And what is a foam after all, but a big collection of bubbles? And what’s a bubble? It’s basically a very flimsy little latticework of proteins draped with water. – Alton Brown
You, Dear Reader, have decided you want more foam in your life, on a consistent basis. Alas, you either don’t have a home espresso machine, or you have a home espresso machine but it isn’t up to the task.
a) Make the daily trek to your local coffee shop
b) Go the DIY route
c) Buy a dedicated milk frother
If you answered “c” – buy a dedicated milk frother, this is the guide for you.
Find Your Best Milk Frother Match: A Questionnaire
To streamline your decision-making process, we created a super short set of questions designed to help you find your foamy match. Think of this as matchmaking for milk frothers.
Q1: Do you want to spend:
a) Around $20
b) $50 or more
Q2: Are you looking for:
a) A handheld, portable frother
b) A countertop frother
Q3: Do you want your frother to steam your milk:
Increasing the temperature of the milk (by steaming for example) has the effect of increasing the solubility of the lactose and in turn increasing its perceived sweetness, a good thing for us. That lovely increase in sweetness of steamed milk from the espresso machine or the hot milk your Mom made for you as a child is due to the increased solubility of the lactose at higher temperatures…in case you were wondering. – CoffeeGeek, Hello Milk!
Related: Choosing the best French press
If you answered mostly a’s, we recommend trying the Aerolatte Portable Frother or the Bodum Schiuma. Both come in at just under $20, and both have good reviews in terms of durability and results. (One note: milk needs to be heated in order to taste sweet (see quoted material above), and that will be a separate step if you are using one of the frothers in this category.)
If you answered mostly b’s, you are a serious frother. We recommend considering the Nespresso Aero 3, the Breville Milk Café or the Capresso Froth TEC.
A few foam-specific resources, for your reading/research pleasure:
Addressing the quintessential frothing quandary: Why Won’t My Milk Foam?
The Ultimate Frothing Guide. Everything (and we are pretty sure it covers everything) you ever wanted to know about frothing. Be sure to check out our favorite section, Hello Milk! (Super science geeky, chemistry focused.)
Do you have a favorite frother? Have you ever DIY-ed your foam? Share your favorite frothers or DIY methods with us in the comments below. Bonus points awarded for Rube Goldberg-esque frothers!
Photo Credit: DeaPeaJay via cc