It might surprise you but you can make a fantastic flat white with a milk frother. I know what you’re thinking. You use a milk frother to make foam for cappuccinos and lattes. How can it make a flat white? I hear you.
Of course, even a flat white coffee should have a micro layer of foam and some milk frothers have a steam function which quickly heats the milk you need for a lovely flat white. Using a milk frother takes the hassle out of preparing the milk and, as a wonderful bonus, you can also use it to make any type of frothy coffee for when you fancy a change.
In a hurry?
Best milk frother for flat white – Morpilot 4 in 1 Automatic Frother
How to make a flat white with a milk frother
It’s a pretty quick and easy process. Let’s break it down into a few steps.
Make an espresso in your coffee machine using beans or pods. Pour the coffee into a cup.
Heat the milk to 65 degrees in your milk frother. The ratio should be ⅓ coffee to ⅔ milk. Heating the milk without the frother attachment will make it perfect for a flat white with just a small amount of foam. Other frothers have different foam settings making it easy to get the right amount of froth for your flat white. You only want a centimetre of foam at the most.
Take your carafe of milk and position the spout so it’s only a couple of centimetres above the coffee. Start pouring into the centre of the cup. Pour steadily but not quickly. As the level of the drink rises towards the carafe tilt it to increase the rate of pour. This should make the milk spread faster towards the back of the cup creating a pattern on top of the milk.
What about the milk?
When using a frother the milk you use is important. For steaming, which you’ll need for a flat white, whole milk is undoubtedly the best. The fats and protein help create the texture you need when steaming or frothing. Which is why you won’t get very good results with non-fat milk. On the other hand, you can’t beat organic whole milk.
One thing I would say is that once you find a brand of milk which works well for you, stick with it. Different brands of whole milk will give different results and some froth better than others.
But, if you’re vegan or want to avoid animal fats, there is a wonderful range of barista blend milk which is specially formulated for use with milk frothers and coffee machines. We’ve created a buyer’s guide to barista milk elsewhere on the site. You can read it here. But why not give these barista blend plant-based milks a try for your next flat white?
A sweet tasting alternative to whole milk. It provides a nice creamy foam which is perfect for your flat white and can be whipped up a storm for cappuccino and latte. There are different brands to choose from but Oatly Barista Blend is popular and always makes fantastic coffee. You can see it on Amazon by clicking here.
Probably the most popular of all the dairy alternatives. The barista blends make great foam for all types of coffee and you can even indulge in a spot of latte art. It’s very sweet and will definitely add a wonderful finishing touch to your flat white. Try Blue Diamond Almonds Breeze. You can find it on Amazon here.
Most people are aware of soya milk even if they haven’t tried it. It produces a dense foam and isn’t as sweet as other non-dairy alternatives. You probably won’t be able to indulge your passion for latte art but the Alpro Professional Blend has been specially formulated for the home-based coffee enthusiast. You can purchase it on Amazon here.
Whether you try non-dairy alternatives or stick with whole milk you’ll need a milk frother to make your flat white. There are different types of frother you can choose from including automatic electric frothers and stovetop models. Or if you want to really channel your inner barista a coffee machine with built-in milk frother and steamer will have you turning out Costa style coffees in no time.
Let’s talk about the alternatives before having a closer look at some specific milk frothers which are guaranteed to do you a great flat white.
Automatic electric milk frothers
These small appliances are the ones most people think of when they imagine a milk frother in their kitchen. They are a jug or carafe, usually have a detachable base like a kettle and are powered by mains electricity. They have a lid which seals the milk inside the jug. This type of appliance heats and froths the milk. Some have multiple settings including cold and warm frothing. Some electric milk frothers allow you to control the volume of foam which makes them perfect for flat whites.
Most automatic or electric milk frohers won’t have a flat white option. However, you can still make the milk for a flat white easily enough. These frothers have a whisk which is basically a ring with a stainless-steel mesh around it. It may even be a plastic design. This whisk attaches to the bottom of the jug either magnetically or by a slot.
To make the milk for your flat white REMOVE this whisk. The frother will heat / steam the milk without frothing.
These milk frothers are very easy to use. Simply press a button and two minutes later you’ll have heated milk or dense creamy foam. Price wise they vary from around £30 up to £70 plus.
