- Quick Glance: Our Top Pick for the Best Cappuccino Maker
- Breville BES870XL Barista Express
- The 6 Best Cappuccino Makers of 2021
- Things to Consider When Selecting the Best Cappuccino Machine
- Cappuccino Machine FAQs
- Final Word
Everyone loves a frothy cappuccino because it’s a work of art and tastes like heaven.
Buying from a coffee shop will get you a delicious cup but it is costly and inconvenient. But with the best cappuccino maker, you can brew a barista quality cappuccino right from your kitchen.
With all the options out there, you might be wondering, how do I pick the best cappuccino maker?
Well, don’t embark on an endless search. We already did the hard work for you.
Here’s our top pick cappuccino maker and below that, you’ll find detailed reviews of other machines worth considering plus a buying guide.
Ready, set, let’s go.
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Quick Glance: Our Top Pick for the Best Cappuccino Maker
Breville BES870XL Barista Express
- Has an integrated conical grinder to ensure you only brew freshly ground coffee
- Optimal espresso extraction due to the digital temperature control
- Optimal water pressure to draw out all flavors to your cup
- Attached steam wand for frothing milk
- Grind size dial gives you full control over the grind size
- 70oz removable water tank
- 8oz hopper capacity
The 6 Best Cappuccino Makers of 2021
Let’s now delve into a detailed review of our top pick along with the other best cappuccino makers you may just be looking for.
Breville BES870XL Barista Express
De’Longhi EC155 Espresso & Cappuccino Machine
Gaggia R19380/46 Classic Pro
Mr. Coffee Café Barista
Rancilio Espresso Machine
1. Top Pick: Breville BES870XL
If a heavenly tasting cappuccino is on your wishlist, The Barista Express may just be the answer.
There’s an integrated precision grinder with 16 grind settings to deliver freshly ground coffee to cater to your favorite taste.
We all know the role that grind size plays in the overall flavor profile of any specialty coffee. Finding a cappuccino machine that gives you full control over the grind size of your coffee is important and this machine delivers.
Pressure plays a role in the extraction. If it’s too high or too low, extraction won’t occur correctly. When using The Breville BES870XL, pressure should be the least of your worries.
There’s optimal water pressure to ensure all the flavor makes its way into your drink. So you should look forward to a balanced tasting cup.
On top of that, the machine’s digital temperature control delivers water at an optimal temperature, resulting in precise extraction.
Once you start using The Barista Express, you have the opportunity to create latte art. There’s a powerful steam wand whose performance lets you hand-texture microfoam milk, boosting the flavor.
There won’t be any noticeable difference between a restaurant-grade latte and the one brewed from home with this cappuccino maker.
What We Like
- Built-in grinder to grind fresh coffee
- User-friendly panel
- Optimal pressure and temperature for even extraction
- Built to last
- Removing, emptying, and cleaning the bottom tray is easy
What We Don’t Like
- Ground coffee and water can spill, making the machine messy. Stock your drawer with a couple of dark-colored wash clothes to clear this up
- It takes a lot of learning to achieve the right grind size
Whether you’ve busy mornings and want a quick cappuccino maker or simply want to impress your guests, Breville BES870XL won’t disappoint.
2. Best Budget Machine: De’Longhi EC155 Espresso and Cappuccino Machine
Looking for the best cappuccino maker that strikes a good balance between budget and quality cappuccino? Meet De’Longhi EC155.
Featuring the revered 15-bars of pressure, this machine brews a flavorsome cup of Java every time. Want to fine-tune the pressure for your personal taste preferences? Go right ahead and achieve it with the adjustable controls.
Now, you no longer have to visit a coffeehouse each time you want a tasty cup of cappuccino, espresso, or latte. This machine brews barista-quality coffee right from your countertop.
When it comes to cappuccino, nothing beats the rich creamy froth. And what better way to achieve that than to texture it yourself. Just put your hand on the steam wand and let it do the magic.
This unit has a three-in-one filter holder. What does that mean? Well, whether you need a single espresso shot or two shots, there’s a filter for that.
Are you an easy-serve espresso pod kind of a person, no problem!
And here’s another interesting feature:
The advanced cappuccino system keeps an optimal temperature, which means no waiting between cups. Simply put, you can brew cup after cup and serve your guests real quick.
The De’Longhi EC155 is great for small spaces. It features a narrow footprint, sleek profile, and compact design.
