A cappuccino is a pick-me-up and a work of art rolled into one. Entire Instagram accounts have been dedicated to coffeehouse art, showcasing the skills of the baristas as they create designs in the froth that would put some artists to shame. But here’s a little secret: You can do the same thing at home. The art might take a bit of practice, but there’s no reason you can’t make a coffeehouse-style cappuccino in your own kitchen.
There are a lot of options for cappuccino makers, but we narrowed down the options to the top four and evaluated them based on price, ease of use, and versatility. You want to strike a balance between an easy-to-use machine and one that won’t break your budget. These are our picks for the best cappuccino makers.
Best for beginners
Ninja Coffee Bar with Built-in Frother
The Ninja Coffee Bar is one of the most versatile cappuccino makers on the market, but it’s not a one-trick pony. The Ninja Coffee Bar lets you make five different brews: Classic, rich, over ice, specialty, and cafe forte. For cappuccino, you’ll want the specialty brew. The built-in frother works for both hot and cold frothing so you can make your drink however you like it.
It might seem like a lot to handle, but the Ninja Coffee Bar is intuitive in a way few other machines are. There are no complicated bars or knobs to turn. Just scoop in the proper amount of coffee, press brew, froth your milk, and voila: You have a cappuccino. It’s great for people just starting out and provides a forgiving way to experiment with your coffee-making technique. It’s also great for when you just want a quick cup of normal coffee to perk you up in the middle of the day.
Best for K-Cup users
K-Cafe Special Edition
If you love Keurig but still want to make cappuccinos at home, the K-Cafe Special Edition is the machine for you. Not only does it make normal coffee, but it can also make cappuccinos and lattes with ease. The K-Cafe Special Edition comes with a built-in, dishwasher-safe frother to make your milk nice and foamy before you pour it into the cup.
There are four cup sizes: 6 ounces, 8 ounces, 10 ounces, and 12 ounces. When you consider the 60-ounce water reservoir, that is a lot of coffee you can make before you have to refill the tank. Of all the cappuccino makers Digital Trends examined, the K-Cafe is the best value for people that prefer K-Cups to loose grounds, although it is compatible with the reusable K-Filter if you have ground coffee you want to use.
Best for tight budgets
Bella Personal Espresso Maker
The Bella Personal Espresso Maker is a no-frills machine that gets the job done, but lacks a lot of the bells and whistles you might find on other machines. It comes with a glass decanter and detachable filter basket. The frothing steam wand will heat up the milk and whip it into a cappuccino-worthy froth in no time.
If you’re thinking, “Wait. This is an espresso maker, not a cappuccino maker,” remember that espresso is a third the recipe for a cappuccino, with the other two-thirds being equal parts milk and foam. At around $45, the Bella Personal Espresso Maker is a great way to get access to cappuccinos in your own home, even on a budget.
Best for professionals
Breville BES870XL Barista Express
The Breville Barista Express is a high-end cappuccino maker that will give you the ability to make gourmet cappuccino in your own home, but it has a price tag to match. At more than $500, the Breville Barista Express might strain your wallet but will satisfy your palate. With a 15-bar pump and a 1,600-watt heating system, your cappuccino will be piping hot when it’s made.
The Breville Barista Express also has a built-in grinder and hopper for the coffee beans. You can control how fine of a grind you want. The machine uses a digital thermometer to measure the temperature of your cappuccino so that you don’t make a particular type of bean too hot (or not hot enough.) The flavor of coffee can be finicky and is heavily based on nailing the right temperature, but the Breville takes the guesswork out of the equation.
Best combination cappuccino/coffee machine
The DeLonghi BC0430 combines all the best features of a cappuccino and coffeemaker into a single, all-in-one machine. It steams milk, can make both espresso and coffee at the same time, and you can adjust the strength of your coffee with the touch of a button. It also looks like a professional piece of equipment, so you can wow guests with both its appearance and the taste of your brew.
The DeLonghi is a bit large but smaller than having both a cappuccino and coffeemaker side by side. It combines all the functionality into one, and it’s hard to go wrong with a price around $250. Even if you are new to making cappuccino, this is a great machine to learn with.
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