Ninja Coffee Bar CF097 Review: Is It Better Than The CF092

Are wondering whether you should buy the Ninja Coffee Bar CF097 or CF092? Read our Ninja Coffee Bar CF097 review to compare both products and find out who’s the winner!

a single cup of coffee on a tabletop - Ninja Coffee Bar CF097 Review
Ninja Coffee Bar CF097 gives you a rich and smooth brew that tastes great

If you are a coffee fanatic like me who cannot imagine mornings without a cup of strong Joe, you must check out the revolutionary brewing systems by Shark Ninja. Known as the Swiss Army Knife’ in the world of coffee makers, Ninja has some great models like CF097 and CF092 in its arsenal.

The potential buyer often asks – Is Ninja Coffee Bar CF097 Better than the CF092? The short and simple answer is YES.

The Coffee Bar CF097 is made of durable stainless steel while the CF092 is composed of cheap plastic parts. The CF097 takes less counter space in the kitchen as compared to the Cf092. The CF097 has a double-walled glass carafe that helps in keeping your coffee warm or cold.

When you start the brewing process, the CF092 hits the 197 degrees mark and even goes beyond that in just one minute. This obstructs the full extraction of coffee grounds and they get scalded instead of being extracted, resulting in a poor taste.

Most importantly, the CF097 gives you a rich and smooth brew that tastes great and uses less extra grounds, while the CF092 results in bad tasting coffee. The cost factor acts as the final nail on the coffin, and the affordable price of CF097 (Check Price on Amazon) makes it a better choice than the CF092.

Ninja Coffee Bar Auto-iQ Programmable Coffee Maker with 6 Brew Sizes, 5 Brew Options, Milk Frother, Removable Water Reservoir, Stainless Carafe (CF097)
  • Choose a size: Select one of six sizes, ranging from a single cup to a travel mug to a full carafe
  • Choose a brew: Dial up the flavor richness level by choosing a brew type: Classic, rich, over ice, specialty, or our exclusive cafe forte
  • Pod free single serve: Offers unlimited variety use any brand of coffee, and personalize flavor by customizing the taste to your liking; Reveal your coffee’s full potential with fresh taste and Aroma
  • 10 cup double walled thermal Carafe: Beautifully designed stainless steel Carafe that is perfect for entertaining; The double walled vacuum sealed thermal carafe will keep your coffee hot upto 2 hours
  • Thermal flavor extraction technology: Patent pending ninja technology blends precision water delivery with automated controls for calibrated temperature, pre infusion, coffee saturation, and flavor richness; Ninja thermal flavor extraction technology unlocks the full flavor potential of your coffee

With complete coffee makers like these, the joy of coffee making has gone beyond the humble drip. You can now enjoy different options when it comes to Java, including creamy lattes, shots of espresso, iced coffee, and everything in between.

Let’s first take a closer look at the Ninja Coffee Bar CF097 and then check out the details of the Ninja Coffee Bar CF092 to see what makes former better!

Review Of Ninja Coffee Bar Thermal Carafe System CF097

The CF097 comes across as an all-inclusive coffee system that enables anyone to make a perfect cup of coffee at home or office. What I like best about the CF097 is that it provides a perfect balance of what a consumer looks for in a coffee maker.

It is not fancy but looks good nevertheless. It is not a complicated device, but a notch better than simple brewers in terms of performance.

While this device lacks a pod system, the unit allows you to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee using your favorite coffee beans. The Thermal Carafe System offers five different types of brewing methods and also includes a good frothing whisk to turn hot or cold milk into a smooth consistency. This is useful for making café styled frappes, lattes, and cappuccinos.

Design and Build

The stainless steel framework of the CF097 is comparatively more stylish, durable, and gorgeous than CF092’s plastic body. The crystal-clear water tank adds to the aesthetic value and makes the coffee maker look great.

The product comes with two double-walled carafes that are used for keeping your coffee hot or piping hot. It may also be used to keep your iced coffee drinks cold and fresh.

This all-inclusive coffee system is fun to use and easy to clean. It has everything you could possibly ask for in a coffee machine. Customers who have bought the CF092 are all praises for the smart brew selector that enables them to brew the perfect strength of coffee with fewer grounds.

