From all coffee brewing s that are not the traditional espresso, by far the cappuccinos are the most popular and demanded recipe. Its preparation isn’t either that much complicated, specially if you can brew a good espresso, but considering the addition of other flavors and frothing milk, there is more to the taste of a cappuccino than just good quality coffee, so this popular serving has its reasons to be so famous and cherished by many.
The coffee machines industry of course would not be neglecting this trend. From all the robust and fancy coffee machines, all them include at least as an extra feature an automatic cappuccino recipe, so you have the option to prepare a great cappuccino at ease with great cappuccino machines, and the options these days abound in the market.
We selected six of the best models available for 2020 in the industry, considering not only the quality and capacity of the machines, but also how they enable you to create a customized and fine cappuccino on your own. Check our reviews and later our quick guide on why we included these models and what you need to care for when looking for a best cappuccino machine.
Best Cappuccino Maker for 2020
Jura Giga 5 13623
The Swiss coffee machines company, Jura, created with Giga 5 one of their best and most sumptuous coffee machines ever so, no wonder this is by far also one of the most expensive in the market these days, a true dream boat. That’s not at all in vain. Giga 5 could easily be used a professional barista cappuccino machine, actually, as a complete coffee machine since it delivers up to 12 different automated coffee recipes and has two spout valves that work separately, from grinding to serving, that’s exactly what you have read.
Jura developed here a double coffee machine, two separate systems into one. That means you will have two grinder hoppers and burrs, two heating systems, two water tanks, and so on. The grinding system is important to mention, is not any little thing.
Blades made on ceramic. With this double build, you are able to prepare at the same time then two identical cappuccinos, or two cappuccinos with different blends, one cappuccino and one latte, one cappuccino and one espresso, you name the combinations, they are really, really numerous as the machine has the 12 automated recipes plus, adjustments you can do to make them customized to your taste.
The two servings, either identical or completely different, get ready practically at the same time.Many machines already developed double systems, but not with the versatility and independence this Jura machine provides. This is really a step forward from competition.
As it is a two-into-one machine, it surely will heat a lot because of the two heating systems alongside one each other. Sometimes it can be too much for the machine. For that reason the Giga 5 has a venti ports systems that works like a cooler mechanism, to blow the heat out, and you can even adjust the direction of the exhaustion.
Like a boosted automatic machine as it is, all the options of adjustment here are via digital controls, including a TFT display and rotary button for selection. The whole step by step mechanism makes this machine quite intuitive and simple to use, one of the best adjustment systems in the market.
Jura includes in the package alongside the machine, a cup warmer made on stainless steel, a milk cooler system, and an exclusive set of six espresso cups and an even more exclusive pack of 25 cleaning tablets with special soaps developed specially for espresso machine systems.
This soap will ensure you will be cleaning the machine correctly and hygienically, but avoiding wear to the system. If you really want something like the cappuccino machine of your dreams, this is really the way to go.
DeLonghi Magnifica N (ESAM3500.N)
If Jura has one of the best models in the market for cappuccino machines, DeLonghi has several of them. This quite popular brand does really develop a lot of outstanding machines. They are surely less sophisticated and fancy than our Giga 5 dream boat, but they are still robust, fine and complex machines that are not either cheap.
The Magnifica N is one of the best models developed by DeLonghi, its part of their Magnifica series that includes several models for many different profiles of use. This Magnifica is a good middle ground between their best sophisticated designs and more accessible profile machines, the reason we included it here is because, different from other more robust and expensive machines of the brand, this one makes one of the best cappuccinos in the market.
The Magnifica N has very automated build, specially designed to prepare coffee recipes that include milk, specially cappuccinos. The milk tank of this machine is designed alongside the spout valve, exactly to favor the instantaneous preparation of cappuccinos, among other milk-based recipes, like lattes, but the machine comes with its special and dedicated cappuccino recipe all ready to be used.
The only let down of this machine is for tradition enthusiasts. The machine will froth and add the milk on its own. There is not a separate froth wand option like the Jura machine provides, even though if you want to brew espressos or other recipes with no milk the Magnifica N can surely be adjusted for that.
