Try asking Google for the best latte machines and you'll get an endless list of options. The latte is one of the most popular milk-based espresso drinks in North America, but not every machine is capable of getting it right.
Try asking Google for the best latte machines and you’ll get an endless list of options. The latte is one of the most popular milk-based espresso drinks in North America, but not every machine is capable of getting it right.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to step in and create what I consider to be the ultimate list of the best latte machines. There’s something for everyone here, ranging from classic semi-automatic espresso machines to sophisticated super automatics. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- What Makes a Good Latte?
- Why Buy a Latte Machine?
- Semi-Automatic Latte MachinesBreville Oracle TouchCalphalon Temp IQDeLonghi La SpecialistaRancilio Silvia
- Fully Automatic Latte MachinesJura S8Philips 4300 LatteGoDeLonghi Dinamica PlusGaggia Magenta Prestige
- What to Look ForPriceSizeMilk System
Best Latte Machines at a Glance
Here’s a quick look at the best latte machines I’ll be discussing today:
What Makes a Good Latte?
There’s little doubt that the latte’s origins can be traced back to Italy. In fact, most Italian households still prepare caffe latte every morning, using a moka pot and a simple milk frother. However, the modern latte is said to have originated in San Francisco. The owner of an Italian cafe found that his cappuccino was too strong for American customers. So, he started adding more milk or latte and, well, you know how things turned out.
These days, it’s almost impossible to define a “true” latte. Unlike the cappuccino, for which the Italians have created a manifesto, the latte has no definition. The result? A latte can be any number of combinations of steamed milk and espresso, often served in a huge cup and loaded up with sugary syrups. And don’t even get me started on the flat white!
Of course, let’s not forget about the latte macchiato. Starbucks monstrosities aside, this traditional Italian beverage involves pouring a small amount of espresso over a tall glass of steamed milk and foam. The resulting layers are beautiful to behold, and drinking this creation is an exercise in unadulterated pleasure!
Why Buy a Latte Machine?
As I already mentioned, it’s next to impossible to define what a latte actually is. What I imagine to be the perfect latte might be completely different to the image that’s in your head right now.
So, here’s your first reason for buying a latte machine! You’ll be able to enjoy the latte of your dreams whenever you want, without having to wonder what today’s barista is going to hand over.
Of course, another major reason for buying a latte machine involves money. In case you hadn’t noticed, the price of milky coffee drinks isn’t going down. If you’re hitting the coffee shop each morning, you’ll be lucky to walk out of there without having dropped 6 bucks on your latte.
That really adds up over the course of a month. All the best latte machines involve a substantial investment up front. However, you’ll definitely save money in the long run.
The Best Semi-Automatic Latte Machines
Espresso purists would never dream of using anything other than a semi-automatic espresso machine. Let’s start by taking a look at some of my favorite home espresso machines, all of which are capable of producing a world-class latte.
Breville Oracle Touch
- Makes excellent espresso
- Suitable for beginners
- Manual or automatic milk frothing
- Intuitive touchscreen interface
- Very expensive
As I was compiling a list of the best latte machines for this article, awarding the Breville Oracle Touch the title of “Best Overall” felt like a no-brainer.
Seriously, this wonderful hybrid espresso machine has it all – from a built-in burr grinder and automatic dosing and tamping, to an intuitive touchscreen display and automatic milk frothing.
You won’t be surprised to hear that the Oracle Touch doesn’t come cheap. However, for $2,799.95 you’re getting a lot of machine. Not only does the Oracle Touch allow you to craft superb espresso and milk froth, but it does so in a way that’s accessible to both newbies and seasoned baristas.
You can use this espresso machine almost like a fully automatic coffee maker and let it guide you. Or, you can take over and adjust every little setting imaginable. Either way, you’ll get really high-quality results. Oh, and the automatic milk frothing function is a marvel to behold – the milk froth it created during my testing made me doubt my barista skills!
See Also: Breville Oracle Touch Hands-On Review 2023
Calphalon Temp IQ
- Thermoblock and PID control
- Compact design
- Easy to operate
- Powerful steam wand
- Quite noisy
Not all of the best latte machines require you to take a second mortgage out on your home, as evidenced by the Calphalon Temp IQ. This awesome little espresso machine costs just $279.99, which is why I’ve named it the “Best Budget” option on this list.
With that said, you’ll need to invest in a good coffee grinder to get the best out of the Temp IQ. Still, you’ll be able to have a really effective espresso setup for around $700 if you shoot for a grinder like the Comandante.
Aside from its compact design, standout features include stainless steel housing, PID temperature control and a pre infusion function. Plus, the Temp IQ comes with a cafe-sized 58 millimeter portafilter.
