One of the most popular coffee beverages, cappuccinos are taking the world by storm. Previously, their enjoyment was confined to coffee houses. But technology has come to the rescue, providing cappuccino machines that make great tasting cappuccinos right in your kitchen.
What is a Cappuccino?
A cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink known for its foamy top. It is traditionally made from double espresso, steamed milk, and foam. Typically these are proportioned as – 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 froth.
Cappuccino Vs Latte
This is a question every barista answers every day. Multiple times. Is there really a difference between a latte and cappuccino? Or is it just a sales tactic all coffee shops have adopted? To the uninitiated, there may seem to be no difference at all, but you my friend are about to join the elite class of the “Coffee Connoisseurs Club”. Ready for your initiation?
Even though both look the same, it’s what’s beneath the foam that makes all the difference. First, here are the similarities. Both:
- Use espresso as a base
- Contain steamed milk
- Have a topping of foamed milk (decorated or not)
Now for the differences:
- Lattes have more milk than cappuccinos. 2/3 of a latte is steamed milk, whilst a cappuccino has equal measures of espresso, steamed milk, and foam. Those who prefer milkier beverages usually go for lattes.
- Cappuccino has more foam than a latte. This makes it “taste” thicker and makes it easy to consume with a spoon.
- Cappuccinos sometimes have a dash of chocolate sprinkled on top.
Now that you are an initiated member of the “Coffee Connoisseurs Club”, you need to know how to make a great cappuccino. The easiest way?
How to Buy a Good Cappuccino Maker
When it comes to buying a cappuccino maker, people often get confused by the various option available. Let me help you make that important decision. To do that you have to answer a few questions (yes, the initiation continues):
- What is your budget? This is always the critical question with anything you are to purchase. Cappuccino makers are no different. You can get one anywhere in the $100-$2000 range for a consumer cappuccino machine.
- What will you use it for? “To make cappuccino, duh.” Yes, but for whom? How many people do you plan on serving? How many cups do you want to make?
- What kind of cappuccino maker do you want? “there are kinds?” Yes, but don’t worry, they won’t overwhelm you. Let’s take a closer look at them, shall we?
3 Types of Cappuccino Machines – Which One is Best for You
1. Pod Machines
These are highly automated cappuccino machines that simply require you to pop in a pod, press a button, and presto out comes a cup of cappuccino. If you are into low maintenance and easy cleanup, this is the perfect fit for you. Oh, they are also very budget friendly.
The main advantage of pod machines is the convenience. The major drawbacks, on the other hand, are: compromise of quality and having to get the pods that are made for your specific machine. Thankfully third-party pods are becoming common on the market.
2. Semi-Automatic Cappuccino Makers
This type is for those who take their cappuccino making as an art. They require more hands-on operation, meaning you will have to grind your own coffee, extract the espresso, and steam your milk. If you are looking to experience your cappuccino more (and feel like a professional barista, I mean, who doesn’t), this is the machine for you.
The major benefit that semi-automatic cappuccino makers offer is the quality of the cappuccinos. Because it uses fresh coffee rather than pods, your cappuccinos will have that freshness to it. Once you get the hang of grinding coffee, extracting the espresso and steaming milk, you can make great cappuccinos right in the comfort of your home. The downsides are: the steep learning curve and having to purchase a grinder separately (a few do come with one built in though).
3. Super-Automatic Cappuccino Machines
The “Big Daddies” of cappuccino machines. These combine the quality of semi-automatic cappuccino makers and the convenience of pod machines. These automate the whole cappuccino making process – grinding the coffee, extracting the espresso, steaming and frothing the milk, and of course, pouring out your cappuccino.
If you can afford a super-automatic cappuccino machine it has some pretty good benefits like complete automation (obviously), high-quality cappuccinos, and the ability to program the kind of cappuccinos you want. The major drawback is obviously the price tag. But then again, all good things don’t come cheap.
Ready for a Cup?
Well done! You have successfully completed your initiation. Time for a delicious cup of your favorite coffee beverage. Off to the kitchen you go (or shop for the best cappuccino maker).