Most coffee machines you’ll see are dubbed ‘coffee makers’ or ‘coffee brewers.’ This is because they usually brew one kind of coffee— and that’s great! There is nothing wrong with that at all. But you might then wonder why the machine we’re going to look at today is called a ‘coffee bar’? Well, here’s a clue: it’s called a coffee bar because it can brew anything, just like a coffee bar can! Well, maybe it can’t brew literally anything— but it can brew many different coffee types that taste differently.
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When a machine can do so many things, with so many different parts, it can often be difficult to clean. Luckily, this is not the case with the Ninja Coffee Bar. Let’s take a good look at the ins and outs of keeping a Ninja Coffee Bar spick and span, just like the day you bought it!
What Is a Ninja Coffee Bar
A Ninja Coffee Bar is a complete brewing system. Using the one machine, any user can brew multiple sizes of filter coffee— from a full carafe to a strong 4-oz cup, all with various brew strengths. The machine can also foam milk using the built-in milk frother.
The carafe that comes with the Ninja Coffee Bar, as with dual coffee makers can be thermal or glass, depending on the model you choose. Thanks to the Ninja being a filter coffee maker, as opposed to a K-cup brewer, one can make a delicious pour-over coffee incredibly easily.
Benefits of Using a Ninja Coffee Bar
Various Cup Sizes and Strengths
The Ninja Coffee Bar has a plethora of strength and cup sizes to choose from. This is great if you live in a house with multiple coffee drinkers. You can make a whole carafe of coffee when needed, or brew a single cup if necessary. This makes the Ninja incredibly convenient— get your coffee from Amazon, grind it up, choose your size and strength, and let the Ninja brew the coffee for you.
You Can Choose Your Own Beans
One of the best things about the Ninja Coffee Bar is that you can choose any coffee you want! Whether it’s the world’s best organic coffee, a delicious and bright coffee from Ethiopia, or a cup of rare and prized Gesha from Panama— delicious coffee beans almost always equal a delicious cup of coffee, so be sure to choose something good!
You Can Use Fresh Coffee
Unlike most Keurig machines that use K-cups for coffee brewing, the Ninja Coffee Bar allows you to use fresh coffee. Fresh coffee is an essential part of making a super tasty cup of coffee.
Because you’ll be working with fresh coffee, you need to make sure the coffee is stored properly. Fresh coffee, when left exposed to oxygen, can go stale quite quickly, so it’s best to store your coffee in a specially made coffee canister. A coffee canister prevents oxygen from entering the container with your precious coffee cargo.
How Does a Ninja Coffee Bar Work
The Ninja Coffee Bar is super easy to use. Simply add water and ground coffee and you’re ready to go!
The mesh filter within the brew basket is where the ground coffee needs to be. The carafe sits below the coffee outlet and will collect the coffee. The tank on the side of the machine— this is the water reservoir. This is where we put our brew water.
So let’s say we’ve put our ground coffee in the mesh filter and our water tank is topped up with brew water. Once the machine has heated up, which should take around 3 minutes, we’re ready to brew. Choose the size of the cup you want to brew, anywhere from 4OZ to the whole carafe, and the strength of your coffee and the Ninja will begin brewing. The various settings on the machine mean you can make coffee that is a similar strength as espresso, or you can replicate the results of the best siphon coffee maker.
How to Clean Ninja Coffee Bar
Many people don’t know this, but keeping your coffee maker clean is absolutely essential— not only for making coffee that tastes delicious but for keeping your machine performing the way it should. Over time, the oils in coffee and the minerals in water build up in and around the machine, and without proper cleaning, these oils and minerals will eventually create blockages in the machine’s internal pipes and water inlets and outlets.
There are two different kinds of cleaning we need to do. One is a daily, ‘after each use’ kind of cleaning. This is super simple and keeps your coffee tasting good from day to day. The other kind of cleaning is a ‘deep clean’ which we need to do every two months. The deep clean is mainly to keep the machine free of oil and mineral build-up and will keep your machine performing like new.
