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Choosing the right latte maker can be a daunting task. You may want to get a model that does everything you want. And yes, there are many perfect models designed to help create a perfect latte at home. Most of these makers are available in the market, and with just a small budget, you can be sure to take home the right one. But if you have no prior experience with coffee makers, you may find yourself unable to pick the right one.
We know how challenging it can be when trying to choosing a latte maker that will make you the barista-style coffee at home. It even gets harder for you if you have no idea how to differentiate fake and real coffee machines. But worry not because this piece is tailored to help you make the right decision. So, keep reading to learn more.
Super-Automatic and Semi-Automatic Latte Machines
There are many machines you will find in the market. Commonly, you will find super-automatic and semi-automatic machines. The super-automatic ones do everything for you. From tamping the coffee to micro-foaming and milk steaming. All you need to do is press the button and wait for your brew to be ready. Of course, you can make some minor adjustments to get the perfect brew.
On the other hand, if you like a mix of control when making your coffee, then consider going for a semi-automatic maker. And unlike the super-automatic which will leave a huge dent in your budget, a semi-automatic model is relatively cheaper. It is the perfect choice if your budget is modest. Reliability and flexibility are the other reasons why you will want to go for a semi-automatic machine.
Choosing the Ideal Home Latte Making Maker
Knowing what to look for when purchasing a latte maker is a huge bonus. Below are some of the key things to look for when contemplating buying one.
- Budget: How much are you planning to shell out? Having a budget in mind is very crucial before you start shopping. By setting your budget before you start looking, it becomes easier to scale down to the right machine. You may also want to consider shopping around in advance to get a clear picture of the market.
- Maintenance: It is also crucial to factor in maintenance when buying. For example, consider a machine that can be cleaned fast without having to take the whole things to pieces first. Again, consider buying one that comes with a lengthy warranty.
- Convenience and Usage: Choosing a user-friendly latte maker is another thing you want to consider very seriously. A hard-to-use maker will only give you sleepless nights. You don’t want to have a machine that is difficult to use.
Remember, if you have difficulty using such a machine, chances of making yourself the best coffee are low. On the other hand, if you prefer things like control, consider buying a semi-automatic maker.
- Size: Do you have enough room in your kitchen? It is crucial to go for a machine that will fit well in the space you have. You buy a bigger one; soon it becomes a bother. You get a small one; it disappears in the space giving you a reason to go for another one. In other words, go for the size ideal for you.
- Capacity: When it comes to capacity, remember to have a look at the water reservoir. A big water reservoir is a big plus when planning on using the maker to make multiple brews as this eliminates the tedious task of refilling. You may also want to pick one with a removable reservoir. It is easier to clean and fill such a reservoir.
- Grinder: Another crucial thing to look for is the grinder. Most quality home latte makers have an integral grinder. In case, you cannot afford a latter maker with its own grinder, consider buying your own. Ideally, a noiseless grinder is a good option.
Latte and Cappuccino
There are a lot of opinions on ratios(between latte and cappuccino). A cappuccino is a 1-ounce espresso shot (or a 2-ounce double shot), 2 ounces steamed milk, and 2 ounces foamed milk. On the other hand, a latte is similar but has more milk and less foam. It’s a 1- to 2-ounce espresso shot, 6 (ish) ounces of steamed milk, and a bit of foam that mixes with the espresso crema as you pour in the milk.
Best Latte Coffee Makers
Below are some of the best coffee makers we have hand picked for you. We have grouped them in different categories.
Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse
First in this list is Mr. Coffee machine, a well-designed and easy-to-use coffee maker. It can extract a rich espresso from almost any beans and grind, and its milk reservoir will automatically mix a latte or cappuccino for you at a press of a button.
The only downside is that you have to clean the milk canister often, at least once per week. Besides, it won’t extract quite as much rich espresso flavor as the Breville machines below.
Breville Barista Express (BES870XL)
Unlike most coffee machines which limit what you can do, Breville Barista Express gives you the freedom to do much more. Its manual is well detailed to help you make good use of this machine.
The built-in pressure-activated grinder gives you fresh grounds in the way you like them. The pressure gauge and options let you make adjustments when necessary.
When frothing milk, the steam wand makes it easier than the competition, with a handle and the ability to tilt in any direction. This machine is easier to cleans, and you can get hot water from it to brew tea or make any other drink. With all the included accessories such as trimming tool and milk jug, you must be prepared to pay more to own a Breville Barista Express.
Mr. Coffee Café Barista
This lightweight machine if looking for a pure espresso and a machine that mixes the milk for you without much fuss. It is designed to make you fairly rich single or double-sized espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes with the push of a button. Its slide-out booster is nice for smaller glasses.
The design is perfect for allowing easy cleanup, but you have to remember to remove and refrigerate it each morning and clean often, or it could clog up.
Breville Bambino Plus
A perfect option if you have a small kitchen. It comes with high-quality accessories like measuring tools and a tamper. It lacks a burr grinder like the Barista Express. Using Breville Bambino Plus is very simple, you just fill up the water tank, the milk jug and the portafilter basket to the indicated fill lines and then sliding them into their respective spots, and push a button.
