Consumer Reports

How to Save on Coffee Drinks by Making Them at Home

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Curb your spending and recreate that coffeehouse experience all in the comfort of your own kitchen? Consumer Reports reveals which coffee machines deliver espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos–and yes, plain old coffee– from the comfort of your own home. 

Whether it’s a quick shot of espresso or a foamy cappuccino, those daily coffee drinks can add up. 

So nothing beats the vibe of your favorite coffee shop but you can easily recoup the money on those lattes by making them at home.

But do those at-home machines that can make espressos, cappuccinos and more really deliver the same coffeehouse-style drink? Consumer Reports wanted to find out.

To see how these machines perform, Consumer Reports’ testers look at factors like brew speed, temperature, taste and even how easy each one is to use. 

One of the best in Consumer Reports' tests is the Nespresso by DeLonghi Lattissima One Espresso Maker. It’s pricey at $400 but it can brew coffee, espresso, and cappuccinos and even features a built-in milk frother.

For less money consider the Ninja Specialty for $170. It can brew both hot and iced coffee, lattes, macchiatos and other specialty brews. It also has a built-in milk frother. 

If you’re happy with your current brewing method, there’s another way to up your at-home coffee craft — use a milk frother! Consumer Reports tried out several, from hand-held whisks to stand-alone machines. 

The Nespresso Aeroccino4 consistently frothed up a variety of milks. The $119 price tag is a bit steep but it would make a great gift or a fun new kitchen gadget. 

If you prefer to keep it basic, you can whip up a variety of milks with the handheld $20 Aerolatte To-Go. 

Keep in mind different milks produce different foams. Most cafes prefer whole milk for frothing because it creates a nice foam that’s easy to work with. If you’re avoiding dairy, consider oat milk - it pairs well with the flavors in coffee plus it foams better than almond or soy. 

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