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11 Best Latte Machines For Home Use In 2024

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This is a review of the best latte machines for home and commercial use. Read on to find your next latte maker.

Lattes are one of my favorite coffee drinks. However, I have trouble finding an excellent machine to make them with. That inspired me to create this guide.

I chose the Rancilio Silvia as the best overall latte machine because of its exceptional steam wand and high-quality build. These features ensure your machine will last for years and produce cafe-quality lattes.

rancilio silvia hsd silvia

Rancilio Silvia: Best Overall

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: Semi-automatic
  • Dimensions: 16.5 × 10 × 15.2 in (D, W, H)
  • Bars of pressure: 15 bars
  • Boiler type: Dual boiler
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Milk frother: yes
  • Water capacity: 33 fl oz = 33 solo shots
  • Material: Stainless steel

This machine may cost too much for many folks. I provide many alternatives that cost less and offer more features.

Let’s begin.

11 Best Latte Machines for Home Use

  1. Rancilio Silvia: Top pick
  2. Hamilton Beach 15 Bar Espresso Machine: Most affordable
  3. Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista: Best for beginners
  4. La Marzocco Linea 2 Group: Best for businesses
  5. Jura E8: Fully-automatic
  6. PHILIPS 1200: Best for iced lattes
  7. Breville Barista Express: Includes a grinder
  8. Nespresso Creatista Pro: Best Nespresso machine
  9. Breville bambino Plus: Most compact latte machine
  10. Jura S8: Best high end
  11. Sage Dual Boiler: Best latte machine UK

What Is a Latte Machine?

A latte machine is an appliance that brews espresso and froths milk to create lattes.

Hot water then passes through the ground beans, extracting a rich, strong espresso. The next step? Frothing the milk. The machine heats and aerates the milk, creating a creamy foam. 

Combine the espresso and frothy milk, and voila, you’ve got a latte.

If you’re looking for a commercial model, check out what we offer here.

11 Top Latte Machines

All these coffee machines include a milk steaming wand. Most require manual input. And some will automatically froth your drinks.

If you have any questions about what to consider when shopping for one of these machines, refer to the buyer’s guide much later in this guide. It’ll provide clarification.

Onto our first choice.

1. Rancilio Silvia: Best Overall

rancilio silvia hsd silvia
Dimensions16.5 × 10 × 15.2 in (D, W, H)
Bars of Pressure15
Boiler TypeDual boiler
Warranty1 year
Water Capacity / Enough for33 fl oz = 33 solo shots
MaterialStainless steel


  • High-quality construction
  • Exceptional steam wand
  • Large water reservoir


  • Difficult to use
  • Lacks temperature control
  • Small drip tray

The Rancilio Silvia is a perfect match for the meticulous home barista. It’s the ideal choice for those who relish the art of crafting espresso.

The Silvia is a semi-automatic espresso machine. You retain control over all espresso-making steps except for applying pressure and heating your water. It’s an excellent machine for tailoring drinks to your preference.

Rancilio’s machine costs a lot and doesn’t include exceptional features like pre-infusion or dual boilers.

However, it’s built like a tank and has fantastic steam and espresso pressure. The pressure in the milk steamer will give you more control and a luscious foam that’ll rival what coffee shops offer.

Think about it this way. You’ll likely spend up to $575 a year for lattes at Starbucks [1]. That number comes from a single 16 oz latte daily. This machine will pay itself off in less than a couple years considering your savings.

Even sooner if you have over a coffee a day.

The drip tray isn’t the largest, though. Meaning, you must frequently empty it to prevent it from overflowing. It doesn’t give you granular control over the machine’s temperature, which isn’t ideal for picky coffee drinkers. And it has quite the learning curve.

Otherwise, it has a large water reservoir that won’t require frequent refills.

It uses a single boiler, which doesn’t allow you to brew coffee and froth milk simultaneously. However, it uses a 58 mm commercial-style saturated group head. It warms up sooner than E61 groupheads and is often used in coffee shop machines.

Lastly, the Silvia’s stainless steel body will help your machine withstand wear and tear longer than any appliance that uses plastic.

