How to Make Espresso with Ninja Coffee Maker?

How to Make Espresso With Ninja Coffee Maker? 4-Step Simple Process

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Ninja Coffee makers are no less than ninjas when it comes to efficiency. They can make a variety of your favorite drinks like lattes, mochas, and so much more. While Ninja coffee makers can make multiple caffeinated beverages, they do not make real, authentic espresso the way espresso machines do.

You can use the ‘specialty brew’ option to make espresso-like beverages using a Ninja coffee maker. Most Ninja coffee machines offer this specialty mode. They do not make traditional and authentic espresso using pressure on ground coffee, but they can brew a similar drink.

About The Ninja 10-Cup Specialty Coffee Maker (CM-401)

Before discussing how we can make espresso using the Ninja coffee maker, let’s talk about the machine first.

The Ninja specialty coffee machine is full of features and options to help you get the perfect cup of coffee. People love it because it is smaller and more affordable than espresso machines and other high-end coffee machines. 

Thanks to the multiple brewing options, you won’t stick to the same old coffee recipes. You can make macchiatos, cappuccinos, lattes, and even iced coffee! You also get to choose between several brew sizes. There are options for a single cup, travel size mug, half carafe, and full carafe.

There is even a frother included on this machine. You can make your mornings much better using the specialty coffee maker.

Specifications Of The Ninja 10-Cup Specialty Coffee Maker (CM-401)
Dimensions11.99 x 8.75 x 15.04 inches
Weight9.24 lbs
MaterialStainless Steel
Brew Sizes6
Removable Reservoir Capacity40 oz.
Milk FrotherPresent
Glass Carafe Capacity10-cup (50 oz.)
Permanent FilterAvailable

How To Make Espresso With Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker?

For this recipe, you will not need coffee capsules or coffee beans. You can use ground coffee and any milk or creamer. You can also use this recipe for making espresso with Ninja Coffee Bar. 

The amount of creamer added varies per person. For a medium-strength coffee, you should add one tablespoon of creamer. For a stronger cup, reduce the amount to ½ a tablespoon per cup. However, if you prefer lighter coffee, you should add 2-3 tablespoons of creamer.


  •  2 tablespoons milk or any creamer of your choice.
  •  2 big ninja scoops of ground coffee.

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Step 1 – Fill the water reservoir with fresh, cold water. If there is already water present from the previous day’s brew, throw it away and replace it with fresh water.

Step 2 – Fill the coffee grounds compartment with ground coffee using the ninja scoops given. Now, select the brew size that you want. However, remember that since the specialty option makes powerful espresso-like shots, you will only get a tiny amount poured into your cup.

Step 3 – Press the ‘specialty brew’ option on your Ninja specialty coffee maker. While the coffee is being brewed, take some milk or creamer in a mug. Open the fold-away froth maker and hold your mug containing milk/creamer under it. Press the button of the frother to make foam. Keep it pressed until your desired froth consistency is reached.

Step 4 – The machine will pour a dark espresso-like drink into your cup. You can either drink the specialty brew directly or add the creamer to it.

Ground Coffee Needed For Strong Brews
Specialty Brew (4 oz. Brew)2 Big Ninja Scoops (4 Tablespoons)
Café Forte (8 oz. Brew)2 Big Ninja Scoops (4 Tablespoons)

How Many Scoops for Ninja Coffee Maker Espresso?

For a single serving of coffee (8oz. to 12 oz.), you need to add 3-4 small size scoops of ground coffee into the machine. For a full carafe (56 oz.), you will need to add 4-6 of the large scoops. For half a carafe (around 29-34 oz.), add 3-4 big scoops. Add 3-5 small scoops of ground coffee to the machine for a travel-size bug.

One of the best things about this machine is the easy measurements using the Ninja scoop. The scoop has a big bowl on one end and a smaller one on the opposite end. It makes it easy to measure how much coffee to add to the machine. The big scoop equals two tablespoons, while the small scoop equals one tablespoon of ground coffee.

Ground Coffee Needed Per Serving
Serving SizeGround Coffee Needed
Single Serving2-3 Small Ninja Scoops (2-3 Tablespoons)
Travel Size Mug3-5 Small Ninja Scoops (3-5 Tablespoons)
Half Carafe3-4 Big Ninja Scoops (6-8 Tablespoons)
Full Carafe4-6 Big Scoops (8-12 Tablespoons)

If you don’t have a grinder but want to grind coffee beans, you can easily do it at home. Simply follow our guide to grinding coffee beans without a grinder and you will be glad to have saved a few bucks on a grinder!

What Other Brews Can I Make With A Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker?

With the Ninja specialty coffee maker, you can make multiple other drinks, such as classic brew, cold brew, café forte, and rich brew. The multiple brewing options are one of the many reasons people prefer buying this machine.

Classic Brew

The classic brew is just right for those of you who want a medium-strength, balanced coffee flavor. After selecting your serving size, select the ‘classic brew’ option on your Ninja specialty coffee maker to get a balanced, medium-strength coffee. This is the perfect brew for making a light café au lait.

Coffee grounds in a scoop.

Cold Brew

You can even make cold brew using your Ninja coffee maker. However, the cold brew option is not available on all Ninja coffee makers. If you do not have this feature on your machine, you can make a cold brew or cold coffee manually as well. We have published an amazing recipe for making iced coffee at home

Rich Brew

The rich brew option offers stronger coffee than the classic brew option. While the rich brew is not as strong as the specialty brew, it is more suitable for an early morning fix.

Main Brew Options Ranked By Strength
1stSpecialty Brew (Strongest)
2ndRich Brew (Moderate)
3rdClassic Brew (Light

If you are searching for a stronger brew option, head over to our guide on the strongest type of coffee and find out tips on making your coffee stronger.

General Precautions When Using Ninja Coffee Maker

Coffee machines often give users burns if they are careless while handling them. According to the American Burn Association, 72% of burns occur at home. Before you start making an espresso on your Ninja specialty coffee machine, read the precautions below so that you remain safe.

  1. Do not submerge the machine in water or any other liquid to avoid electrical shock. Keep the cables away from contact with water.
  2. Let the coffee machine cool completely before removing any components or cleaning it.
  3. To unplug from a power outlet, do not carry the appliance by the power cord or yank it. You should always grip the plug and pull it to disconnect it from the outlet.
  4.  A coffee machine does not work well with extension cables, so it is better to connect it to the main outlet.
  5. While the Ninja machine is running, do not remove the carafe. If any of these elements are removed while the machine is still brewing, you can get severe burns and scalds.
  6. Never put your hands on hot surfaces like the spout or milk frother. Only use the knobs or handles for using the machine.
  7. Do not put the carafe in a microwave.
  8. Clean the machine as well as the milk frother regularly. Find out coffee maker cleaning tips in our guide
  9. Do not drink directly from the carafe as it can be very hot.
A girl drinking espresso/coffee.

Does The Espresso From The Ninja Coffee Maker Taste Good?

Even though the espresso from Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker is not an authentic espresso, it still tastes great! Specialty coffee made using the specialty mode is almost as good as real espresso. Based on reviews, this high-strength coffee is very flavorful and can easily be substituted for authentic espresso. 


The Ninja Coffee maker may not give you actual espresso and espresso-based drinks, but it does give you a one-stop solution to making all your favorite drinks.  If you recently bought a Ninja coffee machine and are concerned because it doesn’t have an espresso option, don’t worry! The specialty brew option will give you the espresso kick you need. Just follow the easy recipe we provided, and you will be good to go. 

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