Buyer's Guides

Best Cappuccino Maker 2017: Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

best cappuccino maker 2017

What to Look for when searching for the Best Cappuccino Maker?

best cappuccino maker 2017Are you a cappuccino and latte lover like me?

Smooth, barista-prepared coffee drinks are definitely one of life’s little pleasures.

One thing that all the specialty coffee drinks have in common is that they start with a good espresso brew. If you can duplicate that at home, then you’re on your way to enjoying the same delicious coffee drinks for a lot less money.

Before showing you the best cappuccino maker in 2017 for home use, you need to know a couple things 🙂

There are two ways to prepare espresso, using either steam or pump pressure to extract the rich coffee flavor from the ground beans.

With the steam method, boiling hot water expands into steam and pushes through the coffee grounds.

The pump method forces hot water through the grounds.

While the steam creates enough pressure to make espresso, you’ll never get a premium cup using this method. Why not? Because the pressure just isn’t high enough to completely process the ground espresso beans. A good cup of espresso will always have a bubbly layer of crema on top, and steam processing won’t create this layer.

What is Crema?

Crema is the creamy layer of foam that appears on a good cup of espresso. It should be thick enough to close up again after dragging a spoon through the bubbles.
The only way to prepare a cup of espresso with a good top layer of crema is to use pressure pump brewing. With that in mind, we’re reviewing three pressure brewers today, along with some other interesting alternatives for your home-coffee-drinking pleasure.

Why is Pump Brewing Better?

A true coffee aficionado will never be able to create a cup of espresso with its layer of thick crema by using the steam method. And with steam brewing, the boiling hot water can release bitter notes from the ground espresso beans. The powerful, even pressure of a pump will create a cup of espresso without bitterness.

What is the Best Cappuccino Maker in 2017?

MACHINEDIMENSIONS
(L x W x H)
WEIGHT
(pounds)
PRICE 
Mr. Coffee Automatic Dual Shot ECMP5011.4 x 13.7 x 1312$$Check Price
Mr. Coffee Café Barista ECMP1000
(Editor's Choice)
12.25 x 12 x 1413$$$Check Price
The Keurig Rivo
Cappuccino and Latte System
11.4 x 10.8 x 6.917$$$Check Price
Mr. Coffee BVMC-EL1
Café Latte
13.8 x 11.9 x 6.910.3$$Check Price
PowerLix Milk Frother$Check Price
Epica Automatic Electric
Milk Frother and Heater
$Check Price

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Cappuccino Maker Reviews

1. Mr. Coffee Automatic Dual Shot ECMP50

Stainless steel | 11.4 x 13.7 x 13 inches | 12 pounds

Mr Coffee Automatic Dual Shot ECMP50
VIEW ON AMAZON – Click the Image!

This cappuccino maker has several things going for it. One of them is the large, 40-ounce reservoir that allows you to brew one cup after another without refilling the tank. However, the word ‘automatic’ in the name is misleading, as you do have to froth the milk yourself and combine it with the espresso.

Also, like the commercial espresso machines you see at Starbucks, the Dual Shot has a double sprout and the ability to make two cups of espresso at once. A coffee mug can be centered between the two sprouts if you’re making a 2-shot coffee beverage.

The machine has a 15-bar high-pressure pump, which is what you should look for when it comes to brewing power. There are some 8-bar machines that will do the job, but coffee made by an 8-bar espresso maker won’t have the same flavor and thick layer of crema on top.

There’s also a tray built into the top of this cappuccino maker that provides a handy storage area for the brew basket, milk frothing pitcher, and spoon. All of the parts that need to be cleaned are removable for easy washing. The Dual Shot is a compact appliance and it’s pretty loud when operating.

As with any espresso maker, you’ll need to use a fine espresso grind and the right beans to brew the perfect cup. The brewer basket will run into difficulty if you try to use a grind that’s too coarse. Luckily, the appliance comes with detailed instructions for easy use, and this includes several troubleshooting tips. You also get a plastic combination spoon and tamping tool.

This unit operates with a ‘thermal block heating system‘ and users report that it makes espresso with a great head of crema. The espresso maker and frother don’t operate at the same time, so you have to make the coffee first, then froth the milk.

