WE DID THE WORK TO FIND THE BEST AND THESE ARE THE RESULTS:
Mr. Coffee ECMP1000
The Keurig Rivo Cappuccino
Best for the Money
Mr. Coffee BVMC-EL1
Best on a Budget
Do you crave that pick me up feeling you get when the barista hands you a cup of latte at the coffee shop? That’s a trick question! Everybody does! That is why Starbucks has as much success with adults as McDonalds has with children.
But now here is the question!
Do you have enough time during the day to get that energizing shot whenever you need it?
Of course not! Most of the times you will need a latte just as that all important meeting is about to start, or when you need to rush out the door for some appointment. So what is the answer? Get your own latte machine!
We are not talking here about a full blown espresso machine! Those are too big and too expensive! And they are in a category of their own were just the name alone will cost you a couple of hundred of dollars. But you can get away with having a delicious latte made and served at home for a quarter of the price of an espresso machine. You can scour the market and do your own homework, but we have already done that for you. What follows is our list of the best latte machines you currently have on the market as well as our in depth reviews of the said latte machines.
Best Latte Machine
This is considered by us the best latte machine on the market!
Currently the best latte machine costs as much as an entry level espresso machine, and as far as your latte or even cappuccinos are concerned it is just as good. We are talking about the Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Café Barista Latte Machine. Sorry about the long code in the name but it is the only way to differentiate this from our “budget” solution which is another Mr. Coffee latte machine. We are going to go into far more details later on when we will give you all the details about each of our top 3 choices, but for now we are going to focus on the essentials. First off the Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Café Barista uses real coffee so you can use whatever type of beans you want, including greens that you can roast yourself and ground to whatever level you prefer. It has its own milk container so you do not need to have a barista’s training and still you will get a rich milk foam on your latte or your cappuccino.
Best Latte Machine for the Money
15 bars of pressure; Brews under 1 minute
The alternative is what used to be my collage dream: the Keurig Rivo Latte System. In collage I used to have a Keurig coffee machine but it only used pods; and the pod’s approximation of a latte was absolutely disgusting. Also their cappuccinos had almost zero foam and no taste of milk. So The Keurig Rivo Latte System is great because it uses the pod system to deliver the perfect coffee basis for a latte, but then it allows you to use your own milk, and I for one, prefer the UHT full fat milk for when I feel like indulging. The point is that even thought the Keurig system is a little bit more expensive than the Mr. Coffee system, it takes everything out of the equation. You get a huge selection of Keurig coffee pods so you are bound to find a flavor that you will enjoy, and it handles the milk itself, but it does use real milk and the coffee pods use real coffee.
Best Latte Machine on a Budget
24-ounce capacity to serve more than one drink at a time
Finally, our most affordable solution is also the one that goes farthest from a traditional espresso machine. In fact, the Mr. Coffee BVMC-EL1 Cafe Latte Machine does not even make cappuccinos. It can only make a regular coffee – you still get to use any type of coffee you want, by the way – and it will froth the milk so you get a very foamy, delicious drink. The upshot here is that you can actually use this machine to make all types of hot chocolate drinks and they even give you a little recipe book so you will instantly become a party favorite. Of course, if you like to have your latte made from an espresso shot, or two, which is to say a stronger latter, you will not be able to get that with this machine, but anything else is open to you. Besides the price there is also the fact that this is a much smaller machine, so it is perfect for a one person, studio apartment.
Why You Need a Latte Machine
To be honest, there are many reasons why people would want a latte machine, but it usually is the passion for good coffee that pushes you over the edge. So the strongest reason why you would want to buy a latte machine is because it allows you to control every step of the coffee making process. That means you can control what type of coffee you are using, you get to control the milk you are using, what type of sweetener you want, and also how much milk to how much coffee you should use. And, yes, the Keurig system forces you to use their pods and there you do not have as much control over the coffee, but you still have the Mr. Coffee options at your disposal. And also, regarding the Keurig system, unless you have some moral, social qualms about how the coffee was harvested, they do pretty much cover the entire range of flavors from deep roasts to shallow flavors, and even have a fair trade line. Of course, since we are talking about simple latte machines, the fact that you do not have to worry about different types of beans and grain size is probably a plus, which is why the Keurig system is our favorite.
