"Top 8 Latte Machines for 2023: Tried and Tested for the Perfect Brew"

✔️Types: There are four distinct categories of latte machines: semiautomatic, automatic, super-automatic, and capsule.

Semiautomatic machines involve the user in the coffee-making process. The user measures finely ground coffee into a portafilter, tamp them, and operate the water flow using a button or dial. The size of the brew is also controlled by the user. These machines often have a frother wand, which is used in a pitcher or mug of milk.

Automatic machines have programmed settings for making various drinks, offering more consistent results. They may have either a frothing wand or a milk hopper that dispenses the right amount of milk per drink.

Super-automatic machines are reliable one-stop-shops for making lattes. They grind, measure, and sometimes tamp coffee beans automatically. Drinks are pre-programmed, and the machine usually portions the amount of milk needed from the milk hopper.

Capsule machines use pre-measured coffee pods to prepare coffee drinks. They provide consistency and ease of use, with some models incorporating separate frothers, while others have a built-in frother.

✔️Frother: There are two types of frothers typically associated with latte machines: a frothing wand, which inserts into a pitcher of milk and then heats and froths the milk by turning a dial, or a milk hopper, which clips onto the machine or is connected through a straw or tube. Milk hoppers may be plastic, glass, or metal. Glass and plastic are robust, see-through and easy to clean. Metal is easy to clean, reduces plastic use, but it can be difficult to tell the level of milk available for drinks. Fully automatic machines may offer settings that control the texture and temperature of your frothed milk. Wands can create similar results but require more skill.

✔️Capacity: Capacity refers to the amount of water in the reservoir, coffee bean hopper, and/or milk hopper (if applicable). A larger water reservoir means less refilling, but a smaller one guarantees fresh water more frequently. Super-automatic machines generally have larger water reservoirs, but some of that water is used for priming your grounds and flushing the machine. Capsule machines tend to have smaller water reservoirs. A bean hopper should hold half to one pound of beans, well sealed and protected from light to preserve their flavor. If there is a milk hopper, ensure that it contains enough for your preferred volume of one drink.

✔️Pressure: Espresso is made by running hot water through finely ground coffee under high pressure. According to the Specialty Coffee Association, espresso requires water to be forced at 9 to 10 atmospheres of pressure. Most home machines can achieve nine bars of pressure, while some machines range up to 15-19 bars.

✔️Footprint: Latte machines usually have a larger footprint than single-serve, drip, or espresso-only machines. Before you purchase, measure the space where you plan to store the machine and check the model's dimensions.

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