Like any robust and fancy cappuccino machine, you have a lot of options of automation, from grinding size to the strength of the brewed coffee, all available through digital controls.
SAECO Philips Xelsis EVO HD8954/47
This SAECO Xelsis EVO is quite alike the Magnifica N, as it is also designed to prepare coffee brews with milk considered a quite important component on the mix. The frothing milk system here is designed by Philips also quite tight to the to the spout, but like the Jura Giga 5 model, this one also has a separate, dedicate frothing wand so you can froth on your own the milk.
All SAECOS are coffee machines quite popular. This series is really one of their most successful developments for kitchen appliances and, of course, it is not included in our list in vain, since it offers a great cappuccino automated recipe.
But not only great cappuccinos are brewed by this machine. It is also designed with preadjusted programs for lattes, macchiatos, caffelatte (coffee and milk) and the traditional espresso.
For each one of this programs the machine offers customizable options of strength, serving, grinding size and so on, so you can start with a preadjusted recipe of cappuccino and create your own with personalized adjustments.
On the other hand, this machine doesn’t offer that much options of customization. It is a limited set of options to personalize your coffee, but it still works with the standard of the best brewings for these recipes.
One more high profile feature of this machine is the grinder burr, made also of ceramic blades like the Giga 5.
Later, by the way, you should check the purchase guide after our reviews in case you don’t know what this kind of material makes different for the coffee ground. It seems like an extra luxury but in fact it has its significant differences.
For last, this machine couldn’t be so great without digital controllers. All the interface of the Xelsis ECO is designed with a touch digital display. Ah, and a bonus, this cappuccino machine has an auto cleaning program system to keep all parts of the machine clean with no need to detach any parts.
Jura ENA 9 One Touch
The second Jura of our list is worth the inclusion. For a much more affordable price – but still a serious investment – the ENA 9 has a much more compact build, and like the other machines on our list, it works with just one brewing system, despite the fact it also has a dual spout valve.
The spout arm actually can be adjusted to customized heights, so if you want to brew a cappuccino for a tall mug or a short cup, you can bring the spout close to it appropriately, which helps a lot to avoid, for example, coffee droplets splashing around the machine.
As a more compact cappuccino machine, surely the ENA 9 has its limitations compared to all other machines already listed here. This is in fact the first of the three left machines of our list that are more limited but still more accessible for the budget of everybody.
However, limitation doesn’t mean it provides worse cappuccinos, as this machine actually is great for it. Jura provides here their own cappuccino recipe, which you can’t adjust too much but the strength of the coffee. All the presettings of the machine are quite fixed, but considering how much strength and aroma you want, it will provide the fine coffee brewing you need.
There is an exclusive option, the Aroma Booster, that increases the amount of coffee brewed, as well as the grinding of the coffee beans. You can use it combined with the preseted programs of cappuccino and macchiato, as well as for espressos. There are six different coffee recipes you can brew here, so you will run out of ideas that easily despite the limitations of adjustments.
And like an outstanding Jura machine, ENA 9 is also very elegant and beautiful, designed to fit well anywhere in your kitchen counter with style and sophistication.
Mr. Coffee Café Barista Premium
Following the compact profile machines of our list, the Café Barista Premium has a cute, classic look with the best of digital automation to make your life easy with a budget machine. This is the most accessible machine of our list, even though it is still a quite well rated machine and a top seller.
Mr. Coffee is a brand with quite a name for itself despite the fact they manufacture less fancy models. Their products have a clever high profile system and are among the best sellers among affordable machines.
One of Café Barista’s great advantages is its cappuccino automated recipes. Alongside espressos and lattes, this coffee maker has their own famous recipes for these coffee specialties.
Different from other machines of our list though, here things happen in a much more simple way and, consequently, with less customization. These recipes are One Touch kind: you press a button and you can start brewing the automated recipes.
