Even if you’re buying your first cappuccino machine and don’t know a thing about the semi-automatic machines professional baristas are using, you’ll be an expert (or at least coffee-educated enough to talk with your coffee-expert friends) on how to buy the best cappuccino maker in about 10 minutes.
But let’s first talk about how much we actually spend on coffee at regular cafés. After all, it is no secret that making your own cappuccino at home can save you a ton of money, even with some of the best cheap cappuccino makers.
Depending on how often you make trips down to your local coffee house for one of these frothy pick-me-ups, we could be talking about $100s per year (newsflash, even an expert cappuccino maker usually pays for itself within a year).
An average cost of a cup of cappuccino is around $3.50 (and to be perfectly honest, in many areas of the country that’s probably a very low estimate). Some people drink up to 3 cups per day, but let’s say you only have one per day.
The coffee check at the end of the year? $1277. Just for a single morning cappuccino.
Financially speaking, making cappuccino at home is a great idea, even if you buy the expensive Breville BES870XL. With a home cappuccino machine, you can make a cup of delicious cappuccino (or espresso) for less than 50 cents. That can net you more than $1000 of savings each year.
Once you have your own make-me-a-cappuccino maker like for example DeLonghi EC155, you’ll be able to make every cup of cappuccino to your exact preferences. No more giving instructions to a barista which may or may not be followed, no more waiting in line, no more “hoping they do it right this time”.
Best Cappuccino Maker – How To Pick The Right One?
Having your own cappuccino maker is economical, convenient, and very easy to set up.
Over the course of the best cappuccino maker buying guide we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about the different kinds of cappuccino makers, what to look out for when purchasing one, and even making a few suggestions for which makes and models you might want to consider as the newest addition to your kitchen.
Of course, have in mind that cappuccino makers need love and attention. If you’re looking to make coffee the easiest way, you should look into single-serve coffee makers. Nespresso Vertuoline is the perfect example of a simple coffee maker that makes the best coffee.
Let’s get started.
“I Have A Coffee Maker, Why Would I Need Cappuccino Maker?”
We get a lot of these kinds of questions about cappuccino machines:
“But I already have a coffee maker,” you might be saying. “I don’t need another device in my kitchen—and I don’t want to have to learn how to make a new kind of drink. When I want a cappuccino I’ll just have someone else do it for me.”
Of course, if you prefer regular coffee over a cappuccino, this is a smart way of thinking. But if you like starting your morning with something more than a standard cup of coffee, having a simple cappuccino maker like Nespresso Inissia on your kitchen counter is the way to do it.
It’s also outrageously cheaper to make your own cappuccino at home—many extremely high-end units will pay for themselves in a year or less.
Not only that, but you’ll be able to make the cappuccino to the way YOU like it. How many times have you picked up a cappuccino (or even a regular cup of coffee) while you’re out and realized that it just didn’t taste quite right?
If it’s been a while since you last owned a cappuccino maker, you’ll be pretty surprised to find out just how advanced these machines have become. The Keurig K575 coffee maker is a perfect example of that.
If you think that has anything to do with grinding the coffee beans, you are wrong. The best way to grind beans is manually – like a real men. Be sure to get yourself one of the manual coffee grinders. If you need some tips you should check out the Top5er article on the best hand crank coffee grinders (one of them is an art piece).
Making a great cappuccino is nearly as simple as making a regular cup of coffee—you won’t be spending your precious morning time fiddling with a difficult machine.
With super-automatic cappuccino makers, you’ll find that all you have to do is add your coffee choices and flick a switch.
“Anybody up for a regular coffee or cappuccino?”
You can be certain that most people will prefer cappuccino. Even you would, right?
In short, having the best cappuccino maker it a shortcut to an elegant way to wake up in the morning. Of course that doesn’t mean you can’t have a cappuccino in the afternoon as well – drinking coffee does have health benefits as well.