However, Bambino Plus is not a perfect maker if in a hurry. You need to be patient to get a perfect brew, plus it requires attentive maintenance.
A simple to use and clean machine that offers the best frother. Its frother has three settings; cold, latte, and cappuccino, and froths milk to perfection with the tap of a button. Although it does not technically make espresso shots, it still makes a delicious “espresso-style” 2-ounce shot that can taste almost as strong, but without the crema that you might desire.
De’Longhi EN520SL Lattissima One
It is one of the Nespresso with an elegant frother with solid 19 bars of pressure. It milk jug does not hold a lot of milk but it enough for at least a latte or two cappuccinos and a cappuccino. Just fill it and press the latte or cappuccino button, and the machine will do the work for you. It is good to note that its steam nozzle tends to send hot milk in all directions. So, you will have to learn angle the spigot.
It is easy to snap the frother jug on or off plus there is a small door that covers the attachment point, in case you want to leave the jug off.
Ninja Coffee Bar
This a perfect machine to coffee lovers who are looking for a machine that does it all. It can brew a 4-ounce shot of strong coffee that is similar to espresso (minus the crema). Its built-in milk frothing wand, although not designed to heat your milk, so you are going to heat your milk first.
This maker is also an excellent option when looking to make regular coffee in a single-serve mug or a full pot of brew. It has the capacity to make eight sizes with other options for iced or stronger brews. Also the coffee filter is very easy to remove and clean. You just a rinse, and you are ready to brew again.
Hamilton Beach Espresso & Cappuccino Maker
Out in the market to get a cheap maker that will not disappoint? Hamilton Beach Espresso & Cappuccino Maker is an ideal option. Its price tag is friendly and it as two settings: steam and brew, and performs them both well. It also has an easy lever-style lock for the otherwise traditional portafilter basket making it easy to pull the handle down to lock it.
Hamilton Beach Espresso & Cappuccino Maker 15 bars of pump pressure ensure you get the perfect espresso. The only downside you have to deal with is that there is no way to alter temperature or pressure, plus you have to be cautious as you maneuver tall glasses into place under the spout.
How to Make A Perfect Cup of Latte
Now that you know what to consider when buying a latte maker and the best machines to budget for now let’s see how you can prepare a great cup of latte.
What you will need
- Distilled water
- Milk jug
- Coffee beans
- Latte machine
- Latte glass
- Prepare your machine by filling it with distilled water and make sure that it is ready to go.
- Next, grind your beans. Use your burr coffee grinder to grind your beans to a nice, fine grind. In case you have an automatic espresso machine with a grinder, let is to the grinding work. It is a good idea to always go for the automatic grinder as it saves you more time.
- Brew your cup of espresso. You can either make a single espresso or a double, depending on your preferences. If possible, try to brew directly into your latte glass. If that is not possible, then just brew it into your decanter, but make sure that you make the latte as soon as it is brewed for best results.
- After brewing your coffee, make sure your milk is ready. Now fill your milk jug about 1/3rd of the way full. In case you want a latte that is creamier, then use whole milk. If whole milk is not available, you can always use 2% in a pinch. The cup of latte just won’t have the same body. The one thing you are not going to want to do, however, is to use skim milk.
- Now it is time to steam froth milk. Make sure to purge your steam arm before you attempt to steam your milk or you’ll end up with a ton of water in it. Also, make sure to place your wand below the surface of your milk. This is known as stretching. Doing this not only creates the characteristic hissing sound most people associate with the process but creates a micro-foam because it introduces air into the milk.
To get a perfect latte, make sure to stretch your milk for a few seconds. Once that’s done, you can spin the milk. This move is accomplished by moving the steam wand further down into the milk and spinning the milk in a whirlpool-like way. While you are doing this move, there should be no hissing sound coming from the milk jug. Just make sure that your milk jug is slightly tilted for the best results.
- Rest and polish your milk. After you have finished the milk, tap it firmly on the counter to disperse any of the larger air bubbles that might still be in the milk. You will then want to swirl the milk around the jug to polish it.
All this means is that the body of the milk is combined with the micro-foam bubbles on top. This should be a gentle motion to avoid creating new air bubbles in your milk. By the time you’re finished, the milk should have a shiny appearance and should look like paint that hasn’t dried.
- Pour the milk into your espresso at a steady pace. Ideally, you’ll want to start off with the spout of the milk jug resting on the lip of the latte glass when you start pouring. As you then pour, you’ll want to raise the milk jug to a higher position.
This is the part that you can experiment with to get the best results for your individual cup of latte. It’s also the part where you can get creative and make designs into the top of the latte using the foamed milk. It may take a few tries to do this perfectly, but once you do, you’ll never forget how to do it.
Wrapping it up
Finally, now enjoy your cup of latte and don’t forget to properly shutdown your machine so that you can use it comfortably next time.