Looking for hints and tips on using your milk frother? Want to know more about how to make the best froth for your cappuccino? Got a new frother and you’re a little baffled on how to use it? Don’t worry we’ve got your back. Check out our milk frother hacks to get the very best out of your new favourite kitchen appliance.
Use the right milk when you’re frothing
Eh? Milk is milk, right? Wrong. Not when you’re frothing it isn’t.
If you want the best, thickest, richest foam you need to use whole milk. Yep, the full fat stuff. The more fat and proteins in the milk the better it froths which is why vegan milks don’t foam very well at all.
But, if you’re vegetarian or just don’t want to drink dairy milk, don’t worry. You can still froth with the best of them. The answer is to use barista blend vegan milk. These specially formulated milks froth brilliantly while still being vegan.
All this doesn’t mean you can’t use other types of milk to create the foam for your coffee. Of course you can.
But skimmed and semi-skimmed milk will froth differently than full fat. The foam won’t be as thick and the bubbles will be larger. Which probably makes it ideal for latte and a flat white.
However, all things being equal – go for whole milk.
Always use cold fresh milk
Always use milk straight from the fridge for the best foam. The colder it is the better it’ll froth and the fresher it is the longer you can froth it to get the best possible texture to your foam.
Make sure you buy the frother you need
Well – duh. That’s pretty obvious isn’t it? It is. But, hang on. Don’t forget there are milk frothers and then there are milk frothers. Let me explain.
When my wife asked me to buy her a milk frother I was happy to oblige. I got her a handheld frother like this:
She looked at it. She looked at me. ‘What on earth is this?” she said. “Where does the milk go?”
Turns out she wanted a milk frother like this:
Which is why I said to make sure you buy the frother you need.
To be totally clear, if you want a frother that can heat and foam your milk you need an automatic one.
If you want a frother that can quickly froth cold or milk you’ve already heated up then a handheld or manual frother will do the job for you.
If you want a frother that can also make your coffee – then you don’t want a milk frother at all. You want a coffee machine with a built in steamer and frother wand.
Heat the milk for a sweeter taste
You can froth hot or cold milk. It all depends on the drink you’re making. But, if you’ve got a sweet tooth, and I still can’t believe there are people out there who prefer savory to sweet, always heat the milk.
But, and this is a massive but, don’t overheat the milk. If it scalds, burns or boils it won’t froth very well and it will taste incredibly bitter. You can take the guesswork out of heating milk by using a thermometer or buy an automatic milk frother. With those babies you’ll also get the perfect temperature – which is 50-60 degrees.
Beanz meanz – great coffee
Not exactly a milk frother hack but always use the best quality coffee beans you can when you make your espresso base. You can have the best milk frother in the world and make the best foam ever but if you’ve used rubbish beans your frothy coffee will taste like the contents of your kitchen bin.
Always use the best quality beans you can afford. You won’t regret it.
Get your timing right
Not so much a hack as a warning. If you’re using a handheld milk frother don’t switch the thing on unless you’ve put it in the milk. If you turn it on first and then put it in the milk it will go everywhere.
These are powerful little whisks so if you want to avoid being sprayed only turn it on once the head is in the milk. And, by the same token, turn it off before you withdraw it. Or you’ll get sprayed all over again.
Give it a twirl
Handheld frothers froth best if you slowly rotate the whisk in the upper layer of the milk. As it begins to foam raise the whisk to keep it near the top of the milk. This will create the best and most dense froth in around 30 seconds.
It’s all in the timing
For a great frothy coffee, cappuccino, latter or whatever, you need to get your timing exactly right. Your coffee and milk must be ready at the same time. This will keep everything fresh as you assemble your drink. This may take practice but please don’t make the coffee and then start frothing your milk. The coffee will go stale very quickly if it’s stood waiting for the milk.
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