Manual milk frothers
These are great fun. They work by pushing a plunger up and down. No batteries or electricity needed. They are basically a jug. The lid contains the plunger which froths the milk. These aren’t the best for flat whites but they can be used.
Simply pour the milk into the jug, heat on the hob, replace the lid and pump the handle to create the foam. For frothy coffees such as cappuccinos 20 or 30 pumps will create a dense foam. Obviously for a flat white you only want micro foam. So only a few pumps will be needed. But you may need to experiment to get the right amount of foam. And, to be honest, you’re much better off with an automatic frother.
Bit of a grand label but basically, I mean coffee machines with built-in milk frothers. I call them barista machines because we all love slamming the temper around and playing with the steamer.
Let’s face it, everyone wants to be a barista. Possibly with the exception of the actual baristas in high street coffee franchises who work long hours for not a lot of pay. Anyway, moving on.
These coffee machines, sometimes labelled as espresso or cappuccino makers, are great fun. Some at the higher end of the market include a container with barista style coffee tamper, steamer, frother and built-in grinder. They’ll include different settings for making different types of coffee and hot chocolate. Making a coffee is just so much fun.
Of course, not all coffee machines have all those features. Some are basic coffee machines but all have a built-in milk frother. Prices vary from around £70 and rise to a few hundred pounds. At the premium end of the market the devices are just a very short step behind professional machines used in independent coffee shops.
So those are the types of milk frother you can use to make your coffee. But which in particular should you be looking at? We’ve picked six very different frothers for you to consider. And all of them make a great flat white.
The best milk frother for making flat white coffee
Full reviews follow below the tables
Morpilot 4 in 1 milk frother
An automatic milk frother with four in one functionality. The first thing you’ll notice about the Morpilot frother is its unique styling. It doesn’t have a handle but the ribbed ergonomic body makes it easy to pick up and pour. The product is insulated so don’t worry about it becoming too hot to handle.
Quirky design features aside this is a very good milk frother. It’s two pieces in that the main body detached from the power base.
You can choose the foam setting via the one button control on the front of the device:
- Press once for warm and dense foam.
- Press twice for warm and airy foam.
- Press three times for hot milk.
- Press four times for cold milk foam.
For a flat white you can heat your milk without the whisk attachment to get the small amount of foam you need.
A nice touch by Morpilot is the couple of accessories they’ve bundled in with their milk frother. There’s a rubber spatula which you use to get your foam out of the container. And there is also a cleaning brush. Use the brush if there are any stubborn stains but usually a quick rinse under the tap will be all you need thanks to the non-stick interior.
This is a nice machine with extra features including safety devices such as an automatic temperature cut off and non-slip base.
Enloy manual milk frother
As we discussed earlier manual frothers are the easiest of all to use. And they deliver lovely dense and rich foam. For a flat white of course you don’t want the density of a cappuccino foam. But the density of foam is completely under your control.
Manual frothers work by pumping the handle up and down so, with practice, you can control the volume and density of the foam you make. It’ll be a bit of trial and error admittedly but well worth it.
The carafe of the frother is made from stainless steel which will never rust. The thick handle is comfortable and the lip on the carafe makes it easy to control your pour. Nice if you’re trying your hand at latte art.
You can froth enough milk for at least two cups of coffee as the carafe has a capacity of 800ml. Though you should never fill it more than a third full – especially if you want thick froth.
A great value milk frother that is easy to use, simple to clean and good fun to have in the kitchen.
VAVA milk frother
A popular product on Amazon for several years, the VAVA milk frother and warmer has been given a brand-new upgrade for this year. Already a very good milk frother the new version takes it to a whole new level.
VAVA claim that using their frother will help you ‘become the barista of your household and have everyone hooked on cafe style coffee’. Which is exactly what most of us want to achieve. And that’s pretty good for a product you can pick up for well under fifty quid.
The first thing to say is that this cracking little device can not only heat milk but delivers three different textures of foam:
- Cold dense foam.
- Warm dense foam.
- Hot airy foam.
For flat white you can choose a foam setting or, and this will probably work better, remove the whisk. The milk steamer will create a small amount of foam on its own. If you fancy a frothy coffee such as cappuccino the warm airy foam is the option you should choose.