What Are The Different Types Of Cappuccino Makers?
Generally speaking, there are three primary different types of cappuccino maker. These are:
- Pump Machines.
- Steam Machines.
- Pod Machines.
It’s difficult to say which type makes a cappuccino maker the best cappuccino maker because it depends on, well, you.
If you prefer simple-and-easy, pod machines are the easiest to make a cappuccino with. If you like a hands-on approach and want to experiment with coffee beans, temperature, and pressure, semi-automatic pump machines are the right cappuccino maker pick.
Pump Cappuccino Machines
These kinds of cappuccino makers are generally considered the most powerful of the bunch. Pump machines operate by raising the temperature of the water in the machine up to a certain very hot point, usually around 190 degrees Fahrenheit (for our European coffee lovers, that’s about 90 degrees Celsius).
Once the water’s reached a hot enough temperature, it’s quite literally shot through your coffee grounds at about 15 bars of pressure. This high-powered “pumping” through the coffee grounds doesn’t take long—typically half a minute or so—but it’s what gives your cappuccino that nice “frothy” texture.
Steam Cappuccino Machines
Steam Machines. These are the most common kinds of cappuccino makers. Odds are even your local coffee house uses a steam cappuccino maker. Steam-powered cappuccino makers use the same underlying principles to make a cup of cappuccino as pump machines, except on average they tend to be less powerful – you don’t have the advantage of 15 bars of pressure shooting hot water through finely grounded coffee beans.
This means that making your cappuccino can takes longer. However, it’s worth noting that steam machines can (at least in some cases, but certainly not all) a little more affordable than pump machines.
Pod Cappuccino Machines
If you find yourself in a hurry most mornings, pod cappuccino makers might be an excellent choice for you. While they don’t offer the speed and consistency of pump or steam cappuccino makers, you’ll find that they’re perhaps the easiest kind of machine to use. The classic pod coffee maker able to make a cappuccino is the Keurig K55.
They work just as you might imagine—you add a previously purchased “pod” of coffee plus a little water and the machine takes care of the rest.
Cappuccino makers with pods (or capsules) work just as you might imagine—you add which pod of coffee you’re using plus a little water and the machine takes care of the rest. Some machines like Nespresso Vertuoline have an in-built pod reader that just reads the pod barcode in a second.
While this is very easy, as you won’t have to grind or store coffee on your own and cleanup is an absolute breeze, be aware that in most cases cappuccino pod machines—while still capable of making a great cup of cappuccino—won’t provide you with quite the same quality as a pump or steam machine.
Important Features To Check When Buying A Cappuccino Maker
Now that you know what different kinds of cappuccino machines are available, it’s important to start thinking about your typical usage scenario.
In short, good coffee is important (hey, some people even use as the best way to THC detox). Everyone’s morning starts off a little differently, and everyone has different tastes as far as cappuccino is concerned.
If you take the following few concepts into consideration while deciding which cappuccino maker to buy, you’ll have a really good chance of making a perfect cappuccino every time. Let’s look at the most important things you should be thinking about while buying the best cappuccino maker for you:
Here are the most important things to check with every cappuccino maker:
Fancy Features – Cappuccino+, Automatic Timer And Self-Cleaning Program
The features present on cappuccino makers can range from very simple to extremely complex—odds are, the best choice will be to find a good middle ground between features that you’ll actually use and affordability.
High-end cappuccino makers are generally capable of making both cappuccino and other kinds of coffee-based drinks, including regular coffee—this might be a factor you want to consider if you’re looking consolidate kitchen space. Some models offer an espresso maker without and with the ability to make a cappuccino – even the smaller ones like the petite Nespresso Inissia coffee maker.
Automatic Timer – ‘Make Me Cappuccino At 6 AM’
Have you ever been woken by a cappuccino machine?
If you want your machine to be capable of automatically brewing cappuccino at a time which you previously designated (e.g., the night before), this is another feature you may want to look out for. Be aware that budget machines like Mr. Coffee ECM160 don’t have that functionality.