What We Like
- Sleek and compact design
- You can easily remove, refill, and reattach the water tank
- Brew cups back to back
- The 15 bars of pressure mean excellent extraction
- Works with single or double shots as well as espresso pods
- Cleaning is a piece of cake
- Little to no learning curve
What We Don’t Like
- There’s a small space for putting coffee cups
- The tamper is kinda flimsy
- The water reservoir is smaller compared to other machines, so if you want to make a lot of coffee, be ready to refill often
If you’re on a budget but looking to upgrade your at home cappuccino quality, we recommend the De’Longhi EC155.
3. Best for Beginners: Gaggia R19380/46 Classic Pro
If it’s your first time brewing coffee from home and you’re looking for the right gear, you’re right at home.
So, what do you need to get started? Definitely, not an advanced cappuccino maker.
Gaggia R19380/46 Classic Pro is a semi-automatic espresso maker whose features can transform a beginner into an experienced barista.
The pressurized filter baskets are the key to getting consistent shot quality along with a thick crema.
The portafilter isn’t an average one either; it’s durable, chrome-plated whose style and size match commercial portafilters in coffeehouses and cafes.
Brewing coffee in the morning doesn’t have to be a noisy process that wakes up everyone at home. The guys at Gaggia know that, which is why they have added superior mounting to this unit to drown out sounds produced during brewing.
Another reason coffee lovers praise this machine is its fast heat-up feature. The dual elements heat up the boiler, making it steam ready in 30 seconds and brew ready in approximately 5 minutes. That can only mean one thing – a shorter brewing time.
Brewing with the Classic Pro is seamless thanks to the easy-to-use control panel.
The panel is partitioned into three switches for brewing, power, and steaming. Every switch has an indicator light that tells you when the machine is powered on, ready to steam, and ready to brew.
What We Like
- Clever pump mounting to dampen any brewing noise
- The boiler heats up fast
- Commercial-grade portafilter and steam wand
- Brushed stainless steel housing for durability
- A renowned brand in the coffee industry
What We Don’t Like
- The portafilter can only accommodate short cups
- Some users have reported issues with the steam wand leaking
If you’re interested in a hands-on brewing experience from an iconic brand with little to no learning curve the R19380/46 Classic Pro would be a fantastic choice.
4. Best for Pods: Keurig K-Café
If you’re sick of queueing at coffee shops and having to shell out a lot of money every week for a cup of cappuccino, you need a unit that makes quality coffee without hurting the pocket. And that’s where Keurig K-Café comes in to save the day.
Brewing coffee for guests or a larger household doesn’t have to be a pain anymore. The reason is, this cappuccino maker has a big, 60 oz water reservoir that lets you brew six cups before a single refill.
Not only does the sizable water tank save you time, but it also simplifies your morning routine.
And still, on saving time, we’ve got the smart start feature. Simply put, the cappuccino machine heats and brews in one process. You don’t have to wait for heating to complete before you select the cup size.
Here’s another thing this machine helps you save – energy.
There’s a programmable auto-off feature that automatically turns the brewer off two hours after your last brew. No concern with forgetting and using power for longer than needed.
With simple button controls, anyone can use this best cappuccino maker regardless of their skill set. After inserting a K-Cup pod, simply use the button controls, brew tasty coffee, grab your favorite coffee mug and be on your way.
Whether you are into hot or iced cappuccino or even lattes, this model does it all.
What We Like
- Large volume water reservoir
- Brews quality cappuccinos and lattes
- Easy to clean
- Auto-off feature
- User-friendly with simple button controls
- Works with any K-Cup
- Accommodates travel mugs
What We Don’t Like
- It has a large footprint, taking up plenty of counter space
The Keurig K-Café saves you time, money, and energy. It’s easy to use and it brews delicious lattes and cappuccinos at the touch of a button. Give it a shot to see the difference it makes.
5. Mr. Coffee Café Barista
Mr. Coffee Café Barista is a powerful machine that everyone wants in their home. It brews straight espresso, frothy cappuccino, and other unique coffee brews.
If you’re just starting out, this is your kind of machine. It has an out of the box setup, nothing complicated or complex.
To start you know your drinks will be flavorful because the Café Barista has a 15-bar pump to create powerful pressure to extra the maximum flavor for your drink.
The most exciting thing about this device is its ability to make coffee and froth milk in a single step—quite an excellent cappuccino brewing machine to have at home.
The milk reservoir is removable making storing any unused milk easy.
The brewing process with Mr. Coffee Café Barista is speedy since the device is automatic. With just a touch of the button, it quickly produces your cappuccino, latte, or espresso.
This machine can be controlled manually by pressing and holding the drink buttons.
Mr. Coffee café Barista is made of plastic, with front panels looking like stainless steel exteriors. They come in 3 colors which are silver, white, and red.
