The best latte and cappuccino machines will produce a better coffee than you will ever get at one of the high street coffee shops and it’s much cheaper. You can expect to pay about 25p to make a great cappuccino or latte at home.
You will very quickly recover the investment you make in a machine that makes lattes and cappuccino’s because once you see how good the coffee is you won’t bother spending £3 for one in a coffee shop ever again.
If you are fed up spending north of £100 a month on your daily caffeine fix then we will introduce you to all the different options that will enable you to replicate what they do in Starbucks or Costa or Café Nero.
If you want to be able to make a decent latte or cappuccino that compares to something you get in Starbucks or Costa then you should consider spending £100 or more.
You can pay less and we will point out a few machines that come in a bit lower than that but if you are prepared to spend £100 or more then you will get a machine that not only makes good coffee but it will last you a number of years as well.
The next thing to consider after the price is the type of machine that will suit you best.
Some coffee brewing methods are not really suitable for making cappuccino or lattes.
Espresso coffee is made by forcing water through ground coffee at high pressure to produce a highly concentrated black coffee that is perfect for turning into a latte or cappuccino.
Certain coffee makers don’t do that so you can cross them off your list straight away.
Filter coffee machines are not suitable for making cappuccino’s or lattes as water passes slowly through ground coffee and drips into a jug below and cannot create espresso.
Using a cafetière is also not really suitable for making latte’s or cappuccino’s because the ground coffee is added and then mixed with water for about 4 minutes creating a much less intense coffee than espresso.
That then leaves three different types of coffee machine for you to consider that will produce espresso ready for milk to be added to produce the perfect latte or cappuccino.
With a pod machine the coffee has already been pre-ground and vacuum-sealed ready for you to pop it in the machine, press a button and have your coffee delivered.
Bean to cup coffee machines use fresh coffee beans and grind them right before the espresso is delivered into your cup.
Bean to cup machines offer the most convenient way to get the freshest possible coffee and fresh is always best.
Pod machines tend to be cheaper but bean to cup machines will produce a better cup of coffee so you just need to decide whether you want to compromise a little on quality and get a cheaper pod machine or get the best quality and pay a bit more for a bean to cup machine.
The other option you have is a stand-alone pump espresso machine. If you are happy to spend a few minutes making your coffee then this can be the best value for money way to make a great latte or cappuccino.
You get to control the grind fineness, the exact amount of coffee you will use and how much coffee gets delivered into your cup.
These are the best cappuccino and latte coffee machines in the UK covering pod machines, bean to cup machines and pump espresso machines:
We start with a couple of stand-alone espresso machines with a steam wand for heating and frothing milk. What we mean by stand-alone is that they don’t come with a grinder to grind your coffee beans.
You can either buy pre-ground coffee or get a cheap coffee grinder as grinding whole coffee beans just before you make your coffee is preferable to buying pre-ground coffee from a freshness perspective and you’ll be surprised at how little you can pick up a blade coffee grinder for.
If you want good quality no frill’s cappuccino or latte and you don’t want to spend hundreds then the Klarstein Passionata is a great entry-level machine. It’s not the cheapest out there but you should be avoiding those anyway because anything lower priced than this tends to break quite quickly and will not produce consistently good coffee.
The manual operation is super easy to use. Just turn one dial to begin coffee delivery and turn it back again when your coffee has been delivered into your cup. Literally that’s it. If you are looking for simplicity this will work for you.
Turn the dial the other way to start the steam. The steam is powerful and will whip up a good quality froth ideal for any milk-based coffee drink in about 60 seconds.
This is a tried and trusted winner from Delonghi with many thousands of happy customers. This is a stand-alone espresso machine with a steam wand that does not grind coffee beans so you can either get a cheap coffee grinder or you have a couple of other options with this espresso machine.
One is to buy pre-ground coffee and add it straight to the portafilter (the basket that holds the coffee) or this particular machine also accommodates ESE coffee pods which are a very convenient way to get a hassle-free latte. They are a bit like a coffee bag that just goes straight into the machine and your coffee is delivered in about 30 seconds. Its a bit like a coffee pod but in a bag and better quality.
There are only a couple of buttons to start coffee delivery and you can program it to how you like it by just holding the button down and then it will remember that setting for the future.
The dial on the right starts and stops the steam to heat your milk for cappuccino, latte, flat white and more.
This is my personal favourite and a machine that i have personally owned for a few years. It’s the best way to get a better cup of coffee than you will ever get in a coffee shop.
The Sage Barista Express grinds the coffee beans for you with an integrated coffee grinder that has so many different levels of grind fineness options that you will never use even half of them (i haven’t in two years) For Espresso you want a finer grind so you’ll be choosing a setting of between 1-8 that you can change by turning a dial on the side of the machine.