Finally, it’ll be smart to think about whether or not the cappuccino maker is capable of self-cleaning.
In most situations, cappuccino makers aren’t terribly difficult to clean manually, but a self-cleaning cappuccino maker can make your upkeep of the machine much simpler. Naturally, cappuccino machines are more difficult to clean than simple coffee makers like Keurig K15, because of coffee grinding and extraction.
Typically, two or three times a year you’ll just have to run a cleaning solution through the machine, which will prevent calcification and get some of the “goo” out of the nooks and crannies. Very handy feature, especially for people who psyched about cleaning the cappuccino maker.
Speed – How Fast Can Cappucino Machine Make Cappuccino?
The speed at which your machine can prepare a cup of cappuccino is a worthwhile consideration based on your lifestyle and the rapidity with which you generally need to begin your mornings.
It’s important to note that the speed of the cappuccino machine itself isn’t necessarily the only factor which affects the speed at which your cappuccino will be prepared—you also have to take into account what kind of other chores you’ll need to conduct.
For example, will you be grinding fresh coffee beans yourself? How often will the machine need to be cleaned, and would you prefer an automatic cleaning machine, or do you not mind doing it yourself?
All these things can add up the time. Fortunately, with a fast pump machine and an automatic timer, you can make a cappuccino on time every time.
Aesthetics – ‘All Cappuccino Makers Are Beautiful But Some Are More Beautiful Than Others’
While the look of your cappuccino maker shouldn’t be the final deciding making factor but of course it’s important how the kitchen counter cappuccino maker looks like.
Particularly if you like to maintain a neat, uniform look throughout your kitchen, you can check which machine for cappuccino suits your kitchen the best. Many cappuccino makers come in different colors, such as black or red or stainless steel. If possible, find one that compliments your kitchen design.
However, if you’ve found a cappuccino maker that you’ve absolutely fallen in love with but it happens to look a little funky, get it anyway. There’s nothing wrong with a little kitchen eccentricity.
Price – How Much Does A Cappuccino Maker Cost?
As we discussed at the very beginning of this piece, making cappuccino at home is always going to be substantially cheaper than buying it at your local coffee house.
In general, the prices of cappuccino makers fall into 3 price-ranges:
- Low-end cappuccino makers: $50-$150 (the cheapest one is Capresso machine at $60 or so)
- Middle-end machines: $150-$300
- High-end cappuccino (and espresso) makers: $300-$1000
The price of the machine you purchase should match its feature set – something like the automatic timer or cappuccino maker self-cleaning system, and you may wish to base your decision upon how often you’ll be using your cappuccino maker.
If you think you’ll be using it more than two or three times a week, or perhaps every day, it’ll be smarter to pay a little more.
As we’ve calculated in the beginning, a cup of cappuccino a day in coffeehouse will cost you $1000 per year.
However, if you think you’ll only use your cappuccino maker somewhat infrequently—say, weekends or on special occasions—you can look at more budget-priced models.
Best Cappuccino Maker Reviews (Our Best Picks)
Below we’ll discuss a few of the most popular cappuccino makers on the market.
These machines vary in price and feature sets, which should allow you to pick the best one for your unique usage scenario. Remember the suggestions that we’ve discussed above and pick the cappuccino machine that appeals to you the most.
Here are the editorial picks for the 5 Best Cappuccino Makers:
Breville BES870XL Barista Express Review – Best Overall Cappuccino Maker
Appearance: Stainless steel finish, also available in red or black
Control Type: Pump
- Very high end pump—up to 15 bars.
- Capable of automatically adjusting water temperature for optimal heat.
- Easy cleaning with removable water thank.
- Includes burr grinder, which is stainless steel and seals nicely.
- Mid-sized unit at approximately 13 by 12 by 16 inches.
