10 Best Milk Frothers | March 2017

We spent 31 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Got a hankering for a latte, cappuccino, or hot chocolate? Engage your inner barista with one of these milk frothers. We've included manually-operated models as well as automatic electric steamers that take all the effort out of preparing your favorite creamy beverages, so you're sure to find one that suits your needs. Skip to the best milk frother on Amazon.
10 Best Milk Frothers | March 2017


Overall Rank: 9
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 10
Best Inexpensive
★★★
10
The handheld Eparé Electric is among the most compact and affordable options on the market. It outputs thick, creamy foam within about 15 to 20 seconds of immersion, depending on the starting temperature of your milk, so you'll be enjoying a nice smooth cup in no time.
9
Attractive, simple to use, and easy to clean, the Kuissential Deluxe produces rich and fluffy hot or cold results at the push of a button. Its eight-ounce capacity is too small for some users, but it's efficient and durable.
8
With cold, warm, and hot settings, the Capresso Pro 202 produces tight, creamy results suitable for complementing a wide range of beverages. Its scratch-resistant, nonstick pitcher, complete with a stay-cool handle and transparent lid, is large enough for the whole family.
7
The Sherwood SMF-1000 is a durable, dual-speed automatic unit. It is capable of hot or cold output and all of its components pull apart for effortless cleaning. It also features cordless pouring thanks to its lift-off base design.
  • removable whisk included
  • keeps foam warm after use
  • expensive for its features
Brand Sherwood
Model SMF-1000G
Weight 2.9 pounds
6
The Chefs Star Premier produces the perfect results for a warm or iced cappuccino in just 80 seconds. It features a conveniently straightforward interface – simply press the blue button for cold foam or the red one for the steamy stuff.
  • includes two whisk options
  • interior capacity guides
  • not hot enough for some users
Brand Chefs Star®
Model MM503
Weight 2.5 pounds
5
The elegant, borosilicate glass and stainless steel Bonjour Caffé Monet is ideal for turning nonfat milk into a rich, creamy delight. Its patented technology requires just 20 pumps to produce fluffy results you'll come back for time and time again.
  • large 15-ounce capacity
  • nonslip base for stability
  • does not heat up
Brand BonJour
Model 53444
Weight 10.4 ounces
4
The Kuissential Slickfroth 2.0 is affordable and easy to use. Despite being battery-powered, it matches the performance of more expensive plug-in handhelds, and boasts a soft-grip handle. It's a great choice to take along for gourmet camping or picnics.
  • ergonomic one-button operation
  • stainless steel will last for years
  • two aa batteries not included
Brand Kuissential
Model CUSKFTH2
Weight 1.6 ounces
3
Featuring a simple two-button operation for hot or cold aeration, the Epica Automatic's carafe detaches from its base for pouring. You can work on the rest of your meal or beverage prep while your foam stays hot thanks to its vacuum-insulated chamber.
  • heats to an optimal 140 degrees
  • quieter than most models
  • backed by a two-year warranty
Brand Epica
Model pending
Weight 2.5 pounds
2
The HIC Creamer is a stainless steel option that's hand-operated and requires no batteries or power outlet connection. Its 14-ounce capacity is larger than most plug-in models, and its output is just as high quality, plus you can control the degree of aeration yourself.
  • dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
  • doubles as an emulsifier
  • works with nondairy alternatives
Brand HIC Harold Import Co.
Model 43127
Weight 13.6 ounces
1
Featuring interchangeable disks to optimize your foam for the task at hand, the Breville BMF600XL uses an induction heating base with a built-in temperature control dial to provide consistent results every time, making beverages worth savoring.
  • high quality stainless steel
  • jug is dishwasher safe
  • base provides onboard disk storage
Brand Breville
Model BMF600XL
Weight 4.5 pounds

Why People Froth Milk

People froth milk to make a variety of coffee, and in recent years, tea-based drinks. The most popular of these are the well-known lattes and cappuccinos. What the skilled barista knows that the average person does not, is that there are actually two different kinds of foamed milk; microfoam and macrofoam, each made with a specific use in mind.

