An all-in-one espresso machine with a foaming milk wand is the best milk frother for cappuccino though handheld whisks and stovetop models also make a mean frothy coffee. But you do have a choice between an all-in-one milk frother or to make the espresso separately. You then foam the milk with either a handheld frother or with a pot on the hob.
In a hurry?
The three-best milk frothers for cappuccino:
Why you need a milk frother at home
We all want that authentic Italian cafe experience. Or at least what we imagine it to be. After all, the closest most of us will get to a backstreet Rome cafe is the nearest Costa or Starbucks.
But never mind. You can make cappuccino at home. But you do need a little bit of kit. The good news is that it needn’t be expensive and you really can make barista quality foamy coffee at home.
In this buyer’s guide we’ll review the six milk frothers we think make the very best cappuccino. You can see all six compared in the tables below. We then review each frother in more detail so you can make an informed choice when it comes to choosing your new milk frother.
Best milk frother for cappuccino
At a glance comparison – full reviews below the tables
1 – EspressoWorks 10Pc All-in-One Barista Bundle
The ultimate home cappuccino maker? Quite possibly. Certainly, if you’re looking for a milk frother to make cappuccino at home this is the one for you. And you don’t just get a cappuccino maker. You get a complete bundle of products. This kit really will set you up as a barista in your own kitchen. It even has stencils you can use to practice your coffee art.
One of the great things about the EspressoWorks coffee maker is that it can be ready in less than a minute. If you’re in a hurry you can still indulge yourself with a beautifully foamy cappuccino. Or an espresso, late, mocha or whichever coffee you wish.
Let’s have a look at this all-in-one cappuccino and espresso machine and bundle in a little more detail.
What’s in the box?
You get a whole bundle of goodies including:
- Cappuccino maker with milk steamer and frother
- Coffee Bean Grinder
- Single Shot Filter Basket
- Double Shot Filter Basket
- 2 x Cappuccino Cups
- 2 x Espresso Cups
- Art Stencil Templates
There really is everything you need here. The only thing you do have to add is coffee beans. You even have the grinder to grind the beans so you get the full coffee making experience.
The star of the show of course is the cappuccino maker itself. The device is a 19-bar pump system which creates wonderful coffee very quickly. It has a 1.4 litre water tank which will keep coffee enthusiasts more than happy with plenty of refills.
To make a barista style cappuccino first grind your beans and make an espresso (the machine is fully adjustable and you can choose single or double shots). Once brewed the built-in milk frother is used to heat and froth the milk to your taste. Barista quality cappuccino at home in a matter of minutes.
2 – Swan Retro Pump Espresso Coffee Machine with Milk Frother
When you’re looking at cappuccino makers the pressure the device produces are important. This Swan machine generates 15 bars of pressure which isn’t the highest but more than good enough to produce great coffee. However, there is a caveat here.
Remember rubbish in rubbish out. In other words, if you use poor quality coffee it doesn’t matter how good the machine is the drink won’t be great. Use the best quality coffee you can and this little cappuccino maker will do a good job for you.
This is a mini version of the barista stations you see in high street coffee shops. You can use the coffee presser so you use whichever ground beans you wish. You can also make one or two cups at once and the built-in milk frother ensures you get the right density of foam to make a great cappuccino. Of course, you can make any type of coffee with this little machine.
This is a really good value device but it is strictly for home use. If you are constantly making frothy coffees you may want to look at a more premium product. But, for most coffee lovers this little machine will be more than adequate.
It is available in more colours than cream but the coloured finished devices are around £10 more expensive than the cream version. The cream colourway though will fit in with any kitchen decor.
Just one word of warning. Other websites say you can use coffee pods with this device. This is wrong. You most certainly cannot use pods. You can however use ESE coffee bags. But I’m not sure why you would want to. Stick with proper coffee beans and you won’t go wrong.
3 – Bialetti Mukka Maculata Cappuccino Maker
The first stovetop model we’ve looked at. Traditionalists prefer this kind of milk frother to electric devices as it brings a more ‘authentic’ experience. They also believe it’s the easiest way to get close to Italian cafe style cappuccino.
The Mukka Maculata is made by Bialetti, an Italian company founded over 100 years ago. They are specialists in producing stovetop coffee makers and milk frothers.
This device is very easy to use and Bialetti claims it makes perfect cappuccino every time. You can also use it to make a latte if you fancy a change.
