A milk frother is a utensil for making milk froth, typically to be added to coffee (cappucino, latte, etc.). It aerates the milk, creating a thick and heavy foam. The tiny bubbles, which are formed during this process, make the milk texture lighter and increase its volume.
What is a milk frother?
A milk frother takes milk that’s already hot (approx. 180 degrees F) and puts it through an oscillating device called an atomizer. This creates a loud, whistling noise, which makes the milk froth, which can be used for coffee drinks.
The temperature of the milk to start the frothing process is the temperature of the milk, not its saturation level (see the specification in the milk frother in the graphic above). This means that even if the milk temperature is higher than the ideal temperature, the milk will still start foaming without thickening up.
Many milk frothers are simply thermostats. They have dials that the user can set. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Some people prefer their milk in large amounts, and a thermostat will achieve that with less effort.
Types of milk frothers
There are a few different types of milk frothers out there. The most popular type is the standard milk frother, which requires pouring some milk into the basket and closing the basket. This type of device is a lot like pouring the milk over top of a coffee cup.
The second most popular type of milk frother in Canada is a little more complicated. These devices require manually manipulating the milk by pouring into the bottle, waiting for the milk to bubble up, pouring into the cup, adjusting the temperature of the milk and then pouring into the cup. The disadvantages of this type of milk frother are that they take longer to work, and the foamy texture is more viscous, making the milk cloudy.
Another type of milk frother is the super milk frother, which is a device that has no handles.
Brands of milk frothers
The finest electric milk frothers out there offer a host of innovations, including heated milk and settings that mimic the aeration of a traditional milk shake. They are also much more compact than the bulky stovetop models. The clear glass and stainless steel features are stylish and will certainly make your frothy coffee (or milk) look good. However, many of these machines are targeted at professional baristas, and as such, they do not provide as many options or degrees of froth as their more accessible countertop counterparts. In the end, if you want to froth your own milk, then a “cappuccino” frother will not do the trick.
Many coffee shops and cafes also require you to serve their customers milk froth as a hand-to-hand supplement to the espresso they make.
How to choose the best milk frother for Canada
The most important features of a milk frother are temperature control, the power of the motor and the froth quality. A milk frother with an automatic setting allows you to simply select the desired temperature from the main control panel and start steaming. Most milk frothers have separate controls for temperature and froth quantity. You can choose to steam cold milk, or to make regular coffee. It should be noted that most milk frothers do not steam hot milk.
You can find two main types of milk frothers in the market: one that makes bubbles and one that creates a whipped foam. Both have their uses and advantages and, in my opinion, it’s your choice whether you are looking for something that bubbles or something that creates a whipped foam.
During the review, we tried 3 milk frothers: Yonomi, Milk & Co, and Yes! My Instant Milk Frother. We tested their features, performance, quality, packaging, and pricing.
All 3 of these machines are available online for Canadian customers or are available at their physical stores. At the time of writing, one of them costs more than $70, but the price will go down if you sign up for the promotions.