2. Hamilton Beach 15 Bar Espresso Machine: Most Affordable Latte Machine

Hamilton Beach Espresso Machine
Dimensions12 × 9.6 × 11.6 in (D, W, H)
Bars of Pressure15
Boiler TypeSingle
Warranty1 year
Water Capacity / Enough for45 fl oz = 45 solo shots


  • Large water reservoir
  • Removable water tank for easy cleaning.


  • Not that durable.
  • Water reservoir is in the machine’s rear.

The Hamilton Beach Espresso Maker is ideal for budget-conscious coffee enthusiasts who are okay with a bit of a learning curve.

Semi-automatic espresso machines offer a balance between manual control and automated features. They’re best suited for coffee lovers who enjoy the art of espresso-making but also appreciate some convenience.

The single boiler in this machine takes the longest to heat of all the boiler types (10–15 min). It also doesn’t allow you to brew coffee and froth milk at the same time. It’s ideal for saving money, but not for making coffee quickly.

This feature is worth the investment for those who want to enjoy homemade espresso without breaking the bank.

Despite its price point, the Hamilton Beach espresso maker includes a surprising number of features like:

  • Easy Serve Espresso (ESE) pod compatible: Includes an adapter that allows you to use ESE pods
  • Can brew 2 shots simultaneously: Great for anyone who enjoys doppio (double) shots.
  • Removable water reservoir: Makes for easy cleaning & refilling.
  • Descriptive buttons: Takes guesswork out of using your machine.

Though, the water reservoir’s removable, it’s a pain to access if you have low-hanging wall cabinets. Because you’ll have a hard time attempting to reach behind the machine. Meaning, you must pull it out whenever you want to clean, refill, or see how much water remains.

And can you guess where Hamilton Beach cut corners to make the machine more affordable? That’s right; the material. Most of the machine is made from plastic, which means it won’t last as their stainless steel counterparts.

3. Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista: Best Latte Machine for Beginners

mr. coffee cafe barista
Dimensions8.8 × 11.2 × 12.6 in (D, W, H)
Bars of Pressure15
Boiler TypeSingle
Warranty1 year
Water Capacity / Enough for54 oz = 54 solo shots
MaterialStainless steel & plastic


  • Uses an automatic milk frother
  • Affordable
  • Milk container is easy to clean


  • Milk frother is loud
  • Unsightly
  • May have inconsistent coffee taste

The Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista is a perfect match for the budding home barista seeking to hone their craft. Its user-friendly design makes it a great choice for those new to the espresso-making world.

A semi-automatic machine is ideal for coffee enthusiasts who want to be involved in the brewing process but want to avoid the complexity of a fully manual machine. These machines automate water heating and pressure, leaving grind size, tamping, and extraction time to the user.

Single boilers take the longest to heat when compared to heat exchangers and dual boilers, but they allow manufacturers to price machines competitively.

One standout feature of the Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista is its automatic milk frother. It’s a time-saver and a game-changer, making it worth every penny for those who love their milk-based coffee drinks.

This machine balances price and features. Not as pricey as the Rancilio Silvia, but costs more than the Hamilton Beach. It also includes more features than the past 2 picks. First off, it’ll automatically froth milk.

Say you press the “Latte” button, it’ll automatically froth the milk to have a creamier and smoother than the milk frothed with the “Cappuccino” button. It’ll also disperse the ideal coffee/milk ratio for a latte to your cup (⅓ espresso and ⅔ steamed milk) [2].

Once the milk reservoir’s empty, the Barista will automatically wash out the remaining milk. Or you could press the “Clean” button and wash out residual coffee grounds from your machine.

Considering the machine’s price and cheap construction, you won’t have the most consistent-tasting coffee due to a lack of features like pre-infusion. And it won’t look great in your kitchen.

Speaking of how things fill fit into your kitchen, the machine isn’t the quietest, meaning you shouldn’t use it when you’re trying to have a conversation. And it demands a lot of counter space.

When finding a home for the Barista, I recommend finding an open spot for it (e.g. coffee cart). Because the removable water reservoir is in the machine’s rear, which makes it a pain to access when under a wall cabinet.

