If you've tried searching for the best cappuccino maker online, you'll know that the options seem endless. Not only that, everyone seems to have their own idea of what a cappuccino actually is.
If you’ve tried searching for the best cappuccino maker online, you’ll know that the options seem endless. Not only that, everyone seems to have their own idea of what a cappuccino actually is.
Well you’re in the right place. Not only do I consider myself somewhat of a cappuccino aficionado, I’ve also tested hundreds of cappuccino makers in my time. I’ve compiled a list of the best cappuccino makers on the market, ranging from sophisticated hybrid devices to affordable, compact home espresso machines.
So, sit back, relax and allow me to guide you through the best cappuccino makers out there!
Table of Contents
- What Exactly Is a Cappuccino?
- Why Buy a Cappuccino Maker?
- Semi-Automatic vs Fully Automatic
- Semi-Automatic Cappuccino MakersDeLonghi La Specialista MaestroBreville Barista ExpressGevi 20 Bar Espresso MachineMr. Coffee Cafe Barista
- Fully Automatic Cappuccino MakersGaggia BabilaDeLonghi Dinamica PlusJura E6Miele CM 5310
- What To Look ForPriceSizeMilk System
Best Cappuccino Makers at a Glance
Here’s a list of the best cappuccino makers that we’ll be looking at today:
What Exactly Is a Cappuccino?
There was a time in the not-so-distant past when we would never think to ask this question. Back then, a cappuccino was the drink with espresso and milk foam, so it was obvious.
Of course, things have changed, the waters have become muddied and there are dozens of variations on the espresso and steamed milk theme. Now some of us debate the differences between a cappuccino and a flat white, while others contend that a 20-ounce (591 milliliter), caramel-drizzled monstrosity can actually be called a cappuccino.
In fact, it’s gotten to the point where the Instituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano (INEI) has produced an explanatory brochure on cappuccino in an attempt to define and reclaim the classic Italian drink.
In my article on how to make a cappuccino, I dive pretty deep into the subject. However, for the purposes of this best cappuccino maker guide, I’ll keep it simple: a cappuccino is the ideal way to enjoy espresso and perfectly frothed milk together.
Why Buy a Cappuccino Maker?
Seeing as it’s almost impossible to define what a cappuccino actually is, the number one reason for buying a cappuccino maker is to gain control over your own destiny! I can’t count the number of times I’ve ordered a cappuccino, only to be disappointed by what the barista hands me. I’m not saying it’s the barista’s fault; it’s just that my idea of the perfect cappuccino is very specific.
Whether I’m using a home espresso machine or a moka pot and a milk frother, I know that the cappuccino I make for myself at home will be exactly what I want. Sure, it’ll take a little practice to develop your skills, but being your own barista can be very rewarding!
And let’s not forget that if you’re buying a cappuccino from your local cafe every morning, the money you’re spending can add up fast. Seriously, you’re looking at five or six bucks a pop. With that in mind, there can be little doubt that making a cappuccino at home will be way more cost-effective.
Types of Cappuccino Maker: Semi-Automatic vs Fully Automatic
When you’re searching for the best cappuccino maker, the biggest decision you’ll need to make is whether you want a semi-automatic or a fully automatic machine.
Of course, there are manual espresso machines too, but these are more geared toward espresso extraction than milk steaming. Plus, a manual machine like the La Pavoni Professional involves a pretty steep learning curve.
Anyway, a semi-automatic espresso machine ultimately gives you more control over your espresso and milk foam. For the most part, you’ll be responsible for grinding, dosing and tamping ground coffee, as well as manually steaming milk. A home espresso machine demands plenty of skill and hands-on involvement, but you’ll be able to make a cappuccino exactly how you want it.
On the other hand, a fully automatic machine does most of the work for you. Sure, you can usually adjust plenty of settings and parameters for espresso and milk froth, but you’ll sacrifice a lot of control. With that said, automatic coffee makers are incredibly sophisticated. In fact, some of the best cappuccinos I’ve ever had have come from Jura, DeLonghi and other super automatics.
The Best Semi-Automatic Cappuccino Makers
Let’s take a look at a few of my favorite semi-automatic espresso machines. All the options below are capable of producing a fantastic cappuccino.
DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro
What can I say? The DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro is a truly remarkable machine.
Seeing as it has a grinder on board and offers the option of automatically frothed milk, the La Specialista Maestro is more of a hybrid device than anything. However, you can take control and really get to grips with espresso extraction and milk steaming.
