How to use a manual milk frother

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Out of all the gadgets and appliances you could have in your kitchen a manual milk frother has to be the easiest to use. It’s also great value for money and makes amazing froth for your coffee in around 30 seconds by working the handle on the lid up and down. That’s the shorthand version.

Let’s look at how to use a manual milk frother in more detail. Watch the video below to see just how easy it is to make a great foamy coffee in just a couple of minutes. Or, if you prefer to read rather than watch, we document the process below.

How to use a manual milk frother to make a great tasting foamy coffee

The frother we’re using is the Bodum Latteo. It’s a fantastic little device. It’s designed in Denmark and made in Switzerland. It’s a cut above the Chinese made models and is one of the few manual frothers you can put directly into the microwave to heat the milk.

The Latteo typically costs around £25 but you can often find it cheaper on Amazon. You can check the latest price by clicking here.

Must read article: What is the difference between a handheld and a manual milk frother?

To make a sweet, very frothy coffee in just a couple of minutes you’ll need:

  • Manual milk frother.
  • Shot of coffee for the base (we used 50ml of Cordano from a pod machine).
  • 200ml of whole milk.
  • A milk thermometer.
  • Microwave oven.

The process

Let’s start with the milk. Use whole or full fat milk. It produces the best froth with a dense texture and importantly the foam keeps it’s consistency after frothing. If you’re vegan or vegetarian use barista blend plant based milks. They froth very well.

You want around 200ml of milk – remember once you start frothing the milk will double in volume. The carafe of the Latteo has a handy maximum fill line. Pour the milk up to that line and you’ll be fine.

For most coffees you’ll want to use warm milk. You’ll also find warmer milk froths better and tastes sweeter than cold milk.

To heat the milk, pop the carafe into the microwave. To get the right temperature you’ll need to heat the milk for between 50 and 90 seconds.

While you’re heating the milk, prepare your coffee base in your espresso, pod or filter machine. Most frothy coffees use espresso as a base but feel free to experiment with any good quality coffee.

Must read article: Top 10 tips on how to use a manual milk frother

Once the coffee is prepared it’s back to the milk.

Exactly how long it will take to heat your milk will depend on the microwave you have. You may have to experiment a little before you nail down the exact time you need to set the microwave for.

You’re looking to achieve a temperature of between 65 and 70 degrees, that’s the sweet spot. But be very careful not to boil the milk as it will spoil and taste very bitter.

A milk thermometer will help with this. They are really useful and even the best ones cost well under £10. Once you’ve got the right temperature it’s time to start frothing. Which is the fun part.

It’s really easy to use a manual milk frother. Put the lid on the frother, make sure the spout is closed and just start pressing the plunger up and down for about 30 seconds or so. The plunger whips and froths the milk. It’s a very simple procedure and a bit of fun.

manual milk frother plunger

The plunger from a manual milk frother

Very quickly you’ll see the milk begin to increase in volume and the foam will begin to form. Once you’re happy with the volume of froth, remove the lid, give it a little shake and as easy as that you’ve made lovely, thick and warm foamy milk.

Wait about a minute for your milk to settle then just add it to your coffee base. For extra froth just spoon what’s left in the carafe onto the top of the warm milk you’ve already added to your coffee.

And that’s how to use a manual milk frother to make great tasting foamy coffee. As you’ve seen it’s a very easy and quick process. If you haven’t made coffee like this before, give it a go. You’ll be amazed at how nice the coffee tastes.

Cup of cappuccino coffee on wooden table

The only caveat here is to use a good quality coffee as your base. If you use cheap, nasty coffee it doesn’t matter how well you froth the milk the coffee will still taste cheap.

The bottom line here is to get yourself a manual milk frother, some good quality coffee and a dash of milk and you’ll never go back to Starbucks again.

The top 3 manual milk frothers

Brand
Judge
Bodum Latteo
Lychee
Judge JA90 Milk Frother/Sauce Pot
Bodum 1446-01 Latteo Milk Frother, Borosilicate Glass - 0.25 L, Black/ Transparent
Lychee Stainless Steel Milk Frother Cappuccino Coffee Frother Double Froth Pump (400ml)
Overall Rating
4.5
4.5
4.3
Blending Power
4.6
4.4
4.2
Ease of Use
4.6
4.6
4.5
Ease of Cleaning
4.7
4.6
4.2
Brand
Judge
Judge JA90 Milk Frother/Sauce Pot
Overall Rating
4.5
Blending Power
4.6
Ease of Use
4.6
Ease of Cleaning
4.7
Brand
Bodum Latteo
Bodum 1446-01 Latteo Milk Frother, Borosilicate Glass - 0.25 L, Black/ Transparent
Overall Rating
4.5
Blending Power
4.4
Ease of Use
4.6
Ease of Cleaning
4.6
Brand
Lychee
Lychee Stainless Steel Milk Frother Cappuccino Coffee Frother Double Froth Pump (400ml)
Overall Rating
4.3
Blending Power
4.2
Ease of Use
4.5
Ease of Cleaning
4.2

 

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