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Coffee has made a major comeback in the last decade. With franchises like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, the addictive drink has become a fixture in the average American’s life, while it has always been a classic fixture in European homes. Coffee choices are numerous and in abundance nowadays: cappuccinos, lattes and espressos are some of the most common choices. Don’t even get one started on the possibilities of what flavors to choose from either. While some enjoy the convenience of purchasing a coffee while out or going to work, others start their routine within their home.
For many, making a cup of coffee is the beginning of their morning. This can be instant coffee, a type of packet that requires no additional work besides adding the right amount of creamer, sugar and water that one needs for their dosage. For others, the right type of coffee is to be made with a machine- this can be from a vintage type to a Keurig. Whatever your preference is, this usually involves more work and additional devices, including packs for some and the need to crush coffee beans for others. However, we don’t really consider one important aspect of coffee brewery: the milk froth.
Homemade Frothing Milk
Milk froth is defined as the milk that one adds into their coffee; for many, this is an art that correlates with this practice, reserved for hipster shops. The best type of milk to add is cow’s milk, despite the healthiness factors of other choices. Cow’s milk has fat consistency, which is needed in order to obtain the silky, smooth frothed milk. Two major factors determines the quality of the froth: the fats and the temperature of milk. 95 degrees is the minimum for air to be distributed in the milk and it’s able to hold bubbles; furthermore, the hotter the milk is, the more airy the consistency will be.
You can make foamed milk at home without a frother. Firstly, you vigorously shake the milk in a jar. This will create the foam, and the longer you shake it, the more air will be introduced into the milk. You can also use an immersion blender. After you made yourself a lot of bubbles, you take the lid off the jar and microwave for 30 seconds. The microwave part helps stabilizing the foam. Sounds pretty easy, but trust me, it’s not. Even if you use a blender. TheKitchn.com explains this process in more details here, if you want to try this.
The frothing wand of the espresso machine makes the process easier. You still need some knowledge and “the hand” for it. Experience will help you perfect your skills. OK, superautomatic machines will froth the milk for you at the press of a button, but not everybody affords one of those. Enter the world of milk frothing machines. These nifty machines not only make the perfect measurements of milk froth, but they also have perfected the intricate maneuvers, and you only need to press one button.
Why Buy a Milk Frothing Machine
The milk frother machine is like a coffee machine: it simplifies the process and does the hard work for the coffee lover. As a distinctive appliance, the froth maker is less complex than the frothing mechanism in a super-automatic. This makes it less expensive, and more reliable. From this perspective, it makes more sense to buy an espresso machine and a milk frother, then a super-automatic. Nespresso has figured this out a while ago, and this is why their bundles, like Nespresso Inissia, sell very well.
To many, the milk frothing is just a nice to have, but for others, it is a must have. Sure, you can heat up your milk and mix it with coffee, but that is not even close to a real latte. Yeah, I get it, for some the latte art is just useless. Milk frothing however, is even for the pragmatic a necessary step for brewing the perfect latte, or cappuccino. Beyond the artsy side of the process, frothed milk adds new dimensions to your daily caffeinated beverage. The texture is what hits you immediately, even as a non gourmet looking person. As you drink more though, you will notice the delicate sweetness of the frothed milk. That taste is the result of heating the milk at the right temperature, and just a slight temperature change will ruin it.
Milk frothers will help you nail the perfect microfoam in your milk. They also prevent ruining the froth from scalding. They deliver consistent results every time. Price for the device will range from inexpensive to expensive. The quality of the machine depends on the preference of the purchaser. In the rest of the article we will be exploring three different milk frothers. We will compare them, looking at the pros and cons of each.
Breville Milk Café Frother
The first machine on the chopping block (or hot burner) is the Breville Milk Café Frother. Stainless steel and 119 dollars brand new, this frother machine has a perfect sized burner on top attached with the actual device. On the machine itself, there is a temperature gage, along with specialized discs for your coffee type. For example, there is a cappuccino disc, which makes the froth thick and creamy. The two discs are cappuccino and latte, which are the two choices of coffee for the user. The personalized discs will make the froth according to its coffee type, resulting in the perfect measurements. Even more impressive, this machine has a sensor for its minimum and maximum; if one is to deviate from this, the machine will not work.
Ultimately, the milk will come out as smooth and silky, which is perfection in the coffee world. This machine only needs a press of a button to begin frothing, which takes approximately two to seven minutes. No matter which coffee type you choose, the process for the frothing will be the exact same. After it has completed its cycle, one must remove the pan and then twirl in on a surface before pouring it into their chosen coffee choice. No matter what, make sure you commit to this step- it helps keep the consistency of the froth while accumulating more air into the froth. Interestingly, this device also doubles as a hot chocolate maker!
Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother
If you need another choice to ponder on, look no further than the Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother. This machine has a limit between 130 ml to 250 ml for the milk, which is nice to know so one does not overfill or underfill the capacity. Also, there are two discs, but they’re gaged on the temperature one wants to use. Nespresso bases their process off of the temperature in general- if one is to want cold milk, they should stay closer to the minimum level. If they desire warm milk, it is noted to go to the maximum level. Also, the way the user presses the button is determined by the temperature: hot milk should be pressed and released with a red glow to the button, while cold milk is to be held until the button turns blue.
One of the cool aspects of this machine is the difference of preparation. Hot and cold froth is recommended for cappuccinos, while hot milk is only wanted for lattes. For a hot coffee, it is recommended for the froth to be added to the glass first; after this, the user can place their glass with froth onto the device and a coffee can be made as well. This is different from the previous machine, which froth was added to the coffee. The difference leads to the froth being on the bottom and the top of the coffee, giving it a different creamy texture. It has been remarked as a delicious after effect, and makes the coffee creamier as well. However, one has to also choose between slim and whole milk for this machine.
Secura Milk Frother
Finally, the Secura Milk Frother is the third choice for a milk frother. Being the least expensive out of the three choices (39.99 on Amazon), the Secura is nearly identical to the Nepresso machine. Both are determined by temperature, which again, has the need to know what type of froth you want. There are two types of discs, and they have the same amount of liquid as a maximum and minimum. Even the preparation is the same! However, there is a slight difference: the Secura takes around 2 minutes to complete its cycle for froth, whereas the Nespresso is 50 seconds. Also, the Secura has an additional maximum line, differentiating from the heating milk and milk froth. This is a wonderful adjustment, since one can simply warm their milk and have the option to not froth.
In my opinion, any of the three options are fantastic choices. When looking for the perfect milk frother, one needs to remember each of the characteristics listed: different discs for their different desired coffee choice (cappuccino and latte) and the way their machine makes froth. If you are looking at any type of milk and focused on the consistency of your froth, I would opt for the Breville. Not only is it personalized, but it is solely focused on the milk froth process. However, it is also a different art of preparation, waiting until the coffee is inserted first. Both the Secura and Nepresso are temperature based machines, so if you are fine without worrying about a particular coffee disc, these are for you. Not only are the fantastic choices, but they have the capabilities of a more creamy coffee, which is a plus for those who like their coffee sweeter.