What We Like
- Refrigerator friendly removable milk reservoir
- Performs multiple functions in one step
- Dishwasher friendly
- Modern design
What We Don’t Like
- Has a small water tank
- Lack of consistency
This machine is great for beginners or anyone looking for an affordable cappuccino maker. It’s easy to use and for the price point has a nice amount of features.
6. Rancilio Espresso Machine
The Rancilio Espresso Machine is a professional-grade device that delivers on flavor and consistency.
It’s built with a stainless steel body and quality parts. The device comes with an integrated steaming wand that is chrome plated. It also contains a brass boiler and a cup warming tray.
Rancilio Espresso maker is designed with a 15-bar pressure system for excellent extraction. The warming up process is fast (3 minutes), with a manual brewing process where you control the extraction time for quality flavors.
Rancilio reaches enough pressure to ensure the beverages are full-bodied, bold, and rich.
What We Like
- Produces high-quality drinks
- Commercial grade parts
- Quality construction
- Sleek design
- Easy to clean
- Reliable and durable
- Shuts off automatically
What We Don’t Like
- Learning curve to master using the machine
- Small drip tray
- No control over the brewing and steaming temperature
Rancilio brews high-quality, flavorful cappuccino and espresso. We don’t recommend this one for beginners but, if you’re an intermediate or pro home barista you’ll be impressed with its quality build and consistent brewing. It will last you for years and is worth the investment.
Things to Consider When Selecting the Best Cappuccino Machine
Cappuccino makers are manufactured with attachments and parts that make the brewing experience much more comfortable.
Imagine the experience you get when sipping a delicious cup of cappuccino before starting your day.
Since it’s a ritual to have your daily cappuccino, you want a machine that will produce perfect results every time.
The variety of cappuccino models in the market can be pretty overwhelming to choose from.
To simplify your shopping experience, we have highlighted some factors to look at in the best cappuccino maker.
Automatic, Semi-Automatic, Pod, or Manual
Before purchasing your cappuccino maker, you first must know the various types of machines available.
These types of cappuccino makers also come in different models, with features that you want to understand too.
Let’s delve in for more details on these cappuccino machine types.
Automatic Cappuccino Makers
Automatic cappuccino machines are excellent multi-taskers. They will grind the coffee beans, pull the shot of espresso, and even steam milk.
Some models have been built with displays that allow you to change the settings. An automatic cappuccino machine has a programmed standard timer to make the brewing process easy.
If you are that person who wants your tasty cup of cappuccino ready after a quick shower, then this is the type of machine for you.
Although automatic models are expensive, they offer more consistency and convenience.
They are built with self-cleaning features too.
So if you aren’t tight on budget and need a strong, quality, delicious cup of cappuccino, get an automatic machine.
Semi-Automatic Cappuccino Makers
Semi-automatic models allow you to brew hands-free cappuccino. They come with much convenience and customization.
If you are seeking a machine that gives you control over your cappuccino brewing experience, a semi-auto will do you justice.
Semi-auto cappuccino makers are the most preferred by baristas. They are pretty high on cost too, because of quality and high-end features.
These machines are used in commercial establishments and have quite an extended learning curve which you must master.
Some of their notable features include automatic grinders, steamers, frothers, and a variety of fineness and time settings.
With all these extra conveniences, you have additional maintenance work in order to have them performing optimally at all times.
Pod Cappuccino Makers
Pod cappuccino brewers are wrapped in aluminum and plastic pods. All you should do is load the pod into the machine, press a button, and let the pod maker work out the rest.
They have individual pods to tamp coffee grounds manually. The machines are convenient to use and quite friendly on the pocket too.
These machines produce excellent cappuccino. The brew preparation time is pretty short, just like the cleaning time. The pod is often self-contained; that’s why it’s easy to clean.
However, to own a cappuccino pod maker, you have to commit to one specific manufacturer. This is because most of them are different from conventional pod makers.
Manual Cappuccino Makers
With manual cappuccino machines, you have complete control over your grinding, tamping, and pressing of the grounds.
For your cappuccino cup, you have to manipulate the lever to generate the pressure that will blast the water through the group head.
You have to make sure the boiling water reaches at least seven pressure bars while moving through the grounds into the portafilter.
After making your cappuccino, you should create frothed or steamed milk to complete your masterpiece.
However, nine bars is the ideal pressure range for a finer brew.
Manual cappuccino devices require some practice to master the art of extracting the most from them.
To keep these devices in great shape, you have to clean them thoroughly and descale them regularly.
If you aren’t time conscious, get the manual maker. The machine is aesthetically pleasing!
