Compare And Contrast – The Ninja CF091 Coffee Bar Vs. Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker

by | Jun 26, 2019

You have to hand it to Keurig. They never stop working to improve on their products, in their ceaseless quest to bring us the ultimate cup of coffee. Okay, they work pretty hard on their tea, hot chocolate, cocoa and other beverages as well, but they’re especially known for their great coffee.

They’re not, however, the only player in town. There are several other excellent companies who produce a range of machines, so if you’re in the market for a new coffee maker, Ninja is another brand it’s definitely worth adding to your shortlist.

Which Machine Is Better?

Our Winner: Keurig K-Elite 

After due consideration, you’ve managed to eliminate the coffee makers that are obviously not right for you, and you’ve narrowed things down to a couple of final models.

At this point, sometimes the only way to work out which really is the best coffee machine for you is to carry out a side-by-side features comparison. We appreciate that not everyone has the time to do this in depth, so to help you decide, this is exactly the approach we take in this Ninja Coffee Bar vs. Keurig review, specifically the Keurig K-Elite vs. the Ninja CF091 Coffee Bar Coffee Machine.

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The Keurig K-Elite

Despite its compact design, this recent addition to Keurig’s extensive range of coffee makers still manages to brew a cup of great tasting coffee. It packs a lot of punch for its size.

For its size, the Keurig K-Elite has a surprising number of useful features, including strength and temperature control, an energy saver option, and a very generous 75oz water reservoir. You’re offered a choice of 5 different brew sizes from 4oz to 12oz. The other sizes are 6oz, 8oz and 10oz.


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In terms of size, you’ll need to allow enough space on your counter to accommodate the machine’s width of 9.9” by 12.7” deep, with 13.1″ height clearance when closed. You need to allow a few more inches to make sure you have enough space for inserting and removing pods. This is an extremely light machine, weighing in at less than 7lb after shipping materials are removed (6.6 to be exact).

When you’re debating what drink to make in your Keurig, there is an extensive range of K-Cups out there to replicate the taste of your favorite high street coffee shop. You can also use your own choice of blend with the “My K-Cup Universal Reusable Coffee Filter”. You will need to purchase the filter separately.


Pros & Cons of the Keurig K-Elite

What we really like

High altitude setting

Super-easy to use

Very classy brushed silver exterior – blends in with any room

Iced drinks option

Physical buttons to customize your beverage rather than a digital screen

Smallest brew size available of all the Keurig machines

What we don't like

✗ Sometimes leaks water for no apparent reason

✗ You really need to make sure you keep the needle unclogged

✗ If you want to use your own ground coffee you need to buy the reusable K-cup separately


Ninja Coffee Bar CF091

The Ninja Coffee Bar CF091 model is a very distinctive looking machine. You get a great choice of cup and carafe sizes. It’s made of durable plastic, mainly silver, and the glass carafe has a capacity of 50oz. You get a choice of 6 brew sizes: Cup or XL Cup, Travel, XL Multi-Serve, Half or Full Carafe.

When you’re choosing your drink you can select from the Ninja-exclusive Cafe Fortealso style, Classic, Over-Ice, Rich and Specialty. Classic strength will give you the mild, palatable taste of your typical coffee shop cup of Joe, while selecting “rich” will result in a much stronger drink. Ninja coffee makers use a particular technology, the “Thermal Flavor Extraction” to get the absolute most out of your blend.


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The Over-Ice option allows you to easily blend iced or specialty beverages like (a kind of) espresso in the style of your favorite coffeehouse. The Ninja CF091 Coffee Maker usually ships with a nifty recipe booklet, containing 20 recipes; a built-in milk frother; warming plate and a measuring scoop. The carafe has a capacity of 50oz.

Although the components on the Ninja CF091 Coffee Bar were pretty sturdy overall, we found that the warming plate had a tendency to scratch quite easily. The cleaning light which helpfully tells you when to descale the device also seemed to have a mind of its own. The water reservoir is detachable for easy cleaning.

The top of the carafe is on the narrow side, though, so you’ll almost certainly need to invest in a bottle brush to get it completely clean.

In terms of size, this coffee machine stands 15” high, 9.21” wide and 11.34” deep. It weighs just less than 13 lb once the shipping materials have been removed (12.73 to be precise).