On the other hand, you can customize the amount of the serving for each recipe and adjust the frothing consistence, switching from Latte frothing to Cappuccino frothing. This control is made through a rotary button, and you can also switch it forward for the self-cleaning program of the machine.
It will use steam to clean the milk tank automatically, even though you can remove both the tank milk and the water milk to wash it with no worries on your washing machine. The milk frothing here by the way is designed like most machines of our list, juxtaposed to the spout valve.
Another cool feature of this machine is the adjustable height of the cup tray grid. You can lift it for smaller cups, compensating the difference of height since the spout is fixed and not adjustable.
The only let down of this machine is the fact it doesn’t include a grinder, so you will have to grind your coffee beans in a separate machine or pay for some coffee store to do that for you.
Nespresso Citiz D121-US4-BK-NE1
We don’t often include Nespresso or Keurig machines on our lists because of a simple reason: they really limit things a bit too much for our taste, as you always will rely on capsule pod to have a cup of coffee.
On the other hand, many people really like the automatic recipes provided specially by Nestlé, so we couldn’t let this Nespresso cappuccino machine out of the list, specially if you are really looking for something practical and easy to use, and if you don’t have interest on grinding coffee beans and all this kind of meticulous tasks that require expertise, pod machines are the way to go.
The difference of this Nespresso from most common Nespresso machines is the fact this one is prepared to brew milk-based recipes, so it includes a milk frother system, the so called Aeroccino.
It will prepare the milk for the adequate consistency depending on the recipe you want to brew. It can prepare cappuccinos (and Iced cappuccinos), lattes and macchiatos. As Nestlé has several different recipes for each one of these preparations, you actually has many options, the only problem is that you have to purchase each one of them.
Like the Mr. Coffee machine, the cup tray of this cappuccino machine also is adjustable, so you can brew it on long mugs or short espresso cups. There are options actually to brew either a longo or espresso amount of coffee and is all about pressing one or another button, no big mysteries. You can brew up to 10 pods until you have to empty the pods basket.
For last, while it has its commercial limitations, Citiz is a great pod machine, and probably the best kind of model you can get out there with this profile. That’s for some factual reasons: you will never taste a real, cream fueled espresso with pod recipes, which is not what this machines is not even trying to offer in first place, pod machines are great for special recipes that include milk – as the brands can include their secret flavors – and Citiz is all ready for it, it preheats really fast, 25 seconds, and works with a 19-bar pressure system which is higher than many espresso machines, ideal for rich extractions and, since this is a pod machine, an auto shut-off mechanism is always welcome but not always present in pod machines. Nespresso Citiz though provides it, with a 9 minutes limit before it shuts off to save energy.
The Best Cappuccino Machine: Some tips for Buying and Brewing Cappuccinos
What exactly makes a cappuccino machine?
As we said in the begging of our guide, cappuccino machines are coffee machines with a more robust build or, at least, a more fancy build that includes automated recipes. They don’t differ too much from espresso machines, as many of them are barista espresso machine with the cappuccino option as an extra feature.
There are many espresso machines that offer the frothing wand and the brewing system separately, but they don’t have actually an automated system to mix both things. We decided to include in this list only machines that are designed to mix those features and make the preparation really easy, even though there are cases where you can count with a second, free frothing wand that can be used independently.
For a machine to offer automated cappuccino recipes they also need a program that knows how to grind and brew the coffee adequately for a cappuccino mix, so is not only either about having a frothing wand juxtaposed to the coffee spout valve.
What are the benefits of a cappuccino machine?
There are not really a lot of secrets on what makes a cappuccino machine an advantage in your kitchen. It is about practicality and convenience. Cappuccinos require some barista skills that can be quite complicated to put into action manually. Like any other coffee recipe or even a meal, it requires expertise.
Automated cappuccino machines make this task easy for you. All you have to do is to select and buy the right coffee beans, add water and milk to the machine, and press the adequate buttons.
What should I look for on the best cappuccino machine?
Probably the feature #1 when choosing a cappuccino machine is the versatility of the preparation. Not only a program to create a cappuccino is what you need, but the possibility to adjust it to your own taste, as well as the amount served.
