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I love lattes as much as the next guy, but I’ll be honest, the cost quickly adds up when you’re regularly stopping by your local coffee shop. And if you’re not careful, your weekly budget can spiral out of control.
But what if I said you could make barista coffee shop quality lattes in the comfort of your home? No more standing in a long line, and more importantly, you’ll be saving a considerable amount too.
What you need is a latte machine. Rather than spending your money at a coffee shop, invest in your own machine, and you’ll be able to enjoy a delicious, creamy latte at a fraction of the price.
Our Top Pick: Best Value
I have tracked down six latte machines that real baristas have recommended. So if making lattes at home sounds like something you want to do, I suggest you stick around.
What Coffee Machine Is Best For Making Lattes?
Most espresso machines that come with a built-in steam wand are capable of creating latte at home. But, many of the best espresso machines cost a small fortune and actually take quite a bit of tinkering to produce a good latte.
Luckily, there are coffee makers that have been designed with a focus on frothing milk for lattes, cappuccinos, and other milk-based coffee drinks. Most of the best machines come with a separate milk reservoir, and depending on the device, you can froth milk with a simple push of a button.
They can be expensive. But don’t be put off by the cost of some of these machines.
If you take a minute and factor in how much time you typically spend standing in line at expensive coffee shops, then calculate how much you spend each visit and multiply that over a year, you’re in for a shock. These latte machines don’t seem so expensive now, do they?
Best Machines For Lattes At Home
So you want to release your inner barista by whipping up some awesome-tasting lattes at home? You’re in luck.
I’ve tracked down six top-rated latte machines that work as advertised; I even ran these machines past a few barista buddies of mine, and they all gave their thumbs up.
Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso & Latte Maker
If you’re shopping around for the best latte machine but don’t want to spend a fortune, I recommend looking at the Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino & Latte Machine.
This latte and cappuccino machine takes a lot of the guesswork out of creating a good-tasting latte; it practically holds your hand from start to finish.
Almost everything is done with a push of a button. The only part of the process you must get involved in is filling the portafilter with the right amount of ground coffee. Although, even this is relatively foolproof due to the supplied measuring spoon and espresso tamper.
The only downside I can find with this machine is the amount of control you have over frothing your milk (or lack of). The device tends to produce milk that is a little too airy. But I guess this comes down to personal preference, and you might enjoy more aerated milk with your latte.
For those on a budget, I can’t recommend the Mr Coffee Café Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker enough; it’s super easy to use.
Nespresso Lattissima Touch Latte Machine
If a large espresso-style of machine is going to take up too much space and you’re not really all that into grinding coffee and messing around with a portafilter, this machine might be what you’re looking for.
The Nespresso Lattissima Touch Latte Machine is a coffee pod brewer. It doesn’t get any easier than this to make a latte at home. Just place one coffee capsule into the unit and hit one button – that’s all it takes to brew a coffee shop-quality latte.
From start to finish, the Nespresso Lattissima will run through a complete brewing cycle that also includes frothing and filling your latte glass with milk. There is literally nothing you need to do apart from making sure the milk reservoir is full.
Made in Italy, the Lattissima touch is a sleek modern looking machine that will look fantastic gracing any kitchen countertop.
Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Latte Machine
This latte machine has it all; a built-in coffee grinder – check. Separate milk reservoir – check. Push button operation – check. You get the idea; the Philips 3200 Series comes fully loaded.
This premium latte machine features Philips’ patented LatteGo milk frothing system. This frothing system is pretty neat. Milk and air are rapidly whipped inside the frothing chamber. The result is thick, silky smooth milk that latte levers will die for.
Another standout feature of the Philips 3200 Series is the built-in burr coffee grinder. Each latte is made with freshly ground coffee beans which guarantees a great-tasting cup each time.
Controlling this unit is a breeze, and as long as you can push a button or two, you’ll have no problems. Because this coffee machine is fully automatic, you don’t have to do anything; except keep the level of milk and coffee fully stocked.
The touchscreen display makes it easy to choose and customize one of 5 pre-programmed drinks – you can adjust the temperatures, brew strength, and even the ratio of milk that lands in your latte.
A fully automatic machine that gives you just enough freedom to adjust and tweak your brewed coffee. If you’re serious about coffee and lattes, this machine will make you smile.
De’Longhi Dinamica Plus Fully Automatic Espresso Machine
Another fully automatic latte machine that made the list is the De’Longhi Dinamica Plus.
Like the above Philips 3200 Series, the De’Longhi Dinamica has a built-in conical burr grinder, a milk tank, and a touchscreen display; both latte coffee makers look and function practically the same.