Microfoam is made using the steam wand on an espresso machine and is best for use in lattes, where the barista will be creating latte art on the top. Latte art is made by preparing and pouring the foam in such a manner as to create a pattern or design in the surface of the latte. It can also be made by dragging a toothpick or other such utensil through the surface of the foam after poring.

Macrofoam, sometimes called dry foam, has visibly larger bubbles than microfoam and a less creamy consistency. Its main use is in dry cappuccinos and macchiatos, where the foam should be sitting on top of the coffee, as opposed to a mixed together as in a latte or wet cappuccino.

When making microfoam, one will be steaming the milk. To make macrofoam for dry cappuccinos, one must froth the milk while heating it. Both of these foams can be achieved by using the steam wand of an espresso machine, but the technique is different. When steaming milk, the steam wand will be submerged more deeply. To create a macrofoam, the steam wand will be barely submerged under the surface of the milk. This aerates the milk more, giving it the airy consistency needed for dry cappuccinos. Macrofoam can also be created by using an electric frother or by heating the milk and using a frothing wand.

The Science Behind Milk Frothing

When milk is frothed, microbubbles are created inside of it. This is possible because of the proteins, such as casein and whey, which are found in milk. These protein molecules start out tightly bundled up, but when they are exposed to heat, they denature, allowing them to interact with each other.

Looking at it from a more scientific standpoint, we can see that the protein chains in milk are polar. One end of the protein chain is hydrophilic and the other is hydrophobic. The hydrophilic end is attracted to water, while the hydrophobic end is repelled by water. Milk, as with most other liquids, is in large part made up of water. When the protein chains are heated and unfold into the milk, the hydrophobic ends immediately try to get as far away from the water as possible.

If one were to look at a bubble of foamed milk in a microscope, they would see that all of the hydrophobic ends are pointed inwards, whereas the hydrophilic ends point outwards into the aqueous environment. This molecular structure is what allows the bubbles to become stable and stay intact in the milk long after the frothing process has finished.

The denaturing process is important to creating a consistent foam, but one does not want the milk to become too denatured as this will result in a milk foam that is too thick. Overly denatured foam milk will have large air bubbles that do not break down and mix with the drink.

Understanding The Most Popular Frothed Milk Drinks

The sheer number of options one is presented with when entering a coffee bar can be overwhelming. The first step to determining which type of frothed milk coffee drink is your favorite is understanding what each one is. This will make it easier to decide on which kind you want to try when searching out the perfect coffee.

Most are familiar with cappuccinos and lattes, but even these common drinks come in multiple varieties. A cappuccino can be served either wet or dry. A wet cappuccino has more steamed milk than frothed milk, making it creamier, whereas a dry cappuccino has mostly frothed milk which sits on top of the coffee. Dry cappuccinos will typically stay warm longer as the foam acts as insulation and doesn't allow the heat to escape from the surface of the liquid.

A latte is made with espresso and steamed milk, usually in a 1:3 or 1:5 ratio. They will also have a small amount of frothed milk on top. In some regions of Europe, a latte may be referred to as a cafe au lait, although in America, a cafe au lait is usually just a coffee with scalded, unfoamed milk. Many often confuse latte macchiatos with standard lattes, but they differ in a few key ways. First, in a latte macchiato the coffee is added to the milk, unlike a traditional latte where the milk is added to the coffee. It also features a bigger head of foam and is often layered, instead of combined.

Macchiatos are comprised of one shot of espresso with a dash of foamed milk on top to cut some of the bitterness of the coffee. They resemble mini cappuccinos, but have a much higher ratio of coffee to milk. Macchiatos have a much stronger taste than cappuccinos. As with a latte macchiato, the milk is traditionally added to the cup first with the coffee being drawn through it, but not all baristas make it in this order. Macchiatos can also be ordered long or short. A long macchiato will have two shots of espresso with a small amount of hot water add. A short macchiato will have one shot of espresso with a smaller amount of hot water added.



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Last updated: 03/25/2017 | Authorship Information

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