The Nanofoamer is a handheld milk frother that promises big things- cafe-quality microfoam milk in 20 seconds. The Nanofoamer was launched on Kickstarter last year by Subminimal and was fully funded within the first day. We are going to take a look at the Nanofoamer to see if it actually does what it claims and how it compares to the tried and tested French press.
How The Nanofoamer Works
A traditional milk frother uses a whisk to whip air into the milk and typically creates a stiff, frothy foam that doesn’t incorporate into espresso well. The new technology utilized by the Nanofoamer creates properly textured milk, perfect for latte art.
The Nanofoamer works by spinning milk at high speeds through fine mesh screens known as NanoScreens. A NanoScreen helps break up the air bubbles into microfoam, producing velvety milk that blends perfectly with espresso. The Nanofoamer comes equipped with two NanoScreens; superfine or fine. The different screens combined with varying churn times make three distinct levels of froth suitable for either Flat White, Latte, or Cappuccino.
The Nanofoamer has a simple and understated design. It consists of the main body, a stainless steel shaft that attaches to the impeller, and the two different NanoScreens you clip on. It runs on two AA batteries, but it does tend to chew through these, so we recommend investing in rechargeable batteries. Subminimal has also added a few thoughtful additions, including a wall-mount and protective travel case. When you purchase a Nanofoamer, you also get access to a latte art class by Lance Hendrick, a latte art champion.
Like your standard handheld milk frother, you need to preheat your milk separately before using the Nanofoamer. Subminimal has designed the flow tip milk jug to complement the Nanofoamer. The jug has a heat-resistant handle and is intended to be used on a stovetop to heat your milk. While this is an option if you don’t already own a latte art pitcher, you could just as efficiently heat your milk in the microwave.
Unfortunately, where the Nanofoamer falls short is in build quality. The body is mainly composed of plastic and feels lightweight and cheap. The screens are also flimsy and prone to crack or warp. Thankfully replacement screens are easily accessible and affordable. The power button has frustrated many users, requiring you to hold it down while in use, rather than just switching on or off. Despite these complaints, we would say that the Nanofoamer does offer good value for money considering the price.
So now for the all-important question, can the Nanofoamer produce microfoam as it claims? And the answer is yes! The Nanofoamer does require some technique, but once you master it, it can produce exceptional milk. The Nanofoamer is designed to be used as you would a steam wand, with a stretching phase to add air and then a texturing phase. While it takes slightly longer than the stated 20 seconds, it produces velvety, glossy milk similar to wet paint.
The Nanofoamer is super simple to clean. It is designed to be waterproof, so cleaning is as easy as running the NanoScreen under water after each use. Ideally, it is best to clean it directly after using it to prevent milk from clogging the fine mesh screens. If you have this problem, you can soak the NanoScreen in a glass of soapy water for a deeper clean.
How To Use The Nanofoamer
- First, heat your milk to around 55-65C. This could be done in the Flow Tip Milk Jug on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- Stretch the milk- place the Nanofoamer in the center of the jug at a slight angle and turn it on.
- Position the impeller just below the surface to add air to the milk.
- Texture the milk- once you have achieved your desired volume, move the impeller to one side of the jug and below the surface to create a vortex. This breaks up all the large bubbles to create microfoam.
- Once it has reached the desired texture, pour the milk into your beverage and enjoy.
Tips For Use
While the Nanofoamer is a newcomer, it has already dethroned most other milk frothers, simply by the quality of milk it produces. We have listed a couple of alternatives below or you could check out our guide to the best milk frothers.
Bellman Stovetop Steamer
The Bellman Stovetop Steamer is one of the few contenders that can out-froth the Nanofoamer. The Bellman acts as a portable steam wand and performs as well as any home espresso machine. However, it is a lot more fiddly to use and has a steeper price tag. See our full review here.
The trusty french press has long been seen as the budget way to froth milk. It is durable, easy to use, and can produce some great milk. However, it is often a bit hit and miss with using it and doesn’t offer the repeatability or control of the Nanofoamer. So in a head-to-head battle, we would say that the Nanofoamer trumps the French press.
Who Is The Nanofoamer For?
The Nanofoamer is an excellent option for anyone wanting a milk frother. It is simple and effective to use and produces exceptional quality milk. It is popular among the specialty coffee crowds, paired with a manual espresso machine or Aeropress, to create milk-based drinks.
Nanofoamer- The Verdict
We would highly recommend the Nanofoamer for anyone wanting to invest in a milk frother. This little beauty has redefined what we should expect from a milk frother. It produces high-quality microfoam milk comparable to that of a steam wand. It is affordable, easy to use and clean, and travel-friendly. We would say, for the price, the Nanofoamer is the best option on the market.