If you’re on the lookout for a versatile coffee maker, Ninja is one manufacturer you should consider. Its machines allow you to brew a classic cup of beautiful coffee that attains the SCAA golden cup standard, but that’s not all. You can also brew iced coffee and froth milk using an espresso-like concentrate for specialty beverages.
If that’s not enough, the new Ninja DualBrew Pro Specialty Coffee System takes that versatility to another level. This 12-cup drip coffee maker and single-serve brewer combined allows you to brew coffee with either your favorite coffee grounds or convenient K-Cup coffee pods. If you like this type of machines, check out our best dual coffee maker reviews for more options.
There are two models in Ninja’s new line-up – the CFP301 and CFP201. This review will concentrate on the more powerful CFP301. At the end of the review, we’ll see how it matches up against the CFP201 to present the details you need to decide which is best for you.
Ninja DualBrew Pro Specialty Coffee System CFP301 Review
|Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro System 12-Cup Coffee...||2,958 Reviews||See on Amazon|
|Ninja CFP201 DualBrew System 12-Cup Coffee Maker,...||2,425 Reviews||See on Amazon|
Last update on 2022-12-07 / As an Amazon Associate, if you buy via the links, Brewcoffeehome earns a commission at no extra cost to you.
The Ninja DualBrew Pro Specialty Coffee System has a fresh, updated interface compared to other Ninja coffee bar machines. Meanwhile, the machine is predominantly plastic. However, the overall impression is of a beautiful and contemporary device.
The CFP301 model has a touchscreen display. In the middle of the control panel is a rotary dial for selecting your cup size. In addition, the CFP301 displays the time when it’s idle and the cup sizes when you switch it on. Surrounding the dial are nine cup size icons. Meanwhile, there is a progression bar around the dial when it is brewing coffee, indicating how long you’ll need to wait for completion. Finally, to the right of the dial are four brewing options.
Beneath the coffee spout is a switch. No coffee can come out of the brew basket when it is closed. This is convenient as you can pour a quick coffee during brewing without waiting until the whole pot is ready. After brewing, you can push the switch to close it and prevent dripping onto the hot plate.
Using a smaller cup, a flip-down cup holder guards against splashing. Meanwhile, the left-hand side has several elements. Firstly, there’s a fold-away milk frother, which you’ll need for making milk-based espresso drinks, including latte and cappuccino. Next, there’s a dial that allows you to turn on the machine’s independent hot water system. There is also a smart coffee scoop.
The machine has a multi-position water reservoir with a convenient handle that allows for easy removal. The tank has a 60oz capacity which equates to a full carafe of coffee. Meanwhile, the tank has clear marks to denote how much water you need depending on cup size.
Considering the CFP301 is a dual coffee maker, it is remarkably compact, with a length of 11.39in, a width of 9.13in, and a height of 15.54in. Also, if you move the reservoir to the back, it’s even slimmer, at just 7in wide.
K-Cup Pod Adapter
As we mentioned earlier, the machine brews coffee using grounds or coffee pods, and the DualBrew Pro specialty coffee system has a special K-Cup pod adapter.
The adapter is a standalone accessory. So, when you’re ready to make K-Cup coffee, you insert the entire pod adapter onto the brew basket and lock it in. On opening the lid, there are three needles that pierce the K-Cup lid and inject the grounds with water.
The fact there are three needles is noteworthy because most original Keurig machines only have one, while the Keurig machines with the latest multistream technology have five. The reason why more needles are preferred is that more water streams help saturate the grounds more evenly. So, even though the CFP301 has fewer than the latest Keurig machines, it’s still an improvement on many of its older models.
Once the pod adapter is in place, the machine automatically detects it and displays the appropriate menu. There are still four brew options on the right, giving the machine more possibilities than standard K-Cup brewers. For example, most Keurig machines only have a “Strong Brew” option.
The machine offers all five Keurig cup sizes – 4oz, 6oz, 8oz, 10oz, and 12oz. This is impressive because only the most expensive Keurig machines offer this many cup sizes. However, one drawback is you can’t use a reusable K-Cup in the CFP301.
Because the pod adapter transforms the Ninja coffee brewer into a single-serve coffee machine, you can enjoy several K-Cup options, including hot cocoa, and all at the touch of a button, which is extremely cool.
Brew Options And Programmability
Ninja specialty coffee makers are well known for their versatility, and in keeping with tradition, the CFP301 has plenty of options, too. Indeed, when you switch the machine on, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. However, it’s straightforward enough to understand. So, let’s look at the options.
Classic – choose this option if you want standard coffee.
