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If you’ve come this far in your search for a Nespresso Lattissima coffee machine and you’re starting to debate the merits of the Lattissima Touch vs. Pro, then you’ve already decided you’re prepared to spend a little more for quality and convenience.
The question is how much more, and what will it get you?
Both machines save you money in the long run by making Starbucks-style coffee-and-milk drinks at the touch of a button, for a fraction of the cost. The Lattissima line are the only Nespresso machines with fully integrated and automated milk frothing, which means they will brew the espresso, froth the milk, and blend them into the drink of your choice—all without any meaningful participation by you.
The Lattissima Pro typically costs $75-$200 more than the Touch, depending on the deal you are able to find, so you’ll want to know what is covered by that extra cost.
What is the difference between Lattissima Touch and Pro?
These are the five differences that matter most:
- 6 individual drink buttons
- Smaller body and capacity
- Plastic exterior
- Hot water obtained via coffee-brewing spout
- 7 drink options on touchscreen display
- Larger body and capacity
- Brushed aluminum exterior
- Separate hot water spout for tea and Americanos
We’ll go over these in more detail as we compare the Lattissima Touch and Lattissima Pro in several categories below.
Lattissima Touch vs. Lattissima Pro
Drink options and selection
The Lattissima Touch has six buttons on top, each offering one of six beverages: espresso, lungo, ristretto, cappuccino, latte macchiato, or frothed milk. If you’re unfamiliar with the terms, a “lungo” is a slightly less concentrated espresso shot with more volume, made by drawing more water through the coffee over a longer brewing time. A “ristretto” is a lower volume, more concentrated espresso that presses less water through the coffee grounds in the same amount of time. A “latte macchiato” seems to be a cross between a latte and a macchiato, which are very similar to begin with. We’re talking about a drink that is mostly milk with a small amount of espresso.
The Lattissima Pro has its controls on a touchscreen display (below) embedded in the top of the machine. They offer the same beverages, plus one that the Touch does not: hot water (for tea, or perhaps topping up an Americano).
On both machines, the drinks are represented by small icons that we found a little hard to decipher. You can’t really tell just by glancing at these pictures which button does what, but after you’ve consulted the manual a few times they should be locked in your memory.
You can certainly get hot water from the Lattissima Touch, but it comes out of the same spout that brews your espresso. You just leave the coffee capsule out of it. This is OK for some things—you can make a nice Americano easily enough—but we found that a slight coffee taste remains when you dispense water after a brew. This isn’t ideal if you drink hot water with lemon, or even if you intend to brew tea.
With the Lattissima Pro, water is dispensed from its own spout. You store the spout in a small compartment on the side of the machine, and it attaches to the same connection as the milk reservoir, drawing from the same source as the steam you use for frothing. This gives the water a much cleaner taste for drinks that require it.
Both the Lattissima Touch and the Lattissima Pro come with the same pre-programmed drink volumes, which are as follows:
|Cappuccino||1.35 oz||1.7 oz|
|Latte Macchiato||1.35 oz||5 oz|
|Warm milk||0||4.1 oz|
You can adjust these settings yourself on both machines. The difference lies in how it’s done.
On the Lattissima Touch, the process is straightforward. You press and hold down the button for three seconds to enter “programming mode” for whatever drink you’re making. The button blinks and the machine starts to brew. You keep the button down until your desired volume is reached, then you release it. The machine remembers it for next time. For a milk drink that uses both milk and espresso, you just repeat this twice—once when it froths the milk, and again when it brews the espresso.
The Lattissima Pro’s touchscreen display makes things a little more complicated. Gotta love technology! You press the “settings” icon on the display and then have to use arrows to scroll through the menu options to find volume programming. Once you get there, the text display provides instructions.
If you’re the sort of person who hung on to your flip phone until 2018 and now use only two functions on your smartphone, you might prefer the slightly old-school programming of the Touch. To be honest, I’m somewhat tech-savvy and even I kind of prefer it.
Accommodating tall cups
The Lattissima Touch has a little less clearance under the spout than the Pro, but it can still accommodate some taller latte glasses if you set the removable drip tray aside.
The larger Lattissima Pro can handle a glass up to 5.5 inches tall when its drip tray is removed. The Pro has another feature that the Touch is lacking, and that is a small platform for short espresso cups. It folds out like a Murphy bed, about halfway up the machine. It’s handy. If you try to brew into a small espresso cup positioned way down on the drip tray, the coffee falls from a height of about five inches and you lose precious caffeine as it splashes over the rim of your cup. The little mid-tier platform raises your espresso cup to a reasonable distance from the spout for a much more controlled pour.
Note that neither of these machines is designed to accommodate tall travel mugs. If you’re looking for a good travel mug that will fit, we recommend the Carter Everywhere mug.