4. La Marzocco Linea 2 Group: Best Commercial Latte Machine

la marzocco linea 2 group
Dimensions21 × 28 × 23 in (D, W, H)
Bars of Pressure15
Machine TypeSemi-automatic
Boiler TypeDual boilers
Warranty1–2 years
Water Capacity / Enough forDirect water connection
MaterialStainless steel


  • Dual boiler allows for maximum barista workflow
  • ECO mode assists in lowering electricity costs.


  • High-learning curve for beginners
  • Grouphead may require frequent maintenance.

The La Marzocco Linea 2 Group is a perfect match for bustling coffee shops, where speed and consistency are paramount.

It’s a semi-automatic machine, which means it requires the second-most manual input (behind manual makers). That means this machine will have quite a learning curve for team members. But it’ll allow you to customize drinks to match your customers’ taste preferences.

The Linea 2 Group includes dual boilers, which means it’ll take around 5–15 minutes to heat. It’ll also allow you to brew coffee and steam milk simultaneously. Both features contribute to a machine that’ll work great for businesses with a fair amount of foot traffic.

The “2 Group” in the name means it includes 2 groupheads, which is the component you place your espresso beans into. If the amount of heads won’t support the traffic in your coffee shop, La Marzocco also offers a model with 3 groupheads.

This device includes an ECO mode, which will reduce the amount of energy this machine uses. Saving you money on power bills in the long run. And despite this machine costing more than other commercial models, this feature alone will make it worth the cost.

It also will directly connect to your building’s plumbing, eliminating the need for refilling reservoirs. However, if your water quality is bad, it could lead to mineral buildup in the grouphead. And this will lead to frequent maintenance on it to prevent weird-tasting coffee.

Adding a water filter to the line that connects to your machine should mitigate or eliminate this issue.

5. Jura E8: Best Automatic Latte Machine

Jura E8 Espresso Machine
Dimensions11 x 17.5 x 13.7 in (D, W, H)
Bars of Pressure15
Warranty2 years
Water Capacity / Enough for64 fl oz = 64 solo shots
Boiler TypeDouble boiler
MaterialStainless steel & plastic


  • Fully automatic & smart operation
  • Built-in grinder with 6 settings & sensor
  • Milk frother & coffee over ice function


  • Expensive & bulky
  • Noisy operation & long cleaning cycle
  • Limited customization options & manual input

The Jura E8 is a top choice for those who appreciate the art of coffee making and want to bring a touch of Swiss elegance to their kitchen.

Fully-automatic machines offer a seamless coffee-making experience, handling everything from grinding the beans to frothing the milk. These machines are ideal for those who want a coffee shop experience at home without the fuss of manual operation. 

This machine includes a double boiler, allowing you to froth milk and brew coffee simultaneously. It’ll also heat much quicker than single boilers.

The machine’s ability to deliver consistently high-quality coffee, with minimal effort required, justifies its premium price point.

The E8 is perfect for offices and small businesses that offer complimentary coffee due to its automation. You’ll need to focus on adding beans to your machine, water, and milk to their respective reservoirs, and descaling occasionally.

Otherwise, team members, customers, or other folks at home press whatever drink they want, and the machine will brew per its ratio and specifications.

Here’s an example. Someone presses a Ristretto button; then the E8 will brew a concentrated espresso shot.

If someone runs it at home, ensure they don’t do so while everyone sleeps. The grinder’s motor will wake everyone. Speaking of the grinder—

It uses a stainless steel conical grinder, which isn’t great considering the machine’s price point. Conical grinders result in more consistent bean grinds than blade ones, but not as much so compared to flat burrs.

I’d usually complain about stainless steel burrs ruining coffee beans due to their heat. However, the E8 uses an Aroma grinder and Pulse Extraction Process, which both help prevent flavor loss when grinding beans.

You sacrifice drink customization and the power to mold drinks to your preferences for automation. There’s nothing you can do about that. However, I wanted to mention it to prevent you from potentially making a mistake.