Besides the passion for coffee that most people who go to the extent of buying a latte machine usually have, there is also the fact that good, high quality lattes are becoming more and more expensive and difficult to find. So, if you do the math, if you made the switch to a latte machine, even one of the 2 more expensive models we have talked about, and you only went to coffee shops on special occasions, you would probably get your money back within the first 6 to 12 months. And let’s not forget that all coffee shops need to cater to the preferences of their average customer and you probably are not average. That means you need to take your expectations down a peg each time you order a coffee or endure the smug expression of the barista as you explain exactly how you like to have your coffee.
What Makes a Great Latte Machine?
The obvious answer to that question to anyone who is on the outside of this quest would be the quality of the coffee and we are going to get to that in a second, but the real answer is… money! There is a very simple reason why anyone would buy a latte machine and not an espresso machine, and it has to do with the fact that they just love lattes and, perhaps, cappuccinos. So we have looked at some of the most affordable latte machines on the market. There are more expensive solutions out there, but those are actually on the same level as espresso machines, so if you want to spend that much money just go for the real deal. We have also looked at some of the cheaper alternatives and we can promise you that we did not cheap out. We could have featured some cheaper latte machines but they were products that simply did not deliver a good latte. For example we did not take into consideration full coffee pod solutions because they do not really give you chance to make a great latte. We also did not consider machines that would not allow you to foam the milk or that forced you into using a single type of coffee.
That leads us to the other thing to consider when buying a latte machine and that is the quality of the latte you will be getting. It is important to be able to control the flavor of the coffee. The best solution would be to have a latte machine that uses regular coffee. Alternatively you can use one of the big brand coffee pod machines because they work with some of the best producers on the market and have a wide range of products.
Finally, when buying a latte machine you need to think about how easily milk spoils. That means your latte machine should be easy to clean. Coffee filters are great because you can just through them away, and coffee pods systems are even better. But when it comes to the milk, you have to be able to easily remove all the containers, tubes and pipes that have come in contact with the milk and easily clean them. Otherwise that milk will leave a residue and will start developing bacteria. The good news is that all of the latte machines we have chosen were designed with the same priorities in mind as we have detailed here and here are just some of the awesome reasons we have chosen each one for each specific category.
Best Latte Machine – Full Review
The reason we have chosen the Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Café Barista Latte Machine as the top product currently on the market is because it has the best features that many of the top espresso machines on the market have, but none of their issues. For one the Mr. Coffee Latte Machine retails at what would be an entry level price for espresso machines. However, entry level espresso machines do not have the ability to deliver 15 bars of pressure to the coffee grounds so as to extract a creamy, rich foam together with the coffee essence. There is also the fact that top end espresso machines have a hot vapor frother that you need to work yourself in order to get the milk to foam. Granted, a barista will love that feature because it will allow her to create a very thick foam with which she can create beautiful designs to wow her customers. However, if you are not a barista, you will definitely burn your fingers and hands at least a couple of times until you get the hang of using that nozzle, and several times afterwards just because you will not be paying attention. So the fact that the Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Café Barista comes with its own automatic milk frother is a big plus. It means you can just pick your favorite milk, again UHT milk works great because it has a very strong milk flavor and you can feel it even through the stronger coffee flavor.
Another big plus for the Mr. Coffee ECMP1000 Café Barista is the fact that it comes with 2 different sized stainless steel filters. They allow you to manually choose how strong your coffee will be by using more or less coffee – they are of different sizes so the pressure in the filter does not change and you get the same amount of foam. It also allows you to choose exactly what type of coffee you may want and you can even use different levels of grounding the coffee beans. The water and milk containers are easily removed and are dishwasher safe so you can make sure that your entire system is perfectly clean and bacteria free. Still, this being a latte machine is so much easier to use than an espresso because, once you have chosen your preferred coffee and milk, and filled the water container, you only need to press a button and the machine will do the rest for you. The foam both from the coffee and the milk comes out rich and decadent and you will certainly get a lot of pleasure just from watching the coffee foam form on the bottom of the filter and start gathering in the cup. As far as the milk is concerned you will be happy to know that the machine has a dial that allows you to change the level of frothiness from the thick foam of a cappuccino to the much more drinkable alternative that latte version offers. Granted that you are probably just interested in the cappuccino option, it is well worth having the cappuccino option for impressing friends.
Best Latte Machine for the Money – Full Review
15 bars of pressure; Brews under 1 minute
If you are looking into getting the best bang for your money, there is a slightly more affordable alternative in the Keurig Rivo Latte System. Its biggest weakness could also be considered its greatest strength: it uses the Keurig coffee pods only. On the one hand that limits your options somewhat but it also grants you access so to some of the world’s most delicious coffee at a reasonable price. To put it simply, if you bought your coffee separately, from a high end seller, you would pay a lot more for a single cup of resulting coffee or latte, than if you used the Keurig. That is because Keurig has direct access to the coffee producers while your local coffee importer usually goes through a longer chain of resellers for his top product. Of course, if you compared the cost of the same coffee cup obtain from a cheaper brand of coffee the Keurig system will seem more expensive, but you can bet that the flavor of that cheaper coffee will be subpar by several degrees.
