Updated September 6th, 2017 – If you’re really trying to step up your java game, why not try your hand at latte art? Latte art involves using foamed, warm milk to create beautiful designs in the top of your coffee by pouring it in carefully and deliberately. Impress your family and friends by practicing at home with your very own milk frother and espresso maker!
All the features with the best pour: I like the Nespresso milk frother.
Not too long ago, you could only get milk frothers if you bought an entire upscale espresso machine, but not anymore. Many companies have caught on to the latte art trend and made milk frothers available separately at a much more affordable price than an entire machine.
Jug or wand frother?
Before getting into specific products, consider the two types of milk frothers and which would work best for you. Jug style milk frothers heat and froth the milk in one simple step. Using induction coils, it heats the milk in the container while a whisk at the bottom whips to create the froth.
There are also handheld frothers, which are basically motorized whiskers. First, you heat the milk up separately in a container. Then you place the handheld frother just below the surface of the milk and let the whisk whip it up. These are more affordable, battery-powered, and smaller than jug style, but unlike jugs, it doesn’t heat the milk.
With all that in mind, here are a few reviews of each style of milk frother. See which one fits your household best!
The Breville also comes with a pour spout for added control while making your artful creations. The lid allows you to add different flavored syrups while the milk is frothing if that’s something you’d like.
Big capacity, rave reviews
It has a huge capacity – good for up to three large cups of coffee, and its stainless steel design makes the jug itself dishwasher safe. This machine has sparkling reviews across the online coffee community. While it’s on the high end in terms of price, it’s a great investment if you’re looking to get into latte art. Or if you just want some delicious frothed milk with your morning coffee!
The Nespresso is another great option and an alternative to the Breville at a lower cost. It has the same basic setup as the Breville, with induction heating and two separate disks for different settings. One difference is, it doesn’t give you the control over the temperature that the Breville does. It always sets the milk to between 160℉ and 170ºF, which is the perfect temperature to bring out milk’s sweetness anyway. It’s also not dishwasher safe.
Other than that, the Nespresso is actually much more user-friendly than the Breville. It has a one-touch button for start and stops. Also, it creates enough foam for a large drink in about a minute. If you can compromise some control over your milk temp and like the ease of use, the Nespresso is a great alternative for you.
Budget Pick: Epica Automatic Milk Frother
Another user-friendly milk frother is the Epica. It’s also much more affordable than the other 2 options. It uses the induction heating system and also has the same capacity as the Nespresso, but comes with 3 heat settings instead of 2.
It has a stainless steel build. The built-in carafe keeps the milk at the desired temperature. It produces long-lasting, creamy foam, perfect for artwork and can be used with whole, skim, or nondairy milk. It has excellent online reviews, so this is a great pick if you’re on a budget.
Best Handheld: Kuissential SlickFroth
If you think you’d prefer a handheld style frother, the Kuissential Slickfroth is your go-to. It’s much cheaper than any of the options above and beats out its competition for its durability and ease of use.
This is basically a stainless steel whisk, making it more durable than its plastic competitors. The ergonomic handle and rubber grip makes it easy to use and has a one-touch start/stop button. Since it comes to full speed in less than a second, you can whip up your milk in under 30 seconds. A great bonus is batteries are included. It is not dishwasher safe, and of course, as with all handheld models, you need to heat up the milk separately.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I clean my milk frother?
Milk frothers have their guidelines on how to clean them. Unless specified by the manufacturer, you can use a solution of white vinegar and water and ran it through the latte maker. This helps in removing the bacteria in the machine. After this, you can run several cups of fresh water through it to get the smell of the vinegar out of the machine. You can also clean the outside of the machine-it’s is essential as cleaning inside of the tool. Use a non-abrasive scrubbing cloth with mild soap to wipe the surface several times a week especially after every use. After wiping outside surface with a damp towel, you can now wipe off with a dry cloth to ensures its wholly dry.
Is it important to train my employees to pour latte art?
