Choosing the right cappuccino espresso maker can seem like a daunting task. I mean after all, one glance at Amazon and I see prices ranging from $65 to $1,700! What gives with that? How can one cup of specialty coffee require a $1,700 machine to make it? Well, since cappuccino is made from espresso, it all goes back to how to make a really great shot of espresso! Once you understand that, buying the right cappuccino espresso maker will be a cinch…if you’ve got the dough, that is!
Okay, there are basically four types of espresso makers, steam, pump and piston driven models, and finally automatics. The price differential between espresso cappuccino makers that are steam powered and the automatics is huge. For instance, a Mr. Coffee steam espresso machine will set you back a mere $65 or so. A DeLonghi Magnifica Digital-Super Automatic Espresso Cappuccino machine costs more than $1,400! Is it worth it? Well, “worth” is a relative concept, but sure…why not.
Steam powered espresso cappuccino machines are really the low end of the spectrum. You can have fun with them, sure, but if you’re really serious about your espresso (and your cappuccino), then no…a steam powered machine won’t work.
For one thing, the steam is not really super heated steam, it’s just hot water vapor. Real steam is vaporized water that’s pressurized. This is not real steam, more hot water vapor. For another thing, the pressure that the machine pushed the water through the coffee granules is too low. You’ll never get that rich flavor, and that head of froth that real live, honest to God espresso has. Which means in our case, you’ll never be able to combine that with foamed milk to make a great cup of cappuccino.
Piston and pump driven machines can create the steam and pressure, but you have to get everything else right to make this espresso cappuccino maker work well. For instance, how finely you grind the beans has a huge effect.
Right here is where automatic cappuccino espresso makers come into the picture. With the mere depressing of a button, you have a perfect cup of espresso, and with the exactly computer controlled temperature for the frothed milk, you’ve got perfect cappuccino. It all comes at a price, however.