Best Latte Machine For The Home Barista

Ever wanted to be a home barista but were concerned about the cost of an latte machine? I’m here to tell you it’s not as expensive as you may think.

In fact, it’s rather affordable to entertain your friends with café quality drinks in the comfort of your own home. Throughout the next few weeks I’ll be giving you a go-to-guide on all the items needed to become a home barista. Here’s the run down of the coffee equipment you will need.

Latte Machine Equipment

Espresso and Latte Machine

Let’s begin with the most expensive item on the list and what you’ll be using to make your coffee, the espresso machine, also known as a latte machine. Domestic espresso machines prices can vary from $50 all the way to $3000+. Yes that is a big price range. But usually the more you pay, the better machine you get, and the better coffee it makes. However the more expensive the machine does not necessarily mean the better. As there are some such as the Barista Express that balance coffee making ability and price. Today we’re going to work our way up from great entry level latte machines to some of their more expensive counterparts.

Top Espresso Machine Comparison

PhotoNameTypePriceRating
barista expressBreville Barista Express
best-seller
Semi-Automatic$$$4.5
Mr coffee cappuccino makerMr Coffee Cappuccino Maker
best-seller
Hybrid$3.6
breville-dual-boilerBreville Dual Boiler
best-seller
Semi-Automatic$$$$5
Delonghi Cappuccino MachineDelonghi 15 Bar Cappuccino MachineSemi-Automatic$3
gaggia-classic-100Gaggia ClassicSemi-Automatic$$4
delongi-magnifica-superDeLonghi MagnificaSuper-Automatic$$$4
krups-super-automaticKrups EspresseriaSuper-Automatic$$$3.9

Entry Level Latte Machines

Not everyone is willing to invest too much in a home latte machine, especially when they’re just starting out on their coffee making journey. The below are excellent starting points for people being introduced to the world of espresso.

De’Longhi Pump Espresso Machine
Best Latte Machine

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The De’Longhi is a small and compact espresso machine that allows the use of both coffee pods and ground coffee. This dual espresso making system is great for people who want to alternate between fresh coffee and coffee pods. It has dual thermostats that ensures the perfect temperature for espresso and comes equipped with a basic milk frother that is fit for entry-level baristas.

Mr Coffee Latte Maker Review

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Mr. Coffee Latte Maker

The Mr. Coffee Latte Maker is an entry level automatic latte machine. The unique difference for the Mr. Coffee is that it automates the milk steaming process rather than the espresso extraction process. This in turn takes out some of the challenges for people who are fans of a frothy cappuccino but have trouble steaming milk on their own. All you do is put in the milk, press a button and let the steamed milk come. You’ll be be enjoying your cappuccino or latte in no time.

Gaggia Classic
Coffee Maker

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The Gaggia Classic is widely recommended as the one of the best entry-level espresso machines. The Classic comes equipped with a single boiler and a durable group and commercial grade exterior. One of the reasons the Classic is so popular is because of its small size compared to other espresso machines. It’s perfect for any bench top. For the price point and build quality it is no wonder why the Gaggia Classic is enjoyed as a great entry-level latte machine – it produces great espresso and silky foam in a shell that’s built to last.

Mid-To-High End Machines

The following are for those willing to invest a bit more into their home barista set up. As you might expect the level of coffee these machines produce are of a higher quality both in the form of their espresso and milk texturing. Primarily this is due to their superior boiler systems that allow them to produce more pressure and steam. However mid-to-high end machines also have vastly superior build quality and a series of extra features.

Breville Barista Express
Latte Machine

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If you’re looking for one of the most user friendly espresso machines then the Breville Barista Express is the way to go. The Australian engineers behind this machine have created it with the home user in mind. It’s most striking feature is its inbuilt coffee grinder with adjustable settings. This is a big deal in the world of coffee making. Not only because of the convenience it creates by reducing your kitchen bench space, but also because of the money you will save for not having to buy a peripheral coffee grinder. Furthermore, it has an elegant design with semi-automatic settings that allow you to have full control of the entire coffee making process. This is the definitive mid-entry machine for the coffee enthusiast.