Rich – for a coffee with a stronger flavor, rich mode changes the brew ratio and brew time to accommodate.
Brew Over Ice – this option brews a small amount of coffee then stops. This infusion process ensures a stronger coffee, meaning it won’t taste watered down after ice is added. However, the brew size can be confusing when using this option. For example, if you choose the 14oz option, it will brew 6oz of hot coffee before melting the ice to leave 14oz.
Specialty Brews – this option brews 4oz of super-rich coffee concentrate similar to espresso. Then, you can use it as a base for frothing milk and making other coffeehouse-style drinks, including latte and cappuccino.
Each of the four brewing options is available with either K-Cup or drip coffee. As well as the brew options, you can also froth milk and program the machine to delay brewing so that you can have a gorgeous, freshly brewed beverage when you wake up.
The CFP301 is a 12-cup drip coffee maker with the following nine brewing sizes:
- Small cup: 8 oz,
- cup: 10 oz,
- XL cup: 12 oz,
- travel mug: 15 oz,
- XL travel mug: 18 oz,
- ¼ carafe: 28 oz,
- half carafe: 37 oz,
- carafe: 46 oz,
- full carafe, 55 oz.
The cup sizes change a little depending on the brew option you select. However, a comprehensive manual clearly explains the number of scoops of coffee recommended for each brew size, so finding the optimal brew ratio shouldn’t be an issue.
The machine also has a large glass carafe for making larger batches of coffee in one brew cycle.
Meanwhile, as we explained earlier, the machine reverts to the five cup sizes from 4oz to 12oz when attaching the pod adapter in the pods coffee system.
Most Ninja coffee Makers are SCAA-certified brewers. This means they meet the golden cup standard set by SCAA experts. This newly-released Ninja Dualbrew Pro Specialty Coffee System CFP301 is not yet on the list. However, it appears to use the same brewing technology and brews the coffee at the optimal temperature.
Because this Ninja coffee system has three needles for saturating the grounds instead of one, the coffee it produces should be more flavorful than coffee produced by a standard Keurig machine. Also, there are more brewing options than standard Keurigs while it retains the optimal brewing temperature. Therefore, the overall standard of coffee brewed using K-Cups should be exceptional.
Other Convenient Features
Independent Hot Water System
The CFP301 has a separate hot water dispenser. When you turn the dial to the water drop icon, the display changes, allowing you to choose a hot or boiling water temperature.
When you opt for boiling water, the water will emerge from the spout at around 205F (96C), which is extremely hot while not quite boiling. However, when you choose hot water, the temperature of the water will be around 175F (79C). This is useful when you want hot water for different purposes, including instant soups, hot chocolate, and Americano.
Turn the front dial to select your cup size and press the button to get hot water without needing to boil a kettle.
If you’re familiar with the Ninja Specialty coffee maker, you’ll know about the built-in milk frother on the left. It works more like a handheld milk frother rather than a steam wand. There is a whisk at the base and a button on top, and the frother produces silky-smooth froth that’s perfect for making beautiful and enticing lattes and cappuccinos.
However, unlike an espresso machine’s steam wand, this milk frother doesn’t heat the milk. Therefore, you’ll need to heat the milk beforehand or use it for cold milk instead.
You can remove the milk frother from the machine to properly clean it. Just turn it, and it will come off.
Multi-Position Water Reservoir
The Ninja Dualbrew Pro Specialty Coffee System CFP301 has a multi-position removable water reservoir. First, you take out the reservoir along with the plastic base piece. Then you slide the entire reservoir to the back of the machine. Finally, reattach the plastic base piece to anchor the tank.
After moving the reservoir to the back of the machine, the entire brew unit will be significantly slimmer. However, it will take up more space with the added depth. Nevertheless, this is a nice option to have, and you can choose how to set it up based on your countertop space.
Both the CFP301 and CFP201 use a glass carafe rather than a thermal alternative. The machine has a warming plate that will keep the standing coffee hot for up to four hours. Meanwhile, the keep warm feature will automatically activate when you select your carafe size. A red light will indicate when the hot plate is activated, so you know when not to touch it.
The cup size selection dial will display the time if you press and hold the “keep warm” button. The default amount of time is two hours. However, you can increase that up to four hours in increments of 15 minutes, or turn it off completely.
Ease Of Use
As we have seen, the Ninja DualBrew Pro specialty coffee maker has plenty of features, but despite this, it’s quite easy to use. Let’s look at some step-by-step instructions.
How To Brew Coffee With Ground Coffee Using The Ninja DualBrew Pro
- Turn on the machine and insert the brew basket. You’ll need a number 4 Melitta-style filter paper.
