Coffee Assassin

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Ninja Coffee Bar turns your kitchen into a coffeehouse

The Ninja Coffee Bar allows you to make specialty drinks at home or at the office. (Photos by Betsy Abraham)

Coffee addicts beware. SharkNinja has snuck onto the coffee scene to feed your habit and then some. The company known for powerful blenders and other appliances now offers several top-of-the-line coffee makers. The Ninja Coffee Bar with Glass Carafe (Model CF092W) replaces drip machines, pod devices and espresso makers with one easy-to-use system and produces coffee that passes the test even for coffee snobs. 

There are perks to brewing coffee yourself—you don’t have to leave your kitchen, you don’t have to wait on long lines and you can fine-tune it to your tastes to make the perfect cup every time.

Out of the box, the coffee bar is simple to set up. Once you plug it in and run through a cycle with plain water, you’re ready to brew your first cup, or full pot.

The coffee scoop is handily located on the side of the machine. Icons on the double-sided spoon will help you remember how many scoops you need for each serving size.

A permanent mesh filter is built in. You can add your ground coffee directly into it, or, in the interest of fast cleanup, you can use a #4 paper filter.

Fill the reservoir with fresh water and then select a size. You can make a single 9.5 oz cup of coffee, or brew 11.5 oz, 14 oz, 18 oz, half a pot or a full pot that holds 50 oz.

Next, select the type of brew—‘classic’ makes a well-balanced cup of drip coffee, ‘rich’ will have a more intense flavor and stand up well to milk and cream, and ‘over ice’ will produce a freshly brewed cup of iced coffee that won’t be watered down. You can also go for the ‘specialty’ setting, which creates a super-rich concentrated brew, much like espresso, or ‘cafe forte,’ which is ideal for coffee served black.

Layered coffee drinks are no sweat with a Ninja Coffee Bar. (Photo by Kimberly Dijkstra)

Ninja’s technology is designed to extract the full flavor of the coffee beans and can pull out subtle notes and varietal characteristics.

In addition to all of the flavor options, what makes a Ninja Coffee Bar so special is the built-in milk frother located on the side. With the push of a button, the little whisk will transform hot or cold milk into silky foam—the key to creating specialty coffeehouse style drinks. Included in the box is a booklet of 20 recipes, including Mexican spiced coffee, cappuccino-style coffee, the ever-popular pumpkin spice latte, iced beverages and even cocktails.

The ‘stay warm’ button is perhaps the best feature. Hot coffee that’s gone cold is the worst. You’ll never have to endure such disappointment again if you use the programmable warming plate. It can keep the carafe warm for up to 4 hours.

Another great feature is the drip stop, which as the name suggests, stops the machine from dripping after the brew cycle.

Silky microfoam atop your coffee is no longer a coffeehouse-only luxury.

Cleanup is a breeze because Ninja engineers designed the system that way. The water reservoir, mesh filter and milk frother are easily removable for rinsing.

The Ninja Coffee Bar lives up to the hype. It makes an excellent gift this holiday season. While it’s a great addition to any kitchen, it also fits in well at the office because of its versatility and design.

The Ninja Coffee Bar System with Glass Carafe is $199 with free shipping and a one-year limited warranty. Purchase it online at www.ninjakitchen.com or at local retailers.

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