Costing $1,399.95, the DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro is quite the investment. That said, what you get is the best of all worlds. During my hands-on review I was consistently impressed by the machine’s features, including its integrated burr grinder, smart-tamping station and powerful steam wand.
Still, when it came to whipping up a cappuccino, my barista skills were overshadowed by the automatic LatteCrema milk system. Seriously, the smooth, creamy consistency of the foam it delivered was second-to-none.
Above all, the DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro gives you a wide range of options. You can use it kind of like a super automatic, or immerse yourself in developing your barista chops. The world’s your oyster!
See Also: DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro Hands-on Review 2023
Breville Barista Express
The Breville Barista Express is another espresso machine with a built-in grinder, but I’d say this is a better option for beginners looking for the best cappuccino maker. At $559.95, the price is right too!
That’s not to say there isn’t a lot for more seasoned home baristas to get their teeth into, though. In fact, the Barista Express offers a ton of advanced features including digital PID temperature control, an 18-level burr grinder and dynamic pre infusion. Plus, the machine lets you really dial in your espresso by adjusting water temperature, dose and shot timing.
As for milk froth, I was really impressed by this machine’s powerful manual steam wand. There’s more than enough steam pressure to generate beautifully structured cappuccino foam. What’s more, if you want to develop your latte art skills, you’ll be able to create really silky microfoam with the Barista Express.
See Also: Breville Barista Express Hands-on Review 2023
Gevi 20 Bar Espresso Machine
The best cappuccino maker doesn’t have to cost the Earth, and the Gevi 20 Bar Espresso Machine certainly proves it. Costing just $N/A, there’s a reason this compact little machine has earned the title of “Best Budget” cappuccino maker.
Although the Gevi 20 Bar is a budget-friendly espresso machine, it has plenty of advanced features to recommend it. For starters you get thermoblock heating, which means the Gevi will be ready to make a cappuccino in next to no time. What’s more, dual thermostats independently monitor temperature for espresso and steam.
Thanks to its cool LED screen, the Gevi 20 Bar Espresso Machine is super straightforward to operate. Of course, you’ll need a separate coffee grinder if you want to get the best out of the Gevi, but its included dual-wall filter baskets make dialing in espresso a little easier. When you’re ready to make a cappuccino, the panarello steam wand has what it takes to create pillowy foam. What more could you ask for?
See Also: Gevi 20 Bar Espresso Machine Review 2023
Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista
The Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista has been on my radar for a while now. In fact, a lot of people rate this machine as the best cappuccino maker there is.
For $199.99 on Amazon, the price is certainly right. However, there’s more to the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista than that. This espresso machine has a 15 bar pump, so you can be sure of getting authentic espresso.
What’s really cool is the Cafe Barista’s automatic milk system. The neat milk carafe slots onto the side of the machine and dispenses creamy milk froth without you having to move your cup. A dial on the carafe allows you to fine tune your milk froth consistency from that of a latte all the way to a cappuccino.
For such an inexpensive and compact machine, that’s a really cool milk system. I can see why everyone is talking about the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista!
Related: Mr. Coffee 12 Cup Coffee Maker Review 2023
The Best Fully Automatic Cappuccino Makers
If you’d rather not get bogged down with manual espresso preparation and milk steaming, there are tons of awesome super automatic espresso machines to consider. Let’s take a look at my favorite fully automatic cappuccino makers.
When I was compiling my list of the best cappuccino makers, it was kind of a no-brainer to name the Gaggia Babila “Best Performing” machine. I mean, this fully automatic espresso machine just has so much going on under the hood.
Sure, the Babila doesn’t have a fancy color touchscreen, but that doesn’t mean it can’t make superb espresso and specialty drinks. Not only that, the Gaggia Babila has two boilers, so there’s no wait time between espresso and milk foam.
If you’re looking for a super automatic that lets you delve deep into various settings, the Babila really delivers. You can fine-tune your espresso and milk froth to your heart’s content until you’ve achieved the perfect cappuccino. Best of all, the Babila has a manual steam wand and an automatic milk system.
Costing $1,699.51 on Amazon, the Babila ain’t cheap. However, considering everything you get from this machine, I’d say it represents extremely good value for money.
See Also: Gaggia Babila Review 2023
DeLonghi Dinamica Plus
Regular Coffeeness readers will already know how much I love the DeLonghi Dinamica Plus, and not just because it’s been endorsed by Brad Pitt! Seriously, the Dinamica Plus exemplifies what a mid-range fully automatic machine should be.
