A milk frother stick is also known as a handheld milk frother or coffee whisk. It is a battery-operated device with a stainless-steel whisk which is inserted into milk to create a foam used to make frothy coffees such as cappuccinos and lattes.
Milk frother sticks are extremely easy to use and you will be able to make foam within 30 – 40 seconds. If you haven’t used one of these handy little tools before you must get one. It will totally change the way you enjoy coffee at home.
Sweet cappuccino, caramel latte, or creamy hot chocolate. Once you have used your milk frother stick you won’t go back to boring instant coffee or cocoa powder.
The remarkable thing about these little wonders is that they are so versatile. In essence they are a small but powerful whisk. You can use them for different tasks in the kitchen, but their main job is of course to take your morning coffee from the mundane to the absolutely wonderful. And the good news is that it is so easy to do.
How do you use a milk frother stick?
There are two dimensions to using a milk frother stick. Firstly, how you make the foam and, secondly, what you do with it. Let’s talk about how to make a thick, creamy foam with your milk frother stick and how to use it to make a great tasting cappuccino.
How to make cappuccino with a milk frother stick
We’ll begin by making the foam. The first step is to heat the milk. You can do this one of two ways; either use a saucepan on the hob or, by far the easiest method, pour the milk into a jug and heat it in the microwave.
It may take a little trial and error to find the sweet spot but as a guide I allow two minutes in an 800-watt microwave.
Once the milk is heated the fun begins. Take your milk frother stick, insert the whisk head into the milk, and switch on. Gently move the frother around the jug being careful to always keep it in the top layer of the milk. After around 30 seconds the milk will have doubled in volume, and you’ll have made a nice thick foam.
Turn the frother off and remove it from the milk. Tap the jug sharply on the countertop to settle the milk and get rid of air holes. Leave for around 30 seconds to a minute while you popular your coffee into a cup.
The final stage is to add your frothy milk. Pour it on top of your coffee base, finish off by sprinkling a little chocolate powder onto the milk and you’ll be left with a hot, sweet cappuccino the equal of anything you can buy in a franchised coffee shop.
Read more: 7 tips on how to use a handheld milk frother
Is a milk frother stick the same as a steam wand?
No, the milk frother stick (also know as a coffee whisk) is a handheld device with which you manually create foam whereas a steam wand is attached to a coffee machine and automatically heats and foams the milk.
You’ll be familiar with the steam wand if you’ve seen a barista in Starbucks making your coffee. It’s the metal nozzle thing that sticks out from the machine and makes a satisfying hiss as the steam is released.
What is the best milk frother stick?
You have so many options here. But the good news is that even for the absolute best frother stick you’re going to pay less than £15 ($18).
At home I alternate between the Zulay Milk Boss and the Aerolatte milk frother. There’s nothing to choose between them. Both are very powerful, have long warranties, and make great foam. They are also two of the few milk frothers with a stand; so, either will look great on your countertop.
Best alternatives to milk frother sticks
If you want to froth milk – and really who doesn’t want to – you’re not restricted to handheld frothers (milk frothing sticks). There are other types of frother to choose from and all will do an excellent job of making the foam you need for your favourite coffee.
Second in terms of popularity behind the handheld devices are electric milk frothers. These are significantly different as they are hands-off appliances which both heat and froth your milk for you.
So easy to use all you do is pour in your milk and press a button. Spend the next couple of minutes brewing your coffee and, when the electric frother automatically turns itself off, you’ll have warm and foamy milk all ready to add to your coffee.
Many prefer to use an electric milk frother as it does everything for you. Sometimes messing around with a microwave and then having to use the milk frother stick is just too much of a faff.
These devices are compact and easy to pack away in a cupboard. They cost anything from £35 ($42) to around £100($118). In my opinion the best electric milk frothers are made by Severin. The model I have at home is the Severin SM3587.
Other alternatives to milk frother sticks
Wait. There’s more? Sure is. You have the option of using a stovetop or manual milk frother. However, if a milk frother stock is too much hassle for you avoid stovetop models like the plague.
In truth the only time I use this kind of frother is if I must review them, As the name suggests you put the frother on the hob to warm the milk and then use a pump handle to create the foam. If you want to try something different, then I would recommend the Judge milk frother which comes with a 25-year guarantee.
A manual milk frother uses the same pump handle mechanism but you heat the milk in the microwave prior to frothing. You can see how to use a manual milk frother in the video below.
I love using this type of frother. It’s just so much fun (I admit I’m easily amused) and it does make fantastic foam. Possibly better than any other type of frother. If you want to go down the manual route, I highly recommend the Bodum Latteo, otherwise a milk frother stick is the one for you.