Best Cappuccino Machines Reviewed And Compared
A delicious creamy cappuccino can be a quintessential element during a person’s morning. This Italian beverage was introduced to the world in the late 1930s and has become a household name in every café around the world.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker, Electric Titan
- Brentwood GA-125 Espresso Cappuccino Maker
- Ninja Coffee Bar Glass Carafe System Cappuccino Maker
- 6 different brew sizes
The high-end coffee shop boom in the 1990s and the growth of Starbucks helped cappuccino become ever popular in North America. Before that, it was a common feature among cafés & even households in Europe & Australia. Cappuccino machines are versatile machines as they can make most drinks one would find in a bar, therefore a useful item to have on your kitchen counter.
The key to obtaining a great taste lies in the machine’s ability to produce quality espresso or crema. Some folks prefer hot milk and foamed milk aded to their coffees and machines can help heat milk. There are many great coffee & cappuccino machine brands out there today. As the demand for better beverages rises, the product quality is also bound to improve. Different brands use different methods to achieve their desired end product which is the best tasting cappuccino; period.
10 Best Cappuccino Machines
1. Nespresso C60-US-TI-NE
Capsule/ Pod based system
0.7L removable water tank
Pressure 19 bar
Size: 4.4 x 9.3 x 12.8 inches
Weight: 7.4 pounds
The aesthetics is quite simple, but the Pixie is designed only to be used with Nespresso pods. The system is fine tuned to perfection so that the ideal temperature is reached fairly quickly. Despite being built for making espressos, this machine does excel at making great cappuccinos.
A feature that the Nespresso boasts is the very handy water level indicator system. Considering it’s an opaque container this is a very good feature to have. Incidentally, it’s something even the Jura which is way more expensive lacks. The flexibility and availability of the Nespresso pods is something that comes in very handy if you like a bit of variety or just the classics. The flipside is that folks who like to use pods from different brands can’t.
While the Nespresso Pixie is very economical on its own, the pods can be expensive. Nespresso is indeed a brand known for excellence, but it does come at a price. For those looking for a quick cup of coffee and are not bothered about the fine details, so much this detail might prove too costly.
- A higher pressure that gets the most out of the pods
- Great price value
- Water leaking issues
2. Brentwood GA-125
Size: 13.5 x 10.2 x 8.5 inches
Weight: 4.8 pounds
An inexpensive yet functional option is something beginners enjoy and the Brentwood does not disappoint. You can even brew a lot of espressos at one shot. The steamer & frother do work well. However, the end product is not equal to some higher end models like the Jura.
Having the cappuccino hot is quintessential. The Brentwood does disappoint a little on that front in the sense that the end product is not very hot. Durability issues were also reported by some users. This can be expected at times given the super economical price tag. It’s also one of the lightest on our list & if you are into moving things around your kitchen counter or remodelling, then this will suit your needs nicely. The glass decanter comes with a very grippy and cool handle which is a very welcome solution.
It offers immense value to those who want a quick & good tasting cappuccino without worrying about too many of the bells and whistles.
- Highly inexpensive
- Good quality
- Steamer is quite powerful
- Does not grind beans
- Plastic or cheap feel to the build
3. Ninja Coffee CF092
Size: 15 x 11.3 x 16.3 inches
Weight: 13.8 pounds
Serving Sizes: 6
Removable water container
There are 2 versions with & without the multi serve tumblers
You can really mimic the taste of a delicious cappuccino from Starbucks with the Ninja CF092. We really like the fact that the device has 6 different brew sizes. It is feature packed just like its predecessor the CF80. This machine also lets you make many different varieties of coffee. The slight downside is that you have to manually grind the beans beforehand instead of the machine doing it for you.
The effectiveness of the Ninja stems from the fact that everything is well automated and the saturation process involved before passing the hot water over the grounds makes your hot cappuccino that much more delicious. Other machines tend to pass hot water over the grounds too quickly making the drink taste less rich & bitter occasionally. The machine also includes a hot & cold frother which can come in handy when creating a variety of beverages. The design is quite compact and very easy to clean which is a huge bonus for many folks
The price is one of the biggest selling points considering the features involved. If you want something purely for the features then this is definitely the coffee maker for you.