The built-in frother is also highly appreciated and people like using the device to make different styles of coffeehouse beverages. The carafes have also garnered rave reviews for maintaining the right temperature and it is especially a hit among the cold coffee users.

Performance

One of the best things about the Thermal Carafe System is that users can enjoy a different coffee experience with the same quantity of coffee grounds. You may change the recommended measurements as per your preferences by using the double-sided scoop that comes with the coffee maker. The brew selector allows you to choose from five different styles:

  • Classic brew for a regular cup of coffee
  • Rich Brew for a stronger experience even (cream, milk, and other flavors may be added)
  • Over Ice Brew to prepared cold iced drinks
  • Specialty mode to brew a concentrated espresso shot
  • Cafe Forte emphasize the subtle flavors to deliver a unique coffee experience

The CF097 allows you to choose from a plethora of sizes that includes XL Cup, Regular Cup, XL Multi-Serve, Travel Mug, Full Carafe, and Half Carafe.

Ninja’s Auto-iQ One-Touch Intelligence indicates just the right amount of water that you need to brew that perfect size cuppa. After you select a size, the machine also calculates and informs you about the bloom time required for your cup of Java.

There is a delay Brew function that allows you to set your preferred time for brewing. Your hot cup of flavorful coffee will be ready when you wake up in the morning. You simply need to choose the brew type, brew size, and brew time, and you are good to go.

woman enjoying her cup of coffee while sitting near a window
Delay brew functionality allows your coffee to be ready when you wake up

If you love drinking piping hot coffee, you may use the preheat function to warm up before brewing and this takes only three minutes. If you don’t wish to use the permanent filters, you may brew with cone paper filters too.

Coffee brews significantly faster in this unit and a full carafe takes only 6-7 minutes to get ready while a single cup takes just 1.5 minutes. I personally feel the coffee brewed with CF097 tastes much better than the CF092.

In-built Milk Frother

The Ninja Coffee Bar system comes with an inbuilt milk frother that is capable of frothing both cold and hot milk to a rich and velvety consistency. With the attached frother arm, anyone can enjoy cafe styled fancy drinks.

Here’s how you can get the best frothing experience from the CF097:

• Fill a cup one-third with hot or cold milk

• If you prefer adding hot milk, microwave the milk cup for 45-60 seconds.

• Now put the cup under the in-built frother arm, making sure that you submerge the whisk completely into the milk cup.

• Press the top button and hold it for a few minutes to froth milk as long as desired.

• To take out the frother whisk, just twist it in the clockwise direction. (A quick tip here is to hold the cup under the whisk until you deposit it in the dishwasher or sink to reduce spills).

How To Brew Iced Coffee Using The Ninja Coffee Bar CF097

This thermal carafe system is used to brew the most delicious cup of iced coffee. Instead of brewing regular coffee and then adding ice to make it cold, the CF097 includes a unique setting that retains the flavor and subtle aroma even in the perfectly balanced iced drink. To brew a perfect cup of cold coffee with CF097, you need to follow these steps:

  • Fill ice into the over ice carafe that comes with the product
  • Keep the thermal carafe beneath the brewing basket
  • Now adjust the selector to brew a half or full-size carafe as your preference
  • Press the over-ice brew button to start the machine
  • Enjoy your iced cold coffee

This Thermal Carafe System is designed specially to reduce condensation and avoid spilling while brewing the perfect cup of Java.

How To Make Espresso Using The Ninja Coffee Bar CF097?

The Ninja Coffee Bar CF097 comes with a special setting that helps in delivering a creamier coffee brew. Similar to the iced coffee method, the auto IQ technology enables the device to make a concentrated espresso-like coffee. It can be used to brew lattes and cappuccinos.

Ninja prefers to call it a specialty’ instead of espresso’ because the end result is not actually an espresso but very close to it. So, what is the difference between a real espresso and Ninja’s specialty drink?

The espresso makers are capable of making coffee concentrates by simply mixing the hot water and coffee grounds quickly pressure. As per the industry standards, espresso should be brewed at least at nine bars of pressure. The home espresso machines usually come with 15-19 bars of pressure to deliver great taste.

