Know How To Choose The Best Cappuccino Maker Of 2018? Your Top 5 Options
Many coffee lovers believe that the only way to get a great cappuccino is to go to a cafe. I used to believe this, too.
I’ve discovered that there is high-quality, at-home equipment that can make your cappuccino at home. The best cappuccino maker will have automation, reliable milk steaming, and quality espresso pressing capabilities.
**Below, you'll find more detailed reriews, but you can click links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.
Can You Really Make A Cappuccino At Home?
As I mentioned, coffee lovers like me are naturally skeptical about whether or not a good cappuccino can be made at home. Lack-luster products are often pushed as the perfect cappuccino maker, but you end up being disappointed by a frothy, cappuccino failure.
Because a cappuccino is more than just good espresso. A good cappuccino relies on both espresso and properly frothed milk, and that takes skill and time to achieve even in a cafe setting.
When you’re choosing cappuccino equipment, you need to be smart about what features you need to make a good cappuccino and what is worth investing in.
How To Choose Your Cappuccino Maker?
There are three things you should look for when considering at-home cappuccino equipment: the equipment’s automation capabilities, milk steaming feature, and espresso feature.
By choosing the right options for these three features, you’ll get the most value and the most delicious homemade cappuccinos!
1- Automation Capabilities
The first thing to look at on home brewing equipment is whether or not there are automatic settings.
As much as we’d all love to be skilled baristas, it takes time and money to learn how to perfectly press espresso, pull a shot, steam the milk, and pour the cappuccino.
If you’re like me, you might want to get a cappuccino maker that can do some of the work automatically for you. Some machines will make the entire cappuccinos. Some will automatically pull your espresso. Others will steam the milk.
Depending on your personal preferences, you can choose which of these steps that go into making a great cappuccino you’d prefer to have automated.
Automation is not the enemy when investing in an at-home cappuccino maker. In fact, automation is kind of a blessing!
2- Reliable Milk Steaming
The next thing I recommend you consider while choosing the best cappuccino maker is how the milk is prepared.
For a perfect cappuccino, milk needs to be steamed at the right speed and temperature as it becomes foam. Velvet-like foam is key for cappuccinos, and that’s why you need to consider how the equipment will steam the milk.
When you’re steaming your milk, you will want it to have tiny bubbles, not large bubbles, because this gives the creamy cappuccino you know and love.
Some people use handheld or stand-alone milk frothers to make a cappuccino-like beverage at home, but we’ve all seen how disappointing this foam can be. There are ways to compensate and make these handheld devices work, but the learning curve is steep.
Instead, you’ll possibly want to get a machine that has a frothing wand. The best choice is a turbo frother that will allow you to adjust the temperature and speed that your milk is turned into foam, but this is not a requirement. You still have to learn how to use this, but the results will be much more rewarding.
There’s plenty of videos out there that will show you how to use your frother, even if it’s very basic:
If you don’t want to deal with hand frothing your milk, you can also get a machine that automatically froths your milk for you. This milk will not end up creamy as it might when frothed by hand by an experienced barista, but it will still be delicious and easy to create.
Also, make sure that the milk frothing feature that your cappuccino maker uses will not wear out quickly. I have seen many cappuccino makers that feature flimsy frothers that are sure to break, and this will cause you to need to invest in another machine or in getting it fixed.
3- Makes Good Espresso
This last feature might seem obvious, but I have to reiterate that you need good espresso to make a good cappuccino. Just as you need foam, you need espresso.
There are two main types of espresso machines:
If you love to work with your own espresso or are prepared to invest time into learning how to do so correctly, you can choose a semi-automatic espresso machine that you hand press and hand pull your espresso with help from an automatic pump inside.
But that’s not practical for many at-home baristas who would prefer to have this process automated. Super automated options can usually be adjusted for various grind settings, shot types, and more, which is great for customizing the cappuccinos that you’ll make, and they’ll do the work for you.
