The Best Latte Machines: Reviews and Buying Guide - HOMEGROUNDS

The Best Latte Machines: Reviews and Buying Guide

So, you want to buy a latte machine - But how do you find the best latte machine to fit your needs?

After all, espresso machines can be hundreds, or even thousands of dollars! You don’t want to waste your money on a machine that makes great espresso, but not-so-great lattes, right?

Here’s our list of reviews for the best latte machines for your home, ranging from those ideal for newbies up to espresso machine veterans. No matter your skill level or budget, we’ll find you a machine that will help you make the latte you crave.

OUR #1 PICK

The Overall Winner:

The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine gives you more control in making excellent lattes, espressos, and a host of other drinks at a great price. It comes with a 360-degree swivel-action steam wand that’s just perfect for lattes.

The Best Latte Machines of 2018

IMAGE PRODUCT WHY?
hg-table__image Breville Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker
    An affordable semi-automatic option with a small footprint.
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hg-table__image Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso/Cappuccino Maker
    An affordable option that froths the milk for you.
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hg-table__image Breville Barista Express
    Mid-ranged, affordable, and durable semi-automatic machine that creates high-end lattes.
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hg-table__image Saeco Picobaristo Super Automatic Espresso Machine
    High-end workhorse with storable milk carafe.
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hg-table__image Gaggia Babila Espresso Machine
    Can choose between fully super automatic options or frothing the milk yourself.
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Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Latte Machine for Your Home

Before you dive into making such a big purchase, there are a few things to consider...

What Makes It a Latte Coffee Machine?

The reality is that, while there are many things to consider, what we’re looking at here under that frothy “latte” exterior is a regular coffee machine that makes lattes really well.

As you know, a latte is drenched in milk, which means the milk part of the machine – the frother – is a really important factor. In fact, some coffee experts even go as far as to say that you don’t need to worry much about the espresso side of things at all, as it’s such a small part of the overall milky taste of a latte. We beg to differ, but the point is well taken.

The goal here is to find a machine that handles the milk well.

The Difference Between Cappuccino, Latte, and Other Espresso-Based Drinks

This may seem like an obvious section (seeing how you like lattes enough to consider buying a latte machine!), and we realize that, so we’ll keep it short.

But it bears pointing out just what a latte is (a sweeter, espresso-based drink made with steamed milk and a top layer of micro-foam) and how it differs from so many other espresso drinks. You’ll want to have this in mind when you buy a machine specifically for lattes.

Not to mention, you’ll also want to know the nuanced differences between these drinks if you’re going to make them at home! A classic example would be a latte, which is milk-heavy, compared to a cappuccino, which has more foam.

For brevity’s sake, we found a couple of good sources (here and there) and a video below that breaks down the differences in espresso drinks. 

Prerequisites to Using a Latte Coffee Machine

First off, know that latte machines don't take rocket science to operate, but if you don’t have at least some knowledge on the subject, there’s going to be a steep learning curve… and a lot of wasted coffee.

If you don’t have any experience yet, though, that’s okay. Don’t panic! You’re just going to want to do some research on how to make a latte before you get your hands on your shiny new machine.

Some important things to consider include:

The video below is a good start.

Other Things To Keep In Mind When Choosing Your Latte Coffee Machine

Here are a few more quick things to consider before diving into the reviews, regarding semi-automatic and automatic machines, and the overall cost.

Semi-Automatic Latte Machines

One important thing to decide before you go into the buying process is how much of the work you want to do yourself.

Do you consider yourself a budding barista with loads of untapped talent?

If so, you may want to consider a semi-automatic machine. These give you more control over the whole latte-making process.

However, they also give you less consistency and much less convenience. You’ll need to ramp up your game if you want to get a good cup of coffee out of a semi-automatic brewer. For example, you’ll have to know how to use a steaming wand, in particular.

Automatic Latte Machines

Another popular option is an automatic, or super automatic latte machine.

