House & Beyond is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
For coffee enthusiasts always having to go to a Starbucks may not be ideal and cost-effective. However, owning a latte machine will give you the ability to brew a cup or two any time you feel like it and all from the comfort of your home. There are many options for you to choose from, and with increased automation making a cup could be just as easy as pushing a few buttons. The best latte machine is one that you can depend on to produce fantastic results whether you’re making a latte, cappuccino, ristretto, or espresso.
Reviewed below are some ideal options that you can pick out. In the making of the list, we considered the following key factors. The total capacity of the latte machine in regards to how much water it can hold, the amount of ground coffee that you can put in the device at a go, and expected yield counts. Also important is how easy it is for people to operate in addition to the overall size and weight of the product.
The table below shows how we rate each of the latte machines with our editor’s pick getting the highest rating and subsequent devices getting lower points. Also, you get in-depth information about each product in the line-up, and if that is not enough to help you choose the best latte machine, the buying guide should make the decision easier.
More features: intuitive touch screen display; automatic micro-foam texturing; 3-second heat up time; Digital Temperature Control; 5 pre-programmed Café favorites; 8 customizable coffee settings
Drinks from your favorite coffee shop generally tend to taste better because the makers use better equipment. With this tool, you can get the same effect, and the latte making process is simplified into very few easy steps. You can grind your beans using the incorporated grinder, which also offers dose control features that ensure the coffee is just the right amount. This is usually the first step in the process.
Next, you brew the coffee, and the heat up time is only an impressive three seconds. The digital temperature control helps in this regard by ensuring optimum temperatures that allow for espresso extraction. The last step in the process is adding milk to your coffee. Here the auto steam wand component comes in handy. You can use it to regulate coffee temperature alongside the texture.
The controls that let you do this are in a touch screen situated on the front side of the coffee machine. All the three steps mentioned above are customizable to different levels and can be saved as presets to be used at a later date. The latte maker can have as many as eight saved presets, all of which can be saved under different names. Also, If you’re looking to start making latte art, you can begin by practicing with this home latte machine.
Despite the many features, the design of the coffee maker is relatively compact and won’t take up much space in your kitchen. The warranty terms also seem very favorable with 2-year limited coverage while other options of the same caliber offer half that much.
More features: 11 drink options; 7 one-touch recipes; Latte Crema System; drip style coffee option; twin brewing cycle; two separate heating elements for milk and espresso preparation
If you want to have quality coffee without having to worry about the processes involved in making the drink, then this fully automatic latte coffee machine should be your first pick. You get an intuitive display though this one is not touchscreen like the one provided by Breville above.
What you get instead are 11 drink options that you can access by pressing a single button. The coffee maker does the rest and fills it in a cup of your choice. Some of the more popular buttons include those for cappuccino, latte, and espresso, and the maximum size for a cup you can use with this particular model is 5.5 inches. Also, the gadget retains a welcome consistency in the coffee output for each coffee preset. However, if you want to maintain a bit of control, you can customize these settings to just how you like your drink.
As for which coffee to buy at the supermarket, you can choose either beans or ground coffee depending on your preference. The coffee maker supports the use of both. Separate heating elements for milk and espresso ensure temperatures are right for the drink. Also, there is an extractable brew unit. The fact that you can detach it from the central unit makes it one of the easier ones to clean.
What we liked:
Automatic coffee preparation
11 drink presets
Detachable and easy to clean brew unit
Separate heating elements for milk and espresso
Easy to use
Highly customizable output
What could be better:
Machine sometimes clogs when used with dark roast oily beans
More features: LED display with illuminated icons, 3.25 to 4.5-inch cup height, front-loaded water reservoir
The Gaggia Brera is a product of Italy and one that oozes quality. Most of the latte maker components are easy to reach from the front, to remove, to clean. This makes maintaining the machine a breeze. For operation, this device incorporates both an LED screen and push-button control. Also, the front is made of durable stainless steel that will ensure the long life of the product while you use it at home.
Like the previous models mentioned above, this unit has a burr grinder for whole coffee beans. If whole beans do not strike your fancy, you can choose to use pre-ground coffee using the dedicated slot. Also, this is an intelligent machine. After multiple uses, it records the information, and the adapting system can then learn and adjust the grinder to give you better service.
