What does a milk frother do?


Have you ever tried making a cup of your favourite frothy coffee at home but after taking the first sip, you realise that it isn’t quite the same as the coffee you get from the local cafe? The problem likely isn’t with your coffee making skills but probably with the equipment you are using.

A milk frother is a tool that is used to make foamy milk which can then be added to frothy drinks like latte and cappuccino. While it is possible to froth milk in other ways, these appliances are the best and quickest way to recreate that beautiful bubbly milk you get from a barista which makes wonderful frothy coffee.

What is a milk frother?

A milk frother is a tool that is designed specifically for the purpose of frothing milk. Many coffee lovers will use alternative methods but these inexpensive tools create foamy milk that is remarkably similar, if not identical to that which you would get from a professional barista.

Karen explains more in the video below.

Milk frothers come in various shapes and sizes and we will look at the different types later on. But let’s better acquaint ourselves with these handy tools and find out what they do.

What does a milk frother do?

When you use a milk frother, you are agitating the milk to give it a much creamier, light texture that is perfect for adding to drinks that require a foamy topping. Most commonly used in things like bubble tea, latte, macchiato, cappuccino and even (as in the image below) bulletproof coffee.

bulletproof coffee made by a milk frother

How does it work?

When you pour milk directly out of the bottle or carton, you are faced with a purely liquid ingredient that won’t do much to alter the overall texture of the drink. However, when you use a milk frother, the fast movement and agitation will cause tiny air bubbles to form in the milk.

It is important to make sure that you are using warm milk so heating it in the microwave will get this done quickly. That said, there are some milk frothers that will heat and froth the milk for you.

As this happens, the volume of the milk increases, which is why it is always important to make sure you use a large enough container when frothing to avoid overspill!

making froth with a milk frother

The milk frother features a small whisk which, when powered up, spins at a rapid rate. As this happens, the air bubbles begin to form. What’s great about this entire process is that it takes very little time and is far simpler than trying to froth in other, more inventive ways.

Depending on the type of milk you use, your milk frother may create slightly different consistencies but in any case, the liquid will become bubbly.

Must read article: Which milk is best for milk frothers?

Whole or full fat milk tends to froth better than skimmed varieties owing to the higher levels of particular proteins. However, if you are on a non-dairy diet, options like soy milk and almond milk offer a very comparable texture when frothed.

Why you need a milk frother in your life

Once you start using a milk frother as part of your coffee-making routine, there will be no going back. However, a lot of people think that they don’t need one and will omit using it for a long time. It only takes a quick look over the advantages to see why you need a milk frother in your life.

  • If you’re a fan of frothy coffee, no matter what you do, you will never perfectly replicate the drinks you get in a cafe without using a milk frother. Adding this small appliance to your own kitchen will allow you to recreate cafe-style drinks with ease.
  • Milk frothers make creating foamy milk so much quicker and simpler. Instead of messing around with French presses or hand whisks, a milk frother gets in and gets the job done so you don’t have to wait around for your coffee.
  • In terms of affordability, a milk frother is a very inexpensive piece of equipment. Handheld electric milk frothers can be picked up for as little as £10 while the more advanced heaters/milk frothers rarely exceed £50.

The different types of milk frother

In the main, there are three types of milk frother. To begin with, there is the hand pump milk frother and while there are lots of these on sale, they are typically the most complex to use.

Must read article: What is a milk frother, how to use it and FAQs

They feature a plunger, similar to the ones you would see in a French press which is used to move up and down into the milk, gradually making it frothy.

You can also get handheld electric milk frothers which resemble a small hand whisk. These are very affordable and portable and are ideal for whipping up quick frothed milk without any bulky equipment.

FInally, the electric milk frother is an all in one device that allows you to heat the milk as well as frothing it. These appliances are generally a little more expensive but certainly won’t break the bank.

What is the easiest type of milk frother to use?

If you are looking for a quick and convenient way to froth your milk then a jug milk frother is widely accepted to be the best option. While all types of milk frother are excellent, this is an all in one appliance that both heats the milk and froths it.

Automatic milk frother. The frother is made of stainless steel with a black plastic top, handle, buttons and power cord

The reason that these are so highly favoured is that they require very little input from the user. All you need to do is add in the milk, close the lid and press the button. You can then sit back and let the machine work its magic; once it’s done, you’re left with delicious foamy milk that you can add to your favourite drink.

Getting frothy at home

If you want to create perfect foamy coffee and other hot drinks from the comfort of your own home then you will need a milk frother. These appliances are affordable, easy to use and always create perfect results. There are several different types but regardless of which you use, they are the best way to recreate frothed milk that is a staple in coffee shops around the world.

This week’s most popular milk frothers

Bestseller No. 1
Lavazza A Modo Mio Milk Easy Frother, For Milk-based Recipe, Black
  • The Milk Easy will beep twice to tell you it’s finished.
  • Maximum capacity for milk frothing 120 (internal level indicator: foam) ml
  • Maximum capacity for milk heating 180 (internal level indicator: milk) ml
Bestseller No. 2
SHARDOR Electric Milk Frother, Side Spiral Stirring Milk Steamer, 4 in 1 Multifunctional Automatic Shut-Off Milk Frothers Machine for Coffee, Hot Chocolates, Latte, Cappuccino, Black
  • Provide Dense Milk Foam: SHARDOR electric milk frother adopts side spiral stirring technology...
  • 4 in 1 Function: SHARDOR milk frother has four modes. Hot and thick foam, hot and thin foam,...
  • Safe and Durable: High-quality food-grade stainless steel material, with the temperature...
SaleBestseller No. 3
KitchenCraft Le'Xpress Electric Milk Frother Whisk
  • Embrace your inner barista and froth up lattes, mochas and milkshakes with this handy milk...
  • At the touch of a button, its stainless steel coil whips warm milk or cream into a delicious...
  • It's not just a coffee frother - use it as a mini electric whisk for egg whites, salad...
Bestseller No. 4
Dualit 84135 Triple Function Milk Frother - Make Hot/Cold Froth in 70 Seconds - Easy Clean 500ml Heat Milk Frother Machine - Removable Mess Free Milk Whisk - Plastic, Black
  • TRIPLE FUNCTION MILK FROTHER: Dualit's Milk Frother has three easy to use functions for making...
  • FROTH MADE IN MINUTES: This wipe-clean Milk heater and frother takes just two minutes to heat...
  • GENEROUS CAPACITY: This Milk Frother and heater has a generous capacity of 500ml after heating;...
Bestseller No. 5
Milk Frother - Coffee Frother Electric Whisk - Powerful Latte Cappuccino Frother Wand – Hot Milk Foam Maker - Best Soya Milk Mixer - Free eBook - Extra Whisk Worth £3.97
  • BEST MILK FROTHER - Make your milk frothy & creamy using our electric milk whisk in just 30...
  • DOUBLE SPRING HEAD WHISK - With a double spring head whisk can froth a LARGE amount of HOT...
  • HANDHELD MILK FROTHER - Not just a cappuccino milk frother steamer. It's perfect for egg...


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