Note: An automatic machine does most of the work for you, but some manual intervention is still required. A super automatic takes over the entire process, from bean to cup.

Automatic machines are built for convenience and are often very user-friendly.

If you want that latte, but couldn’t care less about “seeing the sausage get made”, then a super automatic is by far the best option.

Super automatics are also technically more stable in delivering the same quality cup of latte each and every time, as there is little to no human intervention.

Cost

Finally, keep in mind that in general, semi-automatic machines, while involving more work, will often cost less overall.

Automatic machines cost more particularly if they’re going to deliver a stable, quality latte every time. Some, however, do cost less as long as you’re alright with a bit of variation in your drink each time.

Note: If it sounds like a super automatic is the choice for you, but the price tag is not, check out our article on refurbished super automatic espresso machines to see how you can save money on the machine you want.

The Top 5 Best Latte Machines of 2018

Remember, while these are generally espresso machines, this is not an espresso machine review.

So while they are all good espresso machines, we will be focusing on the details that help with lattes in particular.

#1. The Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker

We begin with an affordable latte maker that is a great starting point for any budding barista who wants to bring down the oppressive cost of buying a latte every day.

For less than the cost of a latte a day for a month you can get this baby set up on your counter and be ready to brew up a frothy latte at a moments notice.

This no-frills machine gives you everything you need to brew a decent espresso. You can also simultaneously use the stainless steel frothing pitcher (included!) and the frothing enhancer to prep your milk – a rare feature for machines on this end of the price range.

The Breville ESP8XL Cafe Roma Stainless Espresso Maker is also small, taking up less than a foot of space in its height, depth, and width, making it an appliance that respects your counter space as much as your desire for a quick, affordable latte.

The cherry on top? Even at this low cost, it still comes with a 1 year (limited) warranty.

BEST SUITED FOR: Beginners and baristas-in-training... or anyone who just wants a user-friendly, affordable way to get a cheap latte on demand!

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Small footprint
  • Froths milk and brews coffee simultaneously

CONS

  • Not a high-end brewer (coffee can come out weak and inconsistent)

#2. The Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker

Don’t skip over this one just because its name has the word “cappuccino” and lacks the word “latte.” This is a good latte coffee maker. And it literally has a latte button!

The Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista is a very popular option that still falls on the affordable end of things, coming in at just a couple hundred dollars brand new. And don’t let that price tag fool you, this is a good super-automatic latte machine!

Prep time is fast, especially since the machine automatically froths the milk for you, and the entire milk reservoir is removable and can be stuck in the fridge in between uses!

Add onto that the fact that you can brew a latte by simply punching in your desired setting using the simple, user-friendly interface, and this machine screams convenience!

Once again coming in at around a foot in size, it tucks neatly away on your counter, patiently waiting to provide a great latte whenever you need one. And it even comes in red, so you can add a splash of color to your kitchen, too.

Finally, the machine comes with a limited 1-year warranty… and even a recipe book to fuel your coffee-brewing adventures!

Note: If the recipe book sounds good, here’s another great recipe for a Maple Latte you’ll want to check out once you get your new machine up and running!

BEST SUITED FOR: Those who don’t care about their barista skills and just care about an ultra-convenient, affordable way to get their lattes!

PROS

  • User-friendly
  • Froths milk for you
  • Milk reservoir stores in the fridge

CONS

  • Not as durable as higher-end options

#3. The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

The next on our list of latte machines for your home is the Breville BES870XL. This machine is extremely popular, and a perfect selection for any home barista who wants to upgrade from smaller, user-friendly coffee and latte makers to a machine that will both develop their skills and increase the quality of their homemade lattes.

This semi-automatic machine was made with both great coffee and happy consumers in mind. The price means you’re getting high-quality parts, but it also comes with clever little additions like special “no-slip” feet that keep the machine from moving while the grinder is going.

