Ninja DualBrew Pro Specialty Coffee Maker Review: almost all-in-one perfection

The Ninja DualBrew Pro will let you make drip, iced, and single-serve coffee, as well as teas and lattes

A Ninja DualBrew Pro on a countertop with four cups of coffee and tea
(Image credit: Ninja)
Homes & Gardens Verdict

From coffee grounds to pods, the Ninja DualBrew Pro can do it all and it might be the only specialty coffee maker you need. Having 4 brewing styles makes it easy to make coffee for lattes, drip coffee, or a pot for your family or office.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Can brew coffee grounds or pods and boil water

  • +

    4 brew styles

  • +

    Comes with a frothing tool

  • +

    Removable water reservoir

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Takes up counter space

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Coffee is big business, and as technology improves, home coffee makers are increasingly popular. They save you time and money from going to your favorite café, and are increasingly essential as more of us work from home. 

However, the problem with coffee is that so many different styles are popular in the US. There's drip, espresso, latte, filter, cold brew, and many more, and no one wants to buy a separate machine for every sort of coffee. This would run to hundreds if not thousands dollars. Some people opt for investing in one of the best espresso machines, which is great, but these can get expensive.

Enter the Ninja DualBrew Pro. This coffee maker means that you can make both drip coffee as well as use K-Cups. That's saying nothing of the milk frother, iced coffee function, or the independent water line to make tea. 

I tested every function of this coffee maker in my own home to see how it stacks up against the best single-serve coffee makers. I found a a versatile appliance that will let you make a wide range of drinks for a fair price, although you'll need to clear a lot of room first. 

Ninja DualBrew Pro Specfications

A Ninja DualBrew Pro against a white background with a range of different coffees

(Image credit: Ninja)
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Capacity: 96 fluid ounces
Dimensions: 9.13" x 11.39" x 15.54"
Weight:9.69 pounds
Settings:Grounds, pods, classic, rich, over ice, specialty, hot water, milk frother
What’s included:Base with removable water reservoir, Ninja pod adapter, brew basket, 60 ounce glass carafe, removable frothing tool, ninja smart scoop, paper filter kit

Unboxing the Ninja DualBrew Pro

 The Ninja DualBrew Pro comes in a large box, and you’ll find a user manual and quickstart guide inside. This coffee maker is great for many types of brew types and brew styles, and it even has an display that will adapt depending on the brew type and keep you posted on the progress of your brew. Overall, the Ninja DualBrew Pro is relatively compact, and it even has a retractable arm for the frothing tool and room to store the Ninja smart scoop on the machine itself. The only loose item is the Ninja pod adapter, which can be stored separately when not being used. However, it's a very tall appliance. 

A closeup of the display screen on the Ninja DualBrew Pro

(Image credit: Aleenah Ansari)

For coffee grounds, you can brew 8 to 55 ounces, and pods are designed for 6 to12 ounce brews. Hot water can be from 2 to 60 ounces. To prime the brewing process, fill the water vessel with water and run the 55 ounce brew cycle in the carriage. The water vessel is detachable, so it’s easier to refill at the sink and reattach. The brew basket is used when brewing pods or grounds, and there is a Ninja pod adapter that is locked in place over the brew basket when brewing pods.

What's it like to use the Ninja DualBrew Pro?

A Ninja DualBrew Pro Coffee Maker on a countop

(Image credit: Aleenah Ansari)

To use the Ninja DualBrew Pro, start by choosing your brewing method, preferred size, and brewing style. Brew styles can be rich, classic, over ice, or a specialty brew, Classic brew styles are more balanced, whereas rich brews tend to have stronger flavors. The over ice brew style is more concentrated and is designed to be made over ice without being watered down. The specialty brew is made for coffee drinks like lattes, macchiatos, and other coffee shop drinks, and this only brews 4 ounces.  When it comes to making drip coffee or coffee from a pod, Ninja DualBrew heats up the water to a consistent temperature and evenly saturates the coffee ground so they’re all used equally. 

You can place a travel mug or carafe on the warming plate, or pull down the cup platform and set a mug on it. Once you’re ready, press the Start Brew button to start brewing, and you can track progress using the illuminating progress bar. The Ninja DualBrew will beep several times when your coffee is ready. 

Test 1: Coffee pods

A close up of a coffee pod in the Ninja DualBrew Pro coffee maker

(Image credit: Aleenah Ansari)

If you want to make coffee quickly and without having to measure out your grounds, brewing coffee pods is a great option. If you’re using the pod mode, install the Ninja pod adapter in the brewer over the brew basket and ensure that the indicator on the left side is aligned with “Lock.”  This can be a little tedious to add and replace if you alternate between brewing pods and coffee grounds, but the ability to do both methods from one machine makes it worth it. 

Once you’ve added the adapter, which will be detected automatically by the coffee maker, take your Ninja-compatible K-Cup and place it in the top vessel and choose your ounce amount, which can be 6 to 12 ounces. Firmly press down the handle to pierce your pod, choose your quantity, then press the round button to start brewing. There is a drip stop that can be used to stop the brewing process, and this can be closed or reopened at any point during the brewing process.

Test 2: Coffee Grounds

A shot of the Ninja DualBrew Pro Coffee Maker making coffe

(Image credit: Aleenah Ansari)

 This machine doesn’t come with a coffee grinder, so you’ll need to grind your own coffee beans or buy grounds. If you’re brewing coffee grounds, use the included Ninja Smart Cup to measure coffee grounds and follow the guidance for the number of scoops for each brew size, which can be found on the handle of the Smart Scoop.

