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Rich, Classic or Specialty Coffee: Understanding Ninja Brew Styles

Rich, Classic or Specialty Coffee: Understanding Ninja Brew Styles

Ninja Coffee Maker Nov 28, 2023 No Comments

If you own a Ninja coffee maker or planning on getting one, you have probably noticed that they use terms like Classic Brew or Rich Brew to refer to their brewing modes or styles.

Many people are wondering what are the differences between these brew styles and what they mean.

In post will help you understand these differences.

Classic vs Rich Coffee

ninja brew styles

Let’s start with what Brew Style refers to.

It basically means coffee strength level and whether you want your coffee to be medium, dark, or concentrated.

Classic brew is your go-to for a well-balanced cup of coffee, with its smooth taste and delightful aroma. On the other hand, rich brew offers a bolder flavor profile, thanks to a slightly reduced amount of water used during the brewing process.

The main distinction between classic and rich brew lies in the water-to-coffee ratio. While other coffee makers simply let the coffee steep longer for a strong brew, Ninja does it differently. It alters the coffee-to-water ratio.

Classic brew uses the standard amount of water, resulting in a familiar cup of coffee. Rich brew, on the other hand, cuts back slightly on the water, which leads to a stronger taste.

The actual difference in water ounces depends on the size of the cup or carafe being brewed.

Here’s an example:

Brew StyleSmall Cup Serving Size
Classic8 oz
Rich7 oz

As you can see, the rich brew style uses 1 ounce less water compared to classic brew for a standard cup size. The difference in ounces served varies from one serving size to the other.

It’s important to note that Rich coffee does not have more caffeine than Classic brew. the amount of caffeine remains the same since you are using the same amount of coffee grounds for each brew style.

If there is one thing Ninja coffee makers do best, it’s versatility. If you have a dual coffee maker like the Ninja DualBrew Pro or Espresso and Coffee Barista System, as well as a few older Ninja coffee maker models, you know they have 9 brew sizes (when using ground coffee).

The chart above is the volume you get by default for each serving size. But what happens when you select Rich Brew instead of Classic for each type of serving size?

Here’s how the ounces are reduced…

Size Classic BrewRich Brew
Small Cup8 oz7 oz
Cup10 oz8 oz
XL Cup12 oz10 oz
Travel Mug15 oz12 oz
XL Travel 18 oz16 oz
1/4 Carafe28 oz26 oz
1/2 Carafe37 oz33 oz
3/4 Carafe46 oz41 oz
Full Carafe55 oz47 oz

So while the water ratio is reduced, your Ninja coffee maker keeps it proportionate from one size to another to keep the coffee tasting noticeably strong no matter what brew size you choose.

Specialty Brew Coffee

Rich, Classic or Specialty Coffee: Understanding Ninja Brew Styles

The Specialty Brew setting was designed for people who want to make specialty coffee recipes like lattes or a cappuccino.

This brew style allows you to create a concentrated coffee that serves as the perfect base for milk-based coffee drinks.

When you select the Specialty Brew mode, it brews a smaller quantity of coffee than other brew styles. Instead of a regular cup size, it produces a concentrated 4 oz of coffee. This concentrated coffee is then used to create flavorful specialty drinks that are rich and robust.

Benefits of Specialty Brew Setting

  • It offers an alternative to traditional espresso
  • Creates a concentrated coffee base for specialty drinks
  • Produces a strong and intense flavor

How Specialty Brew Compares to a Shot of Espresso

Specialty brew is a great alternative to a classic shot of espresso, but they are not the same.

Espresso requires a special high-pressure machine to be prepared authentically. This high-pressure mechanism creates a coffee concentrate with a thick layer of crema that can only be produced this way.

Specialty coffee on the Ninja coffee maker is created in the same drip mechanism as other brewed coffee. The only difference is that the coffee maker will use more ground coffee and less water to emulate the taste and feel of a thick espresso shot.

So there is a clear difference in terms of how both espresso and specialty brew are made and in the final result. But Specialty brew still makes a great alternative to espresso without the need to buy an espresso machine.

Specialty Brew on the Ninja Coffee Maker can only make 4 oz of coffee.

Specialty Brew vs Cafe Forte

Cafe Forte is a brew setting available on the Ninja Coffee Bar model only. This brew style delivers a robust coffee, similar to Specialty brew. The difference is Specialty setting will only deliver 4 oz of coffee, while Cafe Forte will only deliver 8 oz of coffee.

None of these settings allows you to select another serving size.

Over Ice Setting

Rich, Classic or Specialty Coffee: Understanding Ninja Brew Styles

The Over Ice brew style is a feature in Ninja coffee makers that caters specifically to iced coffee lovers.

When you select the Over Ice setting, it brews hot coffee that is intentionally bold and concentrated. This ensures that when you pour it over ice, the flavors don’t get diluted and the coffee remains flavorful and bold.

It also cuts the serving size by half. So if you are brewing 8 oz, it will be 4 oz coffee and 4 oz ice. That way, when the ice melts, you’ll get more water volume from the diluted ice, and your coffee won’t taste watered down.

Note that Over Ice still brews hot. The idea behind this setting is that it considers your ice usage. So it makes the coffee stronger and shorter in volume, therefore, as soon as the coffee hits the ice and melts it, you get your full volume with strong flavor.

Ninja’s Brew Size Chart

Ground Coffee Brew Sizes 
Small Cup8 oz
Cup10 oz
XL Cup12 oz
Travel Mug15 oz
XL Travel 18 oz
1/4 Carafe28 oz
1/2 Carafe37 oz
3/4 Carafe46 oz
Full Carafe55 oz

Amount of Coffee Ground Needed for Each Brew Style

When it comes to brewing coffee with your Ninja coffee machine, the amount of coffee grounds you use can greatly affect the flavor and strength of your brew.

Different brew styles and cup sizes require varying amounts of coffee grounds to achieve the desired taste. Here is a breakdown of how much coffee grounds you should use for each brew style:

For most cup sizes, the Classic and Rich brew styles require 2-3 tablespoons of coffee grounds. This amount provides a balanced and flavorful cup of coffee. However, if you’re using a larger travel mug, you may want to use 3-5 tablespoons of coffee grounds to ensure a bolder taste.

The Specialty Brew style, which is used for making coffee concentrates to use as a base for specialty coffee drinks, requires 4 tablespoons of coffee grounds. This amount creates a strong and concentrated coffee flavor that is perfect for lattes, cappuccinos, and other specialty drinks.

When brewing coffee over ice using the Over Ice brew style, the amount of coffee grounds remains the same as the Classic and Rich brew styles. You can use 2-3 tablespoons of coffee grounds for most cup sizes to achieve a bold and undiluted coffee flavor when mixed with melted ice.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to adjust the amount of coffee grounds based on your personal preference. If you prefer a stronger or milder taste, feel free to experiment with the amount of coffee grounds until you find your perfect cup of coffee.

Brew StyleCup SizeCoffee Grounds (tablespoons)
Classic & RichSmall Cup2-3
Travel Mug3-5
SpecialtyAny Cup Size4
Over IceSmall Cup2-3
Travel Mug3-5

Keep in mind that these measurements are guidelines and can be adjusted to suit your personal taste preferences. The key is to find the right balance of coffee grounds to water for a delicious and satisfying cup of coffee every time you use your Ninja coffee maker.

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