The 5 Best Espresso Machines Without a Built In Frother

Some people need milk with their coffee, others prefer to drink it black every time. If you are an espresso lover who doesn’t use milk in your coffee, you may find that espresso machines with milk frothers are unnecessary for your lifestyle.

Espresso makers are the only way to make a number of delicious drinks. If you want to make a perfect shot of your favorite type of espresso, you will need a good machine to do it. Most machines come equipped with a milk frother because espresso shots are used to make drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, which require steamed milk.

If you are on the lookout for an espresso machine that does not include a milk frother, don’t get too discouraged by the masses of espresso makers that do come with a milk frother. It can be difficult to sift through them all and find the one that will meet your needs, but they are out there.

The variety of machines that do not have milk frothers is large. They tend to be more unconventional, like portable machines or ones that brew from pods. Since their features vary so greatly, it’s important to really understand what each one offers. Not all espresso machines without milk frothers will suit each person’s needs.

We’ve taken a look at the top espresso machines without frothers to make your search easier. Take a look at the features of these products, and decide which ones are important for you.

Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine

This Nespresso machine makes delicious, barista-grade coffee straight from a pod. You can make a single serve portion of coffee, or a rich shot of espresso.

The machine is advanced in its brewing technology, as it uses their patented barcode technology which will produce the optimal cup based on the pod you use. It can brew all sizes of espresso shots, and make larger cups of coffee.

The espresso maker has a 40 ounce water reservoir in a removable tank. It will heat up in only 15 seconds, and will shut off automatically after nine minutes of inactivity.

Mueller Espresso Machine

This espresso maker also uses pods to brew espresso, as it is compatible with Nespresso brand capsules. That doesn’t mean it loses any flavor though. The machine features a high, 20 bar pressure pump that delivers all of the delicate flavors and aroma you’d expect from an espresso shot.

The machine heats up in about 25 seconds, and will shut off automatically after 10 minutes of inactivity. It holds just under four cups of water, and takes up little space on a counter.

The device uses just two easy one-touch buttons to choose between short or long espresso shots. You can also reprogram it and customize the amounts to your liking.

Flair Signature Espresso Maker

If you don’t want to use pods to brew coffee, this machine might be more up your alley. It’s got a rather unconventional, futuristic look to it.

It is a human operated machine, meaning you will have to pump the espresso manually. It takes a little bit of force to press down the lever, but nothing that requires too much work from the user.

The water reservoir holds about two ounces, so you will need to refill it for each use. It is easy to disassemble and clean, and easy to take on the go.

WACACO Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker

Portable espresso makers are a good choice if you are looking to find a way to make espresso without a milk frother. This one is super small and compact, and comes in a sleek design.

This machine uses fresh coffee grounds, so you’ll want to make sure you have a good grinder to get the best taste out of your coffee. The only other thing you’ll need is hot water.

In order to brew espresso, you just need to pump the machine a few times manually. It has a detachable cup that you could even pour your drink directly into.

This would be a great choice for someone who likes the idea of being able to take their machine on the go with them, or even on a camping trip. If you aren’t looking to use pods, this would also be a good choice.

Lavazza Blue LB910

This is another espresso machine without a milk frother that uses pods. You will need to get the specific Lavazza brand pods in order to use it. Luckily, the machine comes with 400 so you shouldn’t have to worry for awhile.

The cup size is adjustable, so you can brew small shots or make a larger amount of coffee. It uses a simple, programmable brewing button so there won’t be any confusion while brewing.

The machine is small and compact, and would not take up much space on a countertop. The design is sleek and elegant and would fit well with most kitchen items.

Buyer’s Guide

It can be pretty difficult to find a good espresso machine that doesn’t include a milk frother. Depending on what you intend to make, and how often, it may be in your best interest to buy a regular machine with a milk frother, as most do come with one. Others will benefit greatly from finding a machine that does not use a frother.

The first thing you’ll  need to think about is why it is important to not get a milk frother. Some choose to buy a machine with a milk frother and not use it, as espresso makers without milk frothers are usually less conventional.

A lot of people will benefit from using a machine that brews espresso from pods. There are plenty that do not have milk frothers, and just brew espresso from a capsule. Consistency is a huge benefit to this, as it does not take any extra skill to brew a delicious shot the same each day.

Others might find it more inconvenient to get a machine that brews pods, because then they’ll just have to buy more items. For these people, there are non-conventional espresso machines without frothers, like portable ones. Others might find that a regular espresso machine is less hassle.

Consider what you plan to do with your espresso machine. There are some lifestyles that are obviously more compatible with certain machines than others. You just need to figure out what features are most important to you.


Why do most espresso machines come with milk frothers?

Most machines come equipped with frothers because there is the demand for it. If you want to make one of the many espresso-based drinks that use milk, you will need a steamer. Including a frothing wand with an espresso machine makes sense because you can get the most use out of your machine with the addition of one small feature.

Can I brew regular coffee out of an espresso maker?

Some of the espresso makers without milk frothers we went over earlier brew out of a pod, and you can brew a larger amount of coffee with those pods as well. You can also just brew an americano which is a combination of water and espresso shots to make a larger cup.

You can’t brew a full pot out of an espresso maker though.

Can I steam milk without a frother if I need to?

If you decide to go for an espresso maker without a milk frother, but end up wanting to make something with steamed milk, it will be a bit more of a challenge.

Achieving the right foam for espresso drinks comes from a lot of practice and skill. You may end up disappointed.

There are steaming wands available which you could purchase to use on the side of your espresso maker.


Finding an espresso maker that does not use a milk frother can be difficult. There are some available, you just have to sift through the products to see which is best.

The range of espresso machines without milk frothers is large. There aren’t a lot of middle ground machines that simply don’t have a milk frothing wand. It is pretty standard to include the wand, so finding alternatives can be a challenge.

For me, I prefer to just use my espresso machine with a frothing wand. I do steam milk sometimes, so it would be unnecessary to go find one that doesn’t offer that feature.

I would go for the Nespresso machine if I had to choose an espresso machine without a milk frother. This is because it adds a whole other layer of convenience to my life by having everything packed in a capsule, and brewing the right tasting coffee every single time. I like single-serve machines like Nespresso because they guarantee consistency with each brew.

Whatever you end up choosing, just be sure it aligns with your lifestyle and needs. There are a lot of options to choose from, with vastly different features. Figure out what you need the most from your machine, and the rest should come easy.

Brian Mounts

Head blogger, editor, and owner of "Top Off My Coffee", a website that has been educating readers about coffee brewing techniques and equipment since 2012.

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