With the popularization of superautomatic coffee machines, more and more users are joining the indescribable pleasure of preparing and enjoying a cappuccino in their own homes. It is also true for lattes, macchiatos or any other similar preparation that requires the intervention of a small tube to froth the milk.
However, the spectrum of automatic coffee machines is vast, and often buyers interested in these machines are faced with such a wealth of options, functions and possibilities that they don’t even know where to start. In this post, we want to clarify everything related to coffee machines that allow the preparation of cappuccinos automatically.
Not all automatic coffee machines have that possibility, and not all coffee machines with cappuccinos have the same frothing system. Are you a mess? Don’t you know the difference between an automatic Cappuccinator and a One Touch coffee machine with a cappuccino? Well, let’s read and get out of it!
To begin with, let’s establish the difference between a coffee maker with Panarello and one with Cappuccinator.
Coffee makers with Panarello
The Panarello is not precisely the classic skimmer, the one that has been around forever, but it is very similar. And it serves the same purpose. To operate it, insert the nozzle of the tube into the container where we have the milk and activate it until the milk has emulsified to our taste.
The automatic coffee machines with Panarello usually only have the One Touch function (by pressing a single button) for single coffees: short, long, American espressos, etc. It means that if we want to make a cappuccino at home, we will have to operate the frother on our own, and therefore learn to master some basic concepts related to temperature, milk fat, containers for emulsifying, etc.
Coffee machines with Cappuccinator
The Cappuccinator, or Cappuccinatore as the Italians know it, is a system that allows the milk to be frothed with virtually no intervention by the user. It is also known as an automatic Cappuccinator, but the name is not essential and cannot be used to mislead you: it is the concept that is important.
In these automatic coffee machines with Cappuccinator, the milk is taken directly from the container in which it is stored. It can be a jug, a tank integrated into the coffee machine itself, or even the milk bottle itself. Then it is emulsified, sucked, passes through the internal pipes of the coffee machine and ends up directly at the outlet of the skimmer. All this is achieved thanks to a characteristic transparent rubber tube, which is nothing more than the highway on which the milk travels.
These automatic Cappuccinators can, in turn, lead to two versions: if the milk goes to the skimmer outlet, it is the user’s responsibility to place the cup or glass in the appropriate place to collect the froth when it comes out. On the other hand, if the tube is connected directly to the coffee dispenser, the foam or milk will come out directly into the coffee cup without having to change its place.
For example, in the Severin S2+, we see how the spout is connected directly to the spout. The milk froth will fall on our cup.
On the other hand, in the Melitta E950 (Melitta Caffeo Solo Perfect Milk), the spigot of the Cappuccinator goes towards the exit of the skimmer. If you do not move the cup from under the spout, the milk cream will fall to the floor.
Less frequent but equally practical is the Jura E80, a coffee machine with the Cappuccinator on the right and the central coffee spout, but which is capable of making cappuccinos and lattes with the Cappuccinator without the user having to move the glass. How? Very simple: the Cappuccinator has an additional outlet for espresso coffee, which is used when selecting one of these specialities with milk froth.
Difference between Pannarello and Cappuccinator
The Panarello is a tube that emits steam and that we must insert in the container where we have the milk to emulsify it. Afterwards, this milk froth will have to be poured or served wherever we want. The whole process of emulsifying is the responsibility of the barista or the user.
The Cappuccinator takes the milk from a container, the foam, and pours it to another outlet under which we must ensure that our cup or glass is perfectly placed. In this second system, the coffee maker can regulate the time of emulsion and the amount of froth to be served.
Cappuccinator vs automatic cappuccino function
It is essential to distinguish that the auto-Cappuccinatore is not the same as the One Touch Cappuccino function that most automatic coffee machines have. The coffee maker can have a one-button cappuccino function, but use a conventional Panarello for it: that is, leave it to us to move the cup around or put the frother in the cup when appropriate. However, the opposite is not the case: all coffee makers with automatic cappuccino machines allow us to make cappuccinos at the touch of a single button.
We will talk about this type of One Touch coffee maker later on. Some of them even have their container (milk tank) so that we can store the milk inside and not have to rely on our container.
We will now briefly mention some less frequent cases (since not all superautomatic coffee makers are divided into “with Panarello” or “with Cappuccinator“).
Automatic coffee machines without Pannarello
Some coffee machines have the Cappuccinator system integrated into the coffee group, and therefore do not have visible Panarello (classic frothing tube). In this photo, we see the front of the Saeco Intelia Deluxe, which allows us to make a One Touch cappuccino (top right button), but it doesn’t have a foaming tube. Instead, it incorporates a milk jug or tank, of which we see its upper part to the right of the coffee spout.
When we press the cappuccino button or any other speciality with milk froth, the coffee maker sucks the milk directly from the carafe, emulsifies it and pours it through the dispenser into our cup.
Automatic coffee machines with Pannarello and Cappuccinator
And on a higher level, we find coffee machines like the Exprelia, which has the Cappuccinator system integrated but also includes the classic Panarello so that we can use it manually whenever we want.
Here we see it: Panarello on the left, Cappuccinator with its milk tank on the right – all in one!
One-Touch cappuccino coffee machines
We have already seen that in an automatic coffee machine without a One Touch Cappucino function, the process of preparing a cappuccino is entirely manual and falls 100% on the skills of the user. You have to prepare an espresso, then froth the milk separately, in another container, and when we have the cream ready, serve it over our coffee. Of course, both the frothing times and the amount of coffee cream are totally at the user’s discretion.