Extra whisks are included so you can prepare every type of coffee or hot chocolate you can imagine. It’s very easy to use and with the choice of different temperatures and whisks you won’t have any problems making the froth for all types of milky coffee.
The device itself looks good and its sleek design will fit with any kitchen decor. And it won’t take up much room in a cupboard if you’re struggling for space on the worktops.
Swann Nordic one touch espresso machine
Swan are always spot on with design. And this excellent little espresso machine carries on that fine tradition.
Given its name you won’t be surprised to learn the Swan Nordic has a Scandinavian design. And it looks amazing. However, the ‘soft touch’ material used in its manufacture does tend to mark and cleaning strains from the body can be a difficult task. The manufacturers recommend ‘Astonish’ to remove any marks on the body caused by spilt coffee.
What is the Swan Nordic?
It’s an espresso machine with a built-in frother steamer. It has an easy one touch operation and promises, and delivers, barista style coffee at the press of a button.
It has two tanks – a large 1.7 litre water tank and 500ml milk container. This means you can make plenty of coffee without the hassle of continually refilling the machine.
Let’s talk about the features of this great little machine.
Impressively the Swan Nordic delivers 20 bars of pressure. This is more than most machines not only in its price point but more expensive ones too.
The Nordic has its own coffee presser but no grinder so you’ll have to grind your own beans or buy them ready ground. You can also use Easy Serve Espresso pods too but for best results stick to ground coffee.
This is a semi-automatic machine which more or less does everything for you. The different settings and temperature controls allow you to make wonderful flat whites, cappuccinos, lattes and more. The built-in milk frother means you have complete control over the volume of foam you make.
An excellent all-round machine that delivers great cups of coffee. The Swan Nordic comes with a two-year warranty.
Judge milk frother
Judge are a British company well known for their small kitchen appliances. They are renowned for their reliability. Their electric milk frother is such an easy-to-use gadget which has no mechanical parts so is equally easy to clean.
The milk frother has wonderful retro styling and is very robust. It’s easy to use as you can see from our ratings. It delivers warm foam very quickly and is perfect for coffees from Cappuccinos to flat whites.
How to use the Judge electric milk frother
As we mentioned above it’s very easy to make great coffee with this frother.
All you do is pour your milk into the main body, pop the lid back on and press the button which is housed on the sturdy handle. Inside the body is an element with a removable whisk which revolves and froths the milk while it warms.
In around two minutes you’ll have wonderful foam. Lift the body off its base and pour the froth onto your prepared coffee.
A really simple but very effective frother for foaming milk at the touch of a button.
Homever traditional pump espresso machine
If you’re asked to think of a traditional coffee machine this is the machine your imagination would conjure up.
The front of the machine features the control panel including push button selection for all the different types of coffee. Beneath the presser is the drip tray.
Unlike some other machines in its price bracket the Homever espresso and cappuccino machine can make two cups of coffee at once.
This is a pump machine which generates an impressive 15 bars of pressure. It can make all kinds of Italian coffee from double espresso to cappuccino to flat white.
This machine is packed with features including:
- 1.5 litre removable water tank.
- Washable drip tray.
- Cup warming function.
- Integrated milk frother with a high-pressure steam nozzle.
- Special cappuccino system.
- Touch button control panel.
With its large capacity instant coffee is only the press of a button away. It not only looks good but delivers great tasting coffee. But, be aware you should only use medium to extra coarse ground beans. Avoid fine or extra fine grounds as they will just pass through the machine. That small gripe aside this is an excellent machine for the wannabe home barista.
What to look for when buying a milk frother to make flat white coffee
As we’ve seen when it comes to choosing a milk frother you’re certainly not short of options.
Which one you choose depends on whether you want a coffee machine with all the bells and whistles or a simpler, and more affordable, milk frother which produces the foam you need for the coffee you’ve already prepared.
If you already have an espresso machine a milk frother is all you need.
On the other hand, if you want to go the whole hog an all-in-one machine with a coffee maker, integrated milk frother and adjustable settings will allow you to become a professional barista in the comfort of your own home.
This article contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure notice for further information.