Best Cappuccino Maker: Top Rated Cappuccino Machine Review
It’s every coffee lover’s dream to wake up one day and find a full-blown coffee house planted in their home. While you will probably never turn your kitchen into a Starbucks, there is a realistic way you can turn yourself into a barista and that's with the best cappuccino maker.
Cappuccino makers allow you to make your favorite morning kickstarter and afternoon pick-me-up from the comfort of your own home. Not only are they fun and convenient, but they can save you tons of money on specialty drinks. While these units are similar to the best espresso machines for home review we did, all of our selections will provide you with a rich, creamy foam.
If you’re looking to learn how to brew your own cappuccinos, check out our picks for the best cappuccino makers in 2021. This affordable solution will have you skipping the drive-thru line and saving your change for a rainy day.
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In a hurry? No worries, we’ve got your back. Below is a quick list of our top picks for best cappuccino makers in 2021:
Stick around to read through our buyer’s guide, which will walk you through the most important features of a cappuccino maker. After that, you can see our thorough reviews of each machine on our list.
Best Cappuccino Maker
Now that you’ve learned a little more about cappuccino machines and the various options they entail, we can take a look at our top five products below.
The Breville Barista Express espresso machine is an incredibly high-quality, durable, and useful machine that will deliver delicious homemade cappuccinos for years to come in your home. This specialty coffee machine has all the bells and whistles a coffee lover could hope for.
The super-automatic machine does it all. Its integrated grinder instantly transforms beans into the perfect fineness according to your program settings. It then drops these grinds right into the portafilter for all-in-one action.
Using low-pressure pre-infusion, the gradual increase draws the most and best flavor from your grind using precise digital temperature control.
While all of these controls might sound daunting, they’re very clear and straightforward, making this Breville model incredibly easy to learn and use.
The Barista Express features a milk frothing wand, allowing users to hand texture their milk to their specific liking. You can easily go from warming milk to creating luxurious clouds of froth for your favorite cappuccino recipe.
This machine has two portafilters, which lets you brew two cups at once for convenience. It also boasts indicator lights for cleaning, so you always know when it’s time for some maintenance work.
- Produces excellent flavor
- Super-automatic machine grinds beans
- Professional and attractive appearance
- Includes milk frothing wand
- Capability to brew two cups at once
- Customizable settings
- Operation involves a heavy learning curve
- Large machine takes up significant counter space
Making espresso and cappuccinos at home doesn’t have to start with a huge investment. The De’Longhi espresso and cappuccino maker offers a budget-friendly option that delivers great taste and lasting convenience.
This machine may be small, but it’s mighty. The simple dial control is super user-friendly, letting you quickly change from brewing to frothing in an instant.
The portafilter is versatile, capable of brewing both ground coffee and coffee pods. This dual-function is perfect for someone who has yet to make their mind up about which brew is best for you.
The portafilter also displays two spouts; you can brew over one cup or split the space to brew into two at once. The process is easy: simply scoop your grinds into the portafilter, use the included tool to tamp it down, secure the filter, and turn the dial.
The machine has a water tank stored in the back, so you don’t have to refill it every time you use it. It’s attached milk frother wand also makes it easy to add some creamy flavor and foam to your brew for a great cup of cappuccino.
- Small machine is a great space-saver
- Includes an attached milk frother
- Water tank is highly convenient
- Ground coffee and pod ready
- Very easy to use
- Low clearance doesn’t allow larger coffee mugs
- Very basic, no-whistles machine
The Mr. Coffee espresso and cappuccino maker is the ideal choice for a compact machine that still offers a few of the extras that make brewing fun and easy. Mr. Coffee takes a middle-of-the-road approach to cappuccino making with their brilliant product.
The first thing that stands out about this cappuccino maker is the built-in milk frothing tank. Rather than hand frothing, you can simply select the appropriate setting on your machine and watch your milk froth itself.
A convenient valve dispenses the milk from the reservoir to your mug.
In addition to the milk reservoir, there’s also a large water tank stored at the back of the machine. This lets you continue to brew without constantly refilling your machine. Plus, the innovative design hides the tank well.
A one-touch control panel keeps things simple and easy. The Mr. Coffee machine allows beginners to learn, even if they’re not technically inclined.
- User-friendly one-touch controls
- Milk reservoir for automatic frothing
- Convenient water tank
- Small, compact design is great for small spaces
- Produces consistent taste and good flavor
- Does not grind beans
- Machine is noisy
The Gaggia Classic Pro is a no-nonsense kind of cappuccino maker that makes producing espresso shots simple. With basic controls and easy-to-use rocker switches, it’s not hard to figure this machine out.
The entire product is housed in a classic stainless steel design. It features a double-valve portafilter to brew one or two cups at a time.