How to use the Bialetti Mukka Maculata cappuccino maker
The device can be used on all types of stove or hob but not an induction stove. It can even be used on a wood burning stove.
You can get two cups of coffee each time you use this device. First of all, fill the bottom compartment with water. The amount of water you should use depends on whether you have a gas or electric stove. Make sure you read the instructions and use the measuring cup supplied with the Bialetti to ensure you use the right amount of water.
Next fill the coffee basket with your ground beans. Make sure you use an espresso blend. The basket is then placed on top of the water vessel and the body of the device is then screwed down onto the bottom half to make a tight seal.
Inside the upper half of the Bialetti is a button. Press down for cappuccino lift up for latte. Now it’s time to add the milk but be careful not to go above the max fill line. All that remains is to close the lid and pop the device onto the stove with a medium heat. You want to avoid the water boiling too quickly.
When you hear the device ‘pop’ you know your cappuccino is ready. Remove from the heat and allow it to stand for a few moments before pouring out your coffee. It’s that easy.
Do take time to thoroughly clean it after every use or milk scum will build up and spoil your coffee.
If you’re looking for a stovetop milk frother to make cappuccino this is an excellent choice. It makes great coffee and the classic design looks brilliant too.
4 – Zulay Kitchen Milk Boss
The Milk Boss is probably the most popular handheld milk frother for sale on Amazon. It’s got almost 80,000 reviews. There are an awful lot of these handy little frothers in kitchens up and down the country.
That said, at first glance it may seem strange to include this device when discussing the best milk frother for cappuccino. After all, the appliances we’ve reviewed so far are all in one machines which make frothy coffees. The Milk Boss doesn’t do this. It’s purely a milk frother. So, why have we included it here? The answer to that is simple.
It’s a brilliant little device for frothing milk. It makes wonderful foam. And you can’t have a great cappuccino without great foam. The Milk Boss delivers on this.
What is the Milk Boss?
It’s a handheld battery operated frother. It only weighs 136 grams so is light and easy to hold. It comes with a handy stand to store it neatly away when not in use. It’s very easy to clean and easier to use.
Making cappuccino with a handheld milk frother
You do of course have to make your frothy coffee in a couple of stages.
Firstly, you make your espresso. Add milk to the cup and then let the Milk Boss do its magic. Simple insert the whisk end of the device into the coffee and turn it on. Revolve the whisk slowly and within 30 seconds you’ll have a wonderfully foamy cappuccino.
It really is that easy. You can use this little frother with any type of milk and it produces great results every time.
If you already have an espresso machine and want a great value device to turn your espresso into cappuccino the Milk Boss is for you.
5 – De’Longhi Dedica
De’Longhi is a byword for high-quality appliances and they are justly renowned for their coffee machines and cappuccino makers. The Dedica is a super-slimline device which is a traditional barista style pump espresso machine with built-in milk frother perfect for making cappuccino at home.
The Dedica delivers 15 bar pressure to produce perfect coffee every time. The milk frother has an adjustable cappuccino system which creates perfect frothed or steamed milk.
If you enjoy your coffee and have secret aspirations to be a barista this is the cappuccino maker for you. It’s a versatile machine and you’re in complete control.
Making a cappuccino with the De’Longhi Dedica
Creating a great cappuccino with the Dedica is a pretty straight forward process.
The first step is of course to grind your beans. A grinder is not included with the De’Longhi Dedica so you’ll have to buy a separate grinder or ask your supplier to grind the beans for you. A finer grind seems to work best.
Now it’s time to channel your inner barista.
After filling the water tank add the coffee grounds to the tamper and make sure the grounds are packed down firmly. Attach the tamper to the Dedica set the temperature and length of brew. Click the start button and within seconds the coffee will begin to pour into the cup.
Once the coffee is made it’s time to froth the milk. Hold the container with your milk to the frother and turn on. Hold the container at an angle to the frother wand and hold for around 40 seconds.
Add your milk to the prepared espresso and you’ll have a lovely foamy cappuccino.
The De’Longhi Dedica isn’t cheap but it’s an eye-catching device which takes up very little space in the kitchen. And, more importantly, it produces great cups of cappuccino time after time.
6 – YIJIAOYUN Milk Frother
No electricity. No batteries. No programming. No complicated components. No running costs. No fuss.
It’s also the simplest of all the devices we’ve reviewed to use and the easiest to clean.
