Cappuccino can just lift your spirits hearing the word. Your senses can come to life dreaming of the creamy, frothy strong coffee. Cappuccino is an Italian version of coffee where strong meets soft. Cappuccino as we know it is a fairly young version of coffee, early 20th century. While it is simple in nature, espresso, foamy milk, spices and sugar, it is complex in flavor and texture.
Cappuccino is actually a twist on a Viennese coffee, Kapuziner. This Austrian coffee was topped with whipped cream and spices. Italians then invented espresso. The first espresso machine was made in Milan, Italy by Luigi Bezzera. Espresso’s popularity grew through the two world wars. The Italians then took the good Viennese coffee design and amped it up by using the much stronger espresso and heating up the whipped milk to make the milk foam. The temperature of the milk foam is critical giving it the right consistency / airiness.
Table of Contents
- 1 Make a Perfect Cappuccino
- 2 Types of Cappuccino Makers
- 3 Cappuccino Maker Brands
- 4 The Best Cappucino Makers Reviewed
- 4.1 1. Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
- 4.2 2. Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Café Barista Premium Espresso/Cappuccino System, Silver
- 4.3 3.Hamilton Beach 40792 Espresso & Cappuccino Maker, Black
- 4.4 4. Breville 800ESXL 15-Bar Triple-Priming Die-Cast Espresso Machine
- 4.5 5. Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine with Iron Frame and Stainless Steel Side Panels, 11.4 by 13.4-Inch
- 5 Honorable Mentions
- 6 Cappuccino Maker Buyers Guide
- 7 Conclusion
Make a Perfect Cappuccino
First prepare the foam:
- Fill the steaming pitcher 1/3 full of cold milk
- Clear the steaming wand of any left over water by releasing steam for a few seconds
- Submerge the steaming wand into the cold milk. Tilt the steaming pitcher and release steam into the milk until the milk reaches the temperature of 65o The volume should be about double, 2/3 of the pitcher.
- Important, tap the base of the pitcher to compress the foam
- Make a shot of espresso and pour in a mug
- Start pouring the milk foam in the center of the espresso and circle while you continue pouring the full amount of milk foam into the espresso
The pouring of the milk foam has become an art in some coffee shops. The baristas are making beautiful designs in the froth, hearts, swirls and other wonderful creations. Who thought coffee could be any better, but now it is as beautiful in appearance as in taste.
Types of Cappuccino Makers
Pump Cappuccino Machine – the most powerful machine on the market. A pump machine heats water to 190oF to 197oF before blasting it through espresso coffee grounds. They are fast, 20 – 30.
Steam Cappuccino Machine – similar to pump machines but are generally smaller and less powerful. The majority of devices on the market are this style. The weakness with a steam machine is the water pressure fluctuates, leading to inconsistency in brew quality.
Pod Machines – pods have become so popular with ease and speed of use. There is no grinding or measuring. With our on the go lifestyles, more people are opting for easier process and speed over quality of the brew.
Cappuccino Maker Brands
Breville was founded in 1932 in Melbourne, Australia by Bill O’Brien and Harry Norville (mixed their last names). Their first product was radios and mine detectors. The name became a household name when they launched their sandwich toaster back in 1974. They sold so many and became such a name in the sandwich maker industry that the sandwich maker is often referred to as a “Breville” like a “Hoover” is often how people refer to vacuums.
Capresso founded in 1994 to introduce Euro-style coffee makers to the American consumers. Capresso can claim many “firsts” in the coffee market one of them being the first stand-alone automatic milk frother.
Delonghi since 1902 the De’Longhi family has been manufacturing small industrial parts. They were incorporated in 1950. They are major producers of portable heaters and air conditioners and have now expanded into every domestic small appliance for food preparation and cooking.
Hamilton Beach, Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc., started with a drink agitator which was used in soda fountains in drug stores around America. Funny story is that the owner, Frederick J Osius did not like his name so he paid two of his employees, Louis Hamilton and Chester Beach, to use their names. When the company sold, Osius was able to move to Millionaire’s Row in Miami Beach.
Mr. Coffee is an American company focused on coffee delivery founded in 1970’s. They started with an automatic drip coffeemaker. This would be the first of its kind. Until then coffee was cooked mostly through a percolator which could often produce bitter or burnt flavored coffee.
Rancilio manufactures espresso machines only. They were founded in 1927 by Roberto Rancilio in Milan, Italy.
The Best Cappucino Makers Reviewed
1. Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
Best Cappuccino Machine for Doubles $$$$
The Barista Express Espresso machine is built with high-quality materials, stainless steel housing, It includes a grinder and bean hopper for the freshest coffee. The grinder has adjustable settings, fine to coarse and single or double, and grinds right into the filter basket. There is a 67 fl. oz. water tank with filter keeping the water pure. While you can choose a single or double serving size, if you feel that isn’t enough there is also a manual override.
2. Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Café Barista Premium Espresso/Cappuccino System, Silver
Best Cappuccino Machine for Novices $$
Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Café Barista Premium Espresso / Cappuccino System is super easy to use. The one-touch control panel lets even a novice make coffeehouse style coffee. You can choose either single or double shot of espresso. This machine is perfect for first time user all the way up to a professional barista.
3.Hamilton Beach 40792 Espresso & Cappuccino Maker, Black
Best Cappuccino Machine for Small Spaces $
Hamilton Beach 40792 Espresso & Cappuccino Maker makes the perfect cup of espresso or cappuccino right on your kitchen counter. The Slide and Lock technology makes this a super safe and easy cappuccino machine to use. The compact size makes it easy to find space for on even the smallest amount of counter space without compromising any of the commercial power.
4. Breville 800ESXL 15-Bar Triple-Priming Die-Cast Espresso Machine
Best Cappuccino for Durability $$$
Breville’s 800ESXL is made of solid die-cast metal for strength and durability. It auto-purges the espresso, steams the milk and automatically flushes the system ready for the next cup. All you need to do is add freshly ground beans!
5. Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine with Iron Frame and Stainless Steel Side Panels, 11.4 by 13.4-Inch
Best Cappuccino Machine for Heavy Use $$$$
Rancilio had a commercial machine in mind when designing this cappuccino machine. It has an iron frame hugged in stainless steel. They also incorporated the same porta filters used on commercial machines. Another commercial crossover is the steam knob. This machine is built to take the abuse from commercial use but compact and easy enough for home use.
With a huge variety of cappuccino machines on the market, we are including the top 5 “runner-ups” that deserve your consideration as well.
- Breville BES840XL the Infuser Espresso Machine $$$
- Delonghi EC680R DEDICA 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine, Red $$
- DeLonghi ECAM22110SB Compact Automatic Cappuccino, Latte and Espresso Machine $$$$
- Capresso Ultima Pro Espresso Maker $$
- DeLonghi Magnifica S Black Smart Automatic Cappuccino Machine with Free Set of 6 Italian Espresso Shot Glasses $$$$$
Cappuccino Maker Buyers Guide
Buying a cappuccino a day 5 days a week at your local coffee shop can put a large dent into your wallet, average price $7 x 5 days = $35 just on a morning drink! For a good machine, skip the local coffee shop and make your cappuccino at home. There is such an array of machines on the market you really need to know what you are paying for. Here are some of your needs or wants you may want to consider before buying a cappuccino machine for your home.
Variety of Drinks – some machines are designed to make just cappuccino while others will give the option of many different types of coffees: espresso, cappuccino, and regular coffee. There are two separate machines joined in one unit. This way if company is over you can make a full 12 cups of regular coffee along with single and double shots of espresso for espresso or cappuccino.
Speed – There are two aspects to speed to consider. First is how fast can it make a drink. For example, if it grounds the beans for every cup it will take a bit longer then if you just fill the filter. Having a water reservoir will save time. Pod machines, of course, will be the fastest by cutting out a lot of steps.
Water Supply – Is there a removable water tank, a reservoir that is permanent but holds several ounces of water, you have to add water for each cup or is it hard wired to a water supply?
Clean-up – machines that self-clean of course are the easiest to clean. A person only needs to pour a decalcification solution in the machine a few times a year. Some machines have self-cleaning milk frothing arms. While other machines you have to disassemble and clean.
Additional features –
Milk Frother – automatic, attached or unattached
Ease of Use – Push and go vs self grind,add the coffee, pour the water in, and separately froth the milk.
Solenoid Valves – if included these valves make commercial quality
Automatic Grinders – Some machines will grind each serving of beans individually AND add the grounds directly to the filter.
Price – it is important to include the price in your comparison. There are machines that have fewer “bells and whistles” for a much higher price than those that may be considered lower quality but will produce close to coffee shop quality coffee.
While the quality of the machine is important, the type of coffee bean and freshness of the grind is going to give you the best quality of coffee, espresso, cappuccino or latte. To keep the beans at the peak freshness, it is recommended to store them in the freezer until you are about to make coffee. If grinding your bean at home does not appeal to you, at least buy the packages of beans, grind them in the store, and store them in an air tight container in the freezer.
Coffee is such a staple in so many people’s mornings. There are coffee shops often right next to each other or facing each other. Purchasing all that coffee at an average price of $5-8/ cup will really add up. In approximately a month or two of not purchasing coffee out every day, you can afford a quality cappuccino machine. Our lives have become so rushed that taking the 3-5 minutes to make a good cup of coffee often seems too much to handle. In hindsight though if you think of how long you often have to stand in line, place your order, pay and then WAIT for your cappuccino to be made, it is actually taking longer and costing more than if you had just slowed down long enough to make your drink at home.
Cappuccino machines on the market today are so easy to use, easy to clean and easier on the wallet for a good quality machine. Some machines you just put in a pre-packaged pod and push the button, seconds later you have a freshly brewed cappuccino. The quality may not be near coffee shop level, but the ease will allow you to hit the door running.