Some cappuccino machines brew with ground coffee where others brew with coffee pods. Those that brew with pods or have fully automated options are easy to operate. You can get your cappuccino faster without a hustle or even really any learning curve.
If you go for a semi-automatic and manual model, you have to undergo a learning curve to improve and master your cappuccino brewing skills. This is because of their engineering mechanisms and technology used.
The best cappuccino maker comes with a price. This is due to the quality, technology, settings, and advanced features.
Depending on your budget, you’ll then want to select a cappuccino maker that will serve your needs.
If you aren’t ready to make your commitment, you can always go for a mid-range or low-priced device then upgrade later.
After all, there are high-quality cappuccino machines going at a pocket-friendly cost. Scour our list here again or check out our reviews of best budget espresso machines.
Cappuccino devices are designed with a variety of features and attachments. It’s important to check whether the machine has most of these features:
- Milk frothers – Milk frothers add air to the milk to make the foam fluffier.
- Water filters – These are used to protect the internal components of the cappuccino maker as well as the taste of the brew.
- Programmable displays – Use these displays to adjust your cappuccino machine’s settings.
- Steam Wands – Steam wands heat your milk to the desired temperatures.
- Portafilters – The portafilter holds the coffee grounds.
- Basket – The baskets are for the portafilter and can be pressurized or non-pressurized.
- Tamper/ Leveler – Tampers help to set the coffee grounds in the portafilter.
- Water reservoir – For storing water that’s used in the brewing process. The tank should be big enough if you’re brewing for crowds (so you don’t keep refilling). But a smaller tank is just fine for individual use.
The brewing performance of your cappuccino machine will depend on the technology used. Automatic machines may take up to 2 – 3 minutes to brew, while manual and pod makers take much longer.
A super-automatic cappuccino maker takes 30 seconds to pull an espresso shot and another 15 seconds to mix it in the layered milk. This makes it 45 seconds of brewing time for a tasty cup of cappuccino.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Cappuccino machines are quite a handful when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. They need to be cleaned more often for longer and better performance.
This is because of their engineering and cappuccino-making process.
The first thing to do after brewing your cappuccino is to clear the machine of the coffee grounds before rinsing and wiping it dry.
Whether you use hard water or bottled water, you should perform descaling. This is because these devices can build a lot of pressure.
Their internals should be kept clear to ensure they operate safely with much effectiveness.
When using hard water, the machine will have a hard scale inside, which may damage its function.
To descale most machines you can run a solution containing hot water and vinegar through the cappuccino maker but, check your machine’s instructions from the manufacturer to learn best practices.
Cappuccino Machine FAQs
What is the difference between a cappuccino maker and an espresso machine?
If you are a dedicated cappuccino lover, you’ll want a quality machine that will produce your daily cup the way you like it.
But if you’re torn between an espresso maker and a cappuccino machine, it is better to know the difference first.
Some machines make both cappuccino and espresso. Use caution though because you’ll find espresso devices that can’t foam the milk for cappuccino.
At the same time, you’ll get cappuccino machines that use strong filter coffee instead of espresso shots.
Espresso machines are designed specifically for espresso, which entails small shots of really concentrated coffee. If you love drinking espresso shots straight up, you’ll buy an espresso machine.
But you can also add more hot water or foamed milk to get Americanos or specialty drinks like cappuccinos.
Most espresso machines have steamer wands to help foam the milk, but not all are built with this feature. They have no requirement for steaming milk, meaning they can’t make a cappuccino.
Benefits of Espresso Makers over Cappuccino Makers
- Espresso machines utilize high pressure to extract the richest espresso shots with crema. Cappuccino devices, on the other hand, make concentrated filter coffee.
- An espresso machine can make coffee similar to that made by baristas.
- The machine comprises a steamer arm that foams milk. This means you can also set it to make your favorite cappuccino.
- Espresso machines can be automatic, semi-automatic, or manual. This gives you different levels of control over the espresso brew.
The drawbacks of espresso makers
- You can only make your cappuccino on an espresso machine that has a steamer arm. If not, you’ll have to acquire a milk frother separately.
- You need some practice to be able to perfect your espresso. This becomes mandatory if you’re using a manual espresso device.
- A high-end espresso maker is expensive.
Cappuccino devices are designed for cappuccino making. Although some models can brew espresso, others use strong filter coffee to produce a similar effect.
If you like pure cappuccino, you wouldn’t want your cappuccino to be brewed without espresso shots. You may even prefer having an espresso maker with a steamer wand.
Some cappuccino devices are automatic. These come with reservoirs for milk and coffee. You only need to push the button to make a great cup of cappuccino.