There are also pod espresso machines that brew the espresso from capsules. These are incredibly convenient, but remember that you’ll have to brew from the pods, so you’ll have to buy those regularly.
Depending on your personal preferences, choose the machine that allows you to make espresso how you like it.
The 5 Best Cappuccino Maker
1. De'Longhi America EN750MB Nespresso Lattissima Pro Machine
The first machine I want to talk about is the De'Longhi America EN750MB Nespresso Lattissima Pro Machine. This machine is great for me because I don’t want to have to do a lot every morning to get a cappuccino ready. With this machine, I can pop in a pod and some milk, and still get a velvety smooth cappuccino in minutes.
- Uses pod capsules, which is very easy and convenient to make your espresso
- Includes 6 different pre-programmed drinks, including cappuccinos
- Easy to use touch screen to program your drink preferences
- Can heat water and milk independently from making an espresso drink
- Can adjust volume to make your drink stronger (less milk) or larger (more milk)
- Removable milk carafe can be refrigerated between uses, leading to less waste and set-up frustration
- Milk carafe has auto-cleaning feature so that it doesn’t need to be cleaned after every use
- Foam settings can be easily adjusted to make the foam as you like it for your cappuccinos
- Stainless steel outer casing is durable and will last a long time
- Completely automatic - you will not get a “be the barista” experience
- Limited choices of coffee
- Pods contain less espresso than what would typically be used to create your drink in a cafe, which results in a weaker flavor.
- Descaling (a type of deep cleaning) must be done occasionally and requires additional cleaning equipment
- Limit to how hot the milk will get with this machine - max is around 120 degrees
- Automatic milk frothing makes the milk foamy, but it isn’t velvet smooth
2. Saeco Philips Intelia Deluxe Espresso Machine
If you’re not into using pod capsules of coffee, but still want a highly automated machine, this is a great choice. It grinds the beans, packs the pod, and pulls a perfect cappuccino. You can get this all done quickly, and you have the option to choose what kind of beans, drink, and milk you’d like to make a tasty, custom drink.
- Ceramic grinder gives perfect grinds every time; doesn’t wear down quickly
- Highly customizable in nearly every part of the process
- Adjustable espresso pull time and temperature
- Can use both beans or pre-ground coffee
- Quick heat carafe makes frothy milk rapidly
- Removable milk carafe that can be refrigerated separately when not making a milk-inclusive drink
- Fully automatic machine does the work; grinds beans, tampers espresso, and pulls shots according to your specifications
- Cleaning and descaling instructions are included; parts are more simple to take apart than other cappuccino makers
- Machine gives clear alerts about parts that need to be cleaned, filled, replaced, or other maintenance
- One of the more expensive machines
- High-learning curve to make the most of the machine, but included manual will walk you through how to use the machine
- Weekly cleaning requirement; not difficult, but if you don’t to have to do that much maintenance, this isn’t the machine for you
- Pre-programmed drinks are limited to espresso and cappuccinos; do not have as many pre-programmed options as some other machines
- Bean hopper is not removable, so you cannot easily switch coffee types
- Does not have a steamer wand; only has the included milk carafe which froths milk automatically
3. Breville BES870BSXL The Barista Express Coffee Machine
For coffee fans who want to get more involved in learning how to make their drinks, this all-in-one barista machine is a great choice. The machine does the grinding, but you get to press the pod, pull the shot, and steam your own milk to make the a frothy cappuccino just how you like it. You’ll be able to learn the tricks of the trade like a real barista.