Its frothing arm rotates seamlessly to accommodate different spaces and allows users to create their own frothed milk.
The hidden water tank is very convenient, storing two liters of water for continuous use. The stainless steel trap at the bottom catches drips and spills, and it’s easy to clean.
Gaggia is a great brand adored by coffee lovers, so we love that we can depend on it. This semi-automatic machine is a great option for any beginner.
- Easy to use machine
- No-nonsense design is ideal for beginners
- Well-trusted brand with good quality
- Water tank stores extra water
- Includes a frothing wand
- Machine has a very boxy, industrial appearance
- Low clearance level doesn’t fit taller cups
Many of the machines on this list are well-suited for beginners, but this machine is no entry-level product. The Saeco Picobaristo is a super-automatic espresso machine that has all the extras, all the features, and all the perks.
This eye-catching machine is a beaut - one that you’ll be proud to display on your countertop. Its black and stainless steel design goes with any home decor, while its sleek controls offer an impressive appearance.
With this machine, you can custom brew espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, and more. Because it’s super-automatic, all you have to do is add the beans, water, and milk, and you’re good to go. There’s no portafilter, no tamping, and no worrying.
Not only is this machine essentially self-operating, but it’s also self-cleaning. Its AquaClean filter eliminates the need for descaling for as many as 5,000 cups, and the hygiesteam function cleans out the milk circuit as well.
The touch-screen display truly is advanced, leaving you with tons of options and lots of fun.
- Digital touch-screen controls offer tons of programming options
- Advanced cleaning features eliminate maintenance work
- Sleek design looks good on any countertop
- Super-automatic features make brewing a breeze
- Milk frother doesn’t make milk foamy
- Very expensive
- Large design requires lots of counter space
Buying A Cappuccino Machine
You should never buy a cappuccino maker just because it looks pretty on your counter (although we’re not saying that doesn’t play a factor!). There are important features and options to consider before making your decision.
Below we have a few things you should keep in mind as your browse machines and read through our reviews. Deciding on these areas ahead of time can make your buying process much smoother.
Types of Cappuccino Machines
There are three main types of cappuccino machines on the market today:
- Full Automatic
Manual machines, or lever machines, are not typically popular options for household cappuccino makers, so we’re going to focus on the first three on our list.
Of the three, the semi-automatic cappuccino maker is going to require the most work from you. You prepare the grounds, pull the espresso shots, and steam the milk all by hand.
While this may seem like a lot of work, many people prefer these kinds of machines because they allow you to really control the process. You can customize your drinks to your liking and really make it into an art form that you can enjoy.
Fully automatic machines are a bit more advanced than semi-automatic, but they really aren’t that different. The main difference here is that the machine will stop the water flow once the coffee is ready. With a semi-automatic machine, you have to carefully watch this process.
Fully automatic machines can be a bit more expensive at times, but there isn’t a significant price gap. Their main attribute is that you can walk away from your machine as it brews, where you can’t do that with a semi-automatic.
A super-automatic cappuccino machine is going to give you all extras and special features that you want; it changes the at-home cappuccino game.
These fancy, luxurious machines have built-in grinders that prepare your grounds for you. They also have a wide range of settings so you can adjust the water temperature, your brew strength, and even the mug size.
Super-automatic machines also tend to have tank frothers, which handle the milk frothing for you.
Before you get too eager and pull the trigger on this machine, keep in mind that luxury is expensive, and these appliances come with massive price tags.
For those of us who are not fortunate to have counter space to space, the size of any kitchen item is critical. Countertops are prime real estate, and not everyone has room for a massive machine.
This is a great time to consider what you really need in your machine and what you don’t. For example, some cappuccino makers do it all - they grind, drip, and froth.
However, a simpler one will be smaller, and you can purchase the other components separately and store them as such.
If you have the space to spare and want all the bells and whistles, then, by all means, go for it! Just make sure you measure your locations beforehand to avoid any unforeseen returns.
Pods vs. Grounds
Deciding between pods or grounds could completely change the types of machines you look at during the buying process, so it’s important to make this decision early on. Some models brew strictly with grounds or pods, while others make it possible to use both.
If you’re undecided or simply don’t care, either way, try going with a cappuccino machine that lets you use both. As you use it, you’ll probably land on one side of the spectrum.
Pods offer an incredibly convenient way to brew coffee these days, and you can make an excellent cappuccino using them. They are easy to use and even easier to clean up after, requiring fewer steps to get you that much-needed caffeine fix.
However, pods actually tend to be more expensive than coffee grounds. And since they’re not recyclable, some people have qualms about using them at the risk of harming the environment.
But if your mornings are typically hectic, or you simply can’t wait for that first sip of liquid gold, pods do offer a convenient alternative.