The drip coffee makers such as the Ninja Coffee Bar System are not capable of delivering a similar concoction, as they cannot generate that kind of pressure. So, how does the specialty brew taste like?

Unlike the standard drip method of running the required volume of water through the coffee grounds, the specialty setting first lets you pre-infuse the grounds with water to allow a blooming period. This process usually takes about 60 seconds to complete and the resulting brew is pretty impressive.

Maintenance

The coffee bar system is easy to clean and maintain so that you can get delicious coffee every single time. If the machine alerts you with a special lean’ light, this indicates that it is time to scrub the water tank and remove any scaling that may have built upon the walls.

According to the manufacturer, it is better to clean the device thoroughly after 60 brew cycles (even if the system does not give a clean-up alert). The exterior is made of stainless steel so you may easily clean it using a damp cloth. The frother whisk can be cleaned by putting it into a dishwasher machine.

What I Like Best About The Ninja Coffee Bar CF097

I have used several coffee makers and only a few have come across as advanced and intelligent as the CF097 (see on Amazon.com). It uses a sophisticated thermal flavor extraction technology that heats water to the ideal temperature to ensure that you get the best extraction from your coffee. This gives you a delicious brew every time.

Another amazing feature I appreciate about Ninja Coffee machines is the auto-iQ one-touch intelligence system that makes the device easy to use. Regardless of your coffee-making skills, you can still be the barista of your home, thanks to auto- iQ that lets you brew different types of café style drinks without much effort.

The one-touch automatic system allows you to customize your coffee easily and quickly. You just need to know the options and identify the buttons to help you brew. The brewing system will do the rest for you!

With the Ninja Coffee Bar CF097, you can also save money on each cup of coffee as the brewing system uses fewer grounds than other coffee machines. With a little coffee ground, the machine manages to deliver a rich, classy, and flavorful cup of coffee.

Who Should Buy The Ninja Coffee Bar CF097

Although the Ninja Coffee Bar CF097 (shop now) is advertised as a complete coffee carafe system, you don’t have to be a coffee snob to benefit from it. The amateur coffee lovers can also use it to enjoy the rich taste of freshly brewed coffee.

The CF097 works best for beginners and experienced coffee makers as the controls are easy to follow and intuitive to understand. It also comes with a recipe book with numerous cafe style drinks that you can make right at home. This coffee machine is great for people who wish to brew like a home barista without investing too much.

Pros

  • It is easy to use for anyone
  • It comes with an in-built milk frother
  • The machine delivers great taste with fewer coffee grounds
  • It allows you to brew in different sizes
  • It gives you different styles of custom brews
  • It boasts an easy and quick one-touch operation

Cons

  • It lacks an automatic shut-off button
  • Coffee only stays warm for an hour only (however it may be re-warmed easily)

Comparing CF097 with the Ninja Coffee Bar CF092

The CF092 is a part of the Ninja Coffee Bar with glass carafe system and it is the next generation of single serve coffee makers and glass carafe coffee system by Ninja Kitchen. It came to the market as the successor of CF080 and is priced slightly higher than other models.

At first glance, the CF092 comes across as a super glamorous and feature-rich device but when you look closer, you realize that it does not really live up to the hype. Although more expensive than the CF097, the end result of this coffee maker is not as you expect. It’s surprisingly bland and tasteless.

Design and Build

This premium coffee maker is made from thick and durable plastic parts that come with elegant faux-chrome highlights. Although the exterior body is sturdy and lightweight, when you compare it with the stainless steel chassis of CF097, it feels downright cheap. This makes CF097 a winner as far as looks are concerned.

Features

As you dig beyond the exterior facade of the Ninja Coffee Bar CF092, you can see that this is like any other traditional coffee maker. It comprises a 14.8 inches tall rectangular tower, which is 11.6 inches wide and 7 inches deep. The machine is huge and takes a lot of counter space in the kitchen.

On the left side, a 43-ounce glass carafe sits over a circular thermal plate. Above the carafe, there is a brew basket that accepts disposable paper filters or bundled permanent filters. At the bottom of the brew basket, you can find a convenient drip-stop switch.