6. PHILIPS 1200: Best Iced Latte Machine

philips 1200
Dimensions17 × 9.5 × 14.5 in (D, W, H)
Bars of Pressure9 bars
Boiler TypeThermoblock
Warranty6 months
Water Capacity / Enough for60 fl oz = 60 solo shots


  • Includes ceramic bean grinder
  • Programmable touch display options
  • Affordable super-automatic machine


  • It includes a ceramic bean grinder (double-edged sword)
  • Cheap feel
  • Recurring water filter premium

The Philips 1200 Series EP1224/00 is ideal for the coffee aficionado who appreciates the art of a manually frothed cappuccino.

Super-automatic espresso machines automate almost every process involved in brewing. From grinding the beans to tamping the grounds. They’re best suited for those who want a high-quality espresso without the fuss of manual operation.

The Philips 1200’s ceramic grinder is a feature worth investing in. Ceramic grinders are known for their consistency, providing a uniform grind that contributes to a balanced flavor. This, coupled with the machine’s ability to adjust coffee temperature, justifies the cost.

Ceramic burrs won’t heat up and cause beans to lose flavor like stainless steel ones. However, they tend to lose sharpness quicker than their metal counterparts. Requiring you to purchase a new burr. Fortunately, they sell some replacement parts on their website [3].

And if you get this machine, you may need to save that link. Considering all the plastic parts used, many parts of the machine may break down. Since they can’t withstand wear and tear like stainless steel.

But it results in a more affordable machine. So long as you don’t mind constantly buying water filters, which add an additional fee. However, these will filter 5,000 cups before requiring a replacement and prevent you from needing to descale your machine.

A huge time saver.

Otherwise, the user interface is simple. It allows you to customize your bean strength, coffee amount, and whether you want to dispense hot water. It’ll also notify you when it’s time to descale your machine or replace the AquaClean filter.

7. Breville Barista Express: Best Latte Machine With Grinder

Breville Barista Express Espesso Machine
Dimensions13.8 × 12.5 × 15.9 in (D, W, H)
Bars of Pressure9–15 bars
Boiler TypeThermocoil
Warranty1 year
Water Capacity / Enough for67 fl oz = 67 solo shots
MaterialStainless steel


  • Digital temperature control
  • Includes pre-infusion


  • Can’t control milk frother temperature
  • Water tank is difficult to access

The Breville Barista Express is ideal for the budding home barista seeking hands-on experience. Its user-friendly design encourages learning and experimentation with espresso brewing.

Unlike their manual and semi-automatic counterparts, super-automatic espresso machines automate the entire brewing process. They’re perfect for coffee lovers who value convenience and consistency over the hands-on brewing.

The Breville Barista Express’s built-in grinder is a standout feature that justifies its price. It ensures the freshness of your coffee by grinding beans on demand, leading to a superior taste. 

Unlike the previous option, you won’t have such an easy-to-use UI and a ceramic burr. However, you’ll get features that make drinks taste MUCH better, like pre-infusion and digital temperature control (PID).

The former feature gently applies pressure and wets beans to extract more flavor. The latter minimizes temperature fluctuations to ensure a consistent temperature with your drink. Both help your machine progress to a fantastic-tasting drink.

It doesn’t include a dual boiler like other automatic machines on this list, but it uses a thermocoil heating system. It doesn’t allow for simultaneous frothing and brewing, but it’ll heat your machine in under a minute.

Great for making drinks quickly.

And while the machine offers volumetric control (e.g., steam control), that control doesn’t apply to the frother.

I love the descale notification, because it’ll prevent you from guessing when it’s time to descale your machine. But I wish the water tank weren’t in the machine’s rear. Imagine trying to access it if you have a wall cabinet hanging above it.

8. Nespresso Creatista Pro: Best Nespresso Machine for Latte

breville nespresso creatista pro
Dimensions6.7 × 16.1 × 12.2 in (D, W, H)
Bars of Pressure19
Warranty2 years
Water Capacity / Enough for60 fl oz = 7 cups
MaterialStainless steel


  • High level of customization with 8 frothiness levels & 11 temperature levels for milk.
  • Heats up quickly & allows for simultaneous coffee brewing & milk frothing.
  • Automatic steam arm produces high-quality, barista-like milk froth.


  • Has a large footprint, requiring a significant amount of counter space.
  • Does not automatically clear the used coffee pod

The Nespresso Creatista Pro is ideal for anyone who wants to brew coffee quickly with Nespresso pods, yet wants the option to make cafe-quality lattes with a milk frother.

