If you are a passionate lover of lattes and cappuccinos, you most definitely tried or thought about making them at home. The truth is that almost every kitchen has a tool or two needed to froth milk and make a homemade cappuccino.
What You Need to Know
Different types of milk yield different foams, which is essential to understanding the making process.
Non-fat or skimmed milk is the type best suited for your first attempts, because it yields the largest foams easily. The downside is that foam gained from non-fat or skimmed milk will not taste as good as the foam gained from other types of milk with more fat.
Also, other types of milk like organic, lactose free, soy, or similar types should not be used because their pasteurization process is different compared to that of a classic milk, and thus these types do not froth well.
The best type of milk you should use is fresh cold milk, no more than five days old.
The best frothing results are gained by using 2% fat milk at about 150-155F. You should always do the frothing process immediately after you take you milk out of the fridge, and wait as little as possible, because the more the milk stays at room temperature, the less foam you will get.
BlenderBottle – Less Shaking With a Little Helper
Using BlenderBottle instead of a milk jug has a few advantages. First of all, the BlenderBottle has a much larger and wider opening than the milk jug. You will lose less foam when pouring, and it is also easier to clean.
Also, the BlenderBottle has a nice addition called the BlenderBall, which is perfect for mixing and making shakes, dressings, and foam.
Again, please take not to still use fresh cold milk, right out of the fridge. Simply pour it and mix until you see the foam is ready. This type of foam should not be heated up afterwards in the microwave, as some other types can be.
If you do not have the BlenderBottle however, there are a few tricks you can use.
The first one is to use a tea ball infuser with any shaker bottle. Just put the tea ball in, pour the milk, and shake until you get your desired results.
Hand Blender or Whisk – Creamy Foam Without Breaking A Sweat
The hand blender should be used in a manner where you carefully and slowly rise and lower it during the frothing process. The process should always make that distinct fizzling sound, which means the air and the milk are mixing, and the process is complete when you get approximately double the initial contents of container.
This foam can and should be heated in your microwave, if you have one, before pouring it in your espresso.
How To Froth Milk With A French Press
You should never exceed the maximum line indicator on the carafe when pouring milk, because your foam can splash out, but you also shouldn’t go too far below the line either.
After you’ve poured the milk in and started frothing, hold the small knob at the top of the plunger and pump it up and down as you froth. Do the pumping with quick and vigorous momentum, but nothing too fast and crazy.
The frothing process should take about 30 seconds approximately, but a good rule of thumb is to gain foam that is double the amount of the initial milk poured in.
After the frothing is finished remove the plunger and place the carafe in your microwave. If there is excess foam on the plunger, tap it off back into the rest of the foam, so that it does not go to waste.
It goes without saying that the plunger is not to be left in and heated up in the microwave. Make sure you are using a glass carafe, and check the indicators to see if it is safe for the microwave process. Put the microwave on high temperature and leave it in for about 30 seconds or less, depending on the power of your oven.
After the heating is over, you should get the froth that is stiff, with fine bubbles and a silky feel. This means it won’t melt easily and it will stay on longer, preferably until the last sip of your coffee.
The correct way of pouring the froth into your coffee should be done carefully, using a spoon to hold the froth at first so that the milk comes out first. Then, after you’ve poured enough milk, remove the spoon and let the froth come down too. Sweeten your coffee to suite your desire before you pour the froth.
Automatic Electric Milk Frother
This is the simplest and easiest way of making milk froth at home, for this appliance has the settings for your desired foam types. If you want a creamy froth, choose the latte setting. Or, if you want more foam, set it to the cappuccino. Pour your milk in and select the desired temperature, because this device will also heat up your foam, meaning you will not need to use the microwave. The device will stop working automatically after it reaches the selected temperature. You can make froth for up to three cups of coffee.
I have a post of Top 5 Best Milk Frother. You will find out what is the best milk frother and why.
My Conclusion About Frothing
I’ve ranked all these devices and methods by the quality of the foam they produce, and by convenience.
The automatic electric milk frother would be the winner obviously, but it is not something most people have at home, because it is a professional appliance mostly seen in cafes or restaurants.
So, if we only count those methods most people can easily have and do at home, the French Press comes at number one. The hand whisk method is at number two, but it is more likely that everyone has it at home, though the French Press is no hard to come by.
Both these methods produce a foam that is smooth and has tiny micro bubbles.
The BlenderBottle is at number three, because its foam is not that perfect, but it still is smooth and creamy.
Milk Froth Vs. Steamed Milk – Is There A Difference?
Although both types of milk are used for improving the taste of your coffee, there are large differences between steamed and frothed milk.
The process can be made using the same or similar tools, but the process is different, and there lies the difference.
Frothed milk has much more air and bubbles, and is naturally lighter, while steamed milk has less air, is heavier and denser, and as a result does not have much froth. More milk is consumed for steamed milk, while frothed milk yields at least three times the amount of the initial amount.
These differences of course mean that they are used for different types of beverages.