The Dinamica Plus has it all: there’s a beautiful color touchscreen display, an app that actually works well and a stainless steel conical burr grinder with 13 adjustment levels. Heck, this thing even makes awesome iced coffee! And at $1,199.99, the DeLonghi Dinamica Plus out-performs quite a few machines that cost twice as much.
Still, there has to be a reason the Dinamica Plus has landed on my “Best Cappuccino Maker” list, right? Well let me tell you, the automatic LatteCrema system makes some of the best cappuccino foam I’ve ever seen. You’re also able to tweak various settings to get a cappuccino just how you like it. Essentially, that’s a dream come true for cappuccino devotees!
See Also: DeLonghi Dinamica Plus Hands-on Review 2023
Jura produces a wide range of pretty spectacular super automatic espresso machines. With that said, I feel like the slightly overlooked Jura E6 is the best cappuccino maker of the lot.
In fact, cappuccino is the only milk-based specialty beverage you’ll find on the Jura E6 menu. That might seem a little limiting if you like to experiment with other drinks, but you are able to fine-tune the amount of milk foam the machine produces. On the other hand, cappuccino lovers will be in heaven!
Aside from its awesome milk froth capabilities, the E6 has everything you’d expect from a Jura machine. There’s a quiet and consistent Aroma G3 grinder on board, and the machine uses Pulse Extraction Process (P.E.P.) technology to produce sublime espresso. Speaking of espresso, there are eight strength levels for customizing your extraction.
Costing $1,700.00, the Jura E6 represents astonishingly good value for money in my opinion.
See Also: Jura E6 Review 2023
Miele CM 5310
One of the German manufacturer’s more recent additions, the Miele CM 5310 will appeal to newbies and experts alike. Seriously, this machine has it all.
For starters, the whisper-quiet, stainless steel conical burr grinder is simply outstanding. Add in the fact that you can customize just about every setting you can imagine, and there’s little doubt the CM 5310 will produce excellent espresso.
As for milk foam, the Miele CM 5310 features a simple and effective automatic frother that really delivers the goods. In short, making the cappuccino of your dreams shouldn’t be a problem with the CM 5310.
You won’t get a fancy color touchscreen interface or dozens of specialty drink options with the CM 5310. However, Miele machines are always sturdy, easy to operate and understated in their design. With that in mind, the $1,399.00 price tag is a steal if you ask me.
See Also: Miele CM 5310 Review 2023
Choosing the Best Cappuccino Maker: What To Look For
As you narrow down your search for the best cappuccino maker, the questions will likely keep coming! Whether you’re looking for a home espresso machine or an automatic coffee maker, there are a few things to consider:
How much you’re willing to spend on a cappuccino maker really comes down to your budget. Of course, you should also think about how often you’ll use the machine – if it’s meant to eliminate your daily coffee shop visits, investing a little more up front will really pay off in the long run.
With that said, not everyone can splash out on an expensive Jura coffee machine. Fortunately, however, there are plenty of budget-friendly options on my list.
Countertop real estate can come at a real premium in some kitchens, which is why you might need to measure carefully before committing to a cappuccino maker.
Again, this also comes down to your priorities and how often you’ll use the thing. After all, if your daily cappuccino takes precedence over your breakfast, you might feel fine about shelving the toaster in favor of a bulky coffee machine!
Being able to produce fine-textured milk foam is integral to making a good cappuccino. That’s just a fact of life. The question is whether or not you trust an automatic machine to do the job.
I’m confident in the abilities of all the fully automatic machines I’ve listed above, and feel like they can all make excellent cappuccinos. However, there are plenty of coffee snobs who would sneer at the idea of a machine being able to take the place of a barista.
Personally, I love using a steam wand, but it does take quite a bit of practice, and some folks never get the hang of it. Perhaps the best-case scenario is a machine like the Gaggia Babila, which has both manual and automatic milk systems. Only you can decide!
Do you love cappuccinos as much as I do? What’s the best cappuccino maker in your opinion? I look forward to your comments!
Cappuccino Maker FAQ
There are loads of great cappuccino makers, but here are my top picks:
- Gaggia Babila – Best Performing
- DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro – Best Overall
- Gevi 20 Bar Espresso Machine – Best Budget
If you find yourself spending more money than you’d like at the coffee shop each day, a cappuccino maker is definitely worth it.
Cappuccino makers are available at a wide range of price points. You can spend as little as around $100, and as much as $5,000 on a cappuccino machine.
One way to make cappuccino without a machine is to brew up coffee in a moka pot and froth milk on the stove.
For a traditional cappuccino, your best bet is to use a cup with a 5.5 ounce (162 milliliter) capacity.