Ninja as a brand makes great combination coffee machines. The DualBrew Pro and Nina Espresso and Coffee Barista System are two of their popular picks.
– The Espresso and Coffee Barista System does single-serve and carafe using ground coffee, and Espresso using Nespresso Original Pods.
– Both of them have the ability to create cappuccinos or lattes using the built-in frother, but only the Ninja CFN601 makes true espresso using Nespresso pods.
DualBrew Pro or Ninja Espresso and Coffee Barista System? Which To Pick?
- Ninja DualBrew Pro Coffee Maker
- Dual Coffee Maker: Grounds and pods coffee system with 9 grounds brew sizes (Small Cup, Cup, XL Cup, Travel Mug, XL Travel Mug, ¼ Carafe, ½ Carafe, ¾ Carafe, or Full carafe) in addition to 4 traditional pod brew sizes (6, 8, 10, or 12 oz).
- 4 Brew Style Choices: Select Classic, Rich, Over Ice, Specialty for your grounds or coffee pods.
- Specialty Brew: Brew a super-rich coffee concentrate that you can use to create delicious lattes, macchiatos, cappuccinos, and other coffeehouse-style drinks.
- Independent Hot Water System: Separate from the coffee dispenser to eliminate cross-contamination.
- Built-In, Fold-Away Frother: Turns hot or cold milk or milk alternative into silky-smooth froth. Removable for easy cleaning.
- Ninja Espresso and Coffee Barista System
- The 19-bar pressure system delivers ultra-flavorful espresso with a silky-smooth crema by brewing at the optimal temperature and pressure.
- The built-in, fold-away frother allows you to create espresso-based cappuccinos, lattes, flat whites, and more.
- Choose your favorite espresso capsule and brew up to 3 styles: Espresso (1.35 oz), Lungo (3.75 oz), and Over Ice (1 oz).
- Make a Classic, Rich, or Over Ice brew. Select 9 different sizes ranging from cup, to travel mug, to a full 12-cup carafe.
On the drip coffee side, you get the same capacity of coffee from both models. You can make full or half a carafe, or single-serve cups using ground coffee on both models.
The pod side is what makes the difference:
- If you’re looking for real espresso, using high pressure, you’ll want the Espresso and Coffee Barista System.
- But if you don’t care for espresso, and rather enjoy single-serve coffee cups as well as other beverages using K-Cup pods, you’ll want the DualBrew Pro.
There’s no better choice here, both are great machines. It’s just a matter of what you need from your coffee machine.
As combo coffee machines, you get two sides in each model:
The DualBrew Pro is a drip coffee machine on both its ground coffee and pod sides. K-Cup pods use the same mechanism as ground coffee to brew coffee.
The Espresso and Coffee Barista System, on the other hand, uses a 19-bar pressure pump to extract espresso on its pod side. So it’s a combination of Espresso (high-pressure) and coffee (low-pressure drip) machine.
Coffee Serving Sizes
The DualBrew Pro offers a variety of serving sizes when using ground coffee, including small cup, regular cup, XL cup, Travel Mug, XL Travel mug, 1/4 carafe, 1/2 carafe, 3/4 carafe, and full carafe. On the K-Cup pod brewing side, you can brew single servings of 6, 8, 10, or 12 oz.
Similarly, the Espresso and Coffee Barista System also provides the same 9 ground coffee brewing sizes. However, for espresso, it offers two options: Espresso at 1.3 oz or Lungo at 3.75 oz.
The ground coffee brewing feature is consistent between both models, allowing you to brew either a single serving of coffee or multiple carafe servings.
It’s worth noting that the pod side of each model differs in its capabilities. The Ninja CFN601 serves as an espresso brewer, while the CFP301 model functions as a Keurig brewer.
Here’s a full chart of how many ounces per cup for each of Ninja’s serving sizes:
|Ground Coffee Brew Sizes
Coffee Recipes You Can Make
The drip coffee side of these machines allows you to make regular coffee in a variety of brew sizes, from single cups to large travel mugs or carafes.
What you can make on the pod side of each coffee machine will differ:
- The DualBrew Pro uses K-Cup pods, which means, you can make any beverage available in K-Cup pods. This can be coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cappuccino or latte pods, hot apple cider. If you know anything about K-Cup pods, you know they are available in a nearly unlimited variety and from different brands!
- On the other hand, the Espresso and Coffee Barista System uses Nespresso Original Espresso pods. Those are available from Nespresso or from 3rd party brands like Starbucks, Dunkin’, Lavazza, Illy, L’or and many more.
Nespresso Original specializes in espresso, so you won’t find the same variety of non-coffee beverages like K-Cups offer. There are some brands that make hot chocolate pods, but it’s very limited compared to K-Cup pods.