- Many different brew sizes
- Value for money
- Multiple brewing modes are handy
- Very easy to clean
- Takes slightly longer to reach the ideal temperature
- Can only handle ground beans
4. De'Longhi America EN750MB
Size: 10.8” x 7.6” x 13”
Weight: 12.6 pounds
6 pre-programmed drink options
LED Touch Display
19-bar water pressure system
Nespresso Capsule System
This premium design will make any kitchen bench look classy. The core functionality is quite good with the nespresso pods already optimized for the device. There are about 22 varieties of coffee pods which work well with the EN750MB. The machine has a lage milk container which is detachable. This is a big bonus as you can make larger cups of coffee & store away any extra milk in the fridge when the maker is not in use.
A downside with this particular DeLonghi is that the milk nor the coffee comes out very hot. While the automated Latte Crema system works the lack of heat is a slight letdown when you weigh in the price one pays. The sensor display is very handy & the touch screen lets you know when to clean the milk container too. Flexibility wise it can leave you wanting as the nespresso pods can be expensive but this is quite subjective.
The De’Longhi America might seem like a pricey product but it is far from it if you factor in the quality on offer. It offers superb value to anyone looking for a great taste producing product with a premium finish. The price of the pods can add on over time, other than that this is indeed a great buy.
- Excellent taste
- Removable milk container
- Build quality & aesthetics are top notch
- Adjustable cup support
- Frothed milk could be hotter
- The cappuccino pods can be expensive
5. Breville BES870XL
15 bar pressure pump
Weight: 23 pounds
Size: 13.2 x 12.5 x 15.8 inches
Removable Water Tank (2L)
If you are chasing perfection then this might not necessarily be the one for you. The BES870XL performs admirably nonetheless. The build quality is great with a premium finish that will liven up any kitchen counter. The pressure gauge is extremely handy for folks looking to learn the art of making coffee.
It does include all the usual bells & whistles like the removable drip catcher, water tank, and automated cleaning cycle. The frother is top notch and far superior to the one in other cheap machines. The grinder is not the best but is definitely functional. On the negative side of things many users reported that some parts fail after a few months use. The brewing process on this can be a bit complex to learn at first.
The features are primarily what makes this machine one of our favorites & a very good machine overall. The size is pretty compact so that it doesn’t take too much of space and the fact that you can store some tools like the cleaning kit is very handy indeed. Overall, an expensive but excellent choice for any serious cappuccino drinker.
- Can make amazing cappuccinos
- Comes with many accessories
- Storage for tools is handy
- Build quality a bit iffy
- Grinder not up to scratch
6. Jura Giga 5 13623
17 programmable specialty coffee types
Twin ceramic disk grinders and heaters
Weight: 39.3 pounds
Size: 12.6 x 16.3 x 19.6 inches
Fixed water tank
The Giga 5 is as premium as they come. The dual grinders and heaters are a great setup which also help you mix and match. For instance, you may blend decaf with regular beans. The heat produced is excellent and you can get a very hot cup of coffee extremely quickly. The frother is great as reported by many users. The machine can produce an immense amount of heat but the ventilation system is well designed so you don’t have to deal with a mini furnace as such.
Whilst everything with respect to the milk is well taken care off, the water level is hard to check unlike in other cappuccino makers we have seen so far. The machines like the DeLonghi will aid you in the cleaning process. The programmability is immense on the Jura as you can make every drop of cappuccino precisely to your liking.
The Jura is extremely expensive compared to other alternatives but it does offer its fair share in terms of quality & features. If you are into having premium quality cappuccinos every day, brewing multiple cappuccinos, love to mix thing up and don’t mind the price tag then the Giga 5 will suit you nicely.
- Can make a couple of cappuccinos at the same time
- Frothing mechanism is great
- Can utilize 2 bean types at the same time
- Very expensive
7. Hamilton Beach 40792
Size: 14.4 x 9.7 x 11.7 inches
Weight: 9.4 pounds
15 bar pressure pump.
Removable water container
You can make drinks and even steamed milk effortlessly. It serves up hot water too and this is something that other machines lack. A much-underrated feature in most machines is the cup warmer, and the Hamilton Beach 40792 has this. The slide and lock feature is useful for beginners and prevents any errors or stumbles from taking place making the brewing process a breeze.
