When to Use a Separate Milk Frother
If you’re like my husband, you won’t waste time with a milk frother. You don’t need to do all that work to get your morning jolt. It’s not that he won’t drink a mixed coffee drink, it’s just that he won’t spend the time to make one because he has other things to do. I, on the other hand, prefer my espresso drinks all kinds of milky and fluffy because espresso on it’s own, though delicious, is a little too strong for me. I like to savor my drinks, and a one ounce shot of espresso doesn’t really let that happen.
That’s When You Get Frothy
There are two ways you can froth your milk if you buy an espresso machine. You can buy a machine with a frothing arm on it, or you can get an external, secondary machine to do the work. Some of the capsule machines don’t have frothers, so if you get one of those, you will definitely need an after market product to get the rest of your drink made.
I have never had an independent milk frother before and, to be quite honest, I didn’t even know it was a thing you can get. They’re not expensive, and they build up a pretty good foam to layer on top of my cappuccino. The coolest thing about milk steamers is they can be used for things other than coffee and espresso. They’re actually pretty versatile and they may add something to your kitchen you didn’t know you needed.
If we’re talking about espresso here, the milk frother is going to be the key to a perfectly finished hot drink. You can get a good body to add to your latte and some serious foam to add to your cappuccino. The wands that come on the machines require a little more work from you because, in order to get the right amount of foam, you have to learn how to use the handle juuuussssttt right. For more information on the different ways you can make your milk for your drinks, see my page on all the different espresso drinks.
Secondary milk steamers, ones that are their own little machines, are pretty convenient. You just pour the milk in the top of the device, close it, and let it do all the work. You just have to set it for what you want.
For even more convenience, some of them come with a removable base so when your frother is done frothing, you can pick up the canister, which kind of looks like a pitcher, and pour from it without having to spoon out the goods.
Getting A Little Beyond
Milk frothers actually have a lot more going for them than just steaming milk like the wand on a espresso machine would do. I didn’t actually realize this until I went on the hunt to see what options were available if your espresso machine doesn’t have a frother on board. Milk frothers and steaming wands can actually give you a variety of options that might make them something you want in your kitchen for the long haul.
Did you know you can make cold froth? I did not. I worked in a coffee shop for a very long time before starting my big kid job, and I had no idea you could build up milk like that without using steam. I thought it was a basic necessity to the process. If you’re making iced coffee, cappuccino or lattes, you don’t want just a splash of milk. That would make them all the same thing. No, you want something more specific, and you can get it with cold froth that won’t melt your ice. That’s pretty great for the hot months.
More Than Coffee
A milk frother can also be used for things other than coffee, and the implications of that are pretty much endless. I mean, if you have a baby and you need warm milk, you can warm the baby’s milk with it. They get prety hot, though, so you’ll have to give it some time to cool.
If you are cooking and you need to stir in warm milk so the mixture won’t get clumpy, you can warm the milk in this and skip the extra saucepan. Even if you just want hot chocolate or other simple drinks, you can get your milk warmed without a problem and with the consistency needed to keep it hot once you’ve put your mixings in.
So Many Applications. Only one mouth.
I did not realize how much I could look forward to using a milk frother in my own kitchen. I really thought it would be just a coffee and espresso thing, but it’s totally not. The ones that come on the machines may be a little more limiting, but the separately purchased options have really come a long way to becoming another kitchen necessity. Keep this in mind when you’re doing your shopping.