Vaporizer coffee machines are a product that is increasingly in demand among consumers, and in this article we will summarize all the options that exist right now in the market for capsule coffee machines that incorporate this extraordinary accessory. But first, let’s get to the point:
What are coffee makers with milk frother?
A milk frother is a small tube that some coffee makers incorporate and that pours a soft, thick, creamy white milk foam directly into the mug, which crowns our favourite drinks such as cappuccinos or latte macchiatos to perfection.
Its inner workings are very simple: they oxygenate the milk to create that fantastic foam. With them, you get the same result as with a simple battery-powered milk frother. The coffee machines with vaporizer can be divided into two types: those that vaporize the milk capsule directly, or those that apply the vaporizer on fresh milk. In this last case, they must incorporate a compartment so that we can deposit there our favourite milk, as you can see in the photos.
Milk foam is an essential detail in great coffees, a perfect ending that separates standard coffee cups from an unforgettable experience. And the coffee machines with vaporizer allow us to enjoy this intense pleasure in our own home and whenever we want.
There are not many coffee machines with a steamer on the market today, and almost all of them are top-of-the-range. Perhaps the Senseo Capuccino is not the most affordable coffee maker with milk frother. However, we love the Nespresso Lattisima for its great value (and because it allows you to use fresh milk from the brand of your choice).
Still, we’ll leave all the analysis to you so that you can evaluate for yourself. Also check out the purchase links because you’re sure to get more than one surprise in the form of an offer.
What types of steamers are there?
Coffee machines with integrated steamers usually implement three different systems to emulsify the milk (each one with different nuances, as you can imagine, but we reduce it to three for simplicity). We’ll explain them to you briefly so that you can get to know them.
Coffee machines with classic milk frothers
It is the most traditional system and the one that first comes to mind when we talk about coffee machines with a steamer that it is a small tube that expels steam. For this purpose, it uses the same water that is in the boiler of the machine, although logically it is heated to a higher temperature so that it vaporizes. And that is introduced in a stainless steel jug, or a similar container where we have the milk ready.
It has this aspect of a lance or metallic lancet, very fine:
The panarello systems are an evolution of the classic spray lance. At first glance, an inexperienced user may not be able to tell them apart. Still, it is thicker than the traditional skimmer, and has a small hole that serves to absorb air and then transmit it in the form of micro-bubbles to the milk.
In this way, in addition to emulsifying it with the steam, it aerates it. And the resulting foam is denser, more creamy, and more consistent. All of this without the user having to make any special effort or possessing barista notions to know how to use the steamer correctly, how to tilt the jug, etc.
The pannarello, in short, is a great help, and for this reason many domestic coffee machines today mount this system to the detriment of the steamer lancet of a lifetime.
When you see or hear about an espresso machine with a milk frother, they’re probably actually making a pannarello.
The automatic cappuccinator
With the two previous systems, both the vaporizer tube and the pannarello, the user must emulsify the milk on his own, and then serve the foam in the coffee or use it to make the recipe he has planned by hand.
There is another more advanced and automatic method for doing this, and that is the automatic cappuccino system. This route is typically implemented by super-automatic coffee machines, although some arm models use it (such as the Oster Prima Latte 2, to cite a well-known one).
How does an automatic cappuccinator work? It’s effortless. We have to worry about having the milk in a container, generally integrated into the coffee machine itself (although some machines can absorb milk from any external container through a sleeve).
By pressing a specific button on the machine, it is the system itself that absorbs the exact amount of milk needed, emulsifies it. Then serves the froth directly onto our cup or glass, so that the drink – usually a cappuccino or latte macchiato – is perfectly prepared without the user having to intervene at all. The height of simplicity! Of course, this is a system that can only be found in high-end coffee machines. Here are some examples:
The best coffee machines with a steamer 2020
And finally, it’s time to review the best coffee machines with steamers that we found in each segment. Before starting, we must remember that drinks that use milk or foam (cappuccinos, lattes or flat white, among others) are always made with espresso. As a consequence, espresso machines are the ones that usually mount the integrated milk frothers. It isn’t easy to find a drip coffee machine with a frother, for example.
Espresso machines with steamer
In the espresso machine segment, both manual and automatic, the steamer is a ubiquitous accessory, and it is rare to find a machine that does not have one. Some of the most representative of the manual machines are, for example, the Delonghi Dedica, the Cecotec Cafelizzia or the Oster Prima Latte. In this segment, the usual thing is to assemble the classic skimmer, or the panarello.
Few of them have an integrated milk tank, but here you can see some of them: the best manual espresso machines with milk tank of the moment.
In the case of automatic coffee machines, there are very few models (all of them in the basic range) that do not include at least one pannarello. And quite a few use the automatic cappucino system, either with sleeves or with an integrated milk tank. We will find this possibility in mid-range (and higher) machines, such as these:
Pod coffee machines with milk frother
In the case of pod coffee machines, the story is somewhat different because many of the existing single-dose formats on the market already include milk powder in their preparations so that consumers can enjoy milk foam drinks without the use of a frother. For this reason, few machines offer it. For example, there are no Dolce Gusto coffee machines with a frother at the moment.
Other formats do not use milk directly (only multiple varieties and origins of espresso coffee), and therefore do not mount this accessory either. It is why there are no Nespresso machines with a frother, for example.
There are, however, some top-of-the-range models that go a little further, and include the automatic cappucino system so that the user can emulsify fresh milk. It is the case with the Nespresso Lattissima or the Senseo Latte Duo, to name but two. Illy also mounts a foamer in some of its machines, although we already know that this manufacturer is top of the range.
But, as we say, the frothing machine is not a standard instrument in the so-called conventional pod coffee machines, which everyone knows.