Who invented the milk frother?

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Although the steam wand has been around for quite some time it may surprise you to know the milk frother we use at home only became a thing on the cusp of the new century. The milk frother was invented by Gary Lane and Alan Green who brought to market the new Aerolatte battery operated frother in 1999.

The Aerolatte was a bit of a revelation and became a huge worldwide hit. It set the bar for steam-free frothers, and the original design has become the standard one for all handheld milk frothers.

The Aerolatte

Why was the milk frother invented?

Some inventions are just pointless. Chocolate fireguard (fake) or the butterstick (bizarrely real) for example. But the milk frother really did need inventing.

Before the halcyon year of 1999 you couldn’t froth milk at home. At least not easily. The only effective milk ‘frothers’ were the steam wands on huge commercial coffee machines. Which, as the aforementioned duo of Lane and Green realised, was a massive missed opportunity.

In their own words: “We were both finding drinking coffee at home pretty frustrating – even our expensive steam-based espresso machines just couldn’t make decent frothed milk. Something had to change.

“We took all of our techy knowledge and coffee know-how to design and create the Aerolatte original steam-free milk frother. At last, we were able to enjoy proper frothy coffee in the comfort of our own homes.”

What was the first milk frother?

The Aerolatte was the very first non-steam milk frother. And it has been imitated countless times since its launch in 1999.

What is commonplace now must have been an incredible innovation for coffee lovers back in the day. Now they really could create lattes and cappuccinos in their own homes thanks to this new-fangled milk frother.

Read our Aerolatte milk frother review

In the decades since the milk frother was invented the tool has evolved and thousands upon thousands are in kitchen cupboards, drawers, or proudly displayed on countertops all over the world.

The original Aerolatte fits into the bracket of what we now label handheld milk frothers. And this is still the preferred type of milk frother for many of us including myself.

But now you can buy automatic electric milk frothers, not to mention manual and stovetop frothers. There are so many to choose from and the choice can be a little bewildering. Read ‘What is a milk frother, how to use it and FAQs’ for more information.

Despite the plethora of types and models of milk frothers on the market today there’s little doubt that handheld frothers are the most popular. And the Aerolatte is still one of the best-selling and most in demand handheld milk frothers around.

Closing the circle

As we’ve mentioned above, the original non-steam milk frother, the Aerolatte, is still going strong. Inventors Gary Lane and Alan Green have taken their invention and created their frothy coffee company which not only markets their frothers but other essential coffee making tools including the Cappuccino Artist. Many of which we have reviewed or will review on this site.

Check latest price of the Aerolatte

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