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7 Best Cappuccino Makers of 2021: Froth Up Your Morning Coffee

Perfect to enjoy with your breakfast, a cappuccino is a tasty coffee drink to start your morning with. 

But why pay so much for it from a coffee shop when you can replicate the same levels of quality with one of the best cappuccino makers… from the comfort of your home?

Let’s figure out which of these espresso machines with wands or automatic milk steaming is the right one for you.

AT A GLANCE: OUR TOP PICKS

Breville BES870XL - Best Pick

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Large, Stainless Steel
  • Integrated grinder
  • 4-key formula for specialty coffee
  • Manual microfoam milk-texturing
Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker | Café Barista , Silver
  • Great value for money
  • Automatic milk steaming
  • One-touch controls

Breville BES920XL - Also Great

Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine
  • Highly customizable
  • LCD display
  • Several professional accessories

Cappuccino Makers Buying Guide: The right espresso & froth combo

Most of the best cappuccino makers require a sizable upfront investment, so we really don’t want you to pick the wrong one for your habits.

cappuccino makers

Type of espresso machine

First things first: you can’t make cappuccino without a shot of espresso.

“A cappuccino is a traditional espresso-based drink that is prepared with steamed milk and milk foam (or microfoam).” G. Oden, JavaPresse (1)

That’s why the best cappuccino makers are espresso machines. However, depending on how much you want to be involved with the brewing and frothing process, you can choose among:

  • Semi-automatic espresso machines: while you still need to grind the coffee beans, load the portafilter and tamp the grounds yourself, you’ll get your espresso at the touch of a button and only need to press it again to pause it;
  • Automatic espresso machines: they’re really similar to the first type, but they stop the flow of the water automatically. Depending on how you look at it, it’s one fewer step or less control over the brewing process; 
  • Super-automatic espresso machines: they basically do everything for you, from grinding to tamping and brewing.

Alternatively, if you can’t resist the practicality of a quick capsule-based espresso, you can look for an espresso machine that’s compatible with them (psst: we’ve included a couple!). 

However, if you think you’ll only end up using pods, it’ll probably be cheaper for you to make cappuccinos with one of the best Nespresso machines.

How do you want to froth up the milk? 

You have two options:

  • Steam wand: this is the most customizable and versatile, just like the ones you see in coffee shops. While they come with a bit of a learning curve, once you get used to them you’ll be fully in control of the steaming process, brewing cappuccinos, lattes, and other frothy drinks exactly as you wish;
  • Automatic frothing: if you don’t particularly like the idea of being so involved with the frothing process and just want to get the right milk texture with the touch of a button, this is a simpler and more practical option.

Semi-automatic espresso machines usually come with a wand, most super-automatic models steam it automatically, and automatic espresso machines can have either of the two.

Additional features

When it comes to cappuccino, excellent espresso shots and a satisfying steaming experience are key. However, you might want to consider another couple of features depending on your habits and existing equipment:

  • Grinder: grinding your beans will give you the freshest coffee, which is why some of the best cappuccino makers are espresso machines with an integrated grinder. If you already have a separate one that grinds fine enough for espresso, though, there’s no need to spend more money on one;
  • Other drinks & more customizability: some of these machines will simply give you shots of espresso and steamed milk. Still, if you want to get creative with different coffee drinks, you should look for more options: for example, some models include a water spout to make americanos, customizable espresso shots, and buttons for other on-demand drinks.

Size

Here’s the thing: most espresso machines ain’t small!

While home models with one portafilter might not be as big as commercial ones, they can be pretty wide and, if they include a grinder, tall.

That’s why we strongly recommend checking their dimensions and measuring your available countertop area (including how low your cupboards get!) before purchasing one.

