Jeffrey Van Camp, Scott Gilbertson
If all you want is a dead simple espresso maker and frothing wand, this De’Longhi works well considering its $100 price tag. Espresso comes out tasting as rich as you’d expect, with a healthy head of crema thanks to the 15 bars of pump pressure.
The water tank can be removed for easier cleaning, and the drip tray also slides out so you can rinse off any spills.
Buy the De’Longhi Espresso and Cappuccino Maker for $100
Machines That Didn’t Make the Cut
Keurig K-Latte ($90): The K-Latte is an admirable, affordable little Keurig with a traditional electric frother on it. It can put out a concentrated shot like the K-Café we recommend, but the frother isn’t any better than one you can buy separate, and its nonstick coating sometimes requires a gentle scrub.
Gourmia GCM4000 K-Cup Latte Maker: This Gourmia also uses Keurig K Cups, has an easy interface, and a nice milk frother built-in. Unfortunately, it has some design flaws. The K-Cup drawer often leaves a puddle around your cup, and if you use reusable K-Cups, they could get stuck in it. The milk jug is also difficult to remove and the distance from the milk spout to a normal cup is too far, leading to splashing and spills. You can adjust the cup shelf height, but you have to watch diligently: there’s a chance your cup might slide right off due to the flimsy nature of the shelf.
De’Longhi Lattissima One ($380): My house has had a Nespresso in it for years. Nespresso isn’t as flavorful as a freshly brewed shot from a coffee shop, but it’s fast and does the trick. There are other Nespresso makers with frothers, but De’Longhi’s Lattissima One is an elegant little machine with a solid 19 bars of pressure. This used to be one of our picks, but it ended up springing a leak and getting water everywhere. It’s not a bad machine, but in our experience, and in other reviews around the web, it does not hold up long term.
Questions and Answers
Photograph: Jeffrey Van Camp
How did you test each machine?
To find the best latte and cappuccino makers, I first researched what was on the market, widely available, and stuck to models under $800. I ended up testing around a dozen different machines for between one and three months (depending on the model), using different types of coffees, pods, and milks. I tried to live with each machine, to a degree, and use them casually, but also tested the same milk and grounds in each (where possible) to compare milk/froth ratios and taste.