The Hamilton Beach is also very easy to clean. The downside is related to the frother. A good frother will ensure you have a good cappuccino and the frother is weak as reported by some users. A slight redesign to ensure that steam on the frother is more potent would make this device even better.
If you weigh up the features on offer, the Hamilton Beach Cappuccino machine is indeed a bargain. For those who are just starting out or looking for the occasional but good tasting cappuccino, this is right up your alley.
- Works with pods & ground beans
- Can brew a single cup or an entire travel mug
- Quality build
- The frother could be more potent
8. Mr. Coffee ECMP50
Size: 11.4” x 13.7” x 13”
Weight: 1.2 pounds
Removable water reservoir
The ECMP50 has one-touch brew controls which are easy to use. The downside of that is you are unable to brew full carafes or many other sizes. You can comfortably make delicious standard size cappuccinos. This machine is great for beginners and to learn the barista trade as well. It doesn’t come with too many accessories, just a single & double shot filter.
A slight inconvenience is that the steamer arm is a bit short hence a small glass is advisable. The water reservoir and the drip tray are all easily removable for cleaning purposes. Some users did report durability issues following constant usage. The ECMP50 is an ideal choice for those looking to brew multiple cups of cappuccino or other beverages at the same time. The 15 bar pressure system is great for extracting a rich brew for one's enjoyment.
Although the Mr. Coffee is not capable of making the most delicious cappuccino like some of the higher end ones which we touched on, it is quite economical. This makes it a great choice for the home and for folks just starting to learn the art of coffee making.
- Can brew 2 shots at the same time
- Great option for beginners
- Economical option for home
- Steams milk very well
- Durability issues
- Sizing options are limited
- Doesn’t come with too many accessories
9. Keurig Rivo
Size: 11.4 x 10.8 x 11.4 inches
Weight: 17 pounds
15 bars of pressure
Three frothing modes
Any serious cappuccino lover would have either owned or used a Keurig machine which in itself a testament to the brand. The River sports a simple aesthetic design and its key attribute is consistency performance wise. The frothing quality is very good which ensures your daily cup of cappuccino is quite good!
While there are many varieties of pods in the market, it can be hard at times to find the one that suits your machine alone. This is a bit of a downside as this machine could be better if it had more flexibility. Similar to what users reported on the Ninja & other models with a similar price tag, the temperature is not ideal for making other beverages. This is more a cultural difference as Lavazza beans have a different ideal temperature for extracting the best which is more suited to the Italian Culture than the American one.
The River is a very affordable option for the ardent cappuccino drinker who likes a more authentic Italian flavor than an American one. A very ordinary looking machine which offers solid value for the buyer.
- Can make a cappuccino within 3-5 mins
- Good tasting cappuccino
- Frother is good
- Not the greatest for brewing espresso shots & other things
10. Gaggia 14101
Size: 15 x 13 x 12
Weight: 20 pounds
Removable 72oz water reservoir
17 bar pressure pump system
The panarello wand for frothing cappuccinos is very good. The wand is also conveniently placed and is away from the casing unlike other models where because of its proximity you can burn yourself. The portafilter is thick and is very easy to grip. We very much liked the quality of the double shot filter basket which is a vital element when it comes to making cappuccinos. This is a positive trait considering everything else about the machine is super light including the body casing.
Many users have reported issues and having trouble shoot their way to fix and properly use the 3 way solenoid valve that is present. The Gaggia does make a mean cappuccino but does require some trials to get the best extraction from the beans. Gaggia also provide very clear installation instructions which is a bonus.
Price wise it is comparable to the DeLonghi and the Breville but slightly less expensive. A middle ground option for those who don’t want a cheap pump based machine but also do not want to shell out a lot for something like the Breville.
- Easy to assemble
- Good value for money
- Simple yet functional design
- Some users experienced issues with the 3 way solenoid valve
- Unable to brew carafe sized beverages
Criteria for Evaluation
Making cappuccino is an art and during our testing and selection process, we evaluated which machines help facilitate the creation of this beverage. In order to provide you with an accurate review of each product, we took into consideration some important criteria.