We included in the list machines that have one way or another this trait, either enabling a precise customization or the options to change the base recipe. Surely, as the price of a machine goes lower, the possibilities follow, but some standards of customization are always necessary as you don’t want something so inflexible.
A few models included in this list you may remember have their grinder burrs made of ceramic. The reason not most of them is made with this material has nothing to do with the fact their quality is worse than stainless steel, which is the most commonly find material for grinder burrs.
Ceramic burrs are more expensive have a different way to interact with the oils of the coffee. They are less adherent to oil, so they will clog much less of it and will not steal it from the final mix, resulting in a brewed coffee with a thicker consistency, mostly notable when it comes to cream.
However, is important to note that ceramic burrs are somehow fragile and when they are damaged, it means total lost, as it is not possible to replace only the burr. On the other hand, you would have to throw a rock inside the grinder burr so that would happen.
Stainless steel, even though, is still a great material for burrs. The differences of consistency and texture are slight, and more noticeable with one and other variety of coffee bean.
Preparing cappuccinos can be a quite fast, but messy task when repeated over and over again. There are many elements in this scenario that become problematic over time: coffee has essential oils, milk has dairy fat, steam can clog dust and other particle from the air easily, the drip tray will settle water with milk, coffee and so many other particles you can name. In the end of a week, if you use your machine daily, you will have something else to clean in your kitchen for sure.
Self-cleaning programs make this task easier, as they will make use of hot water and steam to get rid of fat as well as to disinfect any proliferation of microorganisms. This is good to avoid clogging tubes, tanks and spout valves. You will still have to use a cloth once in a while to clean some external parts of the machine, but you will not wish to do the same in the inside of the machine without the help of self-cleaning programs.
What is the secret to brew an outstanding cappuccino with a cappuccino machine?
Great coffee beans
This is a golden rule that works for any kind of coffee preparation. It doesn’t matter if you purchase a great, high standard cappuccino machine if you are not going to purchase coffee beans of the same high quality. Sometimes all you need is great coffee beans and you can extract a fine elixir from it with a simple french press.
Don’t expect to have great cappuccinos with preground coffee and be careful whether you can even use it with most of these machines. Preground coffee is often too much processed to the point it can clog easily the tamper for being too compacted.
You will notice your cappuccino is great when it shows multilayers. Alongside the milk layer, it also must gleam an amber cream layer right above the dark brewed coffee layer.
A Good Recipe
Is always good to take a look before brewing your cappuccino on what really is a true and good cappuccino for the coffee bean variation you are trying with. Many people like to top cappuccinos with cocoa or cinnamon, but none of these ingredients are part of the traditional recipe so, you have to be careful to do not ruin the taste of a fine coffee bean with this kind of experimental adventures.
This is all about taste, for sure, as many people would be ok mixing unorthodox things to coffee, just bear in mind that sometimes, if you have good palate for coffee, you will notice how much these extra ingredients can ruin the authentic taste, so try to stick to the guidelines of preparation of the coffee ground you are about to brew.
Keeping it Hot: Cappuccinos, like any other coffee specialty require a correct serving, which is, hot. Tepid cappuccinos can be even worse than a regular espresso because they have milk frothed.
The longer it takes to be consumed, the more ruined the consistency of the milk will be, the layers will blend uneven and out of heat in a mix that will be terrible to the most refined palates.
Follow the tradition of Italian cafes and keep the cups, glasses, mugs or whatever preheated before pouring the brewed coffee and, of course, don’t take too long to taste your cappuccino.
Cappuccino machines are not much different from espresso machines, but you must understand the ways they use to properly brew a good cappuccino so you can cope with it and choose as well the best machine to suit your taste. For the pod machines, if you are interested in more of those, we always recommend a research on evaluation of the flavors developed by the brands.
You know you will have many options of flavor but that doesn’t mean all brands make good mixes. For the traditional cappuccino machines, good beans and a good machine is always the secret.