Finally decided to stop spending money at Starbucks and start making your own cappuccino at home?
Having a specialty drink maker at home is quite convenient. But which one is the right for you?
In this article, I’ll share this model with you, as well as a few close follow-ups.
Keep on reading to find out more!
Best Cappuccino Machine – Our Top 9 Picks
- Breville Barista Express BES870XL (Best Overall)
- Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker (Budget Pick)
- Saeco PicoBaristo Super Automatic Espresso Machine (Best Super Automatic Machine)
- DeLonghi EC155 Espresso And Cappuccino Machine (Simplest Operation)
- Gaggia Classic Pro (Most Compact)
- Mr. Coffee One-Touch (Best For Tall Mugs)
- DeLonghi Magnifica (Best For Easy Maintenance)
- Nespresso VertuoPlus (Best For Pods)
- De’Longhi La Specialista (Fastest Machine)
1. Breville Barista Express BES870XL
The Barista Express is a mid-range machine suitable for beginners and pro baristas. It’s simple to use so even a first-timer won’t feel lost. But it also offers lots of customization options so that experienced users don’t find it “boring.”
The first feature worth mentioning is the integrated burr grinder with 16 grind settings. Not only does this coffee maker have a rather approachable price,but you also get both coffee grinder and maker in one. Now that’s a steal!
Pre-infusion and digital temperature control make brewing coffee easier. What they do is help the cappuccino maker reach the temperature required for optimal extraction. These two features make cappuccino making much easier for those who are new to it.
Since this model has a manual steam wand, you can still expect to have a learning curve. But it’s pretty intuitive to use and easily mastered in a couple of tries. It won’t take long before you start working on your latte art.
Ease of maintenance is also worth mentioning. The machine has a self-cleaning program, as well as an indicator that lets you know when it’s time to get rid of the buildup.
- For a compact machine, it has quite a large tank and bean hopper, so you don’t have to refill them that often
- With the grind size and amount options, you can always make the exact amount of coffee you need at a time
- The control panel is simple and intuitive, you don’t need to study a manual
- A 1-year warranty assures you don’t receive a faulty or damaged product
- A low spout means you can’t pour your coffee directly into a tall mug
2. Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
It is possible to find a good machine without breaking the bank. Mr. Coffee is one of those brands that know what features they can save up in order to splurge on more important ones. That’s exactly how Café Barista was born.
This model was designed with milk-based drink lovers in mind. Sure, you can also make a basic espresso, but it’s frothing where this model excels. It’s automated so it removes all the guesswork from coffee making.
Another great thing about this machine is its simple interface. There are three buttons and indicator lights, so there’s absolutely no way you can mess up making coffee.
When it comes to cleaning, I’m a bit disappointed that the milk reservoir isn’t dishwasher safe. This means you have to wash it manually in the sink. There’s no autocleaning mode either, but that’s not something I’d expect to find in a low-budget machine anyway.
- Automatic steaming and frothing means you can make your favorite milk-based coffee without moving a finger
- An intuitive interface makes brewing coffee easy even for beginners
- A removable milk reservoir can be stored in the fridge so that you can use it later
- For the price this cappuccino maker sells at, it’s quite a steal
- Regular maintenance can be quite a fair bit of work
3. Saeco PicoBaristo Super Automatic Espresso Machine
If you want to be able to play around and modify your cappuccino, then a super-automatic machine is what you need. And amongst many models on the market, the PicoBaristo stands up for its personalization options.
Aside from cappuccino, this machine offers eight other pre-programmed espresso-based drinks. But if none of them is exactly per your liking, you can tweak pretty much everything from brewing temperature to the amount of milk.
Once you find the perfect customization, you can save your coffee to one of the six user profiles. This allows you to perfectly recreate the drink any time you want.
Since this model also features a built-in burr grinder, you can always have the freshest possible grounds ready for brewing. The grinder is made of ceramic, which stays sharp for a very long time and doesn’t alter the taste of the grounds in any way.