Similar to its predecessors, the advanced Coffee Bar comes with a removable water reservoir. The plastic tank boasts a 54-ounce capacity and it sports ridges on its sides that make it easier to grip the machine. You can also see an indentation on the right side of the coffeemaker to make it easier to hold.

Just underneath the water reservoir, you can see the main control area of the Ninja Coffee Bar. It comes with a ulti-serve dial’ that comes handy for selecting the coffee container size that ranges from 9.5-ounce cups to the 43-ounce carafes. You can also find different buttons for the five specific brewing programs:

• Classic Brew
• Over Ice Brew
• Rich Brew
• Specialty Brew
• Cafe Forte

Performance and Taste

According to the manufacturer SharkNinja, this Ninja Coffee Bar CF092 allows you to brew Java better than a coffeehouse right at home. My experience and those of others who have used this coffee machine say that this claim is far from true. This Coffee Bar makes substandard coffee and at times, it is absolutely undrinkable.

I tried brewing different beverages with the CF092 using the recommended coffee to water ratios, and the end result was mostly watery. Both Classic Brew and Rich Brew programs delivered diluted and weak coffee, with more bitterness in the Rich brew.

The manual suggests using 2 to 3 tablespoons of grounds per cup for every brew. If you use three small scoops instead and ground beans with a burr grinder to get a medium-coarse consistency, it can deliver a better taste.

trying to scoop a tablespoon of coarse coffee grounds
Use 3 scoops of coarse coffee grounds for a better taste

Similarly, if you brew the full carafe using the recommended coffee to water ratio, what you get is a disastrous result. While the brew whipped up by the Coffee Bar CF092 is significantly stronger, the beverage tastes bitter and undrinkable.

Maintenance

The Ninja Coffee Bar CF092 comes with a self-cleaning functionality that prevents the machine from getting clogged with coffee grounds. It also alerts you when the machine needs a thorough clean-up so that you don’t miss out on maintenance.

While the self-cleaning functionality works well to keep the machine well maintained, a thorough cleaning may be required from time to time. You will need to disassemble the machine and clean the different parts manually at times. Re-assembling the device after cleaning is easy so maintenance is stress-free.

Ease of Use

With the automatic Ninja bar brewer and easy controls, life can be a lot easier for coffee lovers. You just need to choose your preferred style of brew to get a delicious cup of coffee. The machine includes a glass carafe that makes it easier to pour the liquid without spilling the coffee.

The coffee brewing system comes with an easy to use manual and a useful recipe book. If you are not familiar with the different styles of brew, you may refer to the guide to prepare the various styles of beverages.

However, I feel the recommended ratios mentioned in the guide are not correct and they don’t help in making a tasty cup of mud.

What I think about the Ninja Coffee Bar CF092

When you look at the outside glitz, you will be convinced that this is an amazing coffee machine with all the bells and whistles. You may be tempted to buy immediately after you look at the different capabilities and features like the different container sizes, automatic brewing ability, and built-in milk frother.

But, wait! Once you look at the customer reviews, you will realize that all the glitz and glamour in the world cannot camouflage a poor-performing coffee maker. The Coffee Bar is also highly-priced when compared to its competitors that deliver good value and cost less too. The CF097, on the other hand, costs much less than the CF092 and makes tastier coffee.

This is where the Ninja Coffee Bar CF092 falls short and fails to impress me. Due to manufacturing glitches, the machine hits 196.6 degrees Fahrenheit even before reaching the 1-minute mark. The temperature in the brew basket also kept on rising and it goes beyond 205 degrees F, even reaching 211 or 212 degrees in some cases, which is too high to extract the right flavor.

The CF092’s built-in milk frother also failed to impress me enough because this is not a real frothing accessory. It does not steam the dairy or evenly heat it.

It is designed like a small motorized whisk designed to aerate milk by just spinning through it. You will need to heat your milk before using the frothing device.