More important to latte lovers, however, is the quality 360-degree swivel-action steam wand, designed to make lattes as easy as 1, 2, 3.

This machine is quite a bit bigger than the first two, and is particularly tall, standing at nearly 16 inches – so make some space on your counters while waiting for it to ship to you.

You can also get this latte maker in some sweet colors: black sesame, cranberry red, and stainless steel.

This machine is an incredible meeting of ways, bringing excellent craftsmanship together with affordable pricing. A perfect mid-range machine for a perfect latte!

BEST SUITED FOR: This one is perfect for that home barista who wants to push things to the next level. It’s a high-caliber machine that will give you tons of control, and won’t break the bank in the process!

PROS

  • Great quality for the price
  • Comes with a 360-degree swivel-action steam wand that’s perfect for lattes
  • Gives you more control over the process

CONS

  • Can be more complex to operate

#4. Saeco HD8927/47 Picobaristo Super Automatic Espresso Machine

At this point in our list, we’re taking a leap from some of the best low- and mid-range home latte machines options to some of the best latte machines for your home, regardless of price.

The Picobaristo is a super automatic machine that delivers a vast array of coffee options, making it a very high-end espresso, cappuccino, and latte machine. And, of course, “super automatic” means it does the work for you!

Everything from grinding and brewing the espresso to frothing the milk is done to perfection, while you just wait.

And it’s efficient – delivering up to 5,000 cups before needing to be descaled.

It allows you to personalize your drink settings to your own preferences, as well! If you're wondering how to make that latte macchiato a little bit more to your liking, just tweak the temperature, shot length, dose, or milk volume, and save the setting. Then the next time you go to make a cup, hey presto, this amazing machine knows exactly how you want your coffee!

It also has a removable, plug-in carafe that allows you to store the milk in the fridge in between uses.

When it comes to size, this super-automatic is not small. In fact, it comes in at nearly 17 inches tall! So you’ll want to make sure you have clearance before you pop it up on the counter.

BEST SUITED FOR: A serious, committed latte drinker who wants a steady and dependable stream of coffee from one of the best home coffee machines money can buy.

PROS

  • Saves your personal drink preferences
  • Storable milk carafe
  • Efficient

CONS

  • This one is big. You’ll want a dedicated space for it!

#5. The Gaggia R19700/64 Babila Espresso Machine

The Babila Espresso Machine, the priciest one on our list, is not surprisingly one of the best automatic home latte machines on the market.

What kind of latte are you getting for this price tag?

A pretty darn good one, along with a side of all of the coffee convenience that a high-end machine can deliver!

This super-automatic brewer gives you brewing options, and boasts the ability to customize your preferences when it comes to each cup of coffee it delivers.

It has a one-touch, bean-to-cup option that allows you to sit back and relax while the machine does the work. And while convenience is nice, this machine can also accommodate the desire to take the wheel yourself, as it comes with a milk frothing wand that surrenders control over to you.

It also comes with a whopping 2-year warranty, so you can take your time learning how to use your awe-inspiring new machine.

Keep in mind, though, that this one is another behemoth, measuring in at nearly 17 inches tall, making it the second tallest of the bunch!

BEST SUITED FOR: This machine is for the ultimate latte drinker, a person who wants a latte whether they simply want to push a button or take their time and froth their milk to their own, handmade preference.

PROS

  • Super-automatic bean-to-cup option
  • Steam wand option
  • Customizable coffee preferences

CONS

  • Very tall
  • Expensive

THE VERDICT: Our Choice for the Best Latte Machine for Your Home

And there you have it, five of the best latte machine options available in 2018.

It’s time to pick our favorite (and the winner) of the roundup! All things considered, the best latte machine on the market right now is...

Drum roll please…

The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine!

Quality manufacturing, excellent coffee, and a great price all set this machine above the rest when it comes to making lattes, espressos, and a host of other drinks. 

Also, comment and let us know which one is your own personal pick!

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