Popular traditional coffee drinks such as cappuccino and latte are made with a layer of foamy milk. If you want to recreate these frothy coffees in your own home, you must use a milk frother. There is no other way to make foam with that rich creamy texture you need. If you’re a coffee lover, it is very much worth buying a milk frother.
So, yes, if you enjoy a frothy coffee or foamy hot chocolate and are fed up with paying extortionate prices in high street coffee shops you should get yourself a milk frother. It’s well worth it and the good news is that even the premium top of the range frothers won’t make much of a dent in your bank account.
So, with a milk frother I can make cappuccino at home?
Unfortunately, no. You still must make the coffee itself. And assuming you’re not going to use instant, though of course you can if you choose to do so, you can make a coffee base with any type of coffee maker.
However, we highly recommend using an espresso maker. Most popular coffees including cappuccino, latte, macchiato, and many more are made using heated milk and foam over an espresso base. You can learn more about this on our milk frother recipes page.
OK, but is a milk frother worth it?
Apart from the low cost, a premium handmade milk frother costs under £20 ($27) while you can pick up an automatic frother for around £40 ($55) though premium models will cost £100 ($135), a milk frother is so easy to use and versatile.
Whichever type of frother you choose (we’ve listed our favourites further down the page) you simply press a button and in between 30 seconds and two minutes you’ll have thick foam you can use to make any traditional Italian or European coffee.
And, if you have a handheld milk frother like the Zulay Milk Boss, you can use the frother as a mini kitchen whisk. It can be used for everything from whipping up an omelette to making dipping sauces to mixing cocktails. We talk more about this in this article: What else can I use my milk frother for?
An automatic or electric milk frother can’t beat eggs but it can do plenty at the touch of a button. Even the basic automatic frothers will all make hot or cold foam or heat milk. And they do it quickly with no fuss.
The top of the range automatic frothers like those made by Severin have multiple pre-set programmes which range from plant-based milks to protein shakes to one touch cappuccino.
Why else should you buy a milk frother?
The bottom line here is that milk frothers are a great way to add a little touch of luxury to any drink. Yes, you can even use your frother to quickly jazz up that early morning cup of instant. Basically, any hot or cold coffee can be improved with foamed milk.
Which milk frother should I buy?
This is where it becomes a little tricky. There are literally hundreds of different frothers to choose from. And, just to complicate things even further, there are four different types of milk frother.
We’ve mentioned automatic and handheld frothers but let’s quickly look at all four types – if you want more in-depth explanations we’ve put together a comprehensive guide: What is a milk frother, how to use it and FAQs.
Types of milk frother
Automatic – also known as electric frothers. They are a jug type device which connects to mains electricity with the user selecting pre-set programmes which can both heat and froth the milk.
Handheld – a battery operated device very much like a kitchen whisk which is used to foam the milk which you must heat separately either on the hob or in the microwave. You can see the basics in our video below.
Manual – as the name suggests you manually pump the frother to create the foam. Again, the milk must be heated by other means. We illustrate the technique in the video below.
Stovetop – the least common frother. The milk is poured into the frother and heated on the stove. The foam is then created by pumping the plunger housed on the lid.
So, those are the different types of frother, but which should you buy?
If you’re looking for versatility, value for money and a frother which is quick to deploy a handheld frother will be the best option. However, if you’d rather have convenience and a hands-off experience without the faffing around of heating the milk an electric or automatic frother is the best option for you.
Our recommended milk frothers
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