Bottom Line

A few people reported dissatisfaction with the length of the frothing wand and the amount of steam left over for frothing. It takes a couple of minutes for the machine to heat up, and you have to manually start and stop the flow of espresso. Some users see this as a bonus, though, because it lets them decide on the strength of the coffee.

This is a basic model and one that would do fine for someone who uses it occasionally.

Mr. Coffee Dual Shot Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Fast brewing
  • Superior flavor
  • Makes excellent crema
  • Removable water reservoir
  • Double-shot capacity

CONS

  • Tamping tool made of plastic
  • Non-automatic drip
  • Some users report slight leakage during use
  • Steam wand is too short

2. Mr. Coffee Café Barista ECMP1000

Stainless Steel | 12.25 x 12 x 14 inches | 13 pounds

mr coffee cafe barista
VIEW ON AMAZON – Click the Image!

This model also has a 15-bar pressure pump and will brew one or two espressos at a time. The removable 55-ounce water reservoir holds enough water to create several coffee drinks before refilling. The main bonus in buying the CafĂ© Barista is that it’s completely automated. Of course, the price also reflects the upgrade.

There are three pre-programmed options that will brew espresso or create a cappuccino or a latte. Even the frothing is automated, with a container for the milk that froths it and mixes it with the espresso to make coffee drinks. While you can create lattes and cappuccinos with the press of a button, manual brewing and frothing are still available for those who want to create their own drink.

Cleaning is also automatic, with the push of a button. The manufacturer promises ‘light, creamy and perfect’ foam every time and users confirm that this is what you get. They report that the taste of the brew is superior, whether using the push button feature or the manual controls.
This is a loud appliance when operating but, since it’s fully automated, you don’t have to stand over it while waiting for your coffee to be made. Before using this machine, you’ll have to prime it. The steps are given in the instructions and it’s not too complicated. The coffee maker works best if you take the time to prime it every month or so.

Like the Dual Shot, all the parts that need to be cleaned are removable. The milk reservoir can also be stored in the refrigerator for later use, and frothing seems to works better with a full container of milk. With this model, you can create the same type of professional coffee beverages as your local barista but without working as hard for it.

Bottom Line

The CafĂ© Barista is the perfect model for the coffee-lover who isn’t hung up on personally crafting the perfect cup of coffee. It costs roughly twice as much as a manual style cappuccino maker, but you do get your money’s worth.

If you want to push a button and have a coffee beverage brewed and mixed automatically, then this one is for you.

Mr. Coffee Café Barista Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Completely automated
  • Self-frothing
  • Mixes coffee drinks
  • Self-cleaning
  • Superior taste
  • Makes excellent crema
  • Removable water reservoir
  • Double-shot capacity

CONS

  • Milk reservoir must be full for good foam
  • Needs priming for optimal performance

3. The Keurig Rivo Cappuccino and Latte System

Plastic | 11.4 x 10.8 x 11.4 inches | 17 pounds

keurig rivo cappuccino and latte system
VIEW ON AMAZON – Click the Image!

This system isn’t completely automated, but it comes close. Although the coffee maker froths the milk, you have to add it to the espresso yourself. Another 15-bar pump model, this unit brews the espresso by forcing it through plastic coffee pods or k-cups. For a double espresso, you simply use a special over-sized coffee capsule and hit the right button for two shots.

Because it’s a Keurig, the Rivo uses disposable coffee pods and, unlike some Keurig models, there’s not a fill-your-own brew basket option. This is a drawback, as the cost of the individual containers can add up over time. Also, while the coffee tastes excellent, it’s not up to par with the quality of the first two we reviewed.

On the other hand, the Rivo is more versatile in that it will brew regular coffee as well as espresso. Some people hit the brew cycle button two or three times using the same pod to brew the equivalent of an Americano, which is espresso with hot water added.

This isn’t a standard Keurig with k-cups that can be purchased in the grocery store, however. The capsules are custom made for this coffee maker and come in three variations of boldness, plus a decaf option. Classico, Intenso, and Delicato are the three varieties, along with decaf espresso blend.