Capsule machines are perfect for those who want a hassle-free, barista-quality espresso at the push of a button. Unlike traditional espresso machines, which require grinding, tamping, and a learning curve, capsule machines eliminate these steps.

Making them user-friendly and time-efficient.

The Creatista Pro’s automated steam wand is a game-changer. It allows users to create café-quality micro-foam milk textures and temperatures, enhancing the flavor of your coffee. This feature alone justifies the investment.

Unlike most Nespresso makers, the Creatista Pro allows you to choose among 8 frothiness levels and various milk temperatures. A welcomed addition for anyone who wants complete control over your milk’s texture and taste.

When looking further into this machine, you’ll see there’s the Creatista Pro and the Creatista Plus. What’s different? The former will also shut off after 9 minutes instead of 10. And it has a bigger water tank.

The Pro also has a touchscreen user interface and the ability to program your own drinks.

Speaking of the user interface. The Pro allows you to choose among different pre-programmed drinks. For instance, choose “latte” and it’ll brew based on the drink’s ratio and specifications.

And lastly, the Pro allows you to heat coffee and milk simultaneously, a rare feature for Nespresso machines. The plus doesn’t.

With all these features, the Pro demands a lot of counter space, making it not ideal for small kitchens. If you want a smaller (and cheaper) Nespresso with a milk frother, get any of the Lattissima models.

9. Breville Bambino Plus: Most Compact Latte Machine

Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine
Dimensions12.6 × 7.7 × 12.2 in (D, W, H)
Bars of Pressure9–15 bars
Boiler TypeThermoJet
Warranty1 year
Water Capacity / Enough for64 fl oz = 64 solo shots
MaterialStainless steel


  • Compact
  • Heats within 3 seconds
  • Includes pre-infusion


  • Doesn’t support ESE pods
  • Frother isn’t the best for microfoam
  • Drip tray doesn’t hold much water

The Breville Bambino Plus is excellent for anyone who craves a café coffee taste and experience without leaving their kitchen.

A semi-automatic espresso machine balances control and convenience. It’s ideal for coffee enthusiasts who enjoy the hands-on brewing process but appreciate some automated assistance. 

The Bambino Plus’s automatic milk frothing and temperature-sensing steam wand are features that justify its price. These features ensure consistently textured milk and optimal temperature for your espresso, enhancing the overall quality of your beverages.

Earlier, I discussed pre-infusion, which helps extract more flavor by pre-wetting beans. However, that machine wasn’t great for small kitchens. This one’s much more ideal since it doesn’t include a grinder.

However, you’ll need a separate grinder. The Bambino Plus also doesn’t support Easy Serve Espresso (ESE) pods. Something I’d usually recommend to help utilize kitchen space more.

And due to being a smaller machine, it doesn’t have as much steam power, which means it’ll have a weaker-tasting microfoam. However, it’ll blow other cheaper coffee makers out of the water with its steam wand.

Mostly coffee snobs will notice a difference in taste.

And they’ll most likely find the compact drip tray annoying. As you’ll need to frequently empty it. But since the machine takes seconds to heat up, you’re already saving a bunch of time when making coffee.

10 Jura S8: Best High-End Latte Machine

Jura S8 Espresso Machine
Dimensions11 x 17.5 x 13.7in (D, W, H)
Bars of Pressure15
Warranty2 years
Water Capacity / Enough for64 oz = 64 solo shots


  • Fully automatic & smart operation
  • Built-in grinder with 6 settings
  • Milk frother & coffee over ice function


  • Expensive & bulky
  • Noisy operation & long cleaning cycle
  • Limited customization options & manual input

The Jura S8 is a dream come true for those who love to experiment with various barista-quality drinks at home.

Super-automatic espresso machines, like the Jura S8, are a step above in the world of coffee machines. They offer the convenience of an automatic espresso machine with the added benefit of built-in grinders and milk frothers.

This makes them ideal for coffee lovers who value convenience and quality, as they can produce a variety of coffee drinks with a simple touch of a button.

One of the standout features of the Jura S8 is its Pulse Extraction Process (PEP). This technology ensures optimal extraction time by pulsating hot water through the coffee grounds.

