classic, so the result is more concentrated. It’s still far from espresso coffee, but this isn’t meant to be an espresso machine anyway.
To increase the quality of your brew, grind your own coffee beans. You will get fresher and richer coffee that way.
As for the iced coffee version, it uses about 2 ounces less water than the selected size of the brew.
This makes enough room for ice if you want to make an iced coffee. And given that hot coffee will be diluted with some of the melted ice, you don’t want your ice brew to get watered down.
Ninja DualBrew makes a well-extracted cup of coffee, thanks to the large showerhead. You can make it more or less concentrated with 3 different strength options.
How many brew sizes are available?
This Ninja model is a great option for large coffee-drinking households. You can make a single cup of coffee just for you or for the whole house at once.
Of course, how much coffee you can make at once depends on the style of coffee selected.
When using a capsule, you can choose from:
- 6 ounces
- 8 ounces
- 10 ounces
- 12 ounces
Now, depending on whether you’re making a rich or iced version, the actual amount dispensed is slightly lower for a more concentrated coffee.
Pretty cool, right?
If you’re using coffee grounds, then you have much more options:
- SM cup (8 ounces)
- Cup (10 ounces)
- XL cup (12 ounces)
- Travel (15 ounces)
- XL travel (18 ounces)
- ½ carafe (28 ounces)
- ¼ carafe (37 ounces)
- ¾ carafe (46 ounces)
- Full carafe (55 ounces)
Again, the actual amount of coffee made can be slightly lower if you choose a rich or iced version.
You have tons of cup sizes available. With pods, you can choose between 6, 8, 10, and 12 ounces. With grounds, on the other hand, you can go anywhere between 8 and 55 ounces of drip coffee.
How big is the water tank?
This is a pretty sleek machine, but the water tank it comes with is pretty nice. It has a capacity of 60 ounces, so you can make a whole carafe with it and have a bit of water left.
I like that the water tank is situated on the right side, as it allows you to remove it without moving the machine across the counter. Its ergonomic shape allows you to easily take the water tank out with a single hand.
I also like that it features indicators telling you how much coffee you can make with the remaining water. It takes the guesswork out of brewing.
What’s the Keep Warm function like?
If you’re brewing a carafe of coffee, the warming plate automatically turns off to keep your coffee warm but not burn it.
There’s a light at the front that lets you know when the warming plate is on.
As you might have guessed, you can adjust it how you want it.
Made too much coffee at once?
You can set it to remain warm for up to 4 hours and be accurate to a minute.
So yes, you can also set it to 0 and prevent it from turning on at all.
What other special features does this machine have?
This model has some pretty nifty features that I’ll mention briefly. They might not make a huge difference in brewing coffee, but they’re definitely nice to have.
This is exactly what the name says it is. It’s a little lever that stops pouring. It means you can take a cup mid-brew if you’re too impatient to wait for it to be finished.
It also prevents this machine from turning into a mess.
Here’s what I mean:
After it’s done brewing, the spout tends to drip a little.
And given you’ve probably removed your cup, it will drip on the warming plate. If the plate is on, the droplets will heat up and start smelling burnt. Not nice.
Does that mean you have to move the lever on and off every time you’re brewing coffee?
I hate that it adds an additional step to the brewing process. But I’m glad that it prevents possible mess.
I know it might sound like an unimportant feature. But you get a scoop on each side, one smaller and the other larger.
The former has an indicator telling you how much coffee you need for a cup. The other shows you the amount you need to make half or a full carafe.
The spout isn’t adjustable, but this machine features a cup holder. You pop it in place when you’re making coffee in a cup and fold it when not needed.
I like that it has a rubbery surface. This prevents your cup from tipping over if not placed directly at the center of the holder.
Want to drink coffee as soon as you open your eyes in the morning?
Not a problem.
This model allows you to set up the brew in advance, up to 24 hours. That way, it can start brewing before you’re even awake.
High Altitude Calibration
If you live at a high altitude, you can’t use just any coffee maker.
That’s because water boils at a lower temperature compared to sea level.
Luckily, this model has this nifty calibrator. Basically, you just run the program, and it will automatically detect the right boiling temperature. Convenient!
This model offers tons of neat features that make your life a bit easier. My favorite is the delay option, which allows you to set your machine to brew at the right time.
How easy is it to use?
With a large display and a large touchscreen control panel, using this machine is pretty simple.
Each button has an icon indicating what it’s for. To adjust the numbers, you just have to turn the only knob dial left or right.
Finally, the “start brew” button does exactly what it says it does.
All about maintenance
This model has several removable parts:
- Pod adapter
- Filter basket
- Water tank
The filter basket and water tank are both dishwasher-safe, as long as they’re on the top rack.
However, the pod adapter must be cleaned by hand. Doing that is a bit tedious as there are lots of hard-to-reach points.
Coffee can also get stuck in the needles. Luckily, you can easily clean them by running a water cycle.
You should do that at least once a week to prevent buildup inside the needles.
The glass carafe is safe to wash in the dishwasher. If you’re doing it manually, make sure to avoid wire brush, as it might damage it.
Now the question you’re probably wondering – what’s descaling like?
As you see the clean indicator lighting orange, it’s time to descale your machine. Here’s what you need to do:
- Depending on whether you use more pods or grounds, run the cycle with or without a pod adapter, respectively.
- Place a carafe underneath the spout.
- Add a descaling solution to the full water reservoir, and press the CLEAN button. Then, press the START BREW button to confirm.
- Alternatively, you can use white vinegar for cleaning. Add 16 ounces of white vinegar to the water tank, then repeat the steps.
Even though that cleaning isn’t automated, it’s pretty simple.
Do you get your money’s worth?
Finally, you’re probably wondering – is this machine worth it?
And I believe it gives you bang for the buck.
At this price range, it has many features you don’t often see on coffee makers. For instance, high altitude calibration and iced brew.
Being able to switch between ground coffee and pods is also not common for affordable coffee makers.
Finally, this model is built to last. Yes, it’s made of plastic, but the material is very sturdy. It could definitely last you a decade. That sounds like a pretty good deal for a model in this price range.
The only thing I’m really missing with this coffee maker is a milk frother. Luckily, Ninja came up with an improved model that features a built-in frother – Ninja DualBrew Pro. This is a Ninja specialty coffee maker – meaning you can make a specialty brew such as a latte.
Still on the fence about this model?
Here are some questions you might be wondering.
Does the Ninja DualBrew make cold brew?
No, this machine can’t make cold brew. Cold brew is steeped in cold water for more than 12 hours at once. On the other hand, Ninja DualBrew brews hot coffee in just a few minutes.
Can you use reusable pods in Ninja DualBrew?
Can you use reusable pods in Ninja DualBrew?
Does the Ninja DualBrew make tea?
Yes, you can. But you should only use tea bags inside a filter basket. Using tea leaves is not recommended, as they can get stuck in certain parts of the machine.
For the price it sells at, Ninja Dual Brew is an excellent machine.
It allows you to make coffee of different consistency and sizes. From 8 to 55 ounces, you can make coffee for everyone in the house at once.
The machine also has tons of nifty features, like the drip stop and delay that allow you to after your brew process.
All in all, you really get your money’s worth with this coffee maker.
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