Water and milk capacity
When we talk about the machine’s capacity, we could be talking about any one of three things: the water reservoir, the milk reservoir, or the spent capsule compartment. Let’s focus on the water and milk first.
The Lattissima Touch has less capacity for both—30.5 ounces for water and 12 ounces for milk. You get 44 ounces and 16 ounces, respectively, with the Lattissima Pro. It just means that with the Touch, you’ll be making more frequent trips between the machine and your tap to top up the water, and more frequent refills of milk.
Spent capsule capacity
The most annoying drawback of the Lattissima Touch is the size of the capsule compartment. It holds only nine used capsules, and the machine literally won’t make coffee when it is full. (That mound of capsules inside the machine actually prevents you from inserting a new one in the top of the machine.) At that point, you have no choice but to empty the container.
It’s easy enough to do—it just slides out and you overturn it into your recycling—but it can get a bit messy because there are usually some coffee dregs pooled in the bottom. You’ll probably want to give the whole container a rinse each time, and you may need to wipe your counter if the container drips while you’re removing it. Again, not a huge deal, but it’s enough fuss on a groggy morning to make you want to do it as infrequently as possible.
And that’s why we love the 14-capsule capacity of the Lattissima Pro. If the capsules land just right, you might even fit 15 of them in there. If you brew two shots a day, this means you’ll be able to go a full week without dumping the capsule container, as opposed to every 4-5 days for the Touch.
Every time you insert a new capsule into the top of the machine, the previous capsule drops into a container inside the machine. When that container is full, you cannot insert a new capsule and you must empty the container.
Size and weight
The Lattissima Touch is a more compact machine (although they are both remarkably compact for what they do), measuring 6.8 inches wide and 10.2 inches tall when you’re staring straight at it, and 12.6 inches front to back.
The Lattissima Pro is almost an inch wider, and takes up about half an inch more in both height and depth. Where you’ll really notice a difference is in the Pro’s heft. It weighs almost three pounds more than the Touch.
The lighter weight of the Lattissima Touch makes sense when you consider its plastic body. Build materials tend to make a big difference in the price of a coffee machine, and they can’t help but influence your perception of the machine’s quality and durability. Although the Touch looks quite stylish in either silver or black, you can tell as soon as you lay your hands on the Pro that it’s on another level.
The Lattissima Pro’s body is made of brushed aluminum, which lends it extra weight and gives the overall impression of a much more solidly built machine. And of course it still looks great, almost like brushed steel.
Benefits of the Lattissima Touch and Lattissima Pro
Because the Lattissima Touch and Lattissima Pro are very close cousins, they are more alike than they are different. Here are some of the things we liked best, which you’ll get with either machine.
They heat up fast
Nespresso machines are not only easy, they’re quick. These ones get up to temperature within 25 seconds of being turned on, and even less than that if you’re only making a milk drink. When you consider that many high-end home espresso machines take 15 minutes or more just to heat up enough for you to start brewing, this is remarkable. If your mornings are busy (and whose aren’t?), neither the Touch nor the Pro will slow you down.
They don’t wake up late risers
We’ve heard some bone-rattling espresso machines in our testing, but these Lattissimas are not among them. Even some of the older Nespresso machines like the Pixie and the Inissia can stir a sleeping teenager on a Saturday morning, but these machines are right there with the quietest Nespresso units.
They froth milk surprisingly well
We’re always skeptical of built-in milk frothers that are supposed to make things “easier.” The fact is, nothing beats a skilled barista working with a good steam wand and a metal frothing pitcher. However, the frothers that come with the Touch and Pro do a really good job. It’s not quite the silky microfoam you need for intricate latte art, but it’s better than what you get from the vast majority of automatic frothers. It even beats the foam from Nespresso’s own Aeroccino frother, which is a standalone frother that can be purchased separately if your machine doesn’t have one.
You can remove the water reservoir
We like how the water tanks fit snugly onto the backs of the Touch and the Pro, providing continuity to the machines’ clean lines. We particularly like the fact that they come off for washing and refilling at the sink (although this can get tricky, as we’ll discuss in a moment). Each tank has a flip cover that doubles as a handle, and the handle is sturdy enough to carry the weight of a full tank of water.
They’ll tell you when it’s time to descale
You have to descale a Nespresso machine every few months to remove any mineral deposits that your water has left inside the machine. Descaling just means running one or two brew cycles using an acidic cleansing solution, and then another couple to rinse the machine out. The frequency of this operation varies depending on how “hard,” or mineral-heavy, your water is.
Both these machines come with a water hardness measuring strip that will give you a reading from your tap water. Once you know what it says, you can enter the information into the machine and it will provide you with an automatic reminder whenever it’s time to descale.
They have a two-year warranty
Both the Touch and the Pro come with a two-year warranty from De’Longhi, which manufactures the machines on behalf of Nespresso. That’s nice for peace of mind.
