"Discover the Top-Tested Latte Makers of 2023 with These 8 Best Picks"
Type:Generally, latte machines are classified into four categories: semiautomatic, automatic, super-automatic, and capsule.
Semiautomatic machinesfunction by requiring the user to add ground coffee into a portafilter and tamp it gently. The size of the brew is determined by the user, and the machines come equipped with a button or dial that automates water flow. They often include frother wands that can be used in a mug or pitcher of milk.
Automatic machinescome with pre-programmed settings for beverages, resulting in greater consistency. They may feature a frothing wand or milk hopper that dispenses the appropriate amount of milk per drink.
Super-automatic machinesare an all-in-one solution. They grind the beans, measure them out, and often tamp them for you. The drinks are pre-programmed and include a specific amount of milk dispensed from the milk hopper.
Capsule machinesutilize pre-measured coffee pods to create espresso-style coffee drinks, offering users convenience and consistency. While some models include separate frothers, one is built into the machine.
Frother:Latte machines come with two frother options: a frothing wand and a milk hopper. The frothing wand is operated by inserting it into a pitcher of milk, turning a dial to heat and froth the milk. The milk hopper, which may be made from plastic, glass, or metal, attaches directly to the machine and works with the machine's programming to heat, froth, and dispense milk. Fully automatic machines include adjustable settings that allow you to control the texture and temperature of your frothed milk, whereas wands require more skill to achieve similar results.
Capacity:Capacity refers to the size of the water reservoir, as well as the coffee bean and/or milk hoppers. A larger water reservoir reduces the frequency of refilling while a smaller one ensures fresh water. Capsule machines tend to have smaller water reservoirs, while super-automatic machines have the largest (keep in mind, some water is used for priming and flushing the machine). Bean hoppers should hold between ½ and 1 pound of beans and be well-sealed and protected from light to maintain their flavor. If the machine includes a milk hopper, check that it holds enough milk per drink to your liking.
Pressure:Espresso is created by pumping hot water through finely ground coffee under high pressure. The Specialty Coffee Association defines espresso as "coffee through which [water] has been forced at 9 to 10 atmospheres of pressure". Most home machines can achieve nine bars of pressure, some ranging up to 15 to 19 bars.
✔️Footprint: Latte machines are larger than typical single-serve, drip, or espresso-only machines. Be sure to measure the area where you plan to store the machine and check the model's dimensions before purchasing.
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