A good coffee with milk or a cappuccino is like a delicious cup of milk from heaven. They’re just tasty drinks, and if I’m just writing about it, I want one. Unfortunately, preparing these drinks at home can be very tedious. Cooking a Barista-worthy espresso is quite difficult, but the right amount of milk and foam, perfectly heated and combined, is surprisingly daunting.
I have always wondered how well the machines that make coffee with milk and cappuccino work. A few months ago, I decided to dive head first into the world of modern coffeemakers and find out what drives them … uh … hissing. After some research, I tested eight different machines with latte and cappuccino functionality for almost three months.
Some machines produced espresso-only espresso machines in cafeteria style and came with milk cans to make foam. Others used disposable pods with separate sparklers. Some even came up with real vapours and advanced options. If you are a milk coffee lover or just want something quick, these are the best white coffee and cappuccino machines we’ve tried.
1. Better overall
Breville Barista Express ($ 550)
I found the Barista Express too harsh at first, basically it’s coffee in a box. The built-in pressure-activated cone grinder brings you cool floors the way you like, and the gauge and options let you adjust the water temperature and firing speed. You need to lather up your own milk, and the steam wand makes it easier than the competition, with grip and the ability to turn in any direction. It cleans itself and you can get hot water from the tea maker or make an American.
Because it can do so much, there is a steep learning curve. The manual is a little tight and it’s hard to know what to do with all the included accessories, at least to get started. There’s a stainless steel milk jug, a magnetic rammer, a trimming tool, and more. They are the highest quality accessories every machine has ever had, and they all proved practical on time.
The Barista Express is not cheap, and probably too much if you already have a grinder, but you will find it difficult to find a more robust and authentic coffee with milk and cappuccino that does not cost thousands of dollars.
2. The best Latte for your money
Mr. Café Café Barista ($ 190)
The Barista Café is perfect if you want a pure espresso and a machine that combines milk without much effort. It is made of plastic and is lightweight, which means you must hold the machine by hand when you put the filter holder in place. Otherwise, you can make espresso, cappuccino, and espresso at the push of a button.
The integrated milk container has its advantages and disadvantages. You should remember to remove it every morning, cool it and clean it every few days, or it may obstruct cleaning, thank goodness. The milk tends to come out a little foamier, I prefer a latte, and it took me a while to figure out which glasses I needed for each drink (a double latte, for example, 15 floz, but a double cappuccino only 10) floz). The slip amp is suitable for smaller glasses.
3. The most convenient and easy cleaning
Keurig K-Cafe ($ 180)
I love this machine. It is the best Keurig I have used (8/10, recommends WIRED), and has the best sparkling wine of any machine I tested for this guide. Even though K-Café doesn’t technically make espresso shots (the K-Cup system or k cup holder is no reason to push it), it still makes a delicious 2-ounce espresso style that’s almost as strong but without the cream you want.
The real magic is the skimmer. It has three settings: cold, latte and cappuccino, and the foams milk perfectly at the touch of a button. When you’re done, just pour your milk with the spout on the side. The jar is made of stainless steel, and the plastic windrower comes straight out, making cleaning as easy as a quick run under the tap. It was so easy to use and clean that sometimes I used milk foam, even if I used other machines to make my espresso. I liked it so much that it didn’t even bother me that the Schäumer peak was designed for right-handed people. This left was happy to adapt.
4. The best for Nespresso lovers
DelonghiLattissima One ($ 324)
My home has had a Nespresso for years. Nespresso tastes absolutely not and is as good as a fresh drink in a cafeteria, but it’s fast and it works. There are other Nespresso makers with foamers, but Delonghi’s Lattissima One is a sleek little machine with a solid 19 bar pressure. The milk jug does not contain much milk, but it is enough for at least two cappuccinos or a latte and one cappuccino. Just fill in, hit the Latte or Cappuccino button, and the machine does the work for you. Lattes are good as long as you don’t bother them on the frothy side.
A peculiarity is that the steam nozzle tends to send hot milk in all directions. You will learn to compensate for that by fishing the pin, but you have to watch it.
The design of this model is first class. It’s easy to turn the carafe on or off (there’s even a small door that covers the fixing point if you want to drain the carafe), and cleaning isn’t that bad, although you need to clean and refill it every day or two. Despite the extra maintenance, the Lattissima One is an easy upgrade if you want your Nespresso to be able to make a good cup, too.
5. Jack of All Trades
Ninja Coffee Bar ($ 170)
The Ninja Coffee Bar (CF092) is for those who want a machine that does everything. You can brew a concentrated 4 floz intake of strong coffee, very similar to espresso (minus cream) and it has a built-in milk foam wand. Unfortunately, the wand doesn’t heat your milk, so you must first microwave it.
If you also want to make ordinary coffee in a serving cup or in a pot full of beer, the coffee bar is a good compromise. You can make eight sizes with other options for stronger or frozen broths. The coffee filter is very easy to remove and clean, just rinse and you are ready to prepare again. The coffee spoon also grips the side, which is useful.
How do you make a good coffee with milk or a cappuccino?
There are many different opinions on relationships, but generally a cappuccino is about 1 fluid ounce of espresso (or a 2 floz double injection), 2 floz of steamed milk, and 2 floz of frothed milk, or a uniform ratio 1: 1: 1. A café con leche is similar, but it has more milk and less foam. It’s a 1-2 floz shot of espresso, 6 (ish) floz of steamed milk and a little froth that mixes with the espresso cream as you pour it into the milk. Sometimes I use a spoon to hold the foam to the end. (I still have to try making latte art.)
Technically, in this manual, machines that have milk cans make latte macchiato because they pour milk and foam before the espresso shot. In a traditional café con leche, coffee comes first. I prefer traditional lattes in my tests. They were creamier and richer, but they also did more work.