Pros

  • It comes with a built-in milk frother
  • It works based on a thermal extraction technology
  • The automatic iQ one-touch intelligence makes it easy to use
  • Various custom brew sizes let you make coffee for one person or a group
  • The programmable timer allows you to set a preferred time to brew your coffee
  • Self-cleaning functionality keeps the coffee maker good for long
  • The coffee machine ships along with a recipe book

Cons

  • The brewing temperature hits the 212 F mark quickly
  • The brew is substandard and tastes undrinkable at time

What Makes Ninja Coffee Bar CF097 Better Than CF092

newly arrive box of ninja coffee Bar CF097
Ninja Coffee Bar CF097 lets you save space in you kitchen area

It’s easy to understand why the Ninja Coffee Bar CF097 is a step ahead of CF092 and other competitor products in the category. Unlike the CF092, the CF097 has a comparatively smaller footprint and lets you save kitchen counter space.

The stainless steel design not only looks classy but also makes the product extremely durable and sturdy. The thermal carafe has a number of selector buttons that make it easier to brew a drink of your choice. You can brew only as much needed to avoid wastage.

When compared with the CF092, the CF097 delivers much tastier coffee. Apart from brewing coffee in different café styles, the CF097 also allows you to froth both cold and hot milk to whip up delicious coffee. With programmed settings and easy-to-use controls, you can now become a home barista without being a pro at brewing.

Finally, when it comes to the price point, the CF097 clearly walks away with the cake as you get so much at a price less than the cost of CF092. You not only get better tasting coffee but also a more compact machine that saves counter space. That is enough reason to choose the CF092 over the CF097.

Frequently Asked Questions For Ninja Coffee Bar CF097

Why does the CF097 lack a warming plate?

This thermal carafe comes with double-walled insulation that aids in keeping the heat securely locked inside. The insulation barrier stops the heat from the warming plate to reach inside the carafe or changes the temperature of the brew in any way.

How can you prepare Ninja Coffee Bar for brewing?

To start brewing, first put the carafe beneath the brew basket and fill up the water tank. Now, insert a permanent filter or #4 paper filter into the brew basket. Add your favorite coffee grounds, add water, choose the brew size, brew type, and start the brewing process.

To pour a cup of coffee before the brewing process completes, you may remove the carafe after closing the drip stop. Don’t forget to put the carafe back and open the drip-stop after pouring coffee. If you wish to brew directly into a travel mug, you may use a large-sized cup or travel mug and place it at the base of the coffee maker.

To brew a single cup of Java, just lower the platform and put your coffee cup on the platform.

Is it safe to wash thermal carafe in a dishwasher?

No, this will damage the vacuum present between the double walls that act as an insulator to keep the beverage hot or cold.

Is it possible to change brew settings after the device has started brewing?

No, you cannot change the settings after the specialty ‘Brew’ or ‘Cafe Forte Brew’ has started. For the other types of brews, it is possible to change the style or size. The results may vary based on the status of the brewing cycle.

Can I pause the brew cycle to pour out coffee before brewing is done?

Yes, you may. To pause the brew cycle, you need to move the drip-stop switch to a closed position. This will stop the flow from the brew basket. After pouring out your cup of coffee, return the vessel and open the stop to continue brewing.

Do I need to add extra coffee grounds for Rich, Cafe Forte, Over Ice, or Specialty Brew

No, the machine is designed in a way to boost the strength of your drink using the same amount of coffee grounds as recommended. Each brew style is different and optimized to achieve the preferred strength without any extra grounds. Just choose the brew style, press the button, and you are done.

What is the time needed to froth milk?

To froth milk quickly, just hold the cup of milk under the frother and completely immerse the whisk. Now press and hold the button for about 45 seconds. If you wish to make a hot froth, pre-heat milk in a microwave for about 45-60 seconds before frothing, and then follow the above-mentioned directions.

Can I use the machine to brew tea?

No, the manufacturer does not recommend you to brew tea in the Ninja Coffee Bar. The carafe and brew basket will have coffee oils that will impact the flavor of the tea.

Are the Ninja cups, over ice carafe, and tumblers BPA free?

Yes, all the parts and accessories used in the making of these coffee machines are BPA free. Hence, they are completely safe to use.

Does this brewer come with a built-in grinder?

No, there is no in-built grinder in this machine. You will need to buy a small grinder separately.

How often should I clean the Ninja Coffee Bar?

