Do you want an interesting coffee maker with versatility that happens to come at a price just about anyone could afford? Do you mind giving up some of the premium options that separate your standard coffee maker than those of an actual espresso maker? If you don’t mind making a few maneuvers to get a reliable cup of coffee the Ninja CM401 totally has the ability to get the job done.
A unique design allows for some flash with its substance as well. With a wide assortment of parts, and functions at a low end price in the $100 range if anything this model certainly gives you a bit more than you bargained for. It may not break any records, but Ninja has managed to produce a solid addition to any kitchen that’s looking for a simple and versatile coffee solution.
While Ninja doesn’t have the long history of experience that you might find with some other coffee makers the ingenuity and freshness of this company founded in 1998 totally shines through with this models unique design and capabilities.
With a sleek futuristic design that belies its low price point the Ninja CM401 doesn’t have much of a problem sticking out in your kitchen. With a design that makes it a bit taller to be able to be as skinny as possible it shouldn’t have much of a problem finding space either. Multiple brewing options give this machine some functionality to go with its build as well. It will take a bit of energy with a 1500 watt power source and it also weighs in at around 13 pounds so it certainly isn’t portable.
So how is it still considered versatile? The CM401 include multiple parts that can be taken off, folded away, and provide functions for the machine. The glass carafe holds up to 10 cups (50 ounces) at a time and is removable so you can keep it moving throughout the day.
There is also the CM407 with a thermal carafe and a slightly higher price as an option, but that one isn’t dishwasher safe. There is also a 50 ounce water reservoir with a foldaway top to get the process started. The Ninja Scoop also provide unique functionality in its ability to morph to the brewing size you’re looking for. The frother is nice and compact while being easy to use, it is also foldable for convenience. You can also enjoy a permanent filter so you won’t have to waste money on filters.
The other side of its versatility comes in its multiple brewing setting. There’s a “Classic Brew” for your standard cup, “Rich Brew” will give you a stronger blend, “Over-Ice Brew” allows for you to make chilled cups without losing flavors, and “Specialty” will give you the most concentrated blend that approaches espresso quality. Along with the options you will also be able to set a timer for self-brewing allowing you to set up your cup hours in advance so it’ll be waiting for you when your ready. A twist of a knob lets you decide on multiple brewing sizes including small (9.5 oz), large (11.5 oz), travel mug (14 oz), large travel mug (18 oz), half carafe, and whole carafe.
There is no automation on the cleaning though so you will have to go through a descaling process every few months if you want to make sure the machine lasts (however typical for models like that for example). Taste is key though and the CM401 does a pretty good job at delivering a solid cup of coffee. Sadly the frother doesn’t heat the milk, though that is standard for lower end coffee makers. It also starts kind of loud and has materials in its build that put a cap on the lifespan of this model without too much stainless steel.
Ease of Use
Without a doubt one of the best parts about the CM401 is how easy it is to use especially for its price. With just a bit of setup and familiarization with each piece you’ll be well on your way to creating that first cup. The cleaning process isn’t the easiest of all time, but for the price you won’t find many coffee makers much easier to use. Its foldable nature helps to keep its profile slim and anyone whose worked with a standard drip machine should find themselves right at home.
Pro’s and Con’s
Ninja CM401 Coffee Maker Manual
If you are looking for a coffee maker that is playing at being an espresso maker but not quite there the CM401 is certainly worth a look. You’ll be able to achieve coffee of a higher quality than your standard drip machine, just don’t expect any miracles with a rather pedestrian frother and mostly paint by the numbers quality.
Certainly worth the purchase if you are just looking for an easy way to make a good cup of coffee with plenty of versatility, but you’ll want to keep going if you’re looking for more.