The 3.5-inch touchscreen display provides everything at your fingertips. And with a quick press, you can choose one of many pre-programmed specialty coffee recipes.
And with 16 different espresso-based drinks to choose from, there is something for everyone. The neat feature of this espresso machine is the ability to control and tailor your lattes or any other coffee drink via an app. You can even save personal profiles of your favorite concoctions to use again.
This machine was built from the ground up with lattes in mind. Take the LatteCrema System as an example. This component creates thick and creamy textured milk that is funneled directly into your coffee – again, all with a press of a button.
If you’re on the hunt for the Rolls Royce of latte machines, look no further than the De’Longhi Dinamica Plus – you won’t be disappointed.
Gaggia Anima Prestige Super Automatic Latte Machine
The Gaggia Anima Prestige is a super-automatic latte machine that takes up a tiny footprint on your kitchen counter.
This machine functions similarly to some of the others on the list in the sense that it can be operated with buttons on the front of the machine.
Everything is pre-programmed; essentially, the Amina is your very own personal barista!
The machine even remembers your personal preference and preferred tastes, making it super easy to keep brewing the exact same drink time and time again.
The problem with many automatic machines is that they take too much control from you. But with the Gaggia Anima, you have the ability, if you choose, to adjust aspects of the ground coffee to dial in your preferred coffee bean.
This is a good feature to have if you enjoy the occasional shot of espresso without any milk. Also, if you would rather use store-bought pre-ground coffee, you can, and you are able to bypass the doser if you want.
With only six buttons and an auto-frothing carafe, the Gaggia Anima gives you just enough control to make a delicious latte and cappuccinos as you please. Without holding your hand.
Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker (Iced Coffee & Latte)
The Ninja specialty coffee maker is the perfect “all-rounder” and is kind of a Frankenstein coffee maker.
The Ninja CM401 combines the best parts of other coffee brewers. You have the ability to brew regular drip coffee, iced coffee, and espresso-style coffee. Plus, the unit can adapt to fit standard coffee cups, carafes, or even large insulated travel mugs.
Unfortunately, the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker isn’t able to brew authentic espresso due to its inability to create the required pressure.
But that is reflected in the price, and with a relatively low price point compared to some others, the Ninja does a good job. The brewed coffee is a strong concentrate that works really well as a base for a latte.
Talking about lattes. Hidden inside the unit is a fold-away milk frother that pulls out when needed; this is not something often seen on a drip coffee brewer.
Within a few seconds, you can whip up a batch of silky smooth milk to combine with your freshly brewed coffee.
It’s also worth noting that the Ninja is SCA certified. This certification is only awarded to coffee machines that pass a strict set of criteria set by coffee experts at the Specialty Coffee Association. Trust me. It’s not all that easy to get.
How Does A Latte Machine Work?
Most of the best latte machines will have a separate reservoir for storing milk.
With a flick of a switch or a press of a button, the machine will automatically froth milk, making the entire process a completely hands-free experience.
However, most mid-range machines are semi-automatic. So you will still have to weigh and grind your coffee and fill your portafilter as you would if you use a regular espresso maker.
What makes the latte machine different from a regular espresso machine is the focus on frothing milk.
What Do I Need To Make A Latte At Home?
The foundation of any great-tasting latte is the coffee beans and the type of milk you decide to use. Because a classic latte is an espresso-based drink, I recommended opting for dark-roasted whole coffee beans whenever possible.
Dark roasts work exceptionally well for espresso and produce a noticeable bitterness that pairs well with rich and creamy milk. If you enjoy a heavy mouthfeel and a bold, intense flavor, you’ll enjoy dark roast coffee.
With a large percentage of the latte being milk, it shouldn’t come as no surprise that the type of milk you choose will have a noticeable effect on the flavor of your drink.
Whole milk will give you the best-tasting latte. Still, there are milk alternatives you can try, especially if you’re trying to cut back on the additional calories.
Skimmed, semi-skimmed, soy milk, and even long-life milk will work, but you may have trouble frothing the milk. Personally, I would opt for the whole milk, not just because it’s easier to froth, but because it has a creamer and richer consistency.
So there you have it: a good selection of latte machines that let you brew awesome-tasting lattes in your home.
And don’t forget, you’ll be saving a small fortune and a considerable amount of time by not fighting through the lines at your local coffee shop.
Although making a latte from scratch using just a regular espresso machine and creating steamed milk with a frothing wand is the best route to take if you’re an aspiring home barista, it’s acceptable to choose the easy route and purchase a machine that removes some of the guesswork; especially when it comes to frothing milk.
Don’t worry. You can still tinker with the coffee side of things and experiment with different coffee roasts and origins to create a latte that is uniquely your own.