Ninja Single-Serve CF111 Review

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Coffee culture oftentimes brings to our mind a picture of a businessman sipping a cuppa coffee and readily leaving for work. It may be the reason why one of the most popular methods of coffee brewing is the renowned single-serve – “to reduce time making coffee” for our fast paced life. But this fertile market of single-serve coffee brewing machine is, in a way, restricted by some companies that both manufacture a variety of machines and produce coffee pod only usable for their own machine. This fact really discourages us – coffee lover – to experience tasting and combining different kind of beans. But hey, worry no more. Ninja single-serve CF111 is exactly the one to help you! 

Ninja single-serve CF111: Quick Overview

Ninja is a manufacturer of household appliances, especially the coffee system with the technology assisting in bringing out the best flavor with easy preparation and input:

Advanced Thermal Flavor Extraction Technology – as its name suggests, it draws out the whole range of richness of your beans with up to 5 options of brew styles for you to feel different aspects of possible flavors.

Auto-iQ One-Touch Intelligence Technology gives you the precise volume output of coffee in your favorite portion. Technically, this tech saves the hard work for you.



  • It does not take coffee pods, and only use your own ground coffee. Thus it may save more money spent on coffee pods before you know it!
  • Consistent brew every time you need.
  • The versatility of this machine may spice up your coffee cup experiences! It also comes with a recipe booklet for your blending.
  • User-friendly aimed at amateurs, easy to set up.
  • Smooth operations and quiet brewing!


  • Some complain about their cup overflowed despite using the right volume according to the guide.
  • Some complain about sediment in your finished cup.
  • Sometimes you may brew bitter, strong coffee.
  • Many experienced issues with “clean light” indicator, especially the cleaning hassles.
  • Drip Stop button seems not working.

Tips to avoid Cons:

  • It is recommended to use at least a few oz bigger cup than indicated.
  • You should grind your beans more coarsely.
  • Choose your best type and most “stable” ground coffee (coarseness). Beware that finely ground coffee is totally not advisable!
  • “Clean light” is its Achilles heel, major flaw. Some said that beware of THREE clean cycles, don’t just do the cleaning one time! You should carefully read the manual!

Key Features of Ninja single-serve CF111

  • It’s pod-free, meaning you use your own ground coffee beans of your own recipe!
  • Brew size: cup, XL cup, travel mug and XL multi-serve – You choose your favorite portion.
  • 5 Brew styles – you can explore in-depth the richness, flavor of the beans.
  • Built-in milk frother, who doesn’t want to make Cappuccino?

Ninja single-serve CF111

Pod-Free Coffee Maker Bar with Hot and Iced Coffee, Auto-iQ, Built-In Milk Frother, 5 Brew Styles, and Water Reservoir



Black/Stainless Steel

Item Dimensions

12.2 x 11.02 x 16.34 in

Item Weight

11.4 lbs

Ninja single-serve CF111 Review

Pod-free single serve machine

This exclusive pod-free feature is game changer for Ninja brand and let you choose your own ground coffee to your liking. All you have to do is to use the Ninja scoop for exact measurement and pour the ground beans to the brew basket et voilà…


Our general recommendation on the ground beans is of medium grind size, sometimes you may need to experience to know the exact level of coarseness. Avoid finely ground coffee since it will result in sediment inside your cup

Your cup size selection

There are four available default sizes: cup (9.5oz), XL cup (11oz), travel mug (14oz), and multiserve (18oz), in approximate volumes! Our tip is to use at least 2-2.5oz more than the size indicated when brewing the Classic option to avoid overflowing.




Over Ice
(coffee only)

Over Ice
(filled with ice)






XL Cup





Travel Mug





XL Multi-Serve





Ninja Specialty Brew is always 4 oz. and Cafe Forte is always 8 oz., so you don’t need to adjust the dial for those Signature brews.

Five styles of brewing

Ninja CF111 makes a good application of their current technology as mentioned for bringing out full potential of coffee bean flavors, equipping this machine with 3 traditional options of preparing a cup (Classic, Rich, and Over Ice) and 2 Ninja’s exclusive signature (Specialty and Cafe Forte). Let’s get to them:

  1.  Classic Brew option brings out a well-balance flavor.
  2. Rich Brew adds more intensity than the Classic, making the brewed coffee better served with milk, cream, or other flavorings.
  3.  Over Ice is especially designed to stand up to the water from ice cubes, making its flavor not so watered down.
  4.  Specialty offers a more concentrated brew, just like your favorite cafe shop.
  5.  Cafe Forte truly delivers the full capability of your ground beans, genuinely let you completely immerse yourself in the nuances of flavor; best served as black or with milk - you decide!

Frothing your milk

In addition to your usual styles above, Ninja CF111 is equipped with the frother for Cappuccino-lovers. This feature adds more variety into your choice. But beware that in order to have a hot frothed milk you need to use the microwave, it only supports cold frothed milk. Since this feature is kinda a bonus so the quality cannot stand up to your usual frothed milk at the frequented cafe shop!

Ninja Single-Serve CF111

Alternative for Ninja single-serve CF111

Let’s look at its archenemy: Keurig machines

In order to give you a better picture of some alternatives, we choose the Keurig brand for its similar market of single-serve machine.

In essence, Ninja is pod-less/pod-free while Keurig is pod-required. These two different brands of coffee machine have both their pros and cons, one is not totally better than the other. Let’s look at some of the aspects for your consideration:

  1. Simplicity, user-friendliness, amount of time to brew: Keurig has an upper hand, but Ninja is not really bad either.
  2. Brewing experience: Keurig partners with more than 60 brands to produce their k-pods; however, many do not give high score to its coffee taste since k-pod is aimed at “standardizing” the flavor, depriving the creativity and capability of coffee beans! Ninja system exploits the whole possible range of ground coffee, unrestricted by brands; they even help your experiences with their own recipe book.
  3. Brew sizes: It’s a tie.
Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker

Keurig is a household name in the world of coffee machine manufacturing. They also make extras, including carafes, filters, and coffee consumables to complement their home and office coffee machines.


In summary, our general recommendation may fall on Ninja system – single-serve CF111 for its versatility, user-friendliness, high-quality and top-notched cup.

But if you value a simple, down-to-earth coffee brewing, regardless of possible creative coffee flavors, then Keurig is the best choice. Actually their taste is not bad and the brewing time is consistently fast!