Espresso is the base for many of our favorite coffee beverages—the cappuccino, americano, iced latte and blended frappe all require a good, well roasted blend. Frothed milk, created with a small handle putting out steam, is a handy addition for making latte art, and adding foamy goodness to cappuccinos. But with your own a machine, go for even more creative drinks, like an affogato, which is coffee drenched ice cream. While we will always love our local coffee spot, there’s convenience and financial gain when sometimes we opt to make drinks at home.
Espresso machines can be expensive, so if something on the cheaper, yet still well made side is what you are looking for, the Capresso Steam Pro comes in around a cool $60. Also being relatively compact, it won’t swallow a portion of the counter, and can be tucked away in a cabinet when not in use. The frother on this machine beats ones on more pricey variations—it gets the job done in a few seconds.
Hamilton Beach brings another affordable option to the market, and if you are not looking for an insanely rich and foamy brew reminiscent of what could be found in a French cafe, it’s a good pick. Another perk to the machine is the ability to use either pods or ground espresso.