What Single Serve Coffee Maker is Best for Making Cappuccinos?
We get questions all the time on what single serve coffee maker can make the best latte, cappuccino, or cup of coffee, and how much does it cost. This can be a tough question to answer, but we think we might be able to handle it.
I have been reading your blog and I just have one question. What coffee maker would you recommend if you prefer single serve cappuccino and have a budget of around $100-150?
The Senseo seems to have the cappuccino, but when reading the reviews all the others seem to taste better. The Keurigs seem to be the best choice for coffee, but not so great for cappuccinos. I really want the froth and foam. The Tassimos and the Bruns are a bit pricey.
Confused in Fairfax
If you're only willing to spend $100-150 then you really do have only 2 options: Senseo or the Tassimo. Both will make cappuccinos or lattes, but the Tassimo will make the most coffee shop quality of the two options. The Senseo uses powder based coffee pods to make the milk part (much like the old Home Cafe cappuccino pods), where as the Tassimo will use liquid milk T-Discs and deliver a little better hot steaming milk for your cappuccino.
The Tassimo is an excellent choice for latte and cappuccino drinkers.
And you're correct, there really isn't an option to make lattes or cappuccinos with a Keurig. The Keurig is an excellent choice for coffee or tea, but it's not designed to be a hot beverage system - though you can get hot chocolate now as well.
The Nespresso Essenza and a Aeroccino will run you $300,
but it's well worth the extra money.
Another option if you want to double your budget is to get a Nespresso Essenza and an Aeroccino frothed milk maker. This option will yield excellent espresso and hot whipped milk. But, if you really want the ease of use, the Tassimo may be the best bet for just using the T-Disc system.
Obviously there are even more options for the $100-150 range, like purchasing a low end ESE espresso pod system, but then you won't be able to just make a hot cup of single serve coffee either. Good luck on your purchase and sound off in the comments on your opinions on above and what tell us what you decided to pick in the end.
You may also want to read our cost per cup article. It has many insights on the cost and what options are available in the single serve coffee world. Also, if you're looking for more frothing options to go along with your single serve coffee maker, check out our milk frothing article.
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Posted by Jay Brewer at August 8, 2007 8:27 AM
I tried the Tassimo and it's an easy way to get a cappuccino but I'm not a fan of the milk discs. Try it out and if you like it then it's probably the best way to go.
However, I prefer the Nespresso a lot more because it can make a decent espresso. I have the Aeroccino (it's fun to use) but a wand and microwave will work just as well for much less to get you in the budget.
For less than $175, you can use a Nespresso Essenza C90 or D90 and an Aerolatte wand frother, to make an excellent cappuccino. The Essenza has a list price of $179. If you buy it at Bed, Bath & Beyond, you can probably find a 20% off of any single item coupon, which will bring the price down to less than $144, before tax. The Aerolatte wand sells for (I think) $20, just about everywhere. That's a total of $164, before tax. Add a pair of rechargeable batteries and you're still below $175. (I use an Energizer 15 minute recharger and Duracell 2650 maHr batteries in the Aerolatte. They last about a month and recharge in minutes.)
I like the Nespresso, because it is the only pod machine that produces a strong head of real crema. I like the Aerolatte, better than the Nespresso Aeroccino, because in my experience, the Aeroccino automatic shut-off stops just a few seconds too soon, leaving the froth just a little too much like foam and not enough like froth.
I heat my milk to about 140-150 degrees in the microwave, while the Nespresso machine heats up. Then, I use the Aerolatte to froth the hot milk to a true froth (no foam), while the espresso brews. Since the milk heats while the Nespresso machine heats up and I froth while the coffee coffee brews, the whole process takes about two minutes (dry cup to chocolate powder on top, with the Aerolatte wand and chocolate sieve rinsed). That's a fast and excellent cup of cappuccino. It used to take me 8 minutes to grind, tamp, brew and froth the milk for a cappuccino, using my Gaggia machine, with steam wand and even then, I very occasionally didn't get a perfect head of crema. I have never had a bad cup of espresso from my Nespresso machine.
I've made some tasty (if, perhaps, not authentic) caps (well, lattes actually) by microwaving 1/2 cup of milk (2% works well) for around 30 seconds or so. I then whip it into a foam using a frother and brew an extra bold K-cup on the 5oz setting right into it. Made in my favorite etched-glass mug, it looks good and tastes good too.