The cappuccino trend is on the rise in the US and with its growing popularity, it’s replacing the traditional espresso Americans used to prefer. From 2000 to 2005, the sales of cappuccino have increased by 11.4%.
There is something comforting about a cup of creamy and frothy cappuccino. Do you want to enjoy an indulgent morning without having to go to a cafe to get your foamy fix?
What makes a good cappuccino? How to choose a cappuccino maker that meets your frothy expectations? And what are the best cappuccino makers?
Today, we will debunk all of these questions. And more.
At a Glance: Best Cappuccino Maker
Quick Summary: Best Cappuccino Maker
|Nespresso Vertuo Coffee And Espresso Machine||Check on Amazon →|
|Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse Espresso Maker||Check on Amazon →|
|Breville BES840XL/A Infuser Espresso Machine||Check on Amazon →|
|Keurig K-Cafe Coffee Maker, Single-Serve K-Cup Pod||Check on Amazon →|
|De'Longhi ESAM3300 Super Automatic Espresso Machine||Check on Amazon →|
|Nespresso EN560B Lattissima Touch Original Espresso||Check on Amazon →|
|Breville The Barista Pro BES878 Automatic Espresso Machine||Check on Amazon →|
|Saeco HD8927/47 PicoBaristo Super Automatic Espresso Machine||Check on Amazon →|
What, EXACTLY, Is A Cappuccino?
One of the most popular coffee drinks in the Italian community, traditionally drunk with breakfast, cappuccino is simply espresso topped up with steamed milk and froth.
The process of making a cappuccino starts with a double shot of fresh espresso. Espresso brewing method utilizes high pressure to force hot water through finely-ground coffee beans, usually with an extraction time of 30 seconds. This results in a concentrated “shot” or a double shot of coffee with a signature crema on top.
To make a cappuccino, the 2-ounce espresso shot is topped up with 2 ounces of steamed milk and 2 ounces of milk froth. Sometimes, cappuccino is topped up with chocolate powder or cinnamon for another touch of indulgence.
The thick layer of milk froth on top is what makes cappuccino different from a latte, which mostly consists of steamed milk and just a touch of foam.
You’ve guessed it. Since the espresso and the milk are the most important aspects of cappuccino, this will be the most important parts of the cappuccino machine as well.
What are other important factors that you should keep in mind before choosing the best espresso maker for your needs?
Things To Consider Before Buying
There is a big range of cappuccino makers available and that’s why it’s important to choose the one that matches your current coffee-making skill level.
If you’re just starting to learn how to make coffee, an advanced machine won’t help you. It’s a good idea to take your time and progress with the machines as your skills progress at the same time.
Manual? Automatic? Or Semi-automatic?
The choice between these depends on your priorities. While manual, lever, machines are great because they let you control the whole process of brewing, if you know you’ll be mostly making cappuccinos with yours, they might not be the best idea.
Semi-automatic and automatic machines usually come equipped with everything you need to make a cappuccino. And while semi-automatic coffee machines still leave some parts of the process to you, the automatic ones try to do as much as they can and make the brewing the most convenient.
Capsules Or Ground Coffee?
While capsules and pods make the whole coffee-making process easy and mess-free, they’ll never be able to produce an espresso shot as good as when using freshly ground coffee. So the choice depends on whether you prioritize the espresso quality or convenience.
Another factor that’s going to play an important role when choosing your cappuccino maker is how much money you’re willing to spend on it. If you know you’re going to be using the machine every day for multiple cups for the whole family, it would be worth it to spend more. Compared to when you know that you’ll only use it once in a while, or that this won’t be your primary brewer.
Best Cappuccino Makers
Nespresso Vertuo Coffee And Espresso Machine With Aeroccino Milk Frother By Breville
This is one of the most convenient cappuccino makers that anyone will be able to master. The Nespresso Vertuo promises a cappuccino within the touch of a button while remaining fairly affordable.
The Nespresso uses capsules instead of ground coffee which makes the process seamless and easy. The machine only needs around 15-20 seconds of pre-heating time and the capsule is ejected automatically after brewing.
While coffee pods aren’t able to produce coffee as intense and flavourful as fresh beans are, the Nespresso has a patented extraction technology, “centrifusion”, which spins the capsule up to 7,000 rotations per minute, continually blending the ground coffee and water.