Easy maintenance is always a plus. Most removable parts are dishwasher-safe, which is always handy. The tank has the Aquaclean filter which drastically increases the time between descaling – which is, of course, automatic.
- Everything from grinding to frothing is done by machine, so you can just sit back and wait for your cup of coffee
- Autocleaning cycle and dishwasher-safe parts make maintenance easy
- Pre-programmed beverages and customizable options allow you to drink any milk-based coffee drink
- The fast heating system allows you to make one cup after another without waiting
- The machine is quite bulky, it might not fit under low cabinets
4. DeLonghi EC155 Espresso And Cappuccino Machine
Only getting into making milk-based coffee drinks?
You’re probably overwhelmed with tons of features and settings many models come with. And if you want to take things slowly, that’s perfectly okay. A model like the EC155 is great for newbie at-home baristas.
Sure, having lots of customizable options can be great. But many people enjoy espresso-based drinks as they’re standardly brewed, and that’s what this model does well. With a single dial knob making coffee simply can’t get any easier.
And even if you can’t be bothered with coffee grounds, there’s an alternative available. This machine is also compatible with coffee pods. While I personally prefer grounds, I can’t discredit the convenience of using pods.
I like that this cappuccino maker has a manual steam wand. Frothing requires a bit of practice to be mastered, but that shouldn’t take you more than a few tries. And once you get the hang of it, you can play with making latte art.
Who would’ve thought that this little machine is a fast beast?
It takes practically an instance to warm up, and it’s able to constantly maintain the optimal temperature so you can brew one cup after another.
- The machine warms up fast and maintains the temperature so that you can brew cup after cup instantly
- Comes with a manual frother, which is easy to use and allows you to make latte art
- The water tank and drip tray are easily removable and dishwasher-safe, which means maintenance is a piece of cake with this model
- This is one of the most affordable cappuccino makers on the market
- It’s made of plastic, so it’s not as durable as models made of metal
5. Gaggia Classic Pro
Now this machine is the perfect middle ground when it comes to price, features, ease of operation, and maintenance. And the icing on the cake – its compact footprint. With the dimensions of 9.5 x 8 x 14 inches, this Gaggia cappuccino maker can fit practically anywhere.
One thing this brand is consistent with is the build quality. Even though this is one of the more affordable models, it still has a sturdy, steel construction, so you can bet this machine is quite durable.
When it comes to the control panel, the machine only features three switches for power, brewing, and steaming. Both of them have a designated indicator light to let you know when the machine is ready for the next step. You can’t mess that up, even if you try.
You get both pressurized and unpressurized baskets with the machine, and both are also compatible with coffee pods. So whether you feel like using grounds or pods today, you can switch between them whenever you want.
Oh, and did I mention this model comes in six colors?
From classic steel and black to flashy blue and red, you can easily match this model with your kitchen appliances or cabinets. Looks might not be the most important feature, but we can all agree that it matters.
- The compact footprint makes this machine great for small apartments, dorms and RVs
- The sturdy steel design guarantees this machine will last a very long time
- The three-way valve clumps up used coffee grounds to make cleanup easier
- The commercial-grade steam wand lets you practice foam making and latte art
- It takes about five minutes to heat up before it’s ready for use
6. Mr. Coffee One-Touch
The One-Touch is a machine that offers a good balance of automatization and price. What that means is it does the hardest parts so that you don’t have to, like pulling the shot and frothing milk. The One-Touch really takes all the guesswork out of making coffee.
Using the machine is pretty simple. The control panel consists of a couple of buttons with names and icons, so there’s really no need to ever peak inside the manual.
Compared to most models with milk reservoirs, the One-Touch has quite a decent capacity. With 22 ounces, you can make up to six cappuccinos or three lattes before you need to refill it.
When you’re done making coffee, you can detach the milk reservoir and store it in the fridge until the next brewing. No need to constantly transfer milk from the bottle to the reservoir and vice versa.
