Have you ever taken a second to calculate just how much money you spend at your local coffee shop chain? If you’re a regular visitor, I can assure you that once you’ve totted up the numbers on your daily coffee spend, you’re going to be in for a shock.
In fact, if you purchased a $4 latté every day, your coffee habit is going to cost you $28 per week, which translates to $120 per month and a whopping $1460 per year.
Those double-digit lattés and cappuccinos cost a small fortune. But what if I told you that I could potentially save you a big chunk of change by brewing great tasting coffee and frothing milk at home.
By investing in a relatively cheap milk frother and a good coffee maker, you can cut your daily coffee cost by more than half, and you won’t be sacrificing on flavor or milk frothy texture to boot!
What is a Milk Frother?
For anyone that’s developed a love for espresso-based drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes, a milk frother is a device that will enable you to create perfect velvety-like milky foam with ease.
Many of the popular milk frothers typically resemble mini-handheld mixers. They tend to operate using batteries and are inexpensive to purchase. Unlike the steam wands found on expensive espresso machines that work by using steam, a handheld milk frother utilizes a small round whisk at the end to froth up your milk.
Another alternative is the stand-alone milk frother that heats and texturize your milk with a push of a button. This type of device does a far better job at texturizing your milk, but that does come with a higher price.
Is it Worth Buying a Milk Frother?
Well, I will let you answer that.
Why do you enjoy a creamy latté? The answer is simple. I’m guessing you enjoy the fluffy, silky smooth aerated milk. You can’t achieve the same results at home by dumping cold milk into hot coffee.
So, is buying the best milk frother worth it to you? Think about it.
You can craft your very own coffee beverage to your liking for less than $1 using your preferred coffee beans and milk.
In fact, you can use almost any type of milk: whole, skim, almond, soy, etc. Plus, you can use the frothing device for much more than a latté – how about a tasty hot chocolate, matcha, or delicious chai lattes.
How to Choose the Best Frother for Milk?
Choosing which type of milk frother to buy can be a little challenging. Do you want a whisk type, a manual pump variation, or a fully automatic push-button type? Will you be frothing cold or hot milk?
These are just some of the questions you will more than likely be asking yourself when you look to purchasing your first frother.
Let see if I can help to answer some of the common questions for you.
Do you want a Pump, Whisk, or Fully Automatic?
The simplest way to froth milk at home is by using a hands-on pump-action device that resembles a French Press. You add your milk and pump the plunger up and down inside of a tall cylindrical beaker.
If you enjoy an early morning workout, pumping on this device is guaranteed to get your heart rate elevated and the blood pumping; it does require a little bit of effort on your part.
The second option is a semi-automatic battery-operated whisk type that does the majority of the work for you. Once you turn it on, all that’s needed is to move the handheld milk frother up and down slowly.
If you prefer a completely hands-off approach, a fully automatic electric milk frother is probably going to be the best option. This type is definitely the easiest to use. Just add your milk, close the lid, and press a button, and your all set! In roughly 1 or 2 minutes, your silky-smooth frothed milk is ready to add to your coffee.
Frothing Hot Milk or Cold?
Before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s worth mentioning that frothing and steaming milk are two completely different things and shouldn’t be confused with one another.
Typically, the only way you can produce hot steamed milk is by using the steam wand built-into many of the best espresso machines.
If you opt to use a whisk, pump, or automatic push-button frother, you will more than likely have to heat your milk separately, and these devices will only foam your milk, not steam it.
However, there are some exceptions to the rule, many of the best automatic milk frothers will also heat your milk too, but they aren’t cheap; it’s nice to have it all done in one step.
Do you find that you’re always short on time in the morning, and trying to fit in a few spare minutes to froth some milk seems like an impossible notion?
If speed is a deciding factor on which device you will purchase, I recommend a manual pump action type. You can have you frothy, textured milk ready in as little as 30 seconds, albeit, with a bit of manual elbow grease.
The semi-automatic battery-operated whisk type comes in a close second, typically takes no more than 90 seconds to froth up some milk.
But remember, with both of these types, you will have to allow some additional time to heat your milk beforehand.
Or you could spend a little bit more and invest in a fully automatic electric milk frother that will take all of the guesswork out of frothing your milk.
This type will heat and froth the milk in under 90 seconds. The great thing is, you can push a button and then step aside to get on with other things like brewing your coffee or getting the kids ready for school and come back to hot, frothed milk.
6 Best Milk Frothers for 2020
So, if you’ve got this far, I presume you’re ready to buy a good milk frother to make great tasting cappuccinos and lattés at home.
Below I have handpicked six milk frothers that all do an excellent job of creating fluffy, velvety milk with ease. You will find top choices form all three categories: manual, semi-automatic, and fully automatic.
Powerlix Milk Pro – Handheld Milk Frother
The battery-operated Powerlix Milk Pro is the best semi-automatic milk frother I could find. It can churn your milk in under 20 seconds with a speed of 19,000 RPM – there’s definitely a lot of power in this tiny handheld frother!
Like any handheld frothers, you do still need to move the whisk around to make sure that you frother every last bit of milk. But with a fast-rotating whisk frothing your milk is done in almost half the time compared to other handheld tools.
