Anyone can make a regular cup of coffee, but the best latte machine means a great start to your mornings and the perfect finishing note on your dinner parties.
You don’t need to have equipment like your local Starbucks to make lattes. The reality is having a simple machine to make amazing lattes is much easier than you think. Instead of serving bland coffee you can delight your guests with unique lattes or cappuccinos.
Latte machines are now a big business as many people enjoy the luxury of having these espresso drinks in the comfort of their homes. The convenience of staying at the house and enjoying a delightful latte, macchiato, cappuccino, or any other espresso derivative has become a big part of entertaining.
The Latte Machines
The five devices profiled are the best latte machines on the market today. Each of these machines provide fantastic lattes and have many different features depending on your experience level as a barista. Each one has a different “pump” system, but the bottom line is these systems are all relatively the same and unless you’re really serious about your lattes this information can be extraneous.
Each of these machines provides different functionality that is unfortunately mostly related to their price level. However, all of these machines can be used for the entry level barista. Each machine is fairly reliable but if you have counterspace issues it may be wise to stay away from some of the more expensive machines in favor of more modestly price devices.
Here are the short reviews for each latte machine:
The Breville BES870XL provides unmatched quality and is user friendly for beginners yet has several features advanced baristas will enjoy. Another user-friendly latte maker is theVonShef Latte Maker; this machine is also easy on the budget. Another budget latte machine is theMr. Coffee ECM 160, however this machine has several components to really enhance the latte experience. Combining both coffee pods and having a grind function is theHamilton Beach 40792. Finally, theHomeleader Automatic Coffee Machine provides loads of options for the aspiring barista.
Best Latte Machine Reviews
1. Breville BES870XL
When you look at this machine, the first thing you’re struck by is how impressive the machine is with its appearance. Available in four different colors, the Breville goes with any kitchen. The major drawback of the unit’s aesthetics however is its large size. Unless you have a big counter with enough space or a place to store the unit when it is not in use, it can take up a decent amount of prep area if you are someone who enjoys spending time cooking. But, at the end of this day, this is a minor annoyance if you are enthusiastic about making lattes and entertaining.
No matter your barista experience level, the Breville works for you – the dual wall filters provide a great way to practice for emerging baristas while experienced latte makers will enjoy the single wall filters. The dual wall filters provide the necessary pressure and support to get the right extract of espresso for the latte, while the single wall lets you play with the grind sizes and become a true artist with your lattes.
There are multiple settings for the desired latte – you can set different grind types and get the extraction that best suits your preferences. For the aspiring barista, this allows you to go through the learning curve and truly find your preference. The freedom this machine provides allows you to truly find your taste and then share your skills with friends and family.
There are some problems with the Breville. There are several cases where the smaller parts have failed on the machine. As this machine has a high price point, this can be quite dispiriting. It’s important to pay attention and regularly maintain this machine, otherwise you will have spent a lot of money for diminishing returns.
The bottom line is the Breville provides impressive flexibility for the aspiring and experience barista while being a stylish accessory to your kitchen; though the price point is very high, if this machine is properly maintained, then for latte lovers of all varieties the Breville will be worth every penny.
2. VonShef Latte Maker
When you crave simplicity, you crave a latte and the VonShef Latte Maker is the embodiment of that concept. With three simple switches, an unobtrusive milk wand, and a small design that can fit literally anywhere in the kitchen, this machine makes espresso easy.
There’s no pretense here, the VonShef is all about making sure the maker of the latte gets what they want every time. Consistency is this machine’s best asset. The single and double wall filters allow you to have the same flexibility as more expensive machines with creating your espresso shots while the steamer creates the perfect milk froth every time.
It’s beyond easy to use – this latte maker just needs you to fill the water tank, set down the cup, and hit the on switch. Once you have figured out your latte rhythm, it does not get much easier than using the VonShef. In fact, this ease of use means getting lattes produced quick for your party is easy. The best part – everyone’s latte will be consistent.
When it’s time to look at drawbacks, the price is associated with the weaknesses of this machine. Several reports include that the supply line from the water tank to the latte machine talk about clogs, and the parts themselves are just not durable. If you are someone who wants to consistently make lattes, then you may not get the life out of this particular device that you would with other devices.
However, like all things with the VonShef, it is not complicated or pretentious. The latte machine is also very easy on the wallet. Lattes shouldn’t be difficult and thanks to the VonShef you don’t have to worry about your wallet while having a great latte.
3. Mr. Coffee ECM 160
One of the most respected brands of coffee makers is Mr. Coffee, so when they come out with a latte machine it is important to take a look at the machine and what it offers.
In the case of the ECM 160, there’s a lot to like with this latte machine. From the price point to the ease of use, the ECM 160 is perfect for the aspiring barista. The four-cup capability and delightfully petite milk frother provide the support needed to build your barista skills quickly. Furthermore, the glass carafe and rubber handle mean your espresso stays hot while your hands stay cool – everyone wins there.