But for all that it produces wonderfully thick foam for you to make great cups of cappuccino along with other frothy coffees and hot chocolate. And it only takes around 30 seconds. It has enough capacity to make enough frothy milk for two cups of coffee.
How to use the YIJIAOYUN Milk Frother
It really is very easy to use. Simply add your milk to the stainless-steel jug, replace the lid and attached plunger and start pumping the plunger. Half a minute later you’ll have amazing thick and cream foam. Pour onto your prepared espresso and you’ll have a fantastic cappuccino.
A couple of tips. You can heat the milk in the microwave for a few seconds before frothing for a silky foam. Use whole milk rather than semi-skimmed or any of the oat and other types of barista formula milks for the very best results.
If you’re a gadget freak you won’t like this milk frother. But if you’re a no fuss type you’ll love it. It sort of defies belief how this device can create such lovely foam – but it does. And at less than £25 it’s great value for money.
What to consider before buying a milk frother for cappuccino
The six devices we’ve reviewed are all very different. But they have one thing in common. They make great cappuccino.
But the one you choose depends very much on what you’re looking for, how often you’ll use the device, budget and how many other accessories you already have.
If you’re like me – someone who has to have all the kit and gulps cappuccino by the gallon you need an all-in-one cappuccino maker. And the more bits and pieces it comes with the better.
An all-in-one device saves time, they are convenient to use and, as the name suggests, you don’t need anything else to make a perfect cappuccino.
Budget wise you can look to pay anything from around £70 to £300. Price doesn’t always reflect quality of course but if you intend to use the device regularly, in other words if you drink loads of coffee, you need to look at the higher end of the market.
Look for a machine which delivers at least 15 bars of pressure, includes adjustable settings and has a frother wand which swings out. An integrated grinder is an added bonus.
The downside of an all-in-one machine is the cleaning. They can be such a faff to clean as the component parts need to be kept spotless or you’ll get a build-up of limescale or milk scum.
If you already have a coffee maker which you’re happy with a handheld or manual milk frother is probably the best option for you. It will certainly be the easiest on the bank account. These cracking little devices create surprisingly luxurious foam. Add to the coffee from your existing appliance and you’ll bring a whole new dimension to your morning cappuccino.
If you’re a traditionalist who likes your cappuccino made in the old fashioned way a stovetop model will be for you. They’re not much hassle to use and then to be much easier to clean than other appliances. If, however, you have an induction hob you won’t be able to use a stovetop milk frother on it.
So, there you have it. You pay your money and you take your choice. Hopefully you’ve discovered what you need in our choice of the six-best milk frothers for cappuccino at home.
While you enjoy a refreshing beverage let’s take a quick look at the history of the cappuccino and how it became such a popular drink right around the world.
History of the cappuccino
It’s strange when you think of cappuccino you just assume it’s always been a thing. That when the Venetian merchants first imported coffee in the 16th century they immediately began supping foamy cappuccino. Surprisingly not.
Apparently, it wasn’t until the early 1900s, when Queen Victoria had finally shuffled off the mortal coil, that cappuccino was invented. I say ‘apparently’ because no one really knows. What is certain is that it was around the 1930s when it began to be popular with Italian coffee aficionados.
But it became really popular after World War 2 – possibly because it was taken up in a big way by American GIs stationed in Italy. Since then, it has become a staple in the Italian cafe culture and incredibly popular right around the world.
Now of course a frothy cappuccino is the drink of choice for many of us. And one, thanks to the magic of milk frothers, that we can all enjoy at home.
Where did the name cappuccino come from?
It is a great word isn’t it? You won’t be surprised to know the word originated in Italy. I
t apparently came from the brown robes worn by monks as described in Dante’s Inferno. The monks being wrapped in brown is symbolic of the beverage which is dark espresso covered by milk.
How to make a cappuccino
It’s a pretty simple three step process. The key is to use the best coffee and get the right consistency in the foam.
We’ll assume you don’t have an all-in-one cappuccino machine. Though for convenience you can’t beat it.
But I’ve digressed a little. First of all, you make the espresso.
Once the expresso is hot it’s time to froth the milk. Use your electric or handheld frother until the foam is dense and rich. Add the foam slowly to the espresso by pouring into the centre of the cup – not on the sides.
Finally add a dusting of cocoa. And enjoy.
Return to our at a glance comparison tables of the our six choices for the best milk frother for cappuccino.
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