Super Automatic Coffee Machine

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DeLonghi Magnifica

The DeLonghi Magnifica is a hybrid that sits between the semi-automatic and super-automatic classes of latte machine. It’s semi-automatic as it contains an assisted steam wand. It’s super-automatic as it grinds, tamps and extracts espresso with a press of a button. The advantage of this system is that it allows for consistency where it counts – in the espresso extraction – and the assisted steam wand allows you to control how much foam you want for your coffee – more for a cappuccino, less for a latte. Furthermore, as this machine contains 2 boilers it allows for simultaneous milk steaming and espresso extraction. This machines allows you to create the silky milk found in speciality coffee houses while at the same time creating great espresso. The Magnifica is one of the best valued and popular in its class.

Krups Espresseria
Super-Automatic Latte Machine

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The Espresseria is one of those machines that not only looks great but makes coffee equivalent to its elegant design. Like the Magnifica above it is a super automatic machine that auto grinds, tamps and extracts your coffee. While there is a manual steam wand that allows you to control how much steamed milk you want to produce.

What I Use

Latte Machine

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I use a Breville Dual Boiler Espresso Machine at home. This is probably the first machine that starts entering into the high-end price range. However it is also one of the most recommended. This is because it matches the features and functions of its even more expensive counterparts while at the same time packing in modern features that the $2000-$3000 machines lack.

The benefit of this latte machine is that it has a strong commercial design with a dual boiler system. This means one boiler is dedicated to steaming milk and another for pulling espresso shots. The benefit of two boilers is in its temperature control, sturdiness and reliability which means you will won’t be needing a replacement machine any time soon. The stainless steal boilers within are electronic PID temperature controlled and displayed on a LCD screen, which allows for flavour experimentation by programming different temperatures for different coffee blends. But this machine takes the barista experience even further. It also offers customisable low pressure pre-infusion, auto-start up functions, shot clock, and pressure gauges all within a designer enclosure. All-in-all, I haven’t had any problems with it for the four years I’ve owned it, and this machine is what’s made this site possible.

Make sure to check out the next issue of the Home Barista series: coffee grinders.

  • Ivan, could you tell me please if there is a big difference between Rancillio Silvia and Breville BES860XL Barista. On the one hand they both look great and have very good opinions but on the other hand Breville is equipped with basically everything you need. Hence I was wondering if a coffee made by Breville is worse than the one coming from Rancillio or what's your opionion?
    Cheers,
    Anna

  • Hi Anna,

    You're right, both machines are favourites amongst home users but if I had to pick between the two I would go for the Breville. Although both machines make great coffee the Breville gives you better value for money.

    The inbuilt grinder gives you greater consistency as it has a 'dosing' function, this means you can replicate your results easier. Also the Breville is a "heat exchange" machine which means you can both steam milk and extract espresso at the same time, while the Rancillio can only do one at a time.

    In regards to the taste of the coffee both machines pass enough bars of pressure make good tasting espresso. However the taste of your coffee relies more on the beans that you use rather than the machine. I recommend buying freshly roasted coffee beans from a local roaster for the best results.

    Hope I helped and thanks for the comment 🙂

    Ivan.

  • My 1st time to this site and I just started to enjoy lattes with skim milk and sugar free vanilla (trying to lose weight). couple of beginner questions
    – are coffee and espresso the same thing???
    – I assume coffee has no calories????
    – when I go to my local coffee shop and order a latte with skim milk and sugar free vanilla shots. Are they putting anything else in the latte that would add calories (such as added sugar)??

    sorry for the beginner questions

  • Rick,

    Although I'm not Ivan, I'll take a crack at your questions. Espresso is made under pressure and perhaps at a slightly higher temp (although not by much if made correctly – coffee should be brewed at around 195 degrees F). It is much more concentrated form but it also is different than coffee in that the added pressure is able to extract other essences (volatile compounds) out of the grinds that normal coffee wouldn't.

    Coffee does have some calories and it is primarily due to the oils contained in the coffee and this amount varies wildly from a bunch of oil when brewed with a French press method to not a whole lot of oil when brewed with filter paper.

    The brewing method that removes the most oil would be via the chemex coffee maker as it uses incredibly strong and thick paper. http://cupandbrew.com/collections/chemex-coffee-makers/products/chemex-classic-coffeemakers-3-6-8-10-cups

  • WilliamSteinberg

    Hi !!! Nice post. Thanks for sharing it with us, it contains really very useful information about different types of machines. Espresso machine .That we can use in the daily routine in our home.

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