Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. No matter which country you visit, coffee is available and popular almost everywhere and many people can't imagine their mornings without it. In the meantime, many different coffee variations such as latte, latte macchiato and cappuccino have developed and are probably becoming more and more popular.

For many modern coffee specialities, the milk foam is the icing on the cake. In a real latte macchiato, for example, milk foam is an integral part. With a milk frother, you can also prepare these delicacies at home. In our big milk frother test 2021, we show you what you should look out for in a milk frother and what you should know beforehand.




Summary

  • Milk foam refines all coffee specialities and other hot drinks from conventional coffee to cappuccinos, latte macchiatos, lattes and even cocoa. The milk froth crown can be prepared easily and quickly at home with it.
  • There are different types of milk frothers that you can use for your foam topping. There are hand-operated, battery-operated, electric, induction and steam nozzle milk frothers.
  • You can use different types of milk for frothing. This also offers more variety in taste. People with a vegan diet therefore do not have to do without the delicious froth.

The Best Milk Frother: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for milk frothers

Milk frothers are available in many different variations and from many manufacturers. Some models differ considerably in terms of quality, features and operation. We have compiled the most important information you need before making a purchase.
You can compare the milk frothers according to these criteria:

Operation

The operation of the different milk frothers varies. However, the milk foam produced is similar in all devices. To produce milk foam with a battery-operated frother, you need another container for the milk.

Manual and electric milk frothers already have an integrated container. To make the milk foam, milk is added to the container in all devices. Depending on how it works, the milk foam is then prepared.

With manual milk frothers, milk is heated directly in the container and foamed through a sieve. Induction and electric milk frothers are also operated at the touch of a button. In these frothers, milk foam is produced by a whisk. The milk is heated, but can also be foamed cold. This type of operation is therefore particularly simple.

If you are a professional in the field of coffee specialities, you can get a steam nozzle milk frother. These can only be used in conjunction with a fully automatic coffee machine or espresso machine. The milk foam produced by the steam nozzles is particularly creamy.

Cleaning

As a rule, milk frothers should be cleaned by hand. Once you have prepared your milk foam and refined your hot drink with it, residues can simply be rinsed off with water. If there is milk residue, you can use washing-up liquid and a sponge.

With electric milk frothers, you should be a little more careful. Here you can pour warm water with a little detergent into the container and start the machine. After a short time, the milk frother should be clean.

Stainless steel milk frothers are generally easy to clean.

If cleaning by hand is too complicated for you, you can also use a milk frother with a milk container. The container can usually simply be put in the dishwasher after use.

If you want to avoid extra work, you can look directly at the coating when buying. Some milk frothers have a non-stick coating. This means that the milk sticks less to the container and it is easier to clean.

Filling quantity

Milk frothers come in different sizes. Depending on the use, you can choose a small or a larger container. The capacity is usually between 0.1 and 0.8 litres. For normal household use, 0.2 litres is quite sufficient.

You can prepare 1-2 milk foam drinks with it. However, if you often have visitors or the whole family gets together, you should go for a larger frother. With 0.6 to 0.8 litres of milk, many people can be provided with the delicious topping.

With a manually operated milk frother, the filling quantity is not important. The whisk is simply held in the milk and the coil produces the creamy milk foam. Many of them work with both warm and cold milk.

Appearance

The milk frother is not only practical, but also adds a good visual touch to the coffee table. If you attach importance to appearance, you should opt for an electric milk frother or an induction device. These are often made of stainless steel and therefore look particularly high-quality and chic.

The milk frothers also come in different colours or surface materials such as wood. So if you want your milk frother to integrate perfectly into your kitchen, you can make your own selection. Of course, it is a real eye-catcher in bright colours such as red or pink. There is something for every taste.

Use

If you regularly want to refine your coffee or cocoa with milk foam, you should go for a higher-quality device. That way, you'll be able to enjoy it for a long time and save on double the purchase costs.

If you want the milk frother to delight the whole family with coffee and cake, you should also pay attention to the size.

If you want to prepare a topping of milk foam for several hot drinks, the capacity should be appropriate.