The adjustable cup tray is always a nice touch. If you drink your coffee on the go, then pouring it straight into a travel mug saves you time and unnecessarily dirty cups.
- All disassembling parts are easy to remove and dishwasher-safe
- The milk reservoir allows you to make several coffee beverages before you need to refill it again
- An adjustable cup tray allows you to pour coffee directly into a mug regardless of its size
- The auto-cleaning cycle means maintenance is as easy as a one-button press
- Limited customization options make this machine too basic for non-beginners
7. DeLonghi Magnifica
For a mid-range machine, the Magnifica offers a good deal of customizability. And even though it does most of the job, it still lets you do enough to call yourself an at-home barista.
Two dial knobs and a couple of buttons are all you have to work with, and they allow you to design your drink just as you like it. From cup size to temperature, you really can tweak any aspect of the brewing process.
This model also has a burr grinder that lets you choose between 13 grind settings. But if you feel like drinking pre-ground coffee, you can always use the second chamber for that.
But manual frothing is where you get to show off your skills.
DeLonghi knows you can’t make beautiful latte art without a wand, so naturally, the Magnifica had to feature one. It’s a Panarello-style wand, which is pretty easy to use even for a beginner.
I love how all parts can easily be removed and cleaned. Aside from the brewing unit, all other removable parts are dishwasher-safe. This makes maintenance even more simple. Of course, I can’t complain about the autocleaning feature either.
- An auto-shutdown feature saves energy and prevents short circuit
- The built-in grinder and grinder-bypass allow you to switch between fresh beans and pre-ground coffee
- Front-accessible water tank means you can remove it without having to move the heavy machine
- Aside from the brewing unit, all parts can be washed in the dishwasher
- A low spout means you can’t pour coffee directly into a travel mug
8. Nespresso VertuoPlus
If you enjoy the convenience of coffee capsules, then you’ll love this model by Nespresso. For a pod-based cappuccino maker, the VertuPlus offers quite a bit of customizability, so you can enjoy a different drink each time.
This is quite a compact machine that can fit practically anywhere. This makes it great for RVs, college dorms, and small apartments. But for such a small machine, a 60-ounce water reservoir is quite a shocker. That’s like 15 cappuccinos!
What’s also great is that you can change the placement of the water tank. You can place it on the left side, behind, or between the two. In other words, you can really make the best use of the space.
Who doesn’t love fast heat up? It only takes 15 seconds to reach the required temperature so that you can start brewing.
The machine also turns off after only nine minutes of being idle. I love the auto-shutdown feature. Not only because it saves you from a high electrical bill, but because it prevents short circuits from occurring.
- The small footprint and adjustable water tank placement make this machine great for small spaces
- Quick heat up allows you to make coffee as soon as you turn it on
- A large water tank means you can make tons of cappuccinos before having to refill it
- An auto-shutdown feature saves electricity and prevents electrical malfunction
- The machine only uses Nespresso pods
9. De’Longhi La Specialista
I’ve got to admit, what I love the most about this model is the retro design with knobs and buttons. But there are many more reasons why one would want to own La Specialista. This is a super-automatic machine that offers premium features at a decent price.
This model has a dual heating system, something you don’t often see in mid-range machines. With one thermoblock designated for extracting coffee and the other for steaming milk, you can make one cup after another without a break.
In fact, you don’t have to wait for the initial heat up at all. The machine is hot and ready as soon as you turn it on. This means you can brew coffee as soon as you open your eyes.
La Specialista also features a separate hot water spout. This gives you access to steaming hot water needed for an Americano. Or you can grab hot water for tea without getting some coffee residual in the cup from the brewing unit.
Since the cappuccino maker comes with an automatic steam wand, you can be certain you’ll get the perfect foam every time. After you’re done frothing, a single knob dial flushes any milk residue.
