Ninja’s Specialty Brew vs. Espresso – Are They Similar?

Ninja DualBrew PRO

Ninja’s DualBrew coffee maker has become increasingly popular for its versatility. It will make you any type of coffee drink, using ground coffee or K-Cups, in multiple of cup sizes.

The DualBrew Pro comes packed with features, such as:

  • Hot water on demand with an independent dispenser and temperature settings
  • Built-in frother

One of the features that users love about this coffee maker is the ‘Specialty’ feature, which is what you’d pick if you wanted to make specialty coffee drinks such as a latte or a cappuccino.

Does the DualBrew Pro Make Espresso?

Can Ninja Coffee Maker Make Espresso

As we all know, espresso is the base of all specialty coffee drinks. So that begs the question, does the DualBrew Pro (or DualBrew) make espresso?

The simple answer is no, it does not. But here’s how the ‘Specialty’ works in a DualBrew:

To make a latte, for example, traditionally you’ll want a shot or two of espresso and frothed milk. In the DualBrew, you’ll select brew style ‘Specialty’ to make a concentrated amount of coffee that will mimic the espresso. This is a 4 oz serving size that is super strong and will mix nicely with milk.

Then, using the built-in frother, you’ll want to froth hot or cold milk (depending on what you want hot latte or iced latte). Note that DualBrew’s frother is just a whisk that creates froth, unlike electric milk frothers, it does not heat milk too.

The Difference Between Specialty Brew and Espresso

Ninja Specialty Brew

Ninja’s Specialty brew style was created to replace espresso. As a coffee maker, it would not be possible for it to make an authentic shot of espresso.

Espresso is a 1.35 oz shot of concentrated coffee made from finely ground coffee that is pressurized. It requires a high pressure pump to strongly force the water through it and extract the coffee. As opposed to traditional drip coffee, where the water drips through medium grounds without the need for pressure.

Ninja Specialty BrewEspresso
Volume4 oz1.35 oz
MethodDripHigh Pressure

Will They Taste The Same?

If you’re going to taste each brew on its own, there’s a huge difference between the two brews. However, when mixed with milk, many people won’t notice the difference.

How To Use Specialty Brew Selection

When selecting the Specialty Brew on the Ninja DualBrew, it will automatically adjust the brew size to 4 oz.

If you’re brewing for an iced blended drink, it is recommended by Ninja that you first place the ice in your cup before brewing, then brew over ice.

How Much Coffee Ground Should You Use for Specialty Brew?

It’s recommended by Ninja that you use 2 big scoops if using the included Smart Scoop or 4 table spoons. And always use level scoops when measuring.

What Coffee Beans Should You Use for Specialty Brew?

If you’re wondering if you should be using ground espresso to make the Specialty Brew, the answer is no. It is not necessary.

It is actually important that you DO NOT use finely ground coffee in a drip coffee maker, it will make it very difficult for the machine to brew. So keep using the same medium ground coffee for all brew styles.

If you want a stronger tasting coffee, even though Specialty Brew is designed to do just that no matter what type of beans you use, go for an Espresso roast bean. This type of roast or blend usually means it’s the darkest roast available so it should taste the strongest.

Should You Buy an Espresso Machine or a Ninja DualBrew?

If you’re still contemplating a purchase, and wondering if you should go for the DualBrew or an Espresso machine, it depends:

If you mostly drink specialty coffee drinks: lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos… you name it. You’ll want an espresso machine for sure. Not necessarily an expensive or big one, those can be intimidating for a beginner. Even a single-serve espresso maker will do.

But, if you enjoy a variety of coffee drinks, including a full pot of coffee or K-Cup pods (which can extend to non-coffee drinks too like hot chocolate, tea or other beverages), you’ll love the versatility of the Ninja DualBrew.

In Conclusion

To conclude this post, you now know that Ninja’s DualBrew (or any Ninja Coffee Maker) can’t make a real shot of Espresso. Instead, they use their Specialty Brew style, which was designed to replace the espresso in any milk based drink.