If you are going to buy a brewer that you think deserves a first-rate reputation, it is best to choose something that produces more than an average brewed coffee. At first glance, the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker appears to be an intimidating machine. The design itself speaks of efficiency in volumes.
The robotic design of the Ninja Specialty Fold Away Frother CM401 Coffee Maker (as well as its CM407 counterpart) is not merely for show. True to its namesake, this brewer is capable of whipping specialty cup of Joes that prove to be well-known beverages in cafe menus.
Design and Construction
This coffee maker does not fall behind in terms of practical clever design. Both the CM401 Ninja and the CM407 Ninja are constructed with the distinctive hanging brew basket that draws water from the see-through reservoir beside it. With the exception of the brew basket and the carafe, the coffee maker sports a rigid polygonal frame.
Both serial models function and are operated in exactly the same way. The only fundamental difference between the Ninja CM401 and the Ninja CM407 is the carafe that goes with it. The former has a container made of glass, while the latter, which is a thermal carafe, is made of stainless steel type material.
As far as the model build goes, both the CM401 and CM407 Ninja are exact replicas of each other. Did I say that this machine looks intimidating? One of the obvious reasons for that is because this coffee maker is just plain huge. Its overall item measurement is 11.99 x 8.75 x 15.04 inches. You need ample space in your kitchen if you are looking at mostly 2 digits spanning almost every solid dimension.
In terms of weight, the two varieties do have a slight difference – a margin you may not really bother counting. The Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker CM401 is 0.85 pounds heavier, which is surprising if your logic implies that metal is denser than glass. It is safe to say that this model weighs around 12 to 13 pounds.
This coffee maker brilliantly combines stainless steel, rubber, and polymer to assemble a machine that sports a fierce utilitarian look. As mentioned earlier, this unit is rough-edged and it might not blend in well in a chic minimalist kitchen interior.
The base control panel makes up the largest part of this coffee maker. This is where the craftsmanship level is tested by the way the manufacturers put rubber, metal, and plastic together. The water reservoir is made of see-through plastic, although practical visibility is only possible within a very narrow vertical metric strip. Yes, the water reservoir seems to borrow its looks straight from a vintage blender.
One of the interesting things about the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker is that almost every component is detachable. This means you can fill the reservoir with water without spilling on other parts, especially those with electronic components. No need to drag the entire coffee maker to the sink either. Unlike other units where the reservoir is fixed, manual refilling for this coffee maker does not require much fine motor skills.
Take note: the Ninja model with a thermal carafe does not have an automatic shut-down program, mainly because it does not have a warming plate. This is common for coffee makers with this type of carafe.
However, you can take advantage of the unique customizable shut-off feature of the Ninja CM401. Unlike its steel carafe counterpart, this unit has a warming plate that you set to deactivate automatically within the 4-hour limit. Hence, if your glass carafe is empty the machine will not reheat it after that timeframe.
This coffee maker may also stand out against competing brands and models for its number of extra features. This company (Ninja) knows how to win the hearts and minds of buyers by throwing in a lot of items into a single pricing unit.
Apart from the namesake fold-away frother, you will also have the gold-tone permanent filter, scoop, a quick start guide, and a recipe inspiration guide. Yes, you heard the last part correctly. This brand takes coffee specialty brewing seriously and they want to get the enthusiasm across their newbie buyers.
As mentioned earlier, you could choose the Ninja Specialty Fold Away Frother CM407 Coffee Maker if you prefer the stainless steel carafe. While it does not have a warming plate, it also removes the headache associated with cleaning the mess of broken glass shards in case you get clumsy and the pot slips your hand.
Since this coffee maker can brew both hot and cold beverages, it is logical to assume that this machine has two brewing times. If you are whipping up a hot Cup of Joe, expect to be served after only 5 minutes. But if you intend to brew a cold one, you will have to extend your patience and wait for up to 10 minutes.
In case temperature is something that is very close to your heart, there is a good reason for choosing the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker CM407. Insulated stainless steel carafes naturally retain both temperatures for longer periods than glass, especially for cold brew.
The Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker is one of the few machines that gained a coveted award from the Specialty Coffee Association – the SCA Golden Cup Standard Brewing (1). For one thing, this coffee maker can sustain an ‘even saturation’ and ‘consistent temperature’ based on the settings you have chosen.
These two elements are crucial in defining the overall brew quality, especially the taste. It would not be very impressive if this coffee maker is only brewing a hot beverage. I have to give due credit for this machine given the fact that it can retain its excellence for 4 distinct brewing styles and 6 different brew sizes.
Ease of Use
The Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker CM401 and CM407 also allow you to swing the brew basket away from its placement so that you can detach the permanent filter and its holder. As mentioned earlier, you can also detach the reservoir so you can gingerly fill it with water straight from the tap. But those are just surface-level advantages when it comes to ease of use.
The real deal comes from the fact that the control panel is easy to navigate. You can access every button you need to get started and each key is as specific as it gets. Whether it is adjusting the temperature or choosing the brew type, everything is one press away. You would not have to suffer pressing one button several times to get the right setting for a particular task.
The coffee maker has an accessible platform for cups and mugs directly below the brew dispenser specifically designed for three single-serving sizes (e.g. small cup, large mug, travel tumbler).
When it comes to cleaning up, anyone can be a quick study with the Ninja CM401 and CM407 models. It is fairly easy to use. The fact that all removable components (except the carafe) are safe to put in a dishwasher makes this coffee maker a convenient machine to maintain. The overall descaling process takes up to one hour. It is crucial to complete the entire process.
Brand & Customer Service
Shark Ninja Operating LLC (2) was founded in 2015 as a successful transition of a seasoned company called Euro-Pro, a Canadian manufacturer of home cleaning appliances since 1993. This major shift of focus from the living room to the kitchen devices brought an enormous positive change.
The makers of the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker excel in terms of product excellence and their customer service can certainly catch up. Consumer Affairs gave this company 3 out of 5 stars based on the recent 170 reviews published on their website. You can contact this brand at 1-877-646-5288 for product assistance and/or warranty claims.
Value for Money
The Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker has a limited one-year warranty (3). Considering that this product can brew both hot and cold coffee and earns the SCA Golden Cup Standard Brewing, you may expect this machine to be relatively expensive. One must also consider the fact that this item has a few more extras that go with it.
It would surprise a lot of potential buyers that this coffee maker is nearly half the price compared to others of its kind. Since technological superiority rarely comes cheap, this deal is simply too good to be true (but it is).
For the purpose of this review, the main disadvantage you will have to face is choosing between the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker with Glass Carafe or the other exact item with the stainless steel carafe. Each model variety has its own pros and cons based on the coffee pot alone. The whole deliberation process can be a chore.
Another downside to choosing this coffee maker may prove merely trivial to some. If you are expecting a machine that also brews tea (as there are truly those that exist), this product is not one of them.
Who Should Buy this Coffee Maker?
If you are the type that loves coffee in all its possible forms, you can never go wrong in choosing this machine as your ideal kitchen appliance. This coffee maker is truly suitable for those who prefer variety and does not want to do a lot of work – either because they neither have the knowledge nor the energy to do so.
The CM401 Ninja and the CM407 Ninja are also very appropriate for those who are fans of machines that can simply do a lot of things. Even if you are the type of person who is strictly on the go, the short duration it takes for this coffee maker to serve you that steaming Cup of Joe makes this a very practical choice.
At first look, the Ninja CM401 and CM407 do not appear very impressive compared to other coffee makers with similar basic construction. In fact, some facets of its design appear a bit outdated – making this machine appear a bit out of place in a modernistic stylish kitchen.
However, this coffee maker is a perfect example of how humble appearance is overshadowed by its performance. Earning the coveted SCA award for its impressive capabilities is something coffee connoisseurs cannot understate. For these and the fact that it is fairly simple to use, this coffee maker deserves a total of 4.2/5 rating.
Ninja Specialty Fold Away Frother CM401 & CM407 Coffee Maker Video Review
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|CM401 & CM407
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m James, a self-professed coffee enthusiast in pursuit of finding the perfect daily brew and likes to live by the motto ‘Just brew it”.