- The machine does everything from grinding to frothing, which assures equally good results every time
- The 1-second quick start allows you to make coffee as soon as you turn the machine one
- Comes with a built-in burr grinder, which removes the need of having a separate machine
- A separate hot water spout allows you to make an Americano or grab water for making tea
- An automatic wand assures you get the same foam every single time
- It’s quite bulky, so it might not fit in small kitchens
How To Pick The Best Cappuccino Maker – A Buyer’s Guide
When choosing between different models, the price is one of the more obvious variables you need to consider.
But what else is important?
In this section, I’ll cover what to focus on when buying.
This is an obviously important feature. What’s the point in having a fancy coffee machine sitting in a box because you don’t have enough room on your counters?
Keep in mind that espresso and cappuccino machines are usually larger than other types of coffee makers. That means you’ll have to measure your counter space to be sure it fits.
Luckily, cappuccino machines do come in different sizes, so there’s surely a model for you no matter how much space you have available.
When it comes to frothing milk, you’ve got a couple of choices available.
Don’t want too much involvement in the cappuccino-making process? Models with auto frothers and milk carafes do the majority of the work for you.
Both of them are pretty straightforward to use, and they basically let you watch how your coffee is coming to life with just a few button clicks. The main downside to both of these frothing methods is that cleaning requires a bit more effort.
If you want to actually practice your frothing skills, then look for a machine with a wand. More affordable models often feature a Panarello wand, which gives you decent results regardless of your skill.
Upper-range models usually come with a proper, commercial-grade steam wand. Using this type of wand properly usually has a steep learning curve, but once you nail it down, you’ll make better foam than any machine out there.
Ease Of Use
Flipping through the manual searching for answers definitely kills all the fun in coffee making.
A control panel needs to be intuitive and quick to use. Imagine having to click twenty different buttons in a specific order while you’re still half-awake in the morning?
One thing to keep in mind is that fully automatic machines are generally simpler to use than semi-automatic ones.
With automatic machines, you just need to press a few buttons to make your coffee from scratch. Semi-automatic, on the other hand, require you to be more engaged. This means pulling the shot and steaming milk, for example.
Cappuccino makers are quite a handful in terms of maintenance. First, you need to dispose of used grounds after each brewing and remove excess from the portafilter.
Then, you need to get clean the frother to prevent milk build-up.
And don’t even get me started on descaling.
Many mid to upper-range models do make your job a bit easier by having an auto-descaling program. Some go even further and remind you when it’s time to run it. You practically can’t forget to keep up with maintenance.
Still unsure about cappuccino makers? In this section, I’ll try to answer some of the questions you might be wondering.
What Is The Best Cappuccino Machine?
Breville Barista Express deserves the title of the perfect all-rounder. It offers a great balance of simplicity and customizability, so both beginner and expert baristas will enjoy using it.
What’s even better is that it comes at a fairly reasonable price for a cappuccino maker.
What’s The Difference Between A Cappuccino Machine And An Espresso Machine?
Let me put it this way:
Every cappuccino maker is also an espresso maker. But not all espresso machines can make cappuccinos.
The difference lies in a single feature – a milk frother.
Whether the machine has a wand, an automatic frother or a milk carafe, it doesn’t matter. Any of these frothing options allow you to make a cappuccino or other milk-based coffee drink.
How To Clean A Cappuccino Machine?
The parts that get in contact with coffee and milk during the brewing process should be cleaned after use.
The same goes for the dripping tray. As for other removable parts, like the water tank and bean hopper, you should clean them every week or so.
When it comes to descaling, some models feature an auto program that you should run once the indicator light blinks. If your machine doesn’t have one, you need to run a brewing program with the descaling solution a couple of times instead.
To Sum Things Up
There are about a dozen excellent cappuccino makers on the market. But one that’s hard to beat is the Barista Express by Breville. The simple interface and tons of customizable options make designing your own drink a piece of cake.
The machine also features a built-in burr grinder, so it’s basically a 2-in-1 product. With 13 ground options, you can use it to grind your beans for other coffee methods as well!
There are tons of other premium features that make this mid-range machine practically a high-end product with more than a fair price. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there’s so much to love about this cappuccino maker.
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