Some people complain about the lack of coffee variety and choice since you can basically only use one brand of coffee in this model, from Italian coffee distributor Lavazza. On the bright side, this is a premium brand of Italian coffee and mostly what Italians are sipping in their sidewalk cafés.

One nice feature about this Keurig is that the k-cups are automatically ejected into a holding area that only needs to be emptied after several uses. This model is also a lot quieter than classic pressure-driven cappuccino makers.

The automatic frother won’t operate at the same time as the espresso maker. However, it does a very good job and makes a thick creamy foam, including a cold foam for iced coffee beverages. According to users, the coffee turns out best if the frother is operated first, then the espresso maker.

Bottom Line

For someone who is rushed in the mornings, the Rivo would definitely be a timesaver.

There’s no brew basket to fill, and you just pop in a k-cup while the machine froths your milk. It’s in the higher-priced range and you can also expect to pay more for the coffee you use. If that’s not a problem and you’re pressed for time, then this might be a perfect choice.

Keurig Rivo Cappuccino and Latte System Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Easy to use pods with no measuring or tamping
  • Can make a regular cup of coffee (Americano)
  • Servings are consistent
  • Double-shot capacity
  • Never needs priming

CONS

  • Expensive pods
  • Only one brand of coffee
  • Limited varieties of coffee

4. Mr. Coffee BVMC-EL1 Café Latte

Stainless steel | 13.8 x 11.9 x 6.9 inches | 10.3 pounds

mr coffee bvmc el1 cafe latte
VIEW ON AMAZON – Click the Image!

Probably the easiest to use of all four choices is the CafĂ© Latte by Mr. Coffee, and it’s also the cheapest. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly an espresso maker. For true espresso, the water has to be forced through the ground coffee using steam or pressure. This unit is a traditional drip-style coffee maker with an ingenious way to add foam and make an espresso-style coffee beverage.

Like the Mr. Coffee Café Barista, the coffee and milk are mixed automatically. The milk is added directly to the coffee carafe, and the carafe lid has a heated frothing coil that reaches the bottom of the container. As the milk is being frothed this way, the espresso is brewed right on top of it. This coffee maker uses the drip method of brewing, so it can brew regular coffee as well.

However, because the water isn’t steamed or pumped, the coffee made by the CafĂ© Latte isn’t a true espresso. Buying espresso beans and having them finely ground will give a good approximation of the flavor, but you won’t be able to achieve the crema layer of a true espresso. The finished product would be more accurately referred to as a cafĂ© au lait or coffee with cream.

Even though you don’t get the crema layer, this coffee maker does create a thick layer of foam on the top half of the carafe. It’s smooth and rich, and even thick enough to spoon onto your coffee. Users report that the coffee comes out very hot, but without any scorching, and it has a good flavor.
The carafe is large enough to make two lattes at a time, and flavored lattes are simple to make. Just add flavored syrup to the milk before it’s frothed, and you can instantly make your own mocha, hazelnut or mint coffee drink. You can also make hot chocolate and chai this way. The convenience and the low price give this coffee maker a lot of appeals.

Bottom Line

If authentic espresso flavor is the most important thing to you, then get one of the other models. But this is a great choice for latte drinkers and lovers of flavored coffee drinks.

The bottom line is that you’re not going to get a beverage that meets the same taste standards as one made with real espresso. But if you’re looking for a specialty coffee maker that’s versatile and easy, you’ll love this model.

Mr. Coffee BVMC-EL1 Café Latte Pros & Cons

PROS

  • No foam nozzle to clean
  • Self-mixing
  • Can brew regular coffee
  • Makes 24 ounces at a time,
  • Good for hot chocolate & chai

CONS

  • Some people say there’s too much foam
  • Not actually espresso (although you can use an espresso roast)

More Options for the Coffee Lover

Not ready to invest in a cappuccino maker yet or just can’t make up your mind?

You could always try a milk frother in the meantime, to get an idea of which coffee drinks appeal to you. We looked at a few of them and these are the two best milk frother we found.

1. PowerLix Milk Frother

powerlix milk frother
VIEW ON AMAZON – Click the Image!