This results in a fuller flavor profile, enhancing the quality of your coffee.

Coupled with the Aroma G3 grinder the Jura S8 offers a superior coffee experience that justifies its price tag.

Usually, stainless steel burr grinders (which this machine has) strip flavors from beans due to excessive heating. However, the G3 grinder prevents this loss because it gently crushes beans. Unlike most grinders, which will grind as quickly as possible.

But it won’t stop the machine from producing a bunch of noise. I wouldn’t run this when anyone in your home is trying to sleep.

And I don’t recommend getting it if you want absolute control over your drink’s flavor and temperature. You’d want a manual- or semi-automatic espresso maker to customize drinks to your preference.

Otherwise, the machine offers plenty of pre-programmed drinks that’ll automate drink-making. Perfect for home or workplace offices and entertaining guests. Since they just click a button, then the machine does the work.

11. Sage Dual Boiler: Best Latte Machine, UK

sage dual boiler
Dimensions40.5 × 37.8 × 37.7 cm (D, W, H)
Bars of Pressure15 bars
Boiler TypeDual boiler
Warranty2 years
Water Capacity / Enough for2.4 l = 84 solo shots
MaterialStainless steel


  • Excellent temperature control due to its dual boiler system.
  • Programmable pre-infusion system.
  • The steam wand is precise, easy to control, and can swivel 360 degrees, providing flexibility during use.


  • Not as robust as some other models.
  • No assisted tamping.
  • Difficult to access water reservoir.

The Sage Dual Boiler is a perfect fit for the folks in the UK and Canada due to Sage machines’ voltage compatibility.

Unlike fully automatic or super-automatic machines, semi-automatic machines give you control over the brewing process, allowing you to fine-tune your espresso to your liking. This makes it ideal for anyone who wants to have control over every aspect of their brew.

The Sage Dual Boiler’s standout feature is its dual boiler system, which allows for simultaneous brewing and milk steaming.

This feature, combined with its excellent flavor delivery and oil extraction capabilities, makes it worth the investment. Its ability to save time without compromising the quality of the espresso is a significant advantage.

The steam wand offers 360 degree swiveling; giving you more control over your latte’s texture (and overall taste). Pre-infusion extracts more flavors from beans by gently wetting coffee beans prior to brewing.

The water reservoir’s a pain to access since it’s in the back. But unlike most machines, it has a window in the machine’s front that gives you a peek into how much water’s left.

It doesn’t have assisted tamping or a built-in grinder, which requires more manual input. However, it allows more control over your drink’s flavor. It also doesn’t have a 3-second heat up time like other machines, which is a bummer considering the price.

How to Choose the Best Latte Machine: Buying Guide

Consider these criteria when shopping for a latte machine:

CriteriaImportance when shopping for a latte machine
Machine & water reservoir sizeDetermines the amount of water used prior to refilling.
Coffee & steam pressureHigher pressure ensures proper extraction of flavors from coffee grounds & creates creamy, frothy milk for lattes.
Drinks it’s capable of makingOffers versatility by allowing you to prepare a variety of espresso-based beverages.
Built-in grinderSimplifies the process by grinding coffee beans directly into the portafilter.
Time to heat machineReduces waiting time before brewing.
Machine TypeDetermines control you’ll have over espresso-making.

Read the following sections to understand why each factor is important and what to keep an eye out for. Afterward, use my information to build a checklist based on your preferences.

1. Machine & Water Reservoir Size

A small reservoir suits occasional drinkers or single-person households. It’s compact and easy to refill. A large reservoir is ideal for coffee enthusiasts or larger households. It allows for multiple brews without frequent refills, saving time and effort.

Latte machines typically have large water reservoirs. This feature ensures a steady water supply for brewing and steaming, which is essential for a perfect latte.

However, the size of the machine matters too.

The machine’s size often depends on its features. For instance, dual boilers require more space than single boilers. Dual boilers allow simultaneous brewing and steaming, enhancing efficiency.

Therefore, while a larger machine may demand more space, it could offer a superior coffee experience. But it won’t fit in a small kitchen and requires you to consider more compact espresso makers.