- Turn the dial to select your cup size, then place the appropriate cup or carafe in the coffee dispenser.
- Measure the recommended amount of grounds with the Ninja smart scoop.
- Pull the sliding lid at the top and lock it into position.
- Press the “Brew Style” button to select your preferred brew options.
- Press the cup size dial to begin brewing. Remember to turn the switch to “open.”
- Notice the progression bar on the screen.
- After brewing, enjoy your coffee! If you’re brewing for a carafe, you can keep it warm for up to four hours.
How To Brew Coffee With K-Cup Pods Using The Ninja DualBrew Pro
- Place the Ninja Pod adapter into the brew basket and lock it.
- Open the lid, insert the K-Cup coffee pod, and then firmly close the handle. The machine will notice you brewing a K-Cup, and the pod-brewing options will appear on the display.
- Select a brew size between 4oz and 12oz.
- Select your desired brew size.
- Press the cup size dial to begin brewing.
- If you select the specialty brew function, you can brew a 4oz cup of coffee using K-Cup pods, then froth the milk.
How To Dispense Hot Water With Ninja DualBrew Pro
- Move the knob to the water dispensing mode on the machine’s left.
- Select either “hot” or “boil” water temperature.
- Select a cup size, and you can dispense a whole carafe of water.
- Press the cup size dial to begin dispensing water.
Value For Money
Considering the Ninja DualBrew Pro combines a top-quality drip coffee maker with a single-serve coffee machine, it represents excellent value for money. It also has more options than many other machines in a similar price range.
For example, the machine is more inexpensive than an espresso machine, but it produces coffee similar to espresso. Not only that, but you can also froth milk for espresso-like milk-based drinks.
The machine is a little more expensive than a high-end Keurig coffee machine. However, it has more features than many Keurig machines.
To summarize, the CFP301 brews ultra flavorful coffee with either your favorite coffee grounds or K-Cup coffee pods, making it an extremely versatile machine representing good value for money.
Comparison With Other Ninja Specialty Coffee Makers
CFP301 vs CFP201
Last update on 2022-12-07 / As an Amazon Associate, if you buy via the links, Brewcoffeehome earns a commission at no extra cost to you.
The CFP301 and CFP201 look virtually identical. Indeed, the dimensions, water tank capacity, cup sizes, brew unit, and pod adapter are the same.
However, the interfaces of the two machines are different. For example, the CFP301 has a slick and shiny touchscreen that offers more elegance than the CFP201’s button control panel. Therefore, the former seems more premium at first glance.
Meanwhile, the CFP301 has an independent hot water system, including temperature settings. It also has a specialty brew option and a fold-away frother. All of these things are absent on the CFP201.
Finally, with the CFP301, you can alter the position of the water reservoir, while on the CFP201, the position is fixed. This is a consideration if you have limited countertop space.
Ninja DualBrew Pro vs Alternative Ninja Specialty Machines
Compared to more established Ninja specialty coffee makers, the new DualBrew range has K-Cup compatibility. Indeed, this is the only dual coffee maker in Ninja’s product range. All the others are only capable of brewing with ground coffee.
The DualBrew Pro also offers more cup-size options than other Ninja coffee machines. However, one potentially significant drawback is the newer machines’ absence of the cold brew feature that you’ll find in the CP301 and CP307, which employ the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System. Of course, whether this is a deal-breaker or not will depend on whether you intend to make cold brew. Check out our best-picked Ninja Coffee Makers reviews for more details.
Finally, the new Ninja DualBrew machines also have a more modern and refined user interface, which makes using the machine significantly easier to use.
Our Verdict – Great Dual Coffee Maker For Grounds And K-Cups
This Ninja duo coffee maker is an excellent option for domestic brewers who want to experiment with their coffee recipes. After all, the ability to make beautiful drip coffee, espresso-like milk-based drinks, and use single-serve K-Cup coffee pods makes it an incredibly versatile machine.
That versatility would be a significant enough selling point for many coffee lovers, but its sheer convenience is surely another. For example, you can brew a quick cup of coffee within a minute. Not only that, but you can also program the machine to make freshly brewed coffee for you when you wake up.
The advantages keep on coming, too. For example, you can brew single-serve cups or a full carafe, so whether you’re making coffee for yourself or several people, the CFP301 manages either with ease.
When you consider that the machine looks modern and sleek and brews beautiful SCAA-standard coffee, the impression you have of the Ninja Duo DualBrew Pro CFP301 specialty coffee machine is an excellent all-rounder and a brilliant addition to Ninja’s stable of top-notch machines. All this for less than the cost of an espresso machine makes it a coffee maker well worth considering.