A Guide to Selecting a Milk Frother
A coffee shop offers a maddening variety of milk-based coffee drinks, with varying amounts of milk or milk substitutes: latte, cappuccino, macchiato, caffè mocha, and more. While some recipes call for warm milk, others use milk foam in varying consistencies. And there are also iced drinks as well. Instead of having to buy these specialty drinks, wouldn’t you prefer to try your hand at preparing them yourself? A milk frother can help you get started.
We’ll see that there are milk frothers that you operate by hand and others that are electric. Some electric milk frothers involve no more than just pressing a button for the exact setting. Others even let you select the exact temperature to which you want the milk. And in many cases, the parts are dishwasher safe, for easy cleanup.
We’ll go through some of the options in the Best Reviews Guide list of milk frothers. Maybe they’ll inspire you to try your hand at inventing your own milk-based drinks!
Why would I want a milk frother?
A milk frother can be used to make a variety of different drinks, including lattes, cappuccinos, and hot chocolate. It can also be used to make creamier, frothier versions of coffee and tea.
How does a milk frother work?
A milk frother works by using a spinning whisk to create tiny bubbles of air in milk, which results in a thick, creamy foam.
What types of milk frothers are there?
There are two main types of milk frothers: electric and manual. Electric milk frothers are more expensive but also more convenient, as they do all the work for you. Manual frothers require a little more effort but are more affordable.
Types of Milk Frothers
Looking over the Best Reviews Guide of the best milk frothers, we see that there are a number of designs:
Manual frother: This is the simplest design of milk frother–and also the least expensive. It consists of a glass with a tight-fitting lid and plunger handle. You run the plunger through the milk around 60-90 times, for about 30 seconds., and allow the milk to rest for 60 seconds after that. The froth will thicken by itself during this time. An example is the Fino Milk Creamer Frother.
Fino Milk Creamer Frother
Battery-powered whisk beater: Another common appliance is a battery-powered, hand-held whisk beater for frothing milk. An example is the Bean Envy Milk Frother. The motor is capable of spinning at 19,000 rpm, and froths up a glass of milk in as little as 15 seconds! You can use it for preparing lattes, powdered drinks, and even for beating egg whites!
Bean Envy Milk Frother
Corded Electric Frothers: There are corded milk frothers, such as the Instant Pot 4-in-1 Electric Milk Frother, that use a frothing disc in the base to froth milk. It also has an auto-shutoff when the milk is ready. It’s suitable for non-dairy milk as well, such as almond milk or oat milk. Also, the Instant Pot Milk Frother actually has 4 functions:
Preparing cold frothed milk: This is good for iced drinks, like an iced latte.
Preparing light warm frothed milk: This is appropriate for a warm latte.
Preparing thick warm frothed milk: You’ll use this when preparing a cappuccino.
Warming milk without foaming it: This is perfect for making hot chocolate, where you dissolve a powder in warm milk, but you don’t necessarily need to froth it.
Instant Pot 4-in-1 Electric Milk Frother
What reviewers say
Here are some of the impressions of customers regarding their choice of milk frothers:
Speed of a wand frother: People are amazed at the speed that their handheld milk frother works. For example, the PowerLix Milk Frother can finish frothing a cup of milk in as little as 5-10 seconds. Also, you can expect to get at least two years of work out of it. Even if it stops working altogether, it’s quite inexpensive to have it replaced.
Other options: The handheld wand frothers are quite versatile. You can also use them to prepare salad dressings, cocktails, matcha, whipped cream, sauces, and more!
Saves the trouble of having to microwave milk: An electric milk frother that heats the milk will save you the trouble of having to heat it on a stove or in a microwave. Just be sure that you clean out your equipment after every use. Otherwise, a film of burnt milk may accumulate on the cup and coil.
Here are some tips and important features to look for when selecting a milk frother:
Exact temperature settings: You’ll find high-end milk frothers, which allow you to set the exact temperature of the milk you’re preparing. This takes away a lot of the guesswork and will eliminate the possibility of you scalding the milk. The Breville Milk Cafe Milk Frother is one example of such a high-end machine, where you can dial in what temperature you’d like the foam to be.
Breville Milk Cafe Milk Frother
Separate discs for thick or silky foam: Another feature of the Breville Milk Cafe Milk Frother is that it has two separate discs for frothing the milk: a cappuccino disc, for making thick and creamy foam, and a latte disc, for preparing smooth, silky foam. Other milk frothers just rely on variable speeds to prepare thick or smooth froth.
Breville Milk Cafe Milk Frother's discs for cappuccino and latte preparation
Maximum levels for milk: If you purchase an electric milk frother, you’ll notice that they have different capacities if you’re frothing milk, or just heating it. The Secura Milk Frother allows you to froth 125 ml of milk, or to warm 250 ml of cold milk. It also has a minimum capacity of 75 ml, whether you’re heating or frothing milk. (They also make a larger version, which can froth 250 ml of milk.)
Good for chocolate milk and non-dairy milk: Although the consistency won’t be exactly the same, many of these milk frothers are capable of frothing low-fat milk, chocolate milk, or oat, soy, and rice milk, if you prefer these.
We went through the different types of milk frothers: manual, handheld, and corded electric. The manual and handheld are surprisingly versatile, while the electric is both fast and gives you consistent, effortless results to get the exact temperature and consistency you’re looking for. All told, you’re sure to be able to find a suitable milk frother to experiment with!