Gone are the days where you have to go to the coffee shop for a nice drink. Now you can make that smooth latte or frothy cappuccino right from the comfort of your own home! A milk frother is the perfect addition to take your milk based drinks to the next level and surprise those unexpected guests with a delicious brew.
Milk frothers are particularly helpful either for those who use manual brewing methods (such as the Aeropress) or have an automatic machine (like a Nespresso) with no inbuilt frother. Milk Frothers tend to be relatively affordable and may be just what you need to up the enjoyment of that morning coffee.
Our Pick: Breville Milk Cafe
What are Milk Frothers and how do they work?
Milk frothers basically work by spinning the milk quickly to add air into it and create a dense, smooth foam. They generally take anywhere from 20-90 seconds to froth milk.
There are several different types of milk frothers available:
These milk frothers are generally the cheapest. They look similar to a stick blender and consist of a handle with a whisk attached. They are what we would call a semi-automatic milk frother. You have to manually heat or cool your milk and put it into a jug then you use the handheld whisk to froth your milk. The whisk spins at high speeds just below the surface of the milk to create creamy foam. They generally take around 90 seconds to produce frothed milk.
A jug milk frother is where the milk is frothed in a jug. There are 2 types:
What to look for in a Milk Frother?
The first thing you need to decide is what type of milk frother you are wanting. Are you wanting an automatic one that will do everything with the push of a button? Or a cheaper manual one that you pull out on special occasions? If you are planning on using it regularly we recommend going for an automatic one for convenience sake.
Type of Milk being used
Are you planning on using dairy milk or other types like soy or almond? Some frothers struggle to froth non-dairy milk. The Breville is a great option for those using non-dairy milk.
Some automatic milk frothers, like the Breville, have adjustable temperature settings whereas others have only one setting which may not be hot enough for those who like their drinks hot.
Are you wanting an affordable entry level model, or a quality, durable machine? There are milk frothers to suit every price range.
If you are going for an automatic milk frother, how many drinks are you planning on making? Is it just you using it or the whole family? Make sure you get one that will be able to cater to your needs. Also ensure you know the minimum and maximum quantity it can froth – putting in too much milk can cause it to overflow and make a mess, putting too little in could cause it to overheat and damage the frother.
The 5 best milk frothers of 2020
This is the creme de la creme when it comes to milk frothers. It uses induction heating to heat the milk and comes with 2 frothing disks (one to create smooth latte micro-foam and one thick, creamy cappuccino foam). It is made of quality stainless steel, with a durable, stylish design that will grace any bench top. Where the Breville really comes into its own is in the customisation of both temperature and quantity of foam produced. You can choose any temperature from cold to 160F. The Breville also has a large capacity and is able to serve up to 3 cups of milk at a time making it ideal for a family. Clean up is a breeze with the milk jug being removable and dishwasher safe.
The Aeroccino is a good quality automatic milk frother. It uses induction heating to warm the milk and a magnetised spinning disk to create foam. Like the breville it is able to produce 2 types of hot foam (for cappuccino and macchiato) and hot milk. It uses one whisk for all types of milk. It has a maximum capacity of 240mls for hot milk and 120mls for frothed milk. It is relatively fast taking 80 seconds for frothed milk and 150 seconds for hot milk. On the downside you can not vary the temperature or quantity of foam produced.
This is a good quality manual milk frother that comes at a great price. It is made from stainless steel and has a double mesh aerator to froth the milk. You put your warmed or cooled milk into the pitcher and pump the handle up and down for 30-60 seconds to produce rich foam. It has a large 14 ounce capacity.
This is a handheld milk frother that is battery operated. It comes at a very good price and is a great entry level model perfect for those wanting to dip their toes into milk frothing. It has a plastic body and a stainless steel whisking head. It can produce cappuccino froth in less than 20 seconds.
The Epica is an affordable automatic milk frother capable of producing thick cappuccino foam (but not latte microfoam). Like all the automatic frothers it uses induction heating and a motorised whisk to produce frothed milk. It has a 120ml capacity for frothing milk or 250ml if just heating milk. It takes about 90 seconds to produce frothed milk.
While the Breville Cafe Milk Frother is a real investment we believe that it is just about the best there is on the market and may be what is needed to really up your coffee experience.
Alternatively, if the price (understandably!) does put you off then one of the more affordable models on this list may be the right one for you!
If you have any questions or comments below we love to hear them!