In a One Touch coffee maker, on the other hand, when the cappuccino button is pressed, the machine itself will start a process that is utterly predefined in advance: it froths the milk for X seconds, serves a certain amount of foam, the espresso is always the same size, and so on.
It is what we are looking for and what we are going to reflect in the ranking, which you will find in the second part of this article. Some of them use a classic frother, others a Cappuccinator that takes the milk directly from any external container, and others even have their integrated milk tank.
On the control panel of one of these automatic cappuccino machines, you will find a button for each speciality (usually cappuccinos and lattes, but also other preparations depending on how advanced the machine is). All you have to do is press the one you like best, and in a few seconds, you’ll have it smoking and freshly made in your cup.
In this example photo, you can see the panel (digital, touch and full-colour) of the Siemens EQ.8 superautomatic coffee machine:
There are some very advanced models in which it is even possible to customize some of these parameters for the Cappuccinator (more or less froth, more or less temperature).
Top 10 One Touch cappuccino coffee machines
In this ranking, we are going to review the ten best automatic One Touch coffee machines, which allow us to enjoy a professional cappuccino at home only by pressing a button. To clarify, those that have a specific button on their control panel to make cappuccinos.
The Incanto is already a classic in the world of One Touch coffee machines and one of Saeco’s great successes in recent years. We include it in this ranking mainly because of its excellent quality-price ratio, although if we talk about performance, other models within the same brand can surpass it.
The version with Cappuccinator collects the milk from an external container and serves the froth through the outlet of the skimmer (not directly on our cup).
Watch out! The Incanto has a version with Panarello (classic skimmer) and another with an automatic Cappuccinator, which costs about 100 pounds more and is the one we are interested in for this ranking. It also has a third option, much more expensive, with an integrated Cappuccinator and its milk tank.
Melitta Passione OT
The OT is the advanced model of Melitta’s Passione coffee machine. One of its great advantages is that the milk foam goes directly to the coffee spout outlet, so there is no need to move the cup when you want to prepare cappuccinos or lattes (the two specialities that the machine has integrated into the One-Touch function).
Delonghi ETAM 29.620
The ETAM range of Delonghi automatic coffee machines is pervasive, and one of the most advanced models stands out: the 29.620.
As we can see, this version has an integrated milk tank (we can’t take it from an external container but have to serve the milk there first), and the froth output is done through the Cappuccinator. Fortunately, the tube can be directed to the cup, so we don’t need to move it around.
What we like best about the ETAM 29620 is that it incorporates the “Milk Menu“, a specific options menu for One Touch milk specialities. Among them, besides the classic cappuccino, we find the Latte Macchiato, the milk alone, or the Flat White.
Well, here it is, a little step above the Incanto, we find this Pico Baristo, one of the crown jewels of Saeco. It exists with and without a milk jug, but both models allow the preparation of OneTouch cappuccinos and have the same high-quality Cappuccinator.
The essential difference from the Saeco Incanto is the “Special Drinks” menu, which allows for the automatic preparation of many more specialities than in the previous coffee maker, at the touch of a button.
Oster Prima Latte 2
The Oster Prima Latte 2 is an exception in this ranking, as it is not an automatic coffee machine as such, but a manual espresso machine (with its filter holder, ladle and so on). Despite this, it is such a popular and best-selling machine that we are obliged to mention it in a collection of cappuccino coffee machines such as this one.
Its operation is effortless: it has a milk tank, from which the coffee maker sucks the amount it needs, emulsifies it and serves it through the outlet nozzle into the cup or container we have placed underneath.
The Severin S2 Plus is another one of that cheap, high-performance, little-known (or little-recognized, it would be better to say) automatic coffee makers. Its Cappuccinator is connected directly to the outlet, so the milk froth comes out through the same pipe as the coffee, and you don’t have to move the cup when you press the automatic cappuccino option.
The Severin S2+ is an excellent option for those who want to enjoy a coffee machine of this type without leaving their monthly salary in the attempt.
The Bosch superautomatic coffee machine is the improved version of the VeroCafe (which is also a great machine of this type). In addition to cappuccino, the automatic buttons on the Bosch VeroAroma allow us to prepare other specialities such as Café Cream, Café Latte (with milk), or Latte Macchiato in a moment. The cappuccinator outlet goes directly to the coffee dispenser.
It is a not very well known firm in the coffee industry (I’m sure you’re more familiar with Miele washing machines, right?). Many users are surprised when they find out that Miele coffee machines are some of the best One Touch machines on the European market.
We highlight this model, CM6310, with its spectacular design and touch screen. The cappuccinator serves the milk froth through the same outlet channels as the coffee.
Among the many superautomatic coffee machines from Siemens, we are going to keep the EQ.8 model one of the most advanced. It’s not cheap, but it has all the features you’d expect from one of the best superautomatic coffee makers around and a few more tips.
It has several user profiles, a 2.4-litre tank, a massive variety of drinks ready to be prepared (always OOne-touch by pressing a single button), and of course, the milk outlet is served directly on the coffee cup. It comes out through its pipe, located right in the middle of the two espresso outlet nozzles.
Viesta One Touch 500
We conclude our ranking with another automatic coffee machine not very well known worldwide, but very prestigious in Europe. Viesta is a German manufacturer specialized in this type of machine, and on this occasion offers us in its model One Touch 500 a magnificent One Touch coffee machine at a very competitive price.
The Viesta One Touch 500 has no Panarello (or classic frother), which means that it does not cream the milk on any container. What it does is take or suck the milk from the jug or bottle where we have it, foam it inside the coffee maker itself, and serve it through the spout (without having to move the coffee cup from the place).