How to Use a Milk Frother (Guide for Beginners)

How to Use a Milk Frother (Guide for Beginners)

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So you’re keen on an excellent latte, cappuccino, or macchiato? Of course, you do! They’re scrumptious. But if you happen to’re shopping for one at your native coffee store daily, they’re additionally costly. 

Luckily, there’s an answer. You can froth milk and make all of your favourite drinks at residence. You don’t even want an espresso machine to do it!

So what’s the key? That’s what we’re right here to share. Keep studying for a step-by-step information on how one can use a milk frother. We’ll offer you a few suggestions and methods you received’t discover wherever else.


  • Milk frother
  • 6 to 16 ounces of milk
  • Saucepan or microwave to warmth milk
  • A thermometer (non-obligatory)
  • Frothing pitcher (non-obligatory)


5 minutes


1 drink

Now In Detail:

  • Milk frother

There are many alternative milk frother varieties. This article will focus on how one can use an electrical frother, a handheld frothing wand, or a plunger-style guide milk frother. So to observe alongside, you’ll want a kind of gadgets. 

If you’re utilizing a steam wand on an espresso machine, take a look at our separate information on how to steam milk.

  • 6 to 16 ounces of milk

The precise amount of milk you want will depend on your drink of selection. A big latte wants significantly extra milk than a small macchiato. However, it’s difficult to froth with lower than 6 ounces of milk. So if you happen to want lower than that on your drink, think about making a second to share with a buddy,

The best milk to froth is 1%, 2%, or entire dairy milk by way of the kind of milk. If you need to froth non-dairy milk, it’s greatest to search for one that’s labeled “barista fashion.” These are specifically formulated with the right ratio of fat and proteins to imitate dairy milks for frothing.

  • Saucepan or microwave to warmth milk

Most electrical milk frothers embrace a heating factor, by which case this tools isn’t wanted. But if you happen to’re utilizing a French press or handheld milk frother wand, you’ll have to heat your milk individually. Using a microwave is the best methodology, however a saucepan over low warmth may also do the job.

  • A thermometer (non-obligatory)

You don’t essentially want a thermometer, however it’s useful to know the exact temperature of your milk. This may be particularly beneficial if you happen to’re a milk frothing newbie, as you received’t but have the instinct to know when your milk is ideal.

  • Frothing pitcher (non-obligatory)

While you don’t want a frothing pitcher to make frothed milk, they’re designed to make the duty as straightforward as potential, based on skilled Chase Lemos of Nuova Ricambi USA (1).

Steaming pitchers have superior loads within the final 15 years, and now there are completely different sizes and shapes of pitcher to suit completely different steaming kinds and frothing objectives.

Some pitchers are formed to make frothing as straightforward as potential, whereas others have spouts designed to optimize the pouring of froth artwork. They additionally come in numerous colours, which is useful if you wish to distinguish between milks or add somewhat pizzazz to your coffee bar.

How to Use A Milk Frother

Frothing milk could be very easy and doesn’t essentially even require particular tools. In this part, I’ll stroll you thru how one can froth milk utilizing three completely different instruments:

  • An electrical milk frother.
  • A handheld frothing wand.
  • A guide milk frother which is basically a French press.

If you make many milky drinks, you might discover it extra handy to spend money on a machine that may craft drinks for you. Check out our guides for the most effective latte coffee machine and the best cappuccino maker.

Step 1: Choose a milk temperature

The good factor about milk frothing utilizing a separate machine, reasonably than a steam wand on an espresso machine, is that you’ve the choice of frothing chilly or scorching milk. Next time you’re craving a refreshing iced latte on a scorching summer season’s day, you’ll be glad you invested in that milk frother.

If you’re making a chilly coffee drink, seize your milk from the fridge, and also you’re good to go.

Pro tip: If you’re frothing chilly milk, it’s a good suggestion to sit back your frothing pitcher as effectively. Not solely does this guarantee your milk stays good and funky, nevertheless it additionally makes it simpler for the milk to foam.

If you’re making a coffee drink with scorching milk, you’ll have to work just a bit more durable. The preferrred temperature for frothed milk is between 140 and 155 ℉. If you’re taking your drink to go, you’ll be able to push it somewhat hotter, as excessive as 160 to 165 ℉. The most vital factor is to not scald your milk, as that can completely change its taste (2).

By keeping track of the temperature, you may be positive to not detract from the flavour profile of your coffee in an espresso-based drink.

To get your milk to the proper temperature, you’ve two choices. The simplest way is to microwave it, however you may as well put the milk in a small saucepan and heat it in your range over low warmth. 

By far, probably the most dependable technique to obtain the proper temperature is to make use of a thermometer. If you haven’t frothed milk earlier than, that is undoubtedly beneficial. As you get extra skilled, you’ll come to know the time it takes in your microwave and the way the milk feels when it’s prepared.

As a common guideline, it often takes about 30 seconds in most microwaves. If you dip your finger within the milk, the proper temperature ought to really feel scorching to the contact however not painful.

Pro tip: Milk scalds at 180 levels Fahrenheit. Suppose you favor your latte additional scorching, which is widespread in North America although not historically Italian. In that case, you may get away with heating your milk above 165 ℉ as long as you don’t cross the 180 ℉ limitations.

