Once reserved for coffee houses, cappuccino machines are now commonplace in many homes. In addition to brewing espresso, these multi-purpose appliances can tackle milk steaming and frothing as well, delivering two to four cappuccinos or lattes in under five minutes.
Before buying a cappuccino maker, be sure to read owner ratings and reviews to see what others have to say. When doing your research, be especially mindful of the following:
Ease of Use. Look for machines that rate highly for ease of use to avoid messes and frustration. User-friendly machines are often equipped with diagrams and graphics that make preparing the perfect cup of cappuccino virtually foolproof.
Ease of Cleaning. Mold build-up is a problem with many cappuccino makers. Look for a model that can be easily cleaned and maintained.
Durability. Less pricey models are often constructed from plastic rather than metal, and don't stand up to heavy use. If you'll only be using your machine sporadically, plastic may be fine; otherwise, opt for a machine with sturdy metal construction.
Price. Cappuccino makers can vary widely in price, from $40 up to several thousand. Choose the best-rated machine within your budget.
Manufacturer. Look for cappuccino machine manufacturers that rate highly across several price points. Popular cappuccino makers include DeLonghi, Capresso, Pasquini, Mr. Coffee, Bialetti, Cuisinart, and Jura-Capresso.
While top-rated machines can be an expensive outlay, you'll save money when you stop buying pricey coffee house cappuccinos and espressos. Regardless of the machine you choose, expect some degree of a learning curve before brewing the perfect cappuccino. With a little practice, you'll find that making cappuccinos at home is a rewarding, delicious, and financially savvy experience.