The Panarello steam wand creates foam and dispenses milk, and this makes a perfect espresso machine for latte art. The wand can also act as a hot water dispenser whenever you need to make tea.
In addition to all the features above, you won’t have to wait for any more than 10 seconds of heat up time to get your coffee. Add the one-year warranty and the reasonable pricing, and that makes it a winner and probably one of the best gadgets you could own for the money.
More features: single and double servings; automatic milk frother; removable milk tank; programmed cleaning cycle
Budget-friendly coffee makers are not that many in the market. This particular model is one of the few ones available. Rather than a fully automated coffee maker, this one boasts semi-automatic capabilities in the production process. The bar pump system is on par with other pricier models as you can see in the product features mentioned above. They all have the same 15 bar pressure output.
When making coffee, the output may differ per cup depending on the type of milk used as the frothing will also be different. While it does produce a few different types of coffee, it doesn’t offer much in the way of control. However, the three buttons make it one of the easier coffee makers to use. Each of the three buttons is dedicated to one of the three coffee options, namely cappuccino, latte, or espresso.
The water reservoir on the back is easily removable, and so is the milk containment unit. If any of the milk is left behind from a particular brew, you can put the reservoir in the fridge until the next time you need to brew a cup. Also, the frothing tube needs cleanup after every use.
More features: 24 oz. capacity; hot chocolate option
From the image, you can see that the unit comes with a simplistic design. Unfortunately, that also means it has limited functionality. It will also probably take the least amount of counter space when compared with all other options on our list. Making hot chocolate isn’t a standard feature with other similar products, but you can expect that functionality with this model.
Also, when you buy this model by Mr. Coffee, you get a recipe book in the box that can help you make different types of drinks with the gadget. Just like the other gadget by the same manufacturer on our list, this one only works with pre-ground coffee. Safety features include the coffee maker powering off on its own once the drink is ready.
More features: 3 milk and 2 coffee selections; Automatic Cappuccino System for milk frothing
If you consider using ground coffee a messy affair, you can opt out by using capsules instead. This method also involves less work on your part as you don’t have to measure the raw coffee quantities you put into the machine. The water reservoir goes on the back while the milk one features on the front side of the device.
The incorporation of a thermoblock heating system helps to reduce heat up times and to retain heat when it is most needed. This thus makes it the best single serve latte machine you can own. The control buttons serve to give you three milk and two coffee options which you can use in combination to make your drink of choice. You are advised to use skimmed and semi-skimmed milk every time you use this gadget, and for optimum results, it should be an average of 4 degrees Celsius. Also, you might be required to clean this more often than you would with a few other coffee makers. This way you get to live out your warranty with the machine intact.
What we liked:
Easy to use
What could be better:
Limited to use with capsules
Capsules are more expensive that beans
Things to Consider
If you have a functional lattee machine at hand, making a perfect latee macchiatto becomes so easy that you could probably make it in your sleep. But how do you choose one? Let’s find out!
Features to consider while choosing a latte machine
Once you have decided to buy a latte machine, don’t just buy the first one you can find. You might find yourself having to return it. Instead, make a pros and cons list of each model. Also, answer a few of these questions. Do you want it fully automated or semi-automated? How many people in your household drink coffee? When it comes to coffee, do you prefer to grind your beans, or do you want someone else to do it for you? Would you like to practice latte art with the coffee you make? Here, we take a look at the main features to consider before you buy your latte machine.
Type and ease of use
The type of late machine determines the ease of use and often the results you get. Automatic machines are generally easier to to use, since you operate them by touchscreen or pressing a button. There are also those that learn with each consequent use and adapt to the needs of the owner. With the Breville Barista Touch coffee maker, for example, initial use may prove difficult given that you have to figure out how to store your preferred coffee settings on the device. After that, things will get easier as all you have to do is click on your name to make a coffee.
If you’re uninterested in the intricacies of coffee making, there are machines that only require you to press a single button while they handle the rest. It is just a matter of preference. You can also find machines with useful features such as heating, for example thermal coffee makers.
The pressure of the machine is vital in that it heavily influences the quality of the brew. There is, of course, the industry standard of 9 to 10 bars pressure at the brew-head with most espresso machines. A 15 bar pump is what is needed to push water through the boiler of the latte machine and still retain 9 bars pressure at the end of the process. While other latte machines may claim a higher caliber bar pump up to 19 bars, it comes off as unnecessary as the output is still the same.
