Who doesn’t enjoy the perfect latte? The question is, do you have to go to a high street coffee shop to get the latte of your dreams or can you make one at home? The good news is you can bin off Starbucks and conjure up the perfect latte at home. The key to getting that lovely rich foam we so enjoy is to use the right milk frother.
Without it, there really is no way for you to make a latte on your own. Unless you just have one of those packet concoctions or a pod coffee machine. But why would you do that?
No, a milk frother is an absolute necessity when it comes to creating the foam that you need for a latte. This is something that’s very easy to do with the right frother, yet virtually impossible to do without one.
Are all milk frothers basically the same?
If you’re thinking that you can simply buy the first milk frother you come across online and make the perfect latte, you might be a bit disappointed.
Most milk frothers are perfectly capable of getting the job done, but like anything else, some are better than others. In order to keep things simple, we’re going to refrain from talking about the milk frothers that are sometimes built into coffee machines.
For the purposes of this particular article, we’ll stick to either a handheld milk frother or those that can be plugged in and used independently of any coffee machine. These are referred to as automatic milk frothers.
Types of milk frothers you can use to make your latte at home
There are a couple of different types of milk frothers that you might be interested in. As previously mentioned, one type which is perfect for making latte is a handheld frother.
Handheld milk frothers
Just as the name implies, this type of device is held in your hands in order to create just the right amount of froth. Basically it’s a small stainless steel whisk mounted on a stem which runs into a plastic body. This kind of frother is powered by batteries which are housed in the plastic body. The whole thing weighs between 100- 200 grams so is really light to hold and easy to use.
Making your latte foam with a handheld milk frother is pretty straightforward. Pour the milk into a pitcher – you can heat it in the microwave or saucepan first depending on whether you prefer hot or cold foam.
Put the whisk head of your frother into the milk and turn it on. With a handheld frother you’re in complete control. You can choose more or less froth by running the device a bit longer (around 30 seconds for a dense foam) or cutting it off a little sooner than usual.
If you’re looking for something that is compact and gives you the ultimate level of control, a handheld milk frother is a good option. Better yet, you can find a number of handheld milk frothers for a rather economical price (well under £20), so you’re not breaking the bank in order to get one.
Automatic milk frothers
A convenient device to use to make your latte is an automatic milk frother. It plugs into a main power outlet and it’s operation could not be easier. You simply pour the milk in, turn it on and let it work its magic.
Most automatic frothers have a range of settings including heating, cold foam and hot foam. Selecting the setting you need is just a question of pushing a button.
These devices are perfect if you are constantly pressed for time and you’re looking for a way to make a really good latte without having to hover over it in order to do so. You only have to run this type of frother for just a couple of minutes and before you know it, you have the froth that you want to create your latte.
After you turn the machine off, you simply add the foam to the coffee of your choosing. These types of appliances don’t take up much space and are easy to use. Just like the handheld version, you can find some at the more economical end of the spectrum starting at around £35 as well as more expensive versions.
What kind of milk should you use to make the best latte?
What happens if you buy what you think is going to be the right milk frother and then it doesn’t perform as expected the first time you use it? It might not be a problem with the frother itself, but instead a problem with the milk.
It’s very important you only use full fat milk when you are making a latte. Low fat and no fat options simply don’t create the froth that is needed for a latte. Using low fat or no fat milk in a frother is a waste of time because you’re not going to get the finished product that you were expecting.
In fact, it’s not much different than making coffee and then simply adding milk straight from a bottle from the fridge. You really want to use full fat milk in order to create a similar product that you would expect to get from a barista.
The only exception is specially formulated barista blend vegan milk. These blends are fully vegan but froth beautifully.
Does it take a lot of practice to make a good latte at home with a milk frother?
The good news is that it really doesn’t. Granted, if you’re into latte art you might not be able to make the elaborate designs that some baristas make, at least not at first.
That said, the designs that you see at coffee shops don’t affect the taste of the latte. If you’re simply looking for a latte you can make on your own that tastes good, you don’t have to worry about taking a crash course as a barista in order to do so.
All you really need is a good cup of coffee, a milk frother of decent quality and full fat or barista blend milk. Brew your coffee and froth your milk. From there, pour the coffee in a cup and add the froth on top. Before you know it, you have the perfect latte and you didn’t even have to go outside your house in order to get it.
And you can even begin to practice that latte art you’ve always wanted to try.
Power though the day with a homemade latte
Lattes taste great, but there’s more to them than that. They can be the difference between getting your day started off on the right foot or wishing you’d stayed in bed all day long.
That said, it’s not always convenient to go to a high street coffee franchise in order to get one. This is especially true if you don’t really live close to a coffee shop or you’re not planning on going out that day. By the same token, going out to get a latte every morning can get expensive fairly quickly.
The truth is, you’ll end up saving a lot of money by buying your own milk frother and making your own latte at home. In addition, it gives you the opportunity to experiment with different coffees.
Furthermore, you could even add things like cinnamon or nutmeg after you pour the froth in order to give your latte a specific flavour. It all comes down to creating the latte that’s perfect for you. Just don’t forget your milk frother. Check out the ones below to help you make a rich foamy latte.
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