During my hands-on review of the Calphalon Temp iQ I was particularly impressed by the machine’s commercial-grade manual steam wand. I was able to conjure up some pretty fantastic microfoam with the thing. Let’s just say that if lattes are your thing, this espresso machine won’t disappoint.
See Also: Calphalon Temp IQ Hands-On Review 2023
DeLonghi La Specialista
- High quality design
- Intuitive operation
- Built-in grinder
- Makes excellent milk froth
- Steep learning curve
The DeLonghi La Specialista is another hybrid espresso machine that blurs the line between super automatic and semi-automatic. Featuring a distinctive retro vibe, the La Specialista is guaranteed to grab all the attention in your kitchen.
Unlike the Breville Oracle Touch, this espresso machine demands more from the user – there’s no touchscreen display offering guidance here. Still, once you’ve got the hang of the La Specialista, you’ll be able to produce wonderful espresso. Not only that, the machine’s $899.95 price tag represents a real bargain in my opinion.
As you’d expect, the machine allows you to tweak shot volume, temperature, pre infusion time and much more. Plus, the built-in grinder with “Smart Tamping Station” means everything you need is right there.
Although you can steam milk manually, the DeLonghi Specialista really shines when its automatic frother comes into play. Honestly, I was amazed by the quality of the microfoam the machine could produce. Plus, the La Specialista has twin thermoblocks, so you can prepare espresso and milk foam simultaneously.
See Also: DeLonghi La Specialista Hands-On Review 2023
- Compact and minimalist design
- High quality components
- Makes excellent espresso
- Powerful steam wand
- Requires skill to use
For some folks, the best latte machines demand care, attention and skill to operate. If that sounds like you, consider checking out the Rancilio Silvia. This classic home espresso machine has long been a favorite of mine, even though it can be quite finicky at times.
Released in the ’90s, this machine has barely changed over the years, and still features a classic boxy design, rugged stainless steel housing and a commercial group head. Seeing as the Rancilio Silvia is a single boiler machine, there’s a 20 minute wait time as it heats up. Plus, operating the thing successfully involves learning how to “temperature surf” in order to achieve the correct brewing and steaming temperatures.
However, if you’re willing to put the work in, you’ll be rewarded with excellent espresso. What’s more, the Rancilio Silvia’s manual steam wand is a s powerful as you could hope for. That means whipping up beautiful frothed milk for a latte will be a breeze every time.
See Also: Rancilio Silvia Hands-On Review 2023
The Best Fully Automatic Latte Machines
There’s no doubt that a fully automatic coffee machine makes it a lot easier to prepare a delicious latte. Here’s a selection of some of my favorite super automatic espresso machines.
- High quality design and build
- Adjustable microfoam
- Touchscreen display
- Awesome espresso
- Requires a hefty investment
Although it tends to get overshadowed by some of the Swiss manufacturer’s more high-profile offerings, the Jura S8 has quickly become one of my favorite super automatics. Sure, $2,699.00 is a lot of money to spend on a coffee maker, but I think the Jura S8 can justify the investment.
For starters, any Jura machine is going to look pretty in your kitchen, and the S8 is no exception. Plus, the build-quality is obvious, as is the care and attention to detail that’s gone into the design of this machine.
Aside from looks, The S8 is packed with cool features. We’re talking Jura’s amazing Pulse Extraction Process (P.E.P.) brewing technology, an Aroma G3 grinder and a striking color touchscreen display.
As for specialty drinks, the S8 has you covered. Apart from all the pre-programmed specialties, such as latte, cappuccino and flat white, you also have the option to tinker with numerous settings to create your own coffee creations.
By the way, latte fans can rejoice, thanks to the S8’s milk frother. This thing features a fine-adjustment lever which you can use to create silky microfoam in real time. How cool is that!
See Also: Jura S8 Review 2023
Philips 4300 LatteGo
- Ceramic burr grinder
- Awesome milk frothing system
- Easy to use
- Fantastic espresso
- Milk foam can be inconsistent
If you’re looking for a compact, well-designed fully automatic espresso machine that’ll really deliver the goods, the Philips 4300 LatteGo will be right up your alley. Not only that, this awesome coffee maker will cost you just $785.00, which is a steal for what you’ll get.
So, what exactly will you get for your hard-earned cash? Well, there’s a ceramic burr grinder under the hood, which is a rare find on a machine at this price point. There’s also an intuitive user interface featuring a TFT display with buttons. From here you can select drinks from the menu, then customize them to your heart’s content. While there’s no latte button, you can easily create your own version.