- Offers an all-in-one barista experience; you tamper the espresso and set up the pull yourself
- Adjustable grind size and amounts
- Has a steel conical burr which gives consistent, even grinds to the beans
- Removable 2L water tank holds a large amount of water and is easy to refill
- Has a cradle for the portafilter for easier grinding and filling
- Pressure gauge shows you the pressure output, up to 15 bars
- Rotating steam wand for perfect milk frothing, as you would like to do it
- Includes a tamper and stainless steel pitcher, so you can start practicing right away
- Alert lights let you know when to clean the machine and when to empty the drip tray
- Too expensive for some coffee lovers. Semi-automated; the machine grinds your beans and controls the pump, but you tamper the espresso and froth the milk yourself. If you don’t want to have to practice being a barista, this isn’t the machine for you
- Some parts of the machine are plastic, which puts them at risk of breaking
- Filters for the water tank can get expensive
4. Ninja Coffee Bar Glass Carafe System
This Ninja Coffee Maker is a great, versatile choice for those who want easy brewing options that aren’t limited to pods and hot drinks. The Ninja brewer makes your coffee brewing life easy. You can make any sized cup of coffee, from small to a full carafe.
The built-in frother will help you make hot or cold cappuccinos. This fun, easy-to-use machine is perfect for coffee lovers who don’t want to deal with the learning curve of more complex machines.
- Pod-free; no more overpriced pods!
- Can make single servings or full carafes of coffee
- Customizable machine can be used with carafes, hot drinks, cold drinks, and more by simply changing the arrangement of the machine
- 6 custom brew sizes include: Cup, XL Cup, Travel, XL Multi-Serve, Half Carafe, Full Carafe
- 5 custom brews include: Classic, Rich, Over-Ice, Specialty, Cafe Forte
- Has a built-in hot or cold milk frother so that you can froth your milk directly in your cup, no matter what temperature you want your coffee!
- Cannot use pods with this machine
- Outside of machine is made of plastic; can break over time
- Does not grind coffee; you need ground coffee or a separate grinder
- Frother must be detached and washed after every use
- Does not heat milk for your cappuccino, you need to heat it separately and then froth it with the built-in frother
5. DeLonghi America ECAM28465B Prima Donna Espresso Machine
Speaking honestly, the Prima Donna is the ultimate automatic barista machine. It’s such a beautiful machine that it has to be considered, even though it is expensive. With the touch of a button a bit of customization, you’ll be the smoothest cappuccino you can imagine at home. Your friends and family will be wondering if you ran to the local cafe to pick up a drink! Trust me; it’s a sleek, smart option for an at-home cappuccino maker.
- 2L removable tank for easy refilling and cleaning
- Easy-to-clean and understand
- Automated barista experience: it will pack and pull your espresso perfectly based on the settings you input
- Steams and froths velvety milk perfectly for your cappuccinos, and does it automatically with the press of a button
- Espresso is pulled cleanly without any grounds of bitterness
- Espresso can be pulled dark or light, depending on your preferences
- Very customizable: can adjust every aspect of the drink making process on a simple touch screen
- Incredibly durable; will last for many years with proper maintenance
- Can program your choices and it will remember them for later; no need to program it every single day
- Milk carafe can be refrigerated between uses
- Very expensive
- Completely automated; you simply push a button, so you won’t get the “barista experience” that you may want
- Must be cleaned and maintained properly; water filters need to be changed
When you want to get the best cappuccino maker, the number one thing you should care about is your personal preferences on automation style and design because the machine should make you happy. After all, it’ll be making your coffee every morning!
Still, one of these machines stands out above the rest in terms of quality and value. The DeLonghi America Nespresso Lattissima Pro strikes the perfect balance of quality and affordability. It has a lot of great features like super-automation, a built-in milk carafe, customization capabilities, and easy-to-use functionality. If you want to be able to learn to make tasty cappuccinos at home quickly and successfully, this machine might be the one for you.
No matter which machine appeals to you most, know that you’ll be able to make velvety lattes at home with ease. Every machine has a learning curve, but you’ll be an at-home barista serving up coffee for you and your friends in no time with the right machine.
Now that you’ve found the perfect cappuccino maker for your home, make sure to like, share, and comment so that your friends can find theirs, too!