Best Cappuccino Makers of 2021 [Top 7 Reviews]

From the shiniest super-automatic espresso machines to the most traditional models and some budget-friendly picks, here’s an overview of the best cappuccino makers:

Amazon Product
Breville BES870XL
  • Adjustable conical burr grinder
  • Impeccable PID temperature control
  • Professional wand
View on Amazon
Amazon Product
Mr. Coffee Cappuccino Maker
  • Compact model
  • Automatic milk steaming and frothing
  • 3 colors
View on Amazon
Amazon Product
Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler
  • One of the most customizable models
  • Intuitive LCD screen and interface
  • 3 colors
View on Amazon
Amazon Product
De'Longhi EC680M
  • Compatible with pods, too
  • Removable drip-tray for taller latte glasses
  • Less than 6” wide
View on Amazon
Amazon Product
Breville Bambino Plus
  • Compact model
  • 3-second heat-up time
  • Automatic milk texturing
View on Amazon
Amazon Product
De'LonghiCappuccino Maker
  • Affordable cappuccino maker
  • Compatible with pods, too
  • Compact design
View on Amazon
Amazon Product
Saeco PicoBaristo
  • Premium machine
  • 15 different drinks
  • Entirely automatic and customizable
View on Amazon

Still not sure? Don’t worry: no depresso and more espresso! Let’s dive into the core of our best cappuccino maker reviews.

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine, Large, Stainless Steel

FEATURES

Type: semi-automatic espresso machine with grinder 

Size: 12.5 x 12.6 x 13.1 inches

Best for: a coffee shop-style experience

The Barista Express is the purest embodiment of Breville’s 4-key formula for third-wave specialty coffee (2):

“From the bean to the roast profile, through to the brew method and microfoam milk from the world’s best cafés.” Breville 

Relying on an adjustable conical burr grinder that brews directly into your portafilter, the Barista Express gives you the perfect quantity of grounds (19-22 g). It also reaches the correct temperature through its PID control and ensures the right pressure both when it comes to espresso extraction and steaming.

The result? A perfectly crafted cappuccino with the help of its manual microfoam milk-texturing wand.

Of course, you can still make single and double espressos as well as lattes, macchiatos, or americanos through the hot water spout.

Read more about it in our Breville Barista Express review.

Bottom line: The best cappuccino maker when it comes to quality and precision.


Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker | Café Barista , Silver

FEATURES

Type: semi-automatic espresso machine

Size: 11.22 x 8.86 x 12.6 inches

Best for: those who don’t want to froth milk manually

This humbler but practical machine is the best cappuccino maker if you were hoping for a little more automation.

In fact, you can use its dial to choose between latte and cappuccino (or even something in-between), and the machine will froth the milk on its own.

The one-touch controls of its user-friendly panel will let you choose among different drinks quickly and easily, so your morning brew won’t waste any precious time.

For added convenience, the Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino maker includes a self-cleaning cycle.

This model—available in red, silver, or white—is also one of the most compact cappuccino makers.

Bottom line: A practical semi-automatic machine that simplifies the steaming process and won’t take over your countertop.


Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine

FEATURES

Type: semi-automatic espresso machine

Size: 14.7 x 14.8 x 14.7 inches

Best for: commercial levels of quality

This model is fairly similar to its sister Breville Barista Express, but with two main differences: there’s no grinder but, instead, you’ll find higher levels of customization and automation.

First of all, as the name suggests, this dual-boiler model improves temperature control even further by separating the extraction and steaming process.

You can also control all aspects of your espresso and cappuccino preparation through the LCD display and its simple buttons. 

PRO TIP: Be sure to make the most of all the included accessories, from the 58mm razor dosing tool to the stainless steel milk jug and the water filter.

The Breville Dual Boiler is currently available in black, stainless steel, and red, so you can either choose a model that matches your kitchen appliances or one that stands out immediately.

Bottom line: Coffee-shop quality and precision.


4. De'Longhi EC680M Espresso - Pod Compatible & Slimmest

De'Longhi EC680M Espresso, Stainless Steel, Metallic

FEATURES

Type: semi-automatic espresso machine

Size: 14.7 x 14.8 x 14.7 inches

Best for: commercial levels of quality

The 3-in-1 filter holder of the De'Longhi Espresso will make your caffeinated life easier: you can use it to brew a traditional espresso, two shots, or use a practical pod.

This machine obviously features a wand to craft evenly textured cappuccinos or lattes, too.

Should you wish to brew directly into taller glasses, you can simply remove the drip-tray to fit them.

From its interface to the actual design, you can tell that this machine is fairly minimalist, ideal if you’re not a fan of flashy displays and complicated instructions. 

Plus, because it’s less than 6” wide, it’ll fit on any countertop.

Bottom line: A slim two-in-one solution for traditional espresso and pods.