Water reservoir capacity
Smaller latte makers like the Mr. Coffee Café Latte model and single serve coffee makers will generally tend to have smaller water reservoirs. This limits the number of servings per brew. For large families or an office setting, this may not be ideal as it would require multiple brews at a time to keep up with coffee needs. Instead, one would benefit more from having a bigger water reservoir in such scenarios.
On the other hand, if you live alone, you probably don’t need to brew four cups of coffee at a time . Most of it would go to waste. As such, you would be better served by deciding on the water reservoir capacity that is ideal for your individual needs beforehand.
Which coffee can you use?
Do you have access to bean or ground coffee? If you have access to both, which do you prefer? Does the coffee maker support grinding? As you have seen above, most makers with a built-in grinder come at a higher price point. If you value that functionality, you will be more willing to pay a little extra. Others like the DeLonghi Lattissima Plus are limited to coffee in capsules, which makes these machines easier to use, but useless whenever these capsules are unavailable.
Counter space should also be a priority. Some coffee makers are broader, while others elongate upwards. Of course, this affects both the water and the milk reservoir capacity. If you have the extra space, you can buy and set up something bulkier if it serves you better than a smaller model would.
Sometimes devices can be defective from the manufacturer, and if you don’t have a warranty protecting you, then you get no compensation. Most latte makers tend to last about 12 months, but if you can get one for longer, you would be better off. Even then, manufacturers are aware of the quality they put forth and as such, warranty terms are a sign of their faith in themselves and their processes. Choose one with the most favorable warranty terms as you might need it.
Brands do matter when choosing a latte maker. Some of these companies have been making latte machines for quite a while now. They may have made a few mistakes in their initial years, and most of them have learned from them and continued to innovate new and better ways of making coffee.
As such, companies with lots of experience tend to make better machines, though this is not always the case.
Also, reputation tends to matter a lot. You are more likely to trust a company that has been known to manufacture quality products over the last few years. This information you can get by looking through reviews and at the names that come up over and over again.
How often do the individual components need to be cleaned? Some require cleaning out after every use while others can afford to wait for longer without risking irreparable damage. Also, spare part availability is essential. Having one little breakage could incapacitate the latte maker, and sometimes this can easily be fixed by buying a replacement for the part in question. Where these parts are unavailable, you might need to replace the whole gadget, and that costs more money.
On our list, some items cost well over 1000 dollars, and there are those you can acquire for less than $200. Both produce lattes, although the quality is different. Often your budget dictates which one you can get and that usually has a direct correlation with the quality of the product you get. Put plainly, the more you can spend, the more quality you are likely to get. You also get more features when you buy expensive machines. Nevertheless, your needs also factor in the final decision.
Tips for making coffee latte or latte macchiato
In making a coffee latte, the coffee is poured first into the cup before the milk. It is also the main ingredient and should thus fill at least three-quarters of the cup. For a latte macchiato, you serve it in a glass, and the coffee is the minor ingredient. You also pour the milk in first. For a frothy output, try and use full-fat milk.
Semi-automatic espresso machines need human input to stop it from spilling coffee all over your counter. They also do not have an in-built grinder and only utilize pre-gound coffee. The super-automatic ones grind coffee beans and have timer that cuts off the shot. You can leave your coffee filling up and attend to other matters without worrying about accidents.
Fifteen bars is what is required to output the recommended 9-bar pressure at the brew head of the latte machine. Nineteen bars to some are therefore unnecessary as they don’t add any real value to the coffee.
Most home espresso machines are quiet in operation. However, those with grinder components tend to make a little more noise when in operation. If the level of noise is important for you, get one that only takes pre-ground coffee.
Overall the Breville Barista Touch gets top marks for automation. The fact that it remembers your coffee just the way you like it is a plus. Whenever you need a change, you can use the touch feature to customize a new drink. This product is also the only one on our lineup with a two-year warranty. As such, it should be your first pick.
Option number two if purchase cost is not a factor should be the DeLonghi Eletta Cappuccino machine. Eleven preset drinks with seven one-touch options take most of the work out of making a coffee. These are also customizable to an individual’s needs. The Eletta also gets top marks for consistency whenever you use it.
Our third favorite pick goes to the Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine. It functions just like other high-end latte machines with the advantage of being half the price. This makes it accessible to most of the population. For us, these three take the cake.