Thanks to the glass carafe, drip pan, and other simple features, keeping your ECM 160 clean and in good working order is remarkably simple. Like all Mr. Coffee products, the no-frills design means you don’t have to worry about cleaning weird nooks and crannies. Many rightly point out the reliability of this machine and thanks to that it has quickly become one of the flagship machines in the Mr. Coffee arsenal of products.
The biggest issue that this device has is the untraditional milk wand. Because of the design, it is imperative to clean this regularly, otherwise a brown scum will build up. Not only is this completely unappealing but it also can end up being very bad not just for the health of your machine, but for you. In fact, you don’t even need to make lattes to experience the problems here – this type of build-up could end up affecting the food you prepare and other sanitary concerns near the wand. However, if you clean it regularly and are somewhat detailed, this will alleviate itself, but be sure you are careful.
The best part is the price point, for someone who is interested in making lattes but maybe hesitant about investing in a heavy-duty machine, the Mr. Coffee has one again come up with a great solution for that market. Despite the concern about the frothing wand, if you are diligent about cleaning it, you will reap the benefits from one of the all-time leaders in producing reliable and affordable coffee machines.
4. Hamilton Beach 40792
Hamilton Beach is well known for making exceptional kitchen appliances; from blenders to food processors, you can rely on Hamilton Beach to perform well in service to your kitchen. This latte machine produced by Hamilton Beach provides exceptional value and versatility.
The reality is serving lattes isn’t easy, but the 40792 does a great job in making latte service easier than it otherwise would be. The simple, small design means this device can fit anywhere in your kitchen without impacting counter space. The simple black and stainless look is classic for every kitchen.
Thanks to the coffee pod and grind settings, you can get a quick latte or a finer brew – it’s all up to you. This unit packs a lot of punch for its size, and won’t break your budget. Because you have the freedom to use all different types of beans or pods, the versatility of the Hamilton Beach latte machine is truly unmatched. This flexibility is one of the features that customers love most.
There are some issues with the Hamilton Beach latte maker though, and these issues are quite serious. There are multiple reports of a weird oxidation on the espresso filter. This could be quite harmful and it is recommended that if you experience this to get in touch with Hamilton Beach right away. They are aware of the issue and will rectify it right away. The other problem is the milk wand is shorter than on most latte machines. While some are able to work around this issue, ultimately it means your latte may not get the right milk froth.
Ultimately, Hamilton Beach has produced a winner here, and it provides great ease of use with ease of price. If you crave flexibility and consistency, you can do far worse than this model.
5. Homeleader Automatic Coffee Machine
This latte machine literally does it all! For the barista, mastering the different features of the Homeleader means your dinner parties will be kicked up another notch and your guests will leave impressed. The look of the Homeleader alone shows how serious you are about your lattes, and invites high expectations for your espresso services.
Though this machine makes lattes, it really does everything. If you want a macchiato, cappuccino, mocha coffee or even just a regular cup of joe, this is one device that does all. Though it may seem intimidating to the novice, it is actually much simpler than you think to operate it. In fact, many find that the options provide greater artistic license while allowing the novice to find their groove with what works best.
Though the price might be a little high for some, the options offered by this model certainly justify it. For those who really enjoy hosting events, the power of this machine is unmatched. You can’t find a machine that can work this hard at half the price. The efficiency alone provided by the Homeleader is unmatched. You can store more beans and water than on standard machines, though there are concerns that one may have about the size of the device.
When we talk about size, that’s where many people have issues with the Homeleader. This is a massive latte machine. If counter space is an issue in your kitchen, then make sure you have a spot in the cabinet cleared out for it. Even then, it’s pretty difficult to store this latte machine. When you look at the price point, what’s the purpose in paying that much for a device that you can’t have displayed and frequently used. Ultimately, Homeleader might come close to the perfect latte machine if it was just a bit smaller.
Ultimately, the Homeleader provides a lot of options and looks like what it is – an incredible latte machine. Hosting events and producing lattes will be easy once you get the hang of using this machine, so though it may be intimidating if you love lattes then it’s a great investment.
What Makes a Latte?
A latte is simply three parts – steamed milk, espresso, and a flavor shot. The simplicity of a latte belies its difficult execution. When you have a latte machine, this takes the delicate touch out of it and allows the machine to help you get it right.
From going to coffee shops, we know how different lattes can be – especially depending on the season (Starbucks so cashes in during Pumpkin Spice Latte that only people in Port St. Lucie, FL think #PSL stands for anything besides the fall drink). Thanks to latte machines, you can have that level of excellence come from your kitchen.
Lattes are excellent ways to cap a great dinner party. After serving great food, when the dessert course comes a latte allows that perfect pick me up to punctuate an evening. Furthermore, lattes add a touch of class, so your elegance is properly reflected.
Everyone loves coffee but serving lattes to your guests or simply as part of your morning routine adds a shot of quality to the experience. These latte machines are guaranteed to deliver exactly that quality to your coffee experience. When it comes to selecting the right machine, think about your lifestyle and your enthusiasm about making lattes. Ultimately, it is a very rewarding endeavor if you select the right machine that fits your level of enthusiasm.