The machine is self-cleaning, but it requires thorough cleanup in regular intervals. To keep your coffee maker performing at its best, clean the device whenever the LEAN’ button gets illuminated.

What cleaning solution should I use?

If the clean button is illuminated, this means you need to clean the Ninja Coffee Bar. I recommend you use an effective de-scaling solution specially formulated for coffeemakers.

Another method to clean is to fill the water tank with white vinegar up to the travel mug mark. This is an effective method useful for descaling machines.

What parts/accessories of the coffee maker are dishwasher-safe?

The dishwasher-safe parts of your coffee maker are the permanent filter, water reservoir, removable filter holder, flip-top lid, brew-through lid, and glass carafe.

Is it safe to add more water while brewing?

No. You must not add water to the reservoir while the machine is brewing.

How to change the size of the vessel?

To change the size of the vessel, you simply need to change the multi-serve size dial to XL Cup, Cup, XL Multi-Serve, Travel Mug, Full Carafe, or Half Carafe. The brew size icon will indicate what size of brew you have chosen.

Why is my second cup hotter than the first one?

After brewing the first cup, the Ninja Coffee Bar is pre-warmed. This enables any following brews to be slightly hotter. For a hotter first cup, after plugging in and powering on your brewer, allow 3 minutes for your brewer to pre-heat.

Is the Ninja Coffee Bar compatible with coffee pods?

No, this machine is designed to work with coffee grounds only. It does not work with K-cups or pods.

Is it possible to brew and froth at the same time?

Yes, with the Ninja Coffee Bar, you can froth as well as brew at the same time.

Can I use crushed ice or shaved ice for making iced coffee?

It is better to only use ice cubes when brewing iced cold coffee. Both crushed and shaved ice have different characteristics, because of which you must abstain from using them in your brew. It may cause the vessel to overflowing.

Can I froth non-dairy milk such as almond milk or soy milk?

Yes, you may. Although I feel dairy milk works best to deliver the richest flavor, you may also use soymilk or almond milk. If you are using soy milk, always heat it before use.

Frequently Asked Questions For Ninja Coffee Bar CF092

Why is the warming plate called intelligent?

The intelligent plate gets activated when brewing a full or half carafe using any of the classic, rich, or specialty brew settings. The warming plate can itself adjust the amount of heat delivered to the carafe to brew coffee without scalding the grounds. This intelligent feature makes sure that the coffee tastes great.

While the warming plate turns off automatically after two hours, you can use the ‘stay warm’ functionality to keep it hot for hours. Just choose the time and activate the setting.

How long can the intelligent warming plate keep my drink hot?

It can keep your drink hot for two hours and after that, the plate turns off automatically. You can press the stay ‘Warm’ button to keep the drink warm for as long as 4 hours.

What is the right method to clean the glass carafe?

To clean the glass carafe you must brew like normal with warm water and soap. You may also keep it on top of your dishwasher. You may need to clean the carafe more thoroughly and do this, use a soft foam brush.

What to do if my coffee is not hot enough?

If you are using a ceramic coffee cup, I would recommend that your pre-heat the cup by washing it with hot water from the sink. If you are using a travel mug, remember to place the cap tightly soon after the brew is completed.

If you use a glass carafe, make sure the brew-through lid is fastened securely and correctly to maintain the carafe's temperature. Not placing the lid tightly will let the heat escape and the drink will get cool faster.

Ninja Coffee Bar CF097 Review: The Final Words

Although the SharkNinja has been manufacturing a variety of kitchen appliances and food processing devices for several years, they entered the all-inclusive coffee machine market with CF092. While this Brewer System definitely spells class and looks stunning, it fails to impress with its overall performance.

I believe we can excuse SharkNinja for its lack of experience in this field. What the company fails to deliver with CF092, it more than compensates with the launch of CF097. The CF097 stands out for its amazing functionality, reliability, versatility, and performance.

Purchasing a complete brewing system is a significant investment and you need to weigh the pros and cons and understand your personal needs. Some of the important things that you need to consider before buying a brewing system are ease of use, maintenance required, quality of the brew, cleaning needs, cost of the machine, different types of brews, etc.

The CF097 (shop now) emerges as the undisputed winner on all the above-mentioned factors!

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