Then you choose how much coffee you want to be delivered into the portafilter by turning the grind amount dial, tamp your coffee with the tamper provided that is magnetically stuck to the machine for super easy access and you are good to go.
Sage provide a pressure dial so you can make sure you have the right amount of coffee at the correct level of fineness to deliver a perfect espresso shot. the steam wand is excellent and offers very high pressure for great milk frothing.
This is absolutely the most affordable way to get coffee shop experience (or better) at home. It’s not cheap but it is good value for money and its made very well so expect it to last for years.
Sage also does a Barista Pro that is the same as the Barista Express but it has digital controls that enable you to super fine-tune your coffee.
You may notice that the Creatista plus looks similar to the Sage Barista Express above and that’s because they are both made by Sage but this model takes Nespresso pods and it comes with a steam wand which is a much better way to heat your milk than a milk frother. Most other Nespresso machine require you to use a separate milk frother but this one has a very powerful steam nozzle that is perfect for latte’s.
If its speed and convenience you are after then this is a very efficient way to get a quality cup of coffee. Pop the pod in and a double espresso is delivered in seconds.
The milk will automatically heat and froth to the temperature you have set in advance. All you have to do is pour the milk into your cup for the perfect coffee.
If you are looking for a machine that requires the absolute minimum amount of effort to make a latte or cappuccino then the Nespresso Latissima touch is right up there with the best.
It has a detachable milk carafe that you can store in the fridge when not in use and then it just clips into the machine and you press one button to deliver the coffee and then the milk combines with the coffee to produce the drink of your choice.
You control the amount of froth that gets produced by turning a dial on the milk carafe so you can have more froth for a cappuccino and less for a latte.
This has been around for a number of years and the reason it’s still around is that it makes a really good cup of coffee at a very reasonable price.
This is a fully automated bean to cup coffee machine that grinds the beans, tamps the coffee and delivers a double espresso straight into your cup. You press one button and never even have to touch the coffee.
You control the amount of water that gets pushed through the coffee and the amount of coffee that gets used with two dials on the front of the machine and the steam wand is on hand to froth up milk for your favourite milk-based coffee drinks.
Is it worth buying a cappuccino machine?
If you want to make coffee shop quality coffee and save money as well then it is definitely worth getting a coffee machine that can make lattes and cappuccino.
There are many reasons why but there are two big ones, better coffee and saving money.
Whilst you may have to lay out some money to buy the machine in the first place that will quickly be recovered within a few months from the savings you will make by not having to buy your favourite coffee from a coffee shop any more.
Say you buy 3 coffees a week at £3 a go that’s £9 a week or about £450 a year.
If you buy a coffee machine for say £225 and make them yourself you’ll have your money back in a year and you’ll find that you can make a better tasting coffee than you pay £3 for in a coffee shop.
One of the main reasons that you will be able to make a better latte or cappuccino with your own coffee machine than a coffee shop is that you get to choose your own coffee beans.
Starbucks or Costa don’t give you any choice at all, you get the house blend.
You may not realise it but you probably don’t even like the beans they use but you have just got used to them.
Coffee shops use a dark roast but you may prefer a medium or even a light roast.
Here is an article that explains more about different roast types:
And here is another on different types of coffee beans to try:
Just being able to try different types of coffee roasts and coffee from different countries around the world makes a massive difference to how much more you will enjoy your coffee.
Are expensive coffee machines worth it?
It depends on how close to perfection you are trying to get. You can make a good latte or cappuccino with a machine that costs a few hundred pounds but if you really want to control all of the variables that make up the perfect cup of coffee then you will have to spend a bit more.
What you are aiming for is to get 20g of ground coffee and turn that into 40ml of espresso coffee delivered into your cup in about 25-30 seconds.
That’s easier said than done and there are a number of things you need to control in order to make that happen.
Generally speaking, as long as you choose wisely, the more you spend the more you will be able to control how that happens and the better quality of coffee you will end up with.
Depending on how much you are prepared to spend you can get integrated coffee grinders that will enable you to choose the exact level of grind fineness you require.
You can get machines that allow you to select the exact temperature of the water (espresso is best at 93 degrees).
You can even get machines that will tamp the coffee for you at exactly the same pressure every time.
Getting great cappuccino’s and latte’s is about repeating the same thing over and over again and the machines that cost a bit more tend to help you do that more easily than the cheaper ones.
If you are just starting out then stick in the £100 – £200 region and once you get to grips with making great coffee you can go for a more expensive machine after a year or two.