And when it comes to K-Cup brewers, they can’t make true espresso. You’ll find many ‘espresso’ K-Cup pods, but they’re still brewed coffee and the name Espresso simply implies that they are really dark roast.
Because espresso K-Cup pods are brewed using drip style, as opposed to high pressure like espresso, they can’t produce an authentic shot of espresso but can produce a strong coffee concentrate that replicates the taste of espresso.
If you want authentic Lattes or Cappuccinos, stick to the Espresso and Coffee Barista System. It will make real espresso shots to use as the base of your latte. But if you don’t mind using coffee concentrate as the base of your lattes, and would rather enjoy the variety of K-Cup pods, go for the DualBrew Pro.
Ninja Brew Styles
This is another name for ‘coffee strength’… which can extend the time of your brewing cycle to make the coffee stronger.
- On the DualBrew Pro, there are four brew styles: Classic, Rich, Over Ice, and Specialty.
- The Espresso and Coffee Barista System has three, Classic, Rich, and Over Ice.
Ninja Brew Styles Explained
Classic Brew is the default brewing style that yields a balanced cup of coffee.
Rich Brew produces a stronger cup by reducing the water volume used to brew the coffee.
Here’s a chart of the volume difference between Classic and Rich Brew:
Over Ice is used to create a concentrated cup of coffee that will not taste watered down when mixed with ice. You can use this brew style for single cups or carafe brew sizes.
Specialty is used to create a concentrated serving of K-Cup pod. This selection will brew 4 oz of coffee so you can use it as the base of your latte or cappuccino.
Specialty brew style on the DualBrew Pro is an alternative to Espresso, which you get on the Espresso Barista System.
Coffee Pod Availability, Variety, and Cost
The Ninja DualBrew Pro uses K-Cup pods, while the Espresso and Coffee Barista System uses Nespresso Original Pods.
Luckily, both types of pods are easily available online or in grocery stores. But the K-Cup pods are easier to find from a larger variety of brands and coffee or other beverages.
Nespresso Original are becoming more available from many brands, too. But they’re limited to espresso brewing, only.
Nespresso branded pods are not available in grocery stores, but you can find them in Nespresso boutiques, online store or on Amazon. As for 3rd party pods, like Starbucks for example, they’re easier to find.
Cost Per Pod
When it comes to cost, K-Cup pods are cheaper, too. Averaging $0.30 to $0.40 per pod, and up to $0.80 or $0.90 for more premium brands.
Nespresso’s own branded pods are more expensive, at around $0.70 or higher per pod. But you can buy your pods from compatible brands for way less, and as cheap as $0.40 per pod.
While K-Cup pods win points for variety, availability and cost, it’s important to remember that you can’t make authentic espresso using them. Nespresso Original pods, on the other hand, are brewed using 19-bar pressure to extract espresso shots.
Built-In Milk Frother
Both Ninja coffee machine models are equipped with a foldable milk frother. This frother is similar to a handheld frothing whisk. It does not heat milk and you can’t adjust the froth settings. While it is nice to have it as a built-in option, it’s not something to get excited about.
Controls and Display
Ninja coffee machines have always been equipped with nice, clear, and intuitive control panels. These two coffee makers are no different.
They feature backlit controls, clearly labeled options, and buttons to switch between settings and brew selections.
There is a brew delay feature on both machines, which allows you to set a timer for auto brewing. But this will work with the ground coffee brewing part of the machine, only.
Hot Water Dispenser
the DualBrew Pro has a dedicated dispenser for on-demand hot water, which is great for instant meals or tea. It allows you to select from hot water or boiling water, which is great.
The Espresso and Coffee Barista system does not have this feature.
These design features are available in both coffee machines:
- 60-oz water reservoir (repositionable on the DualBrew Pro only)
- 12-cup glass carafe
- Adjustable cup trays
The Best Ninja Coffee Maker? It Comes Down To Your Preference
These two Ninja coffee makers are two different variants to meet the needs of different users:
- Both of them are ground coffee and pod combo machines.
- But one allows you to use K-Cup pods, and the other allows you to use Nespresso Original Pods.
It comes down to what you want to brew:
- Do you want shots of espresso extracted with a high-pressure system? Then go for the Espresso and Coffee Barista System.
- Or if you want to expand the use of your machine and use K-Cup pods to brew coffee, hot chocolate, tea, and other beverages, you’ll love having the DualBrew Pro.
You can make hot or Iced Latte or Cappuccino using both models. But on the DualBrew Pro, you’ll use coffee concentrate to replicate espresso, and on the Espresso and Coffee Barista System, you’ll use real espresso.