To perform a deep clean on any coffee maker, we need to use some sort of cleaning solution. Both a Ninja Coffee Bar and a Keurig can be cleaned with a descaler or vinegar. We’ll go through the steps for both!
First, let’s look at how to perform every day, keep things tasting good kind of clean. This is a super simple type of clean that should be done every time you use your machine. It should take no longer than a couple of minutes and is worth every second, promise!
Step 1 — Clean the filter basket
Once your coffee has finished brewing, remove the filter basket from the Ninja and discard or compost the used coffee grounds (or use them to make a body scrub!). Wash the mesh filter with water and dish soap and rinse thoroughly. We don’t want any dishwashing soap left on the filter, so really pay attention when rinsing. Place the filter back into the machine.
Step 2 — Clean the exterior of the Ninja coffee bar
Next, we’ll give the outside of the machine a good wipe down. Use a damp, non-abrasive cloth to wipe down the exterior of the machine. This will just remove any coffee that has splashed onto the body of the machine.
Step 3 — Clean the carafe
The last step is to clean the carafe. This can be washed in the same way you would wash a glass or a mug. Just some warm, soapy water and a good rinse will do the trick.
How to Deep Clean the Ninja Coffee Bar With Vinegar
After owning your Ninja for a couple of months, you will eventually see that the clean light is illuminated. This means that the machine has detected a build-up of minerals and oils. Follow the instructions below to clean your Ninja Coffee Bar with vinegar and water and return it to its former glory!
Step 1 — Prep the machine
Make sure that the water tank, carafe, and the coffee basket are all clean and empty.
Step 2 — Add the vinegar
Pour plain white vinegar into the water reservoir until the travel mug indicator line, and then fill the tank to the maximum waterline with fresh water. Fit the water tank back onto the Ninja. Place the carafe under the coffee outlet.
Step 3 — Run the clean cycle
Press the clean button. This will begin the cleaning cycle. After around 1 minute, press the clean button again— this will pause the cleaning cycle. What we’ve just done is pull the water from the reservoir into the pipes of the machine. This will allow the vinegar to really get to work and dissolve all that nasty build-up. We’ll leave the machine now for 30 minutes.
Step 4 — Finish the clean cycle
Once 30 minutes have passed, press the clean button on the machine once again. This will resume and complete the cleaning cycle.
Step 5 — Rinse
Now the cleaning cycle is complete; we need to perform two rinse cycles. Remove the water tank, the carafe and the mesh filter basket and thoroughly rinse them. Return the filter basket to the machine, fill the water tank with clean water, and place it back into the machine. Press the clean button and let the Ninja run the cycle, uninterrupted.
Step 6 — Rinse round two
Discard the rinse water from the carafe. Refill the water tank and run the clean cycle once more. Discard this water and your Ninja Coffee Bar is really to go!
How to Clean Ninja Coffee Bar With a Descaling Solution
Next, let’s get stuck into how to clean your Ninja Coffee Bar using a descaling solution. There are a number of different options available, both on Amazon and in your local supermarket. Using a descaling solution to clean your machine is very similar to using vinegar. The only difference may be the solution to water ratio you’ll use. Follow the instructions that came with your descaling solution.
Step 1 — Get the Ninja ready
Make sure the water tank, the filter basket, and the carafe are clean and empty.
Step 2 — Add the descaling solution
Follow the instructions on the bottle or packet of the solution you are using. Add the appropriate amount of water to the water tank. Be sure not to fill over the maximum waterline. Place the carafe under the coffee outlet.
Step 3 — Run the clean cycle
Press the clean button on the Ninja. Let the machine begin the cycle, and after around 1 minute, press the clean button once again. This will pause the cleaning cycle. In the beginning, then pausing the cleaning cycle, we will have pulled some of the solutions into the internal pipes of the machine. We’ll now leave the Ninja to sit just like this for 30 minutes. This will allow the solution time to really clean everything nicely.
Step 4 — Continue the clean cycle
After 30 minutes, return to the machine and press the clean button. The clean cycle will continue to run and the remaining descaling solution will work its way through the machine and into the carafe.