Drawbacks of the Lattissima Touch and Lattissima Pro
Honestly, there aren’t many. We’ve mentioned that the icons representing different drinks can be hard to decipher at first. You will learn those eventually.
The milk frothers demand some work. Milk goes bad rather quickly, so you must commit to cleaning the frothing apparatus every few days. It’s a five-piece unit on both machines and it is quite easy to disassemble.
The pieces can go in the dishwasher (but some of them are small—don’t lose them!). Between washes, make sure you run steam through the milk nozzle after every use to clear out residue.
If there’s one other thing you might find problematic, it may be the rear-mounting of the water reservoirs. The tanks are somewhat hidden at the back of the machine, so it may take some effort on your part to check the water level if you keep your machine wedged between other kitchen items and backed up against a wall.
The reservoir isn’t hard to remove on an open counter, but again, if your kitchen is crowded and you have it tucked under the cabinets, it will require some contortions to detach it. And it’s almost impossible to refill from a pitcher in this situation.
Specifications: Lattissima Touch vs. Lattissima Pro
|Lattissima Touch||Lattissima Pro|
|Weight||9.9 lbs||12.6 lbs|
|Water tank capacity||30.5 oz||44 oz|
|Milk container capacity||12 oz||16 oz|
|Used capsule capacity||9||14|
|Dimensions||6.8" W x 12.6" D x 7.6" H||7.6" W x 13" D x 10.8" H|
Nespresso Lattissima Touch recap
The Nespresso Lattissima Touch is a smart-looking, compact espresso machine that can fulfill most of your coffee needs at the touch of a button. It is designed for quickness and convenience rather than experimentation. If you’re interested in developing barista skills and learning the finer points of espresso-making, this machine has way too much automation for that, but the quality of its beverages is not far off those made by actual baristas. While not at the top of the Lattissima line, it can do just about everything the Pro can, with a little less capacity and a slightly less sophisticated look and feel.
- stylish design
- modest footprint
- quiet when it brews
- makes no mistakes
- allows customization through programming
- takes Nespresso capsules only
- milk reservoir requires frequent cleaning
- small capsule collection capacity
Nespresso Lattissima Pro recap
The Nespresso Lattissima Pro outdoes all other machines in the Lattissima line—including the Touch—in terms of its style and build quality. Its brushed aluminum exterior, touchscreen display, substantial weight and cost make it seem more like an investment than a purchase. And an investment it is, if you consider how much money it can save you in the long run. The touchscreen might seem like overkill to some, and those people could save some money by opting for the Touch, but they would also be compromising somewhat on appearance and sturdiness.
- solid aluminum build
- larger capacity all around
- quiet when it brews
- ease of use and cleanup
- allows customization through programming
- most expensive model
- takes Nespresso capsules only
- milk reservoir requires frequent cleaning
- no alternative colors available
What is Nespresso coffee?
Nespresso was born when Éric Favre developed a high-end capsule brewing system for Nestlé. Originally, they marketed the machines toward businesses such as hotels, but later expanded into the home consumer market. Nespresso continues to position itself as a luxury brand.
Favre designed the system after examining large-scale professional espresso machines in restaurants and talking to the people who operated them. His system uses hermetically sealed aluminum capsules filled with precise doses of pre-ground coffee to create espresso with little need for input from the user.
Today, a number of kitchen appliance manufacturers in various countries are licensed by Nespresso to produce machines using their technology. The Lattissima line is produced exclusively by Italian manufacturer De’Longhi, whose main competitor in the Nespresso market is Australia’s Breville. We cover De’Longhi and Breville in an earlier post.
Besides ultra-convenient brewing, Nespresso offers a top-shelf consumer experience centered on sleek boutiques with one-on-one, hands-on service.
How does Nespresso work?
Across its range of home- and commercial-use capsule espresso machines, the central mechanics of Nespresso’s brewing system remain the same: The user loads an aluminum capsule of ground coffee. The machine pierces one end of the capsule and injects hot water at high pressure. The capsule ruptures at the other end, allowing brewed coffee to flow into a cup.
This method provides the heat and pressure required for espresso’s fast extraction, creating a concentrated brew with rich crema at the press of a single button.
Other important design features include a fast-heating boiler and automatic pressure release valve to ensure safety in the event of a clog.
Coffee is very sensitive to freshness. Sealed capsules provide the convenience of pre-ground, pre-measured coffee while eliminating the constant need to replenish unsealed beans, grind at home, and worry about special storage.
So there you go. We’ve laid out the differences between the Lattissima Touch and the Lattissima Pro as clearly as possible, and we hope this has shed some light on what you’re paying for when you spend the extra money for the Pro. With coffee machines in general, nothing does more to elevate the price than building materials, and we believe the solidity and size of the Pro are the biggest contributors to the price tag.