This espresso and cappuccino maker from Breville has a lot of features—as it should with this price tag. However, you’ll find that this unit falls perfectly into our predicted “pays for itself within a year” estimation, so if you like cappuccino, espresso, or regular coffee, it’s an economical choice. You’ll be able to prepare it to make your beverages automatically, it can clean itself automatically, and it can even grind coffee beans for you. For a total full-service machine, Breville has manufactured an excellent and reasonably priced model.
Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup Steam Espresso Machine, Black
Control Type: Steam
- Steam powered.
- Capable of making a variety of coffee-based beverages, including regular coffee, lattes, espresso, and of course, cappuccino.
- Carafe has a unique handle which makes pouring and serving easy and safe. The carafe is large enough to contain up to 4 shots of espresso.
- Easy to clean thanks to the removable drip tray. Your brewing area will always be clean since this tray can be removed and safely washed.
- Frothing arm accessory capable of making delicious, creamy froth for your beverages
This number-one bestselling steam machine is a really fantastic price for the budget-minded who still want to be able to make an excellent cup of cappuccino. You’ll not only be able to make great cappuccino with this unit, but a bevy of other drinks as well—for the caffeine connoisseur looking for as many options as possible, this is a great pick regardless of its extremely affordable price point.
De’Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
Appearance: Black and steel finish
Control Type: Pump
- Capable of making two kinds of coffee beverage: cappuccino and espresso.
- This unit can make your beverages using either a filter or you can choose to use pods.
- The filter holder uses De’Longhi’s patented “dual function” filter holder to make this possible
- Unit can be programmed to automatically prime to reduce the time spent making your beverages
- Easy cleaning. This unit has a removable water tank and a removable drip tray—the easy disassemble process makes doing so quick and simple.
- Cup warmer. Need we say more?
De’Longhi has outdone themselves with this model—you’ll be hard pressed to find a better feature set at this price point. The price vs. performance of this model is heightened further by the fact that you’re not locked into one brewing style or another: the EC155 allows you to choose between using coffee grounds or coffee pods. When you have the time to prepare your beverage using grounds, you can do that. But if you’re in a hurry, you can use pods. You’ll also deeply appreciate the cup warming function, and cleaning this unit is very simple. Unlike many other models, the water tank itself can be removed and cleaned separately, which is a nice touch.
Appearance: Black and steel finish, also available in red or white
Control Type: Steam
- Simple control panel makes selecting the style of beverage you want to make simple and quick.
- As with most units of this kind, has a frothing arm—except the one on this model is particularly easy to use and clean.
- The cup tray can be adjusted to match the size of your cup or mug.
- Removable and washable drip tray.
- Comes with filters for both single and double espresso shots as well as a scoop, tamper, and recipe book
This cappuccino maker is a great pick for anyone looking for a high end option without having to spend a ton. At such price, this unit can provide you with excellent performance and multiple coffee-based beverage options. It makes a great cappuccino, which if you’re reading this is likely the most important consideration to you—however you’ll also find that it can make really strong, quite delicious espresso. The cleaning process is simple and it’s easy to operate the unit.
Appearance: Stainless steel
Control Type: Steam
- Small form factor makes this unit easy to use and store.
- Capable of brewing full flavored beverages thanks to the time-release “aroma button” feature.
- Energy saving switch for the environmentally conscious—capable of saving up to 77% of the normal energy required for these kinds of units.
- Built in water filtration system—meaning you can fill it right from the tap without a noticeable decline in quality of beverage.
- Responsive customer service with De’Longhi’s call center.
This is one of the most high end cappuccino makers you can buy, but De’Longhi has earned a reputation among coffee enthusiasts for a good reason: their units are excellent. This unit is no exception. If you want to be able to have an automatic, programmable unit with a slew of other useful features, this is a great pick as long as it’s within your budget. The built in water filtration system is perhaps the best part of this device, since it can make your coffee and cappuccino taste as close to perfect as possible.