To make sure to include only the best cappuccino machines on the market today, we used the following evaluation criteria.
Performance – This is related to the taste produced, the power drawn & the features involved.
Build Quality – Quality of the parts and durability.
Ease of Use – The ability to perform core functions and use the machine without too much fuss.
Everyday care – Make sure it is easy to care for and maintain in time the machine.
Practicality in a lot of ways is everything especially during mornings when you don’t have the time to play around and you need to get to your workplace in a timely manner. A good machine ticks off all of the above criteria and more. Now let’s delve into each section.
The performance aspect of any cappuccino machine is the most important criteria according to us. This represents the core functionality of what you are after and has several elements to it. First up, is the taste. The ability of the machine to extract every ounce of flavor and essence from the grind or pods is vital.
As we mentioned earlier, different brands adopt different methods and in earlier years steam driven machines dominated the market with steam being used to extract the espresso needed for the cappuccino by force. Over time, this has proved to be quite ineffective when compared to the pump driven machines.
The pump driven machines include the semi-automatic and automatic variants and these are the type of machines you will find on our list. This is primarily down to the fact that they can quickly and easily reach the required brewing temperature of 190 to 196 Fahrenheits. Some folks prefer it as high as 200 and pump based machines do tend to cater to that.
Italian pod based machines tend to have a slightly lower temperature due to different preferences; lower temperatures are ideal when making a delicious cappuccino.
During our tests, we also considered which machines have the highest brewing pressure. Our ideal cappuccino machine should be able to exert at least 15 atm or bars of pressure. A lower number usually indicates that there is an undesirable change in flavor.
We also tested the ability of the machine to produce espresso cream or froth the milk, not just once but over an extended period of time. A few machines on our list also have the ability to mix and match and even produce two cups of cappuccinos at the same time which is a sought after trait.
Normally, performance is determined by the quality of parts. Aesthetically, machines tend to vary & this is primarily reflected by the price of the machine. A stainless steel or premium finish is much desired as it can enrich the appearance of any counter top.
Heat resistance & temperature maintenance is important which is why we need the machine to be made of good material. The machine can get extremely hot considering the temperatures reached are about 200 degrees Fahrenheits. A high-quality machine will insulate the heat very well so that you are not in any discomfort during the cappuccino making process.
There are many parts to an espresso machine; the porta filter, the water tank, the milk container, etc. Some machines do offer accessories like a steamer cup, tampers & more and these are great additions.
The tamper quality for instance is very important to help you get an even layer of coffee. Any variances and the extraction process loses its efficiency. The inclusion of a grinder is awesome to have. If you are not into espresso pods and grinding beans yourself, then you can save a lot of space on the counter. A coffee machine with a grinder can eliminate the need for a separate device altogether. Having said that, the quality of the grinder is also important as the beans have to be ground fine but not ultra-fine. That’s why the Jura Giga 5 which we touched on earlier is special. It includes a lot of these positive elements and so much more.
The variety among these features is massive when considering things. We have weighed up this kind of factors & more to identify machines with strong build characteristics.
Ease of Use
This has a direct correlation with the build quality as the design needs to be customer friendly. Fully automated & semi-automated systems need to have less interaction time than a steam based system for instance. The ease of use has also to do with the removability of parts. The gist includes:
- Positioning & accessibility of parts
- Types of input allowed
Having removable milk containers & water tanks can be handy especially when preserving the excess milk and during refilling.
Ease of installation is another thing to consider. All machines on the list provide detailed instructions on how to setup and operate your cappuccino machine. Some even provide setup videos which are very valuable and expedite the process of assembling one.
In regard to the automation process, the ability to program your machine to your exact specification was taken into consideration. Having many preprogrammed drink options is great and this pertains to the DeLonghi & Breville. We also value the customization on hand in machines like the Giga 5. This enables one to learn the art of making a cappuccion and fine tune it to their taste and preferences.
When it comes to coffee beans, we have taken into consideration even the types of pods or beans the machine requires you to use. Nespresso pods can be easy to find but can cost you a more than just regular coffee beans. If machines are not restricted to a brand of the pod or a brand of bean and allow customization, then this is an ideal choice machine.