This was my preferred method because it uses less waste than pods, and I was able to add more grounds if I wanted a stronger brew. I found that the Ninja DualBrew Pro did an effective job of saturating the coffee grounds so my brew was rich and balanced every time. 

Test 3 - Frothing Milk

 If you like to enjoy your coffee with frothed milk or creamer, you can also use the frothing tool to foam up half a cup of milk, a milk alternative, or creamer. To do so, swing the arm of the frother and install the frother whisk by twisting up and to the right. Ensuring that the frothing whisk is submerged just below the surface, and press and hold the frothing button for 30 to 45 seconds. Then remove the frother by twisting up and to the left and clean at the sink or dishwasher.

 Overall, I found that the frother made cold almond milk creamer pretty bubbly and sweeter but not foamy, so this machine isn’t replacing my reliance on Nespresso Aeroccino3 Milk Frother for cold foam. However, this frother was much more effective with oat milk. The milk frother also won’t heat up the milk, so you’ll need to do that on your own first.  

Test 4: Hot water

You can boil hot water to two different temperatures, which can be used for things like oatmeal, hot chocolate, or tea. To switch to hot water mode, turn the dial to the water droplet icon. Then, water will be dispensed next to the coffee outlet.

Test 5: Keeping coffee warm

The warming plate turns on and stays on for two hours if you’re brewing at least ¼ of a carafe on classic or rich brew, and will be off automatically otherwise. The warming plate can also be turned on manually for up to four hours using the “Keep Warm” button at the front of the coffee maker for up to, and you’ll know the warming plate is on when the triangular icon at the base of brew is illuminated. 

When I prepared my coffee in an open vessel like a mug but forgot to turn on the warming plate, I often needed to warm it up again after 15 to 20 minutes. However, coffee tended to stay hot when prepared in the closed carafe or travel mug, or when I turned on the warming plate before preparing my coffee. 

Taste Test

An example of the four types of coffee you can make in the Ninja DualBrew Pro, with the DualBreew Pro in the background

(Image credit: Ninja)

The taste of the coffee from the Ninja DualBrew Pro varied depending on the brew style, but it doesn’t get watered down. Coffee made on the specialty method is designed for espresso-based drinks and is well-balanced when combined with dairy or creamer. 

However, this method didn’t stand up as a replacement for my espresso machine because it didn’t have a robust enough flavor, though the brew was stronger than a classic brew overall. The classic brew style tastes rich without being overpowering, and the over ice option prepares a stronger brew so it doesn’t get watered down when prepared over ice. Overall, the Ninja DualBrew Pro brewed a consistent cup of coffee every time, and you can turn off the brew at any point if you choose the wrong size.  

Cleaning And Maintenance

If you’re brewing pods, you can remove the used pod from the Ninja pod adapter and then remove the adapter from the brewer. The Ninja DualBrew Pro is made with modular parts that can be easily removed, so it’s easy to remove Ninja pod adapter, frothing tool, and water reservoir for cleaning. They're all dishwasher safe, saving you from washing it by hand. 

How does it rate online?

Most reviewers are full of praise for this coffee maker. They love the ability to make drip coffee as well as use K-cups in a single appliance. Most comment on the fact that it keeps partners happy - everyone gets their favorite type of hot drink without arguments. Most users love the taste of their coffee and plenty of people think that toying with the different flavor setting has led them to get even more out of their favorite pods. 

However, a tiny handful of uses on Amazon felt that the filter isn't good enough on this machine, resulting in grounds in their coffee. Others feel like this coffee maker doesn't make their coffee hot enough. 

How Does It Compare?

De'Longhi Dinamica Plus beside the Smeg espresso maker on a marble countertop

Other coffee makers in our test kitchen

(Image credit: Future)

The fairest comparison is with the De'Longhi All In One Combination Coffee Maker, another combination coffee maker. It ultimately comes down to styles of coffee. The All In One makes espresso, drip coffee, and lattes; the DualBrew makes drip coffee, single-serve, lattes and teas. If you're devoted to K-cups or Nespresso, the DualBrew is the clear winner, but if you want proper homemade espresso, you have to go with the All In One. However, you should also bear in mind that the DualBrew is usually $100 cheaper, depending on sales. 

While we love that you can steam milk in the DualBrew, it's extra step that takes practice and effort. A machine like the Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic can make milky coffees like lattes and cappuccinos automatically without you having to take any extra steps. 

It's also pretty tall on a countertop, so you might be better off with a more compact coffee pod machine like the Nespresso Vertuo Next if you have low cabinetry. 

Should you buy the Ninja DualBrew Coffee Maker?

The Ninja DualBrew Pro retails for $230, and it’s a great coffee maker for people who want the flexibility and convenience to brew with grounds or pods all-in-one coffee maker. From the frothing tool and display with the illuminating progress bar to the removable water vessel, even the small details are well considered. For the average coffee maker at home, this is a great option. 

Aleenah Ansari
Contributing Editor

Aleenah Ansari is a freelance writer covering travel, wellness, and tech products, especially from BIPOC-owned businesses, and she also works as a product marketing manager at Microsoft. Her stories have focused on everything from what to pack for an Everest Base Camp trek to Live Tinted's product launches rooted in community feedback. She's an avid solo traveller, hiker, and mural enthusiast, often looking for her next adventure in Seattle and beyond.