This way, you only have to operate your frother once and can provide everyone with milk foam. A suitable device has a capacity of about 0.5 to 0.7 litres. This is enough for a thick layer of milk foam on any drink.

Decision: What types of milk frothers are there and which one is right for you?

There are different types of milk frothers. For a better overview, we have compiled the advantages and disadvantages of each type in this table.

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Battery-powered milk frothers You can use an unspecified amount of milk. No power source is needed for frothing. The devices are the cheapest The foam does not become very creamy.
Electric milk frother Operation is particularly easy. Cleaning in the dishwasher is possible The filling quantity varies depending on the size of the container.
Manual milk frothers The milk froth becomes creamy Physical effort is required.
Induction milk frother The milk cannot boil over due to regulation. Easy cleaning in the dishwasher is possible It is somewhat more expensive to buy.
Steam nozzle milk frother It produces particularly creamy milk froth It can only be used with fully automatic coffee machines or espresso machines. It requires a little practice to use.

What exactly distinguishes the individual types from each other and what makes them different is explained here. After that, you should have all the information you need when choosing your milk frother.

Batteriebetriebene Milchaufschäumer

Battery-powered milk frothers

If you want to froth an indeterminate amount of milk, battery-powered milk frothers are particularly suitable. The battery-powered frothers do not have their own container. To froth milk, pour any amount of milk into a cup or similar and hold the frother in it.

Battery-operated milk frothers are the cheapest of the frothers.

The handle contains the batteries and an electronic motor. This drives the whisk at the bottom of the handle. The rotating whisk creates air bubbles in the milk and produces the popular milk foam.

Make sure that the milk for the battery-operated frother is warm. The whisk cannot froth cold milk.

Unlike other milk frothers, the foam is not quite as creamy. On the other hand, it is ideal for quick and easy use and no power connection is required.

After use, you can simply rinse off the milk residue with warm water. In some hand frothers with a battery, you can also detach the whisk from the handle. This makes cleaning even easier.

Here is a list of the most important advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages
  • indeterminate amount of milk
  • no power source needed
  • inexpensive
Disadvantages
  • Foam not very creamy
Elektrische Milchaufschäumer

Electric milk frothers

Electric milk frothers are particularly easy to operate. An electrically operated milk frother consists of a container for the milk in which it is heated directly.

In some electric devices, the milk can even be foamed both hot and cold. How much milk you can use depends on the size of the container in the particular model.

The electric frothers work with a whisk that is driven by the electric motor. This allows air to get under the milk and create the creamy froth. All that is needed to froth the milk is to press a button.

The design of the devices can vary depending on the model. Some electric milk frothers have two parts that can be separated from each other. One is the milk container and the other is for the electronics.

If you have an electric milk frother with a separate container, you can even clean it in the dishwasher after use.

The table lists the most important advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages
  • easy to use
  • dishwasher-safe container
Disadvantages
  • Capacity varies depending on container size
Manuelle Milchaufschäumer

Manual milk frother

Unlike the others, the manually operated milk frothers work with a sieve. This sieve is attached to the appliance. To froth, it is moved up and down by hand. Air is mixed with the milk and the milk foam is created. With manual milk frothers, your foam is particularly creamy.

After you have moved the sieve through the milk enough times, you should let the foam rest for a minute. Then you can skim off the milk foam and pour it onto your drink.

Manual frothers for milk are often made of stainless steel. The milk can be heated in the stainless steel container before frothing. The durable material also makes it possible to heat the milk directly on the stovetop.

The amount of milk varies depending on the size of the stainless steel container. After you have made the milk foam, you can put the milk frother in the dishwasher to clean it.

Here we have summarised the most important advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages
  • creamy foam
Disadvantages
  • Physical effort required
Induktions-Milchaufschäumer

Induction milk frother

Milk frothers that work by induction can be operated simply by pressing a button.

The milk is placed in the container, which is placed on the induction base. Inside the milk container is a whisk that produces the milk foam. An induction motor ensures that the milk does not boil over.