Additionally, Nespresso capsules are made in a way to lock in the freshness of the coffee and the extraction system can recognize each coffee blend and delivers the best-in-cup result, without the need to change the settings. And that’s not bad, is it?
This coffee machine also comes with Aeroccino that produces smooth and finely textured milk without any noise or vibration. And that’s whether you’re using cold or hot milk.
Mr. Coffee One-Touch Coffeehouse
Mr. Coffee One-Touch impresses with exceptional ease of use and automation provided with a 1-button interface. This cappuccino maker promises a full “coffeehouse” at a relatively affordable price.
This semi-automatic cappuccino machine lets you choose from an espresso, latte, or a cappuccino with a user-friendly interface. The 19-bar Italian pump provides optimal pressure for a rich espresso while the automatic milk frother turns your favorite milk into a light, frothy foam with ease.
The removable milk reservoir offers a capacity sufficient for 6 cappuccinos, suitable for making multiple coffees in a row.
Mr. Coffee is one of the best cappuccino makers when it comes to ease of use and affordability. The downside is that the espressos won’t be as good as the ones coming from some other higher-brand machines.
Breville the Barista Express BES870XL Cappuccino Maker
For those who are more serious about their morning brew, Breville the Barista Express is a great option that pays attention to details and has some premium features that elevate the coffee experience.
To ensure that the espresso will be the highest quality, the stainless steel water coil accurately controls the water temperature and the auto-purge function adjusts it after stream for the optimal espresso extraction and sweet and balanced taste.
The 15-bar Italian pump provides optimal pressure while the machine also utilizes gradual pressure that starts low to soak all the grinds first, which then allows the water to pass through evenly. This advanced process helps to create an irresistible creamy body of your shot.
The 360-degree swivel-action steam wand is perfect for making cappuccinos and an integrated conical burr grinder ensures coffee is ground to perfection. The additional volumetric control and manual override allow you to reprogram or preset the coffee to your preferences.
Keurig K-Cafe Single-Serve Cappuccino Maker
The Keurig K-Cafe Cappuccino maker will please with affordability, ease of use, and easy clean up too. The large 60-ounce water tank allows you to make multiple coffees in a row and since it is removable, the refill is easy.
It accommodates travel mugs up to 7.2″ tall, so you know any cup will fit. The frother is impressively capable and can make frothy milk for lattes, cappuccinos and can even handle making cold milk foamy. The dishwasher-safe top rack makes the clean up easier and the auto-off feature turns will turn the machine off after two hours of no-use.
This machine uses k-cup pods, which make the brewing process easy, but these are not technically espressos since the machine doesn’t use pressure. These espresso-style 2-ounce shots are just as strong but just beware there is no satisfying crema on top.
DeLonghi ESAM3300 Cappuccino Maker
This DeLonghi cappuccino maker pays attention to details. The integrated burr grinder and the patented ‘direct-to-brew’ system guarantees a freshly ground coffee just before the brewing. There are 13 adjustable setting grinds to make sure that it satisfies everyone’s preferences. Additionally, there is also a second chamber that can bypass the grinder and lets you use pre-ground coffee. Perfect for when you want a cup of decaf in the evening.
The manual frother makes rich, creamy froth for a perfect cappuccino, and whether you like it strong or you prefer your cup a little more mellow, the machine lets you program in your preferences with espresso strength and size. The integrated system maintains the optimal temperature for brewing multiple cups in a row.
The DeLonghi is user-friendly and easy to clean too, claiming half the clean-up time compared to its competitors. This, combined with a consistent brewing performance making rich and flavorful espressos and perfect froth, make it one of the best choices for your cappuccino maker.
Nespresso Lattissima Cappuccino Maker
Moving back to the capsule-territory, the popular Nespresso Lattissima provides one-touch convenience for your desired morning cappuccino. With 6 one-touch preprogrammed recipes make this cappuccino maker easy to use, and you can have a perfect creamy latte, a latte macchiato, or a cappuccino within seconds.
The quick start-up is possible thanks to the “Dual Thermoblock” heating system that reduces the cold-start heating time to seconds. The ideal flow of water combines with 19-bar pressure gets your coffee ready in less than 40 seconds. That’s pretty rapid.