Step 5 — Begin the rinse cycle
Once the cleaning cycle has finished, discard the solution from the carafe and thoroughly rinse it, along with the water tank and the filter basket.
Step 6 — Rinse cycle
Place the carafe back under the coffee outlet, and the filter basket into place. Fill the water tank with clean water. Press the clean button once again. This time, let the cycle run through fully. Discard the rinse water from the carafe.
We’re going to do this rinse cycle 2 times. This will thoroughly remove any traces of the cleaning solution and will leave your Ninja Brew Bar clean as a whistle!
Do’s and Don’ts When Cleaning a Ninja Coffee Bar
- Do make sure to use only quality coffee beans. Your cup of coffee will only taste as good as the coffee you use.
- Do clean your machine regularly. This should be after every use for daily cleaning. For the deep cleaning, a good rule of thumb is every two months, or when the clean light comes on, whichever comes first.
- Do take advantage of the different brew strengths. There is an option to brew a concentrated coffee directly over ice— just like a Japanese iced coffee. Perfect for a hot summer day!
- Do use quality water to fill your Ninja Coffee Bar. If the water in your area is suboptimal for coffee making, look at investing in a Britta water filter.
- Don’t try to clean your machine with anything other than vinegar or a descaling solution. Dish soap may completely destroy a coffee machine!
- Don’t use any abrasive cloths to wipe down the Ninja Coffee Bar. Abrasive cloths or sponges may scratch the exterior of the machine.
FAQ About Cleaning the Ninja Coffee Bar
How much vinegar do I use to clean my Ninja coffee maker?
We can use the travel mug indicator line on the water tank to help us use the perfect amount of vinegar to descale the Ninja Coffee Bar. Filing the water tank up to the travel mug marker with vinegar will equal about 16OZ of vinegar. Then fill to the top with water and you’re ready to start cleaning.
Can I clean and descale my coffee maker using lemon juice?
While some people do like to use lemon juice to clean their coffee maker, there is one main reason why lemon juice isn’t the best thing to use. Lemons are super acidic on the tongue, but when it comes to descaling, lemon juice isn’t quite acidic enough. It lacks the power to really remove all of the minerals that we need to remove when descaling.
Why does the clean light keep coming on my Ninja coffee bar?
This generally means you need to clean your Ninja. If you fully follow the instructions above and pay attention to the 30 minutes of soaking time, the clean indicator should go away. If it doesn’t, try going through the steps a few times over. Coffee makers that have never been cleaned before may take two or three rounds of cleaning with a descaling solution to fully remove all of the mineral build-up.
How often should you clean your Ninja coffee bar?
A regular clean should be done after every use of the machine. A deep clean, which includes descaling, should be done either once every two months, or when the clean light illuminates, whichever comes first.
How do you know when the Ninja bar needs cleaning?
The Ninja Coffee Bar has a super handy function that tells you when it needs to be cleaned. Once you see the ‘clean’ button illuminated, this is when you know it’s time to run a deep clean.
Is the Ninja Coffee Bar dishwasher-safe?
Removable parts of the coffee maker, such as the glass carafe and the water tank are dishwasher safe on the top rack only. Note that the thermal carafe and brew basket are not dishwasher safe and should be washed by hand using dish soap and water.
How often should you descale your Ninja Coffee Bar?
A good rule is to plan on descaling your machine once every two months. Don’t wait for the ‘clean’ button to illuminate. The ‘clean’ light may come on before two months, in which case you should clean earlier.
How to clean the individual Ninja Coffee Bar parts?
The water tank, along with other removable plastic parts can either be washed by hand using dish soap and water or washed in the dishwasher on the top rack. The filter basket and the thermal carafe are hand wash only.
Making really tasty coffee relies on three things: good coffee, good water, and clean brewing equipment. If you’re going to make the investment of a good coffee maker, and buy high-quality coffee to brew in it, keeping the machine clean will mean you’ll be getting exactly what you paid for, for the lifetime of the coffee maker.