Step 2: Froth the milk

We’re going to interrupt this step down into three components relying on what machine you’re utilizing to froth your milk. Each has a unique methodology, so let’s stroll by means of them one after the other.

Use an Electric MIlk Frother

We’ll begin with the only methodology, an electrical frother. If you get a good frother, like our prime choose, the Breville Milk Cafe, these primarily do all of the give you the results you want. Most even embrace built-in heaters that assist you to set your required milk temperature. 

In this case, utilizing one is so simple as including the milk to the chamber, placing the lid on, setting your required milk temperature, and hitting begin. Some may also provide the possibility of selecting your milk texture.

Pro tip: For a latte, you need a surprisingly dense and creamy foam, one thing that resembles home paint. For a cappuccino, you need a extra ethereal froth you could dollop on prime.

Use a Handheld Frother

Handheld milk frothers are small battery-powered whisks, often with solely a one-speed setting. To use one, all it’s worthwhile to do is stick the whisk in your milk and switch it on. 

However, it’s not solely foolproof, as the important thing to utilizing it’s to get it on the appropriate depth in your milk. This is very essential if you happen to plan on pouring latte artwork, as this requires the proper silky micro-foam texture. If you’re making a cappuccino, you’ve somewhat extra room for error.

If your milk frother is on the good depth, it is best to see a gradual swirling whirlpool of milk. 

If it’s too near the floor, you’ll find yourself with massive bubbles and splashing. If it’s too deep, you’ll see minimal motion. Once you get the whirlpool movement, it solely takes about 30 seconds to finish.

As a enjoyable aspect be aware, milk frothers like this are additionally implausible for making chocolate drinks. Add some cocoa powder and sugar to your milk earlier than frothing for straightforward scorching chocolate. Keep going and add some brewed coffee to that frothy scorching chocolate for a easy and cheap mocha.

Pro tip: If you need to observe artwork, froth your milk in a frothing pitcher in order that it’s straightforward to pour. However, if aesthetics aren’t a precedence, a handheld wand-like this has the benefit you could froth milk immediately in your mug then add coffee on prime. Fewer dishes is all the time a win in my ebook!

Use a Manual Milk Frother

The “hardest” technique to foam milk is through the use of a French press or different plunger-based programs, however “hardest” is a relative time period, and relaxation assured that it’s nonetheless easy. This can also be typically referred to as a guide milk frother since you do should do the work by hand. No batteries or shops are wanted.

To froth in a guide milk frother, simply add scorching or chilly milk, then transfer the plunger quickly up and down.

This introduces air into the milk, progressively turning it from a liquid to a foam. The longer you do it, the extra air is added and the frothier it turns into. It ought to solely take about 20 to 30 seconds of vigorous plunging to achieve the right consistency. 

The solely factor that makes the guide frother more durable than the others is that you just’ll want the bicep endurance for 30 seconds of fast piston motion.

Pro tip: If you’re shopping for a French press for this function, think about its materials. A glass one is good as a result of you’ll be able to see the milk froth in motion. However, glass isn’t a fantastic insulator, so you might have to pop your milk again within the microwave for just a few seconds after frothing. Alternatively, you’ll be able to go for an insulated mannequin, which can hold your milk at the next temperature, however you’ll be frothing blind. 

Step 3: Clean up

This may appear self-evident. Of course, after doing something in your kitchen, it is best to clear up. But it’s a essential step when frothing milk as a result of frothed milk could make a nasty mess. It hardens and turns into each unhygienic and really tough to clean off your milk frothers because it dries. 

So as quickly as you’re completed frothing, you should definitely soak something with milk on it in water till you’ve time to wash it correctly with soapy water.

Final Thoughts

If you need to take pleasure in a tasty latte day by day with out breaking the financial institution, studying how one can use a milk frother is effectively well worth the small quantity of effort. With the proper instruments, and this helpful set of directions, creating good milk foam is fast, straightforward, and cheap. So why not give it a strive? You don’t have anything to lose and numerous scrumptious drinks to realize!


Frothing milk doesn’t really make it sweeter, nor does heating milk. But heating milk does make it style sweeter. This is as a result of the human tongue is extra delicate to sweetness at increased temperatures (3).

To froth milk with no milk frother, you need to use a easy mason jar with a lid. Just add milk to the jar, microwave it to the proper temperature, then screw the lid on and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. The milk will grow to be an ethereal foam. The draw back to this methodology versus an precise milk frother is that it’s a lot more durable to regulate the milk texture.

Yes, you’ll be able to froth half and half, and the method is similar as frothing common milk. The distinction is that you’ll get a a lot richer and denser foam. Italians even had a standard drink made with frothed half and half referred to as the cappuccino breve. It’s fairly indulgent, so that you won’t need one daily, nevertheless it’s undeniably scrumptious.

  1. Lemos, C. (2019, March 5). Barista Accessories for the Non-Barista, Part 1. Retrieved from
  2. Klimanova, Y. (2019, February 6). What Should Your Cappuccino Milk Temperature Be? Retrieved from
  3. Seah, C. (2016, March 24). Coffee Science: Everything You Need to Know About Milk. Retrieved from

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