Other machines are built with a foaming arm used for frothing and heating milk to add to your espresso shots or concentrated coffee for your cappuccino.
Benefits of Cappuccino Machines over Espresso Devices
- Cappuccino machines are not so pricey compared to their espresso counterparts.
- Many of them can make different brews, including lattes, filter coffee, or Americanos.
- You have the option to select different cup sizes based on your preferences.
- Some cappuccino makers use a pod system in place of ground coffee or coffee beans. Great for your convenience.
The drawbacks of cappuccino devices
- Automatic cappuccino devices are designed with many parts. This makes cleaning a challenge.
- The cappuccino makers that use concentrated filter coffee in place of espresso cannot deliver authentic cappuccino and may leave you disappointed.
Cappuccino Maker or Espresso Maker?
If you love both cappuccino and espresso, a fully automatic espresso maker or one with a steamer will be ideal. That said, if you are a cappuccino-only person just make sure you get a machine that can steam and foam milk or be prepared to purchase a separate milk frother.
Can I make a cappuccino with a drip coffee maker?
Yes. You can brew your cappuccino in an automatic drip coffee machine. Your cappuccino only needs 1/3 of steamed milk, 1/3 espresso, and 1/3 foam for a delightful cup.
What is the difference between a cappuccino and a latte?
Cappuccinos and lattes are espresso drinks that share many of the same ingredients. Both brews have espresso, foamed milk, and steamed milk.
The difference comes in the craftsmanship, taste, texture, and finish.
A cappuccino is made with an even distribution of foamed milk, steamed milk, and espresso. But a latte contains more steamed milk and a small layer of foam.
Cappuccinos are distinctly layered, while in lattes, the steamed milk and espresso are blended together.
To understand the two better, let us define each brew in terms of layering.
A cappuccino is prepared with a bottom layer of up to two espresso shots. The second layer consists of steamed milk, which is added on top of the espresso shots. On top is a thick, airy layer of foam to give your brew a velvety texture.
A cappuccino has a stronger espresso flavor than a latte. This is because cappuccinos have more foam and less milk.
Lattes have a similar base with cappuccinos – up to two shots of espresso. The espresso is combined with steamed milk to make the brew rich and creamy with a subtle espresso taste. Afterward, the latte is topped with a layer of foam.
Lattes can also be customized by adding flavors, vanilla being a very popular choice.
Is a cappuccino or latte stronger?
A cappuccino is deemed stronger than a latte for different reasons. They include;
Cappuccinos have evenly distributed espresso, foamed milk, and steamed milk, while lattes have more steamed milk with a small layer of foam.
The coffee and milk in cappuccinos don’t mix at all. That’s why it’s easy to notice the three layers. In lattes, the milk and coffee are blended together.
You can add chocolate powder to your cappuccino, but this doesn’t apply to lattes.
The coffee flavor in cappuccinos is stronger than in lattes. This is because of the ratios of liquid milk used in each.
Generally, cappuccinos are small, strong beverages, while lattes are large, mild beverages with little foam.
What makes cappuccinos strong is because it has less liquid milk compared to lattes. A cappuccino has more foam with a thicker taste.
How Much Does a Cappuccino Maker Cost?
The cost of a cappuccino machine depends largely on the quality of materials used, the technology, and the features that come with it. Brand value also plays a significant role in device pricing.
Cappuccino machines come in different price variations.
Basic models are sold for $100 or less and automatic models land in the $1,000+ range.
But when making a purchasing decision, go beyond the cost factor and also consider other things, such as the type, features, brewing time, ease of cleaning, and more.
How Do I Use My Cappuccino Maker?
Many of the best cappuccino makers have similar control panels.
To make your cappuccino:
- First, pull the espresso shot and let it sit for a while.
- Steam the milk under the wand. Make sure you push your cup up to submerge the tip of the wand.
- Warm the milk, then take the milk up down so that the tip of the wand meets the milk surface at an angle.
- Froth it until it appears stretched.
- Mix the milk in the cup with espresso.
- If you’re using an automatic cappuccino maker, ensure you have poured the correct amount of water, milk, and coffee. Then press the start button to make your aromatic cappuccino.
Having a cup of cappuccino every morning or any time you’re home saves both time and money. Depending on which machine you select it can come with a learning curve or it can be as simple as pressing a button.
The price variations don’t have to limit your brewing skills or the quality of your cappuccino. You can start with a simple cappuccino maker and move up when your budget and skill increases or you may even find simple is best for you.
Think about what interests you in a cappuccino maker and start your search from there. We hope you find a machine you love!