If you have a coffee business, then there are several reasons why your employees should learn the fancy art of making the latte. The potential customers will remember you if you serve them with elegant looking cappuccinos with flair.
The art of pouring latte assures that the baristas are correctly steaming the milk which is a necessary technique for a perfect latte. Also, having this expertise gives your baristas a sense of pride, and they perform their task with fun and joy. Some coffee selling businesses have advanced the latte training by producing DVDs that teaches on techniques of making a sophisticated latte, extraction of the espresso and milk texturing. Others have online classes and videos on making a perfect latte.
I have a roaster that has offered to train me on the barista. Should I take or drop it?
Probably you can take the offer, but your education on coffee should be excellent. Build confidence so that you can have the training and work with the roaster to gain expertise and experience in latte making. Having an independent coffee education is phenomenal. Have an expert to train your employee to make them understand the concept of preparing beverage and acquire the skills of creating a consistent drink at any time.
The aim of the majority of the coffee companies that offer the training is to entice individuals to choose the products they provide over a competitor. The sales department will understand what it means by proper preparation, and the information is directed briefly to the owner of the shop who is then left with the task of training the new staff without putting in place the core benefit of thorough training.
Is it advisable to heat coffee in a coffee maker?
Avoid pouring an old coffee in a coffee maker because you’ll clog it immediately. The coffee heating machine can get jammed if anything other than water is passed through the tubes. Instead, you can have the warmer plate on and then heat the coffee again by placing it in the glass carafe and heat it by the warm plate.
What is the purpose of using de-scaling agents for milk frothers?
The purpose of using a de-scaling agent is to maintain that the milk frother is clean. However, you should consider the hardness of the water and the frequency of use. The new milk frothers have an inbuilt tester that will determine the hardness of the water. Also, most of them feature descaling alerts that help in keeping the machine in optimal condition. If your device is non-automatic, you can descale it once per month or when you note a poor frothing performance.
How can I clean my electric milk frother?
For a quick and easy cleaning, remove the frothing disk to free the pitcher. Also, you’ll need some water, mild soap and a non-abrasive towel to clean out any residual milk gunk. Scrub the floor of the frother thoroughly to remove the available thin layer of the seam. The bottom layer can reduce the tang and the taste of the milk if allowed to accumulate.
Why is the frothing pitcher recommended for use in making milk froth?
Majority of the manufacturer recommends the frothing pitcher because it’s durable. A standard stainless steel pitcher is durable, and it’s an excellent conductor of heat. Some other pitchers have a bigger diameter that’s pointed into a smaller size at the tip. This unique design allows an eddy movement of milk before it becomes foam. Also, most of the pitchers in the market have a nozzle mouth for pouring the milk into the tank easily.
What is the difference between a milk frother and a milk steamer?
A milk steamer is an arm made of stainless steel that comes off from an espresso machine which is used to hold cups full of milk and steams it for you. The steamed milk is different in flavor and texture than what the frother makes. The milk frother is a separate machine that you puts cold milk in, then the machine heats and spins it forming a frothy and delicious addition in your coffee.
Does a coffee maker come with a milk frother in it?
Generally, the coffee maker does not come with a milk frother when you purchase it. You have to buy a frother separately to make a delicious steamy cup of milk. However, some espressos machines that come with coffee steamers which you can use to make milk froth. There is a difference in taste and flavor when you make your milk froth with milk steamer and when you make with the electric milk frother
Is it necessary to have a thermometer when frothing?
You can have a thermometer if your milk frother doesn’t have a temperature indicator. The temperature of drinks such as lattes is approximately 122 degrees Fahrenheit while that of steam milk should not exceed 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore it is vital to have a thermometer if your device doesn’t have temperature indicator because heating beyond these temperatures will result to formation deposits, unpleasant flavor and scalds milk.
If you’re ready to start upping your coffee game, start learning the fine (and delicious) skill of latte art! I think all of these frothers will serve you well. For the serious latte artist, the Breville has the best pour and the all-in-one features you want in a quality frother.