The ease of use ties in well with everyday care. A cappuccino machine is not something you use every day but is to be cleaned at least once in a month or so. Most machines require cleaning almost every day at least on the drip tray. Some machines are much smarter and help enormously with the incorporated cleaning functions.
The ease in removing parts is just one aspect involved in everyday care. You don’t want to deal with a machine where you have to remove a few pins or pieces to reach the water tank. We selected machines that have frequently used components in very accessible locations. A machine that can tell you when to clean and also clean a vast majority of components in an automated manner is a top choice.
The drip tray is something that requires attention after every use. Similarly, for automated machines, the base of the filters and the feeding tubes need to be kept clean without any dried coffee sediments.
To extend the life & efficiency of the products on this list, one must be able to maintain it. By maintenance, we also mean the ability of the manufacturer to provide spares, compatibility of the spares and clear instructions for service especially after the warranty expires.
Q: What other things can a cappuccino machine make?
Other than cappuccinos, most machines make great espresso as a double shot of espresso is the heart & soul of the cappuccino itself. Lattes, regular coffee & iced beverages are othertypes of beverages that you can make. For pod based machines, you can make just about anything as long as you find the flavor you want.
Q: What are the necessary accessories for a cappuccino maker?
This depends on the level of automation but assuming you opt for a simplistic model, a tamper, portafilter, single & double shot filters, a milk pitcher, a cleaning brush or other equipment and a knock box. These are the essentials at least.
Absolutely. Most machines on the market allow you to just get hot water for your everyday use. Some highly automated ones might not have this feature due to the functioning of various integrated processes.
Q: What milk is best for cappuccinos and does it all work with the machines?
Skimmed and whole milk are ideal choices for getting the best froth. Milk that has 1 or 2% of fat are next in line. Some folks like soy milk which does have protein essential for creating froth but the froth does not hold up for very long. In rare cases, some machines do not recommend soy milk, but most do.
Q: How can I get the best-frothed milk?
A key point to note is that using cold and fresh milk will give you good froth. Typically milk lasts for about 12-15 days. Colder milk taken right out of the fridge is well suited for the process. The proteins in the milk are what facilitates the creation of the bubbles and froth so if you do decide to use organic or lactose-free options the process will not work as the protein content is depleted. To avoid the formation of bacteria try not to utilize already steamed milk.
Q: What do automatic machines do exactly?
The super automatic machines like the Jura will determine how many beans are required, grind them and then extract the shots needed for the cappuccino directly into your cup. The milk is also frothed by the machine to give you a sumptuous cappuccino. It’s important to note that even some fully automated machines leave the frothing process to the individual by providing a steam wand.
Q: How long does it typically take to extract 2 to 3 ounces of the double shot required for the cappuccinos?
Typically the sweet spot is between 25 & 30 seconds.
Q: Why am I unable to get an even flavor despite an excellent frothing?
Frothing requires the use of cold milk but also the bubbles play a big role in getting the perfect creamy product. Stop the frothing mid-way if the bubbles are too big and stir a bit so that they become small. The temperature of the end product after frothing should be about 60 degrees C.
These scenarios almost always boil down to debris being present in the water lines or the valve. This can be cleaned easily though.
Q: What is the best way to clean the valve?
In cases where the valve is clogged, you simply clear any debris or leftovers with a toothpick. Additionally, if you like your machine to be squeaky clean at all times, you can use a white vinegar which is great for cleaning just about any kitchen appliance. Run the vinegar through the machine followed by water, and it should free up your valve for regular use.
Q: What is the common cause of leaks in these machines?
When your cappuccino machine starts to leak or drip water, it usually points a gasket coming loose at some point. In these scenarios, you have to contact the company to obtain a replacement gasket. In rare cases, build quality issues resulting in misalignment of parts can also cause leaks.
Q: The list includes a wide range of price points for different devices, what will be a good fit for me?
The quality of the machines require determine what you must opt for. An easy way to go about it is if you prefer the perfect cup of cappuccino in different sizes at least once or twice a day; if yes, then opt for the higher end models like the Jura. If you are just starting out or are an occasional drinker but still see the value in an investment, then opt for an entry level option like the Ninja or Mr. Coffee. If you have passed the beginner stage and are looking for some level of automation, then the DeLonghi or the Breville will be worth the investment.