This is a lightweight, handheld frother that will work with hot or cold liquids. It’s simply a frothing coil on a metal wand, and you use it by moving the end up and down slightly, just under the surface of the milk.

If you already like your morning brew but have always wanted to have a rich, creamy foam on top, this is what you need.

There’s no power cord in the way because the PowerLix milk frother is battery operated. Two AA batteries power a strong and fast 19,000 rpm motor that will mix shakes as well as foam milk. Cleanup is easy because you just operate the frother in a glass of hot water until the coil is clean.

This tool will give you a chance to see if it matters to your taste buds whether your coffee is a true espresso or not.

If you can make a satisfying specialty coffee using your favorite coffee blend, then you should go for the ease and convenience of the Powerlix.

2. Epica Automatic Electric Milk Frother and Heater

epica automatic electric milk frother and heater carafe
VIEW ON AMAZON – Click the Image!

The Epica milk frother can make hot or cold milk froth and will heat the milk for you. This is a good in-between option if your favorite coffee drink is a latte. With the push of a button, it will make a thick, creamy froth or heat milk for a latte or hot chocolate.

The thermal carafe is vacuum insulated to keep your beverage hot and it holds one cup at a time. Although the unit is corded, the carafe detaches for convenience.
You can also make up a batch of whipped cream for your hot chocolate with the Epica.

The foam it makes is rich and dense, according to users. You can also get even more lift by frothing the milk once while it’s cold, then again using the heating option. Experimenting with various coffee syrups and flavorings is a great way to see if you can duplicate those expensive barista-made coffees we all love.

A Superior Cup of Coffee

It’s difficult to pick the best cappuccino maker out of the four we looked at because they are all good ones. Not to mention that the benefits of each type are most valuable depending on each individual’s particular requirements. For someone on a budget, the CafĂ© Latte is not only inexpensive but also easy to use, even though it doesn’t make a true espresso.

The CafĂ© Barista costs nearly three times as much, but you get true push-button cappuccino and latte, along with a premium espresso. The Keurig Rivo, in the same price range, is just as easy to use but will only brew Lavazza coffee. The mid-range priced Dual Shot makes a great cup of espresso but it’s a manual machine, unlike the others.

Our Choice

In the end, we chose the CafĂ© Barista as the overall winner for several reasons. First, it’s the only coffee maker that makes espresso, cappuccino, and latte with the push of a button. In addition, the espresso it produces is of superior quality and taste. Many users praised the thick layer of crema on a cup of espresso brewed with the CafĂ© Barista.

This cappuccino maker combines the quality of a commercially brewed coffee drink with complete automation, and that’s what we think people are looking for when they brew coffee drinks at home. Although it’s at the top of the price scale in this sampling, the CafĂ© Barista compares with cappuccino makers costing over a thousand dollars.

It is well worth the price for the quality of the product and the ease of use

Buying a Cappuccino Maker Checklist

  Choose a pump brewer over a steam brewer.

  Make sure the pressure is at least 15-bar.

  Choose a model that creates a thick layer of crema on top.

  Read customer reviews for each model.

  Follow all manufacturer instructions.

Brewing a Good Cup of Espresso

  Choose a pump brewer over a steam brewer.

  Make sure the pressure is at least 15-bar.

  Choose a model that creates a thick layer of crema on top.

  Read customer reviews for each model.

  Follow all manufacturer instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the characteristics of a good espresso?

The aroma of a cup of espresso is one indication of its quality. When all of the factors that make a good espresso come together, the aroma is splendid. This means that the water was the right temperature and the pump pressure forced the water through the grounds to release the flavors and oils without bitterness.

Why is crema so important?

This thick, foamy layer on top of the espresso is a combination of all the flavor elements of the espresso bean. When processed correctly, a cup of espresso will be enhanced in flavor and aroma because of the crema.

What is the best cappuccino maker for me?

There are many things to consider when buying a home cappuccino maker. Most important is to decide whether you want to craft your coffee manually or have it done automatically. A couple of the more mundane factors are the amount of space it takes up and the size of the water reservoir. Also, ask yourself how quickly it will make your coffee and how intensive the cleanup will be.

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