2. Coffee & Steam Pressure

  • <7 bars: under-extracted; super sour
  • 7–9 bars: Mild flavor & a bit sour
  • 9 bars: sweet spot; balanced flavor & excellent starting point
  • 15 bars: stronger-tasting drink, but not too bitter
  • >15 bars: over-extracted drink; excessively bitter

Pressure is the force that pushes hot water through the coffee grounds, extracting their flavors. The right pressure is crucial for a balanced espresso shot, the heart of your latte. According to research from the University of Oregon, the ideal pressure is 9 bars [4]. 

Why does this matter? Too little pressure, and you’ll underextract the coffee. It’ll taste weak, almost watery. Too much pressure, and you’ll overextract it. The result is a bitter, burnt flavor. 

Pressure also affects your milk.

The steam wand uses pressure to froth milk, creating that creamy texture we love in lattes. Too little pressure, and your milk stays flat. Too much, and it becomes too frothy, more like a cappuccino. 

All latte machines use up to 9 bars of pressure. Not all will utilize up to 15 bars, though.

3. Drinks It’s Capable of Making

You’ll want to ensure your latte maker can make whatever drinks you need.

Here are all the drinks every latte maker can produce:

AmericanoCortadoLong macchiato
Black EyeGuillermoRápido y Sucio
CappuccinoGalãoCafé Crema
Dripped EyeIrish CoffeeFreddo Cappuccino
Flat WhiteCafé MediciAffogato al Caffe
LatteCafé BreveMocha
Lazy EyeVienna CoffeeCubano
Manilo Long BlackMacchiatoZorro
Red EyeEspresso RomanoMarocchino

Some of these machines will support ESE (Easy Serve Espresso) pods. Think of these like coffee bags. You place them in the espresso maker’s grouphead and brew like normal. The benefit comes from not needing to grind coffee beans.

Speaking of.

4. Whether It Has a Built-in Grinder

A built-in coffee grinder, integrated within a coffee machine, provides fresh grounds on demand, enhancing flavor and aroma. Its convenience and space-saving design make it a popular choice.

Built-in vs. Separate Grinder

Separate coffee grinders and machines offer more control and variety. With an independent grinder, you can adjust grind size and consistency to suit different brewing methods, from espresso to French press.

However, separate units require more counter space.

Let’s delve into the pros and cons of both options, to help you make an informed decision

Pros & Cons of Integrated Coffee Grinders

Built-in coffee grinders provide convenience and consistency, but may limit flexibility and increase maintenance needs.

Pros of Built-in Coffee Grinders:

  • Convenience: Integrated grinders save space & time.
    • Ideal for those with limited kitchen space or busy schedules.
  • Consistency: They provide uniform grind size, enhancing coffee flavor.
    • Perfect for coffee enthusiasts who value taste above all.
  • Cost-Effective: Buying a single machine can be cheaper than purchasing separate devices.
    • Suitable for budget-conscious consumers.

Cons of Built-in Coffee Grinders:

  • Limited Flexibility: Built-in grinders may not offer the same range of grind sizes as standalone models.
    • Not the best choice for those who like experimenting with different coffee types.
  • Increased Maintenance: If the grinder malfunctions, the entire machine may require servicing.
    • A potential issue for those who prefer low-maintenance appliances.
  • Dependence: If the coffee machine breaks, you lose the coffee maker & grinder.
    • A risk for those who can’t start their day without a cup of coffee.

Let’s move onto getting a separate grinder.

Pros & Cons of Buying a Separate Coffee Grinder

Buying a separate coffee grinder allows for more flexibility and durability, but may require more space and investment.

Pros of Buying a Separate Coffee Grinder:

  • Flexibility: Standalone grinders often offer a wider range of grind sizes.
    • Ideal for coffee lovers who enjoy trying different brewing methods.
  • Durability: If the coffee maker breaks, you still have a functioning grinder.
    • A good option for those who value reliability.
  • Quality: Separate grinders regularly deliver superior grind consistency.
    • Perfect for those who won’t compromise on their coffee’s taste.