The capsule cappuccino machine is not going to be as flavorful but if the speed and the convenience is a bigger priority for you, this easy to clean machine does the trick. And for those concerned with sustainability, you’ll be glad to know that Nespresso capsules are recyclable and the machine features a 3-hour automatic shut off.
The milk frother is designed by DeLonghi, so the foamed milk is creamy and delicious. This cappuccino maker is made in Italy, so you can count on the Italian craftsmanship and design that will compliment your kitchen.
Breville the Barista Pro BES878
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Remember how we said earlier that you should consider your skill level when choosing your cappuccino machine? Well, if you consider yourself a “barista pro“, this Breville machine promises a full coffeehouse experience at your home and is one of the best cappuccino makers from our list.
The built-in pressure-activated conical burr grinder provides perfectly fresh coffee grounds and the advanced settings let you adjust the water temperature and the shot amount. The intuitive LCD interface guides you through every step of the process and the machine is still simple to operate. The accessories that come with it include a milk jug, a magnetic tamper, and a trimming tool.
We know that the cappuccino is your priority, and the steam wand in this one is excellent. It only takes seconds to heat up and makes flavorful microfoam which is good enough even for latte art. And it promises a three-second heat-up, perfect for those who don’t like waiting for their morning coffee fix.
Saeco HD8927/47 Picobaristo Super-Automatic Espresso Machine
Our last pick is made for the serious cappuccino drinkers looking for a high-end machine that has a lot of advanced features. If you like having a lot of choices, you’ll be pleased to hear that it comes with 15 drink selections from the usual cappuccino, or flat white to more specific ones like ristretto or baby cappuccinos.
And if that’s not enough, the machine also has 6 user profiles allowing you to save your personal preferences. And the touchscreen makes it convenient and easy to use.
The durable ceramic grinders are there to ensure a full-flavored espresso that stands the test of time. Further, with an advanced patented a Qu a clean water filter, the need to descale the machine is eliminated up to 5,000 cups. The clean up is boosted by the “hygiesteam” function that cleans the whole milk circuit with steam and dishwasher-safe parts.
This super-automatic espresso machine is efficient, saves your personal preferences, and gives you a lot of options for brewing. It is big and very expensive but it’s perfect for those who want to go big.
What Makes a Good Coffee?
While you can do your best to pick the best cappuccino maker, it will still not guarantee to make the perfect cup of cappuccino. As many coffee enthusiasts will know, many elements contribute to a good coffee.
In terms of equipment, a good leveler, a tamper, a stainless steel frothing pitcher and a frother that can turn the milk into creamy goodness, are some of the essential parts. Other details contributing to a perfect cup are brewing temperature, pressure, and extraction time.
How Do I Make a Cappuccino Without a Machine?
You can make a cappuccino without a cappuccino machine, but it is not going to be the same. If you don’t have an espresso maker, you can brew your coffee in a Moka Pot or Aeropress and then froth the milk separately.
There are multiple ways of how you can steam the milk without a steam wand. Some of them are more effective than others. These include using a French Press, microwave, handheld frother, or stovetop. However, if you’re a regular cappuccino drinker, it is a good idea to invest in a cappuccino machine.
Can a Cappuccino Machine Make Regular Coffee?
No. You can’t make a regular cup of coffee with cappuccino or espresso machines. Some dual-purpose cappuccino makers can make both espresso and coffee but since espresso is made by forcing pressure through the finely ground coffee, the resulting taste is different than when utilizing gravity and making drip coffee.
If you like the taste of black drip coffee, however, you can make a long black with your espresso machine, which will probably be your best bet.
Cappuccinos are some of the most popular coffee beverages out there and the good news is that you don’t have to venture to a cafe to enjoy this indulgent experience.
Our list of cappuccino makers is varied to suit your preferences, budget, and coffee making skills. Easy to use, and very affordable one is the Nespresso Latissima, the mid-range one that is still fairly affordable is the DeLonghi ESAM3300 and the high-end advanced one that brings the coffeehouse to your home and will make the best cappuccino is Breville the Barista Pro. Which one would you choose?
At the same time, the best cappuccino does not only depend on buying the best cappuccino maker. Other important aspects influencing the taste are the type of coffee that you use, the grind, the steam wand, the extraction time, and the freshness of the beans.
Whether you’re drinking coffee or a cappuccino, make sure you