Besides the quality of the coffee that you can get with the Keurig system in general, we have chosen the latte machine as one of our top choices because it is one of the very few coffee pod systems that allows you to use your own milk. By not needing to buy additional milk pods you decrease your costs drastically even when compared with the cheaper Keurig machines. The entire system is even easier to use than the Mr. Coffee system because here all you do is put in a coffee pod of your choice, add the milk, and press a button.
However there are several reasons why we still love the Mr. Coffee system better than the Keurig system. For one, by using coffee pods Keurig adds to the entire pollution problem we have on this planet. It may not seem like a lot but if you were to add all the coffee pods an average coffee drinker uses per month, you would easily fill half a bag of very difficult to recycle plastic, and that is a lot. There is also the fact that the Keurig system froths the milk for you but you still have to pour it in the cup yourself. Again, in the barista example, a professional may be happy to control the motion through which the milk gets in the cup, but as a regular user, that is just one more step separating you from your delicious latte. Finally, although we have said a lot in favor of the coffee pods system, you must take into consideration that you are restricted to the Keurig coffee pods, where as with the Mr. Coffee system you can fly to Brazil, pick the coffee yourself, roast it yourself, grind it yourself, and have perfect control of each step of the process. So the choice really comes down to whether you are willing to pay a little extra to have a broader choice of coffees or you do not.
The Best Latte Machine on a Budget – Full Review
24-ounce capacity to serve more than one drink at a time
If you are a parent and really like only lattes there is a much better alternative than anything we have talked about so far. The Mr. Coffee BVMC-EL1 Cafe Latte is a much more affordable alternative than any product on our list, or indeed any product worth considering and it makes not only great lattes but also exceptionally delicious cups of hot chocolate. If you are not a parent or not that interested in the hot chocolate feature you still have the low price point to make you consider the Mr. Coffee BVMC-EL1 Cafe Latte. It uses regular coffee so you still have all the advantages that our top Mr. Coffee product had, meaning you can buy any type of coffee you want from whatever manufacturer you want. It uses a regular filter though, so it does not offer that strong kick of an espresso, but rather the more mellow notes of a regular coffee. It does froth the milk though, and the coffee can be made stronger by simply adding a little bit more of it in the beginning. Interestingly enough this latte machine comes with a recipe book containing 20 different latte and hot chocolate recipes and we found some of them were quite inspiring.
Another interesting aspect is the fact that it has a large 24 ounces pot so you can make more than one latte at a time, and you will be saving on coffee because of it. The machine starts by frothing the milk, which is already in the pot, so you do not have to be concerned with cleaning the extra milk reservoir, nor the pipes or tubes that it would get from the reservoir to your cup. You do not get the option of having a cappuccino with this machine because it cannot give you that essential espresso shot, and the milk is frothy but the foam is not quite thick enough. Still, what you do get is the option to have a simple cup of coffee by simply not adding the milk to it, and sometimes you may not want the hard shock of an espresso but the gentle caress of a cup of coffee. Finally, the best thing that we discovered about the Mr. Coffee BVMC-EL1 Cafe Latte is that you can use ground coco to have a taste of the real taste of coco and it is so far from what you may imagine, but still so delicious, that for this experience alone it may be worth owning this latte system. And let’s not forget that the Mr. Coffee Café Latte system only has one part that really needs careful washing and that part can easily be placed in the dish washing machine after each use.
There is one final thing that you should take into consideration when buying a latte machine, and that is the size of the thing. Except for the Mr. Coffee BVMC-EL1 Cafe Latte, all the other systems are fairly large so they will definitely take a lot of space in a small kitchen. Even the Mr. Coffee BVMC-EL1 Cafe Latte is somewhat larger than your usual coffee machine, and, whichever option you go with, the coffee machine is the one kitchen appliance that is not practical to store away. You should also consider that all the individual parts that need to be washed should not be mounted on the machine unless they are perfectly dry and it would be even better to be held separate when not in use. So that will further eat up some of your kitchen space. This is not to say that you should reconsider buying a latte machine, but that you should only go for the one that will most comfortably fit your morning routines.