Pros & Cons of the Ninja Coffee Bar CF091

What we really like

Coffee typically comes out scalding hot, not lukewarm

Generally robust and sturdy build quality

Built in milk frother

You don’t need to buy special pods, you can use ordinary coffee filters which are widely available

There’s a “stop drip” option so if you’re making more than one cup you can interrupt the flow until the next empty cup is ready to be placed

What we don't like

✗ Not easily available – in fact, at the time of writing, it’s not available at all

✗ The cleaning light can be a little temperamental and occasionally even misleading

✗ The warming plate has a tendency to scratch relatively easily

✗ Not especially good for hot water only or brewing tea or other drinks


Keurig K-Elite vs. Ninja Coffee Bar CF091 – Key Features

Both machines make great tasting coffee and are fun to use. The Keurig K-Elite uses K-pods or K-cups, small plastic containers of ground coffee, to provide you with that fresh tasting brew each time, while the Ninja CF091 Coffee Bar uses regular ground coffee and filters. Both require regular cleaning and tell you when to descale, and both have removable reservoirs.

Ideally, unless you’re lucky enough to have extremely soft tap water where you live, you’ll get a much cleaner-tasting and more flavorsome cup of coffee from either machine if you use bottled or filtered water. In fact, manufacturers usually recommend this.

Both machines have their own unique technology, meaning just the right amount of water is dispensed, and both machines have an “auto off” feature if there hasn’t been any activity for two hours. Either coffee machine would make an attractive addition to your kitchen gadget collection; both come in a contemporary silver finish.


How Are Those Machines Different?

If the size of the water reservoir is a deal breaker for you, then it depends on whether you’re happy with the 50oz of the Ninja carafe and the 60oz overall capacity, or the 75oz size of the Keurig K-Elite.

The Keurig K-Elite has a brewing time of less than a minute; the Ninja takes a little longer, especially when you take heating up time into account.

The K-Elite brews drinks at between 187 to 192 degrees Fahrenheit while the Ninja CF091 Coffee Bar is designed to brew at temperatures of between 184 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit. You do need to allow the Ninja machine to take a couple of minutes to heat up if you like your first cup of coffee boiling hot, although it is worth the wait. Your other option is to hit the brew button straight away for a cup of not-quite-so-hot coffee.


Environmental Considerations

Since you use ground coffee in the Ninja CF091 Coffee Bar rather than K-pods or K-cup coffee pods, it is somewhat more ecological than the Keurig. You also have a lot more control over the strength of the final drink thanks to this factor, and if frothy coffee is your thing, you’ll love the built-in gadget to add this touch of drama to your drinks.

In terms of cost, the Keurig K-Elite does usually run rather more expensive than the Ninja, but do keep your eyes open for bargains. With the Keurig K-Elite, you are getting a machine from a specialized coffee machine manufacturer.

The Ninja CF091 Coffee Bar uses the unique “Auto IQ One Touch Intelligence” to dispense just the right amount of water. We did find, however, that even using the “interrupt” function didn’t always eliminate drips when we removed a full cup and replaced it with an empty one.


Things To Consider Before Buying

If you know your Americano from your espresso-style brew, and which one you’d rather drink, both of these products are good choices. There’s a range of brew size options and beverage choices available with each machine, but at the time of writing our review, the Ninja CF091 Coffee Bar is not available. This makes the Keurig K-Elite a particularly pragmatic choice, especially if it isn’t just coffee you drink in your household or workplace.

Hundreds of happy purchasers have commented online for both machines, although the Keurig K-Elite coffee maker has more recommendations than the Ninja CF091 Coffee Bar.

There’s certainly no doubt that the Keurig K-Elite is ultra-convenient – just pop in a pod, choose from the options available, and hey presto! As if by magic your perfect cup of coffee will appear. (Or tea, or chocolate, or cocoa, or herbal infusion or – well, you get the idea. We just get a bit carried away sometimes whenever we see the range of drinks you can get for Keurig machines.)

If you’re still not quite sure which of these two machines is right for you, but you do know you definitely want a Keurig, then you might also like to consider the Keurig K575. It’s an excellent alternative to either, although it is a little noisier than the K-Elite.


Conclusion – What Is Our Choice?

Our Winner: Keurig K-Elite 

Whether you’re getting your daily routine off to a great start, taking a break from the daily grind, enjoying coffee time with friends, or winding down after the trials of the day, a good coffee machine is one of the best friends you can have in the kitchen. A lot of the time, your choice may depend on which is most important for you: the convenience of using Keurig K-pods or the slightly more labor-intensive approach required for the Ninja.

It’s a serious business, coffee; but that doesn’t mean it has to be devoid of fun. So if you’ve ever wanted to play barista in the comfort of your own home, either the Keurig K-Elite or the Ninja Coffee Bar will fit the bill perfectly. Overall, however, of these two, we’d choose the Keurig K-Elite, especially if you happen to have non-coffee drinkers in the vicinity.


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  Last update on 2023-03-25 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

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