5. Breville the Bambino Plus - Best for Small Kitchens 

Breville the Bambino Plus Espresso Machine, One Size, Brushed Stainless Steel

FEATURES

Type: semi-automatic espresso machine

Size: 12.5 x 7.6 x 12.2 inches

Best for: a morning treat that won’t revolutionize your countertop

This machine still involves Breville’s famous 4-key formula and levels of precision, but, as the name gives away (bambino means child in Italian!), it focuses on compactness.

Slim and fairly short, the Breville the Bambino Plus is highly likely to fit on your countertop!

This cappuccino maker doesn’t include a grinder but features PID temperature control, a 3-second heat-up time thanks to the innovative ThermoJet system, and automatic microfoam milk texturing for the tastiest milky drinks. 

Bottom line: A small but mighty Breville machine! 


De'Longhi 15 bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker, Black

FEATURES

Type: pod-compatible, semi-automatic espresso machine

Size: 12.2 x 19.3 x 15 inches

Best for: tasty cappuccinos without a big upfront investment

This De'Longhi model is proof that you don’t necessarily need to spend a grand to enjoy some delicious espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos.

Thanks to the dual-function filter holder, you can do so through traditional grounds or quick pods.

This machine also involves two thermostats, allowing you to control the pressure for water and steam separately without waiting too long for your first brew of the day.

As for the swivel jet frother, mind you: it won’t guarantee latte art levels of micro-foam, but you’ll certainly be able to tell the difference between lattes and frothier cappuccinos.

This De'Longhi model involves a cheaper plastic-based design but it’s also versatile and practical thanks to handy features like the removable water tank and drip-tray.

Read more about it in our De'Longhi EC155 review.

Bottom line: A budget-friendly machine for simple espresso-based drinks.


7. Saeco PicoBaristo - Best Super Automatic & Premium Pick

Saeco PicoBaristo Super Automatic Espresso Machine, 1.8 L, Stainless Steel, HD8927/47

FEATURES

Type: super-automatic espresso machine with grinder

Size: 16.8 x 8.4 x 12.9 inches

Best for: the quickest and most sophisticated cappuccinos

The Saeco PicoBaristo is more than a simple cappuccino maker: by tweaking settings like strength, size and temperature, you can experiment with 15 different drinks!

Once you find the dream recipe for your taste buds, save it through the Memo function for each of them.

The Saeco PicoBaristo is also a fantastic super-automatic model that does everything for you. Your perfect cappuccino will start with its adjustable ceramic grinder, continue with a quick brewing process, and end with impeccable froth.

The PicoBaristo is extremely practical, too. In fact, it relies on a patented AquaClean filter that only requires you to descale it after 5,000 cups, features a stylish backlit display, and has a removable brewing group for easier cleaning.

Bottom line: The Ferrari of cappuccino makers.

FAQs

1. What is the best cappuccino machine to buy?

The best cappuccino machine to buy is the Breville BES870XL Barista Express if you were hoping for an espresso machine with grinder or, if you already have a separate one, the Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler. Both machines give you coffee shop-style espresso drinks thanks to their 4-key formula.

2. How do you make the perfect cappuccino?

To make the perfect cappuccino, you must brew a shot of espresso, froth some milk, and pour the latter onto the coffee. For the best results, aim for ⅓ espresso, ⅓ steamed milk, and ⅓ froth. You can always add a sprinkle of cocoa powder on top for some garnish.

3. What is the difference between a latte and a cappuccino?

The difference between a latte and a cappuccino is in the way the milk is steamed since both drinks are based around a shot of espresso. A latte mainly involves steamed milk and only a thin layer of foam; on the contrary, in a cappuccino, milk should be ½ steamed and ½ frothed.


References

1. Oden, G. (n.d.). Wet Cappuccino vs Dry Cappuccino: What Are The Key Differences?. Retrieved from https://www.javapresse.com/blogs/espresso/wet-cappuccino-vs-dry-cappuccino-what-are-the-key-differences 

2. (n.d.). Taste the Difference. Retrieved from https://www.breville.com/us/en/third-wave-specialty-coffee/4-keys-formula.html

Avatar for Giada Nizzoli

Born in Italy but currently brewing from the UK, Giada is a highly-caffeinated coffee expert with a soft spot for espressos. She worked in cafés for years and has recently fallen in love with the practical Kalita Wave (just don’t tell her Italian moka pot!).

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