Ninja 12 Cup Programmable Coffee Maker review

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Erin Lawrence

Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Brewer sitting on kitchen counter

For coffee drinkers, the day doesn’t truly begin until after that first cup. So making it easy to get can set the tone for the next 12 hours— and beyond. Ninja’s automatic 12 cup coffee maker is massively popular, so is that because it’s cheap, or because it’s good? I picked up one of these coffee makers from Amazon to test out in my kitchen so I’ll let you know how easy the Ninja 12 Cup Programmable Brewer is to set up and use, how easy it cleans up, and what it looks like on the countertop too. (CE251)

Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Brewer CE200C
4.5

Summary

Overall, this is a solid coffee maker. It was easy to program, easy to clean, and easy to fill due to the removable water reservoir. The coffee it made was top notch, and the fact that everything will go in the dishwasher for clean up is pure magic. There aren’t a lot of extra programmable bells and whistles, but if you’re looking for a simple coffee maker, this is a good choice.

Pros

  • Easy to program
  • Easy to clean
  • Removable water reservoir
  • No-spill carafe
  • Makes great coffee!

Cons

  • Not a lot of additional programmable features (i.e. adjustable, holding temperature, or brewing temperature)

Design

Ninja hasn’t gone above and beyond when it comes to the design. That’s not a criticism, since I believe they’ve put all of their engineering efforts into making this a dynamite coffee maker. While much of the construction is plastic, and the footprint is a little larger than some other similar automatic coffee makers, Ninja makes the most of the additional space it takes up with some pretty smart features.

The glass carafe holds up to 12 cups and sits on a warming plate that can keep your brew hot for hours. The carafe has an extremely comfortable large plastic handle and a really cleverly designed spout that in my testing did not spill a single drop.

The water tank for this machine lives on the side, instead of hidden on the back. While this means it takes up a bit more room, Ninja has made the tank removable with an easy to grip handle, that saves so much trouble. Instead of filling the carafe and then having to pull the coffee maker out from under your cabinets and open up a lid to refill it, you can just remove, fill and replace the tank. I’m probably jumping ahead here, but this design alone would make me purchase the Ninja 12 cup programmable brewer.

My hands-on video review

The machine comes with a reusable metal mesh filter and you can also use Number 4 Cone paper filters if you prefer.

On the side of the machine is an included coffee scoop.

Under the removable water tank is your control centre for some of the other features, so let’s get to them.

Programming

Removable water tank.

The name gives it away, but yes, you can program your Ninja coffee maker to have your brew ready for you when you wake up. Setting both the clock and the brewing schedule is easy using the hour and minute buttons on the front of the control panel. Similarly, you can also adjust how long the machine will keep your coffee warm after the brewing cycle has completed by using the stay warm button. Out of the box, the coffee maker will stay on for two hours after a brewing cycle, but you can adjust this up to four hour

Coffee strength & temperature

 

Since we’re taking a look at the control panel, let’s get to the brewing strengths options. Ninja offers what’s called a classic brew strength and a rich brew strength. Essentially Classic could be regular coffee while Rich is a stronger brew that ninja says is better suited to standing up to milk, cream, or other flavorings.

My preference is for darker coffees, and even so I actually found the classic brew strength was bold enough for me, and the rich strength just made it even more so. There’s not a ton of difference between these two settings in my opinion (for me it comes down to the coffee beans you’re using), but it does help out a little bit.

Temperature

The water temperature at brewing time is 181F or 82.5C.

Small Batch setting

If you don’t generally drink a full pot of coffee, you can use ninjas small batch setting to brew from 2 to 4 cups. I’m not 100% clear on exactly what this setting truly does since Ninja makes sure to point out in the manual that even if you have the small batch button turned on it will use up all of the water you pour into the water tank. From what I can glean, Ninja believes this quote, ensures the same great flavour as a full carafe brew” but I didn’t really notice a difference.

Brew speed

If you’re not using the advanced programming, you’ll definitely want to pay attention to this next metric: how long does it take to brew a full pot? From my testing, it takes approximately 12 to 15 minutes to brew a full carafe, which is both reasonable and expected for a coffee maker of this type. Of course if you’re jonesing for that first java, you can use the ‘pause and serve’ feature which blocks coffee from pouring out if you remove the carafe briefly.

I can say this feature also worked really well and I didn’t notice any drips or over spill.

The water sprinkler (I’m sure it has an official name) that drips the hot water over the grounds is wide and covers a lot of area, which I actually think helps to saturate the coffee grounds better.

I will just mention the strange lid that comes with this coffee maker. It has one feature I really like and another feature I was very unclear about. While I’ve already talked about the great spout, the lid also locks on with a twist, making it very secure so you’ll never have to worry about spills or accidents. The other thing the lid has is what’s called the ‘flavour straw’.

Despite building it into the machine and including it in the marketing, nowhere could I find what this alleged flavour straw was supposed to do. I did find one sentence on their website that says it helps to ‘mix the coffee for consistent flavour’, but I don’t really understand what that means or see it in action. I guess if you’re brewing a whole pot, it will pipe the freshly brewed coffee into the middle or lower part of the pot so in theory, you’re not getting progressively weaker coffee floating on top as the pot fills up? I’ll go with that.

Clean up

Ninja 12 cup programmable brewer

Cleanup is a big deal when it comes to your coffee maker. I’m glad to see the glass carafe, brew-through lid, removable filter, holder, permanent filter, water, reservoir, and lid, as well as the scoop are all dishwasher safe.

Overall review: Ninja automatic Coffee Maker

Overall I would actually like to replace my current aging coffee maker with The Ninja Programmable Coffee Maker… the removable water reservoir is actually a huge plus for me since it means I don’t have to scoot the machine all over the counter to fill the tank. The coffee it made was top notch, and the fact that everything will go in the dishwasher for clean up is pure magic. It was easy to program and adjust all of the settings so even folks with a fear of setting alarm clocks, would still be able to operate this easily. So what are the downsides? I’m really struggling to find any thing bad to say about this coffee maker. Some folks may wish there was adjustable, holding temperature, or brewing temperature, but I didn’t feel those were major features I needed.

Particularly for the extremely reasonable price, this machine is offered at, I think it’s an outstanding programmable coffee maker, and I can absolutely recommend it to you.

It sells for about $79US/$148CAD and you can get yours as I got mine from Amazon.

 

**A note about Affiliate Links: TechGadgetsCanada & TechGadgetsInternational is supported by our readers. Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase, but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you choose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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