Cons of Buying a Separate Coffee Grinder:

  • Requires More Space: Having 2 separate machines can take up more room.
    • A potential downside for those with smaller kitchens.
  • Additional Cost: Buying 2 devices can be more expensive.
    • Not the best option for those on a tight budget.
  • More Maintenance: 2 machines mean twice the cleaning and upkeep.
    • A con for those who prefer easy-to-maintain appliances.

Choose what best fits your preferences.

5. Time to Heat Machine

A quick heat-up time ensures you get your latte swiftly, especially handy during rushed mornings or when entertaining guests. The machine’s heat-up time depends on factors like the power of the heating element and the machine’s design.

Latte machines typically feature one of 4 types of boilers::

  • Double boilers (best): Heats the quickest.
  • Heat Exchangers: Allow for simultaneous steaming & brewing.
  • Thermoblock (great middle-ground): Balances affordability & speed.
  • Single boiler (worst): Heats the slowest.

Dual boilers also allow you to steam milk and brew coffee at the same time. This is an excellent feature for latte drinkers because it’ll allow you to brew quicker. Compare that to having to wait for the steam wand to heat up once you finish brewing coffee.

Opt for single boilers or thermoblocks if you want to save money. Most lower-end latte machines will have these heating elements.

6. Espresso Machine Type

The type of espresso machine you get will impact how much time you’ll need to spend on your drinks, the amount of control you have over its flavor, and other aspects of espresso making.

Let’s compare all the latte machine types:

Machine TypeWhat it AutomatesBest forAvg. Machine Cost *
Super-automaticEverythingAutomated traditional espresso$800–$5,000
Semi-automaticPressure & water flowGraduating from manual machines$200–$2,000
AutomaticGrinding, tamping, & brewingBalancing cost & automation$300–$3,000
ManualNothingLearning the basics$100–$800
CapsuleEverythingConvenience, cost, & speed$100–$700

Different types of espresso makers compared.

Model costs will depend on the machine’s brand, features, demand, and materials used.

Do you need a further breakdown?


  • Get a super-automatic maker if: You want espresso-based drinks, don’t mind spending a lot, & want to sacrifice granule control for automation.
  • Get a semi-automatic maker if: You want consistent temperatures & control over your shot’s timing & bean tamping.
  • Get an automatic maker if: You want to balance automation, cost, & control.
  • Get a manual maker if: You want granule control over every aspect of espresso making.
  • Get a capsule maker if: You don’t mind sacrificing customization for automation & speed.

No manual coffee makers include milk frothers. However, you could buy a separate milk frother and use it to make lattes. And few capsule makers include the ability to brew lattes.

We’re not done yet…

FAQs for Latte Machines

Here are commonly asked questions about latte machines.

What Is the Difference Between a Latte & Cappuccino?

A latte is mainly steamed milk with a shot of espresso and a small amount of foam on top. A cappuccino has equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk.

Can I Make Latte Art With a Latte Machine?

Yes, you can make latte art with a latte machine. The machine steams milk to a creamy texture.

Pouring this milk into espresso in certain ways forms latte art.

What Is the Difference Between Steamed & Frothed Milk?

Steamed milk is heated and slightly aerated using a steam wand, resulting in a velvety texture.

Frothed milk is more aggressively aerated, making it lighter and foamier.

Our Verdict

Here are our top 3 choices:

  1. Rancilio Silvia: Reliable & uses commercial-grade parts.
  2. Hamilton Beach 15 Bar Espresso Machine: Doesn’t cost much & filled with features.
  3. Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista: Includes automatic milk frother without costing too much.

I chose the Rancilio Silvia as the top dog due to its inclusion of commercial-grade parts without the enormous price tag.

rancilio silvia hsd silvia

Rancilio Silvia: Best Overall

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: Semi-automatic
  • Dimensions: 16.5 × 10 × 15.2 in (D, W, H)
  • Bars of pressure: 15 bars
  • Boiler type: Dual boiler
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Milk frother: yes
  • Water capacity: 33 fl oz = 33 solo shots
  • Material: Stainless steel


  • * Actual machine costs will vary by model.
Photo of author


Tim Lee is, as you might have guessed the founder of He is a former barista and a professional web publisher. He has now combined his knowledge and expertise in both subjects to create
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