As for milk foam, the Philips LatteGo automatic frother is hard to beat. This integrated carafe dispenses thick, creamy froth which marries perfectly with the delicious espresso you can produce. As a bonus, the LatteGo system is remarkably easy to clean, which always scores points from me!
See Also: Philips 4300 LatteGo Review 2023
DeLonghi Dinamica Plus
- LatteCrema milk system
- Touchscreen display
- Sophisticated app
- Includes a pot function
- Limited user profiles
If you’ve spent any time perusing my Coffeeness reviews, you will have noticed that I love the DeLonghi Dinamica Plus. Seriously, I think I’ve written more words about this machine than any other! Well, get ready for a few more, because when it comes to the best latte machines, this one is hard to beat.
Costing $1,299.95, the Dinamica Plus isn’t exactly cheap. However, what you’ll get from this beauty more than justifies its price tag.
For starters, there’s a stainless steel conical burr grinder with 13 adjustment levels. Combined with all the adjustable settings for espresso, you’ll be able to make excellent specialty coffee with the Dinamica Plus. Oh, and the beautiful color touchscreen display provides a seamless and intuitive user experience.
When it comes to preparing a latte with the DeLonghi Dinamica Plus, things get even better. The automatic LatteCrema milk system produces exquisite froth, and you’re able to tweak settings to get it just how you like it. Even better, the Coffee Link app functions really well, so you can prepare that latte from the comfort of your couch!
See Also: DeLonghi Dinamica Plus Hands-On Review 2023
Gaggia Magenta Prestige
- Great value for money
- Intuitive user interface
- Integrated milk carafe
- Ceramic burr grinder
- Limited grind adjustment settings
I’ve spent a lot of time reviewing Gaggia super automatics over the past year, and have been consistently impressed. The is certainly no exception. And for $699.00, this compact machine represents an exceptional value for the money.
Gaggia really knows espresso, and there are tons of settings to play around with. Add in the fact that the Magenta Prestige is equipped with a ceramic flat burr grinder, and you can be assured of getting top-notch results. Thanks to its intuitive user interface, navigating the menus is a piece of cake, and there are 12 customizable specialty drinks to choose from.
During my Gaggia Magenta Prestige review, I was really pleased with the auto-frothing carafe. Not only does this thing produce thick, creamy milk froth, it’s also extremely well designed. The carafe simply slots onto the front of the machine, without the need for pipes or hoses.
See Also: Gaggia Magenta Prestige Review 2023
Choosing the Best Latte Machine: What to Look For
Now that you’re familiar with what I consider to be the best latte machines, it’s time to ask yourself a few questions. That way, you’ll have a clear idea of what you want before committing.
If you’re really determined to cut out those daily (or twice daily) coffee shop visits, a latte machine can be a great investment. Still, not everyone has piles of extra money lying around. Fortunately, there are some really affordable options on my list for those on a tight budget.
Just remember that if you opt for a semi-automatic espresso machine you might have to invest in a good coffee grinder to go along with it. After all, substandard espresso might have you running back to the coffee shop in search of something better!
Most of us don’t live in a house with a palace-sized kitchen, which is why size really can matter. While you’ll find some compact machines in this guide, some espresso machines take up a lot of counter space.
Remember that water reservoirs are often top-loading, so you’ll need to take overhead cabinets into consideration too. Believe me, having to move a heavy coffee maker around can get old pretty quickly, and might deter you from using the thing.
It kind of goes without saying, but silky, fine-textured milk foam is a critical component of any latte. If you’re the adventurous type, a manual steam wand is the way to go. Not only will you have full control over what’s happening as you steam milk, you’ll be able to develop your latte art skills.
On the flip side, there’s a lot to be said for automatic milk frothers. All the fully automatic machines I’ve discussed today can create fabulous latte foam. Still, you’ll be sacrificing almost all control over the results.
In my opinion, the best-case scenario is to buy a hybrid machine like the Breville Oracle Touch. That way, you’ll have the choice between manual and automatic milk frothing. Then again, that luxury does come at a substantial price.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide to the best latte machines. Is there a machine you think should be on the list? I look forward to your comments!
Cappuccino Maker FAQ
There are plenty of machines capable of producing delicious lattes. Here are my top picks:
- Jura S8 – Best Performing
- Breville Oracle Touch – Best Overall
- Calphalon Temp IQ – Best Budget
Once you’ve learned the ropes, an espresso machine is capable of producing excellent lattes.
Lattes use a combination of steamed and frothed milk, resulting in a delicious and satisfying coffee drink.
These days, a latte can have as many shots of espresso as you like!