Although there are several ways to froth milk, there is also a number of dedicated tools that can be used to make the task easier; frothers. As the name suggests, a milk frother takes milk, either hot or cold, and adds air, effectively turning it into a thick foam by creating air bubbles.
This foam can then be used in making traditional coffees such as cappuccinos or lattes. It, however, can also be good on hot cocoa or chocolate in place of whipped cream, to give a drink with a lower-calorie topping.
Why Use a Milk Frother
Frothed milk is one in which air has been pushed through (or into) to bring a bubbly foamy consistency on the top. Forcing the air through the milk is the action that creates bubbles on the milk’s surface. The tool for this task is a frother. Frothed milk is not just creamy and delicious but it adds foamy happiness when you add it to any tea, coffee, espresso or other drinks.
Frothing helps in adding an extra dimension to your choice beverage. The foam adds a richness and texture to your milk, which makes it an excellent way of taking your drink to the next level or when you want to make different espresso-based drinks. In fact, frothed milk can be added to just about anything!
What Frother Options are Available
A milk frother is a good appliance for your kitchen inventory. There are basically three major types – automatic, electric and manual. Some frothers are portable making it easy to carry them to the office from home or when you are on family trips.
Cappuccino Machine Frothing Wands
Espresso machines have an attached automatic frothing wand which not only froths but warms the milk simultaneously. From a nozzle in the cappuccino frothing machine, steam gets pushed out by pressure causing your milk to froth.
Electric Milk Frothers
Some electric frothers are dedicated counter-top frothers designed for just milk frothing. Some models may require several minutes to heat up first. After use, they may need a cool-down period before being used to make another batch of frothed milk. Other frothers are simply small electric whisks designed to rest in a base recharger, with some running on batteries.
Electric frothers are more expensive compared to hand operated ones (described below). They, however, come with a great advantage in that some can heat and foam the milk at the same time.
Hand-pump milk frothers are designed to operate in a similar way to a coffee press. Consisting of a vessel made of either metal or glass, they have a lid which has a hole through which a plunger has been passed.
Using a small knob on top of the plunger, you push up and down, and the mesh screen then agitates your milk to froth it.
Milk plays a pivotal role not just in the creation of several specialty coffee drinks, but much more. And it’s not just knowing the techniques and technologies that can be used which is essential but getting the science right is, perhaps, even more important.
With the right frother, you will be masterfully whipping out specialty drinks that will leave your family, friends, and guests truly awed.
Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.