If you’re a true coffee aficionado, you know the value of fresh coffee grounds. Many individuals believe that coffee grounds give you better flavor. They also allow you to control the strength of the brew.
With grounds, you can take the process a step further by purchasing coffee beans. You can then ground your beans for truly fresh coffee every morning. While it does take extra work, many people enjoy the experience - and the finished product - more.
Coffee grounds also have many uses after they’ve completed their mission of making your coffee. You can use them in soil for plants, make a nice body scrub, or even use them in your hair.
The key component to any cappuccino is the frothed milk. So, the best cappuccino machine will have some form of milk frother that comes with it. There are typically three different kinds of frothers:
- Frothing Wand
- Frothing Tank
- Electric Frother
A frothing wand is a component that is attached to your machine. These machines generate steam with added water, and it’s the most commonly used tool by professionals. When it’s warmed up enough, you dip the wand in a cup of milk to heat and froth.
Attached frothing wands are the most powerful and effective of the three, though they can get a bit messy - especially if you’re still learning the technique.
Other machines have frothing tanks, which are much easier to use. The machine holds the milk in a tank and automatically froths it at the touch of a button. While convenient, they are difficult to clean.
Finally, some smaller products come with external frothers, which are usually electric and hand-held. While these items are great space-savers and cost-cutters, they’re not always as effective.
Some people are very into brand names, while others don’t care so much as long as they get a high-quality product. Both sides have some validity to them.
Popular brands are typically popular for a reason. Especially in the world of kitchen appliances, you can usually trust that a well-known brand is going to deliver a great product, as their reputation precedes them.
That’s not to say that generic brands are no good; but, if you’re looking to buy from a trustworthy manufacturer, then you might consider one of these top coffee maker brands for your cappuccino maker:
- Mr. Coffee
You’ve probably heard of at least one, if not all, of the three brands listed above. Some other well-known brands include Brentwood, Breville, Kitchenaid, Cuisinart, and Hamilton Beach.
Frequently Asked Questions
Anytime you buy a new coffee product, tons of questions pop into your head, especially if you like to nerd out about the brewing process. You’re not alone! That’s why we’ve compiled a few of the questions that frequently arise among cappuccino maker buyers, which should help you to become a pro barista.
How to Make Cappuccino with Espresso Machine
The terms “cappuccino machine” and “espresso machine” are often used interchangeably. It’s not always incorrect to do so; many machines can make both! However, some machines are specially made to serve each purpose, giving them nuanced differences.
A cappuccino machines include a frother; after all, the frothed milk is the most important ingredient in a cappuccino. Additionally, some cappuccino makers have stronger filters in place that prevent users from creating true espresso shots.
Espresso machines sometimes include a frother, but not always. You can still make cappuccinos with these machines, but you’ll have to purchase a separate frother to do so. If you still don't understand how a cappuccino differs from a latte, be sure to check out our latte vs cappuccino review.
How Do I Clean A Cappuccino Machine
You should be cleaning the various parts of your cappuccino machine regularly, but because there are so many parts that you use and get dirty, it can become hard to keep track. The external portions of your machine can be cleaned as needed. Consider the spout where the coffee comes out, the frother wand, and the drip tray. You should wipe these down after every use.
If your machine has a removable water tank, you should remove it and clean it out every two months. You should clean the internal portion of your machine every three to six months to eliminate mineral buildup. This is called descaling.
In order to descale cappuccino machines, you have to purchase a descaling solution. The solution will give you step-by-step instructions, but it works by running through your machine on a brewing cycle a couple of times to clean out the insides. Maintaining your machine will extend its lifespan and ensure that your coffee always tastes its best.
How To Use A Cappuccino Machine
Many people, especially beginner baristas (professional or otherwise), don’t know that the grind size of your coffee beans is the key to achieving the best possible flavor. From coarse to fine, the grind decides how much water comes into contact with the surface area of the beans.
Grind also controls your brewing process time and how much flavor will be extracted during the process. Even the best cappuccino makers will fail if the grind size isn't on point.
Because cappuccinos use espresso brews, it’s best to grind your beans to a fine grind. Luckily, this grind is pretty common, so you can buy it as such if you don’t want to grind your own.
If you do want to grind your own coffee, you will need to make sure you have a high-quality grinder in your repertoire. If you bought a fancy espresso machine, the grinder that comes with it should suffice.
There are several benefits to creating your own coffee masterpieces at home, as opposed to going to a coffee shop. Not only can you save a couple of bucks a day, but you actually get to learn and master a new skill, becoming a cappuccino maker pro!
Cappuccino makers make it possible to explore techniques in grinding, brewing, and frothing. The end product is pretty dang enjoyable as well.
The machines we talked about today are all high-quality choices. Once you’ve read through our buyer’s guide, you can select the best option for you and get brewing!