One feature I like about the Powerlix Milk Pro is the stand that lets you store your frothing whisk on your countertop next to your coffee machine.
The Powerlix Milk Pro is definitely worth the modest asking price if you are in a hurry for your frothy, milky morning coffee.
Bodum Latteo Milk Frother
The Bodum Latteo looks like a French Press, but looks can be deceiving. The Latteo froths your milk by using a manual pumping action. By repeatedly pumping the filter up and down, you can produce some impressive milky foam.
Simply fill the glass beaker with cold milk to the visible fill line. Place the lid and plunger firmly in place and then plunge the frother up and down until you have the desired amount of milky foam. Remove the cover and gently spoon the milk foam out of the beaker and add to your coffee.
If you’re looking for an elegant device to add spoon fulls of fluffy, aerated, milk foamy goodness to your morning coffee, the Bodum Latteo ticks all of the boxes.
However, it is worth mentioning that it does produce air bubbles that are larger than some of the other frothers.
Breville Milk Cafe Milk Frother
The Breville Milk Café Milk Frother is not a cheap device for frothing milk by any means. So why the extra cost? Let’s take a closer look.
The Breville Milk Café Milk Frother uses induction heat to warm up the milk, only the milk inside becomes hot and not the actual metal jug holding the liquid. The Breville Milk machine comes with two individual disks.
One is for creating froth (with surprisingly small bubbles that gives a stiff foam that lasts a long time), and the other disk is just for using when you want to heat your milk.
These disks fix to the bottom of the jug and rotate; this consent circulation of the milk helps to prevent scalding as it heats up. A nice feature of the Breville is the auto turn-off once your milk has reached the appropriate temperature.
This Breville can froth your milk to a wide range of temperatures. Do you prefer your milk frothed cold, just boiling, or anywhere temperature in between?
The Breville Milk Cafe has simple settings that can achieve any temperature you require. Have you had enough of frothy milk? Why not try steamed milk instead! Yes, you guessed it this device can do that too! This unit as one of my personal favorites and that of many other reviewers too!
If you’re a fan of almond milk or coconut milk, the Breville can also froth that! Is there anything the Breville Milk Cafe can’t froth?
Nestle Nespresso Aeroccino3 Milk Frother
Another automatic device that takes the guesswork out of milk frothing is the Nestle Nespresso Aeroccino3. Using this machine is super-easy, and with one touch of a button, you can prepare both hot or cold milk.
Here’s how it works: press the button once for all standard milk preparations, or hold the button for two seconds to froth cold milk.
Once you turn on the device, the unit heats up really fast and is ready to be put to work effortlessly heating your milk up to 160- and 170-degrees Fahrenheit.
The Nespresso Aeroccino3 is easy to clean thanks to the non-stick surface, and a smart auto shut off feature ensures it’s not left on accidentally.
HadinEEon Milk Frother, Electric Milk Steamer & Foam Maker
Another completely hands-off milk foaming device is the HadinEEon. This device comes packed with easy to use functions. It only takes a simple press of a button, and within 1 to 2 minutes, the HadinEEon heats up to 140℉ automatically and indicates once done, producing a smooth, bubbly milk foam to add to your coffee.
Just a heads up: the best milk temperature for a cappuccino or a latté or is anywhere between 130℉ and 149℉ – so the HadinEEon is definitely in the ballpark range for these coffee beverages!
The three core options are cold frothed milk (perfect for iced coffees), hot froth for adding to classic espresso-based drinks such as cappuccinos, mochas, espresso macchiato, etc. And finally, you have a hot milk option that lets you create some good tasting hot chocolate!
Bonsenkitchen Electric Milk Whisk Frother
This is by far the cheapest option for frothing up your milk at home. The Bonsenkitchen electric milk whisk is easy to use and operates with 2 AA batteries.
Just like the Powerlix Milk Pro at the top of my list, you have to do some of the work to get your milk where it needs to be – it’s not a push-button and forget device.
What sets this apart from the Powerlix Milk Pro is the lack of a stand, so this device could potentially be lost and damaged in your kitchen cutlery drawer. Also, the whisk isn’t as powerful, which is probably why this unit is a lot cheaper compared to the Powerlix.
But that doesn’t mean the Bonsenkitchen Electric Milk Whisk isn’t a good milk frother. If you are looking for a cheap, portable device for milk frothing at home or even on the move while traveling makes it a clear winner.
Frothing Milk in the Microwave!
If you don’t have any of the above devices and you NEED some frothed milk, like, now! Here is a recipe to froth milk for cappuccinos in the microwave.
It’s super-easy – trust me!
All you need is some milk, a clean mason jar with a lid, and a microwave.
Making a frothy batch of milk in the microwave is only a 2-step process. All that’s needed is some 2% or nonfat milk poured into your jar. Shake your sealed jar vigorously with the milk inside so that it starts to bubble and foam up.
Once you’ve given it a good shake, place the jar directly into the microwave, push a button or two, and blast away for a few seconds on high.
Using the microwave helps to stabilize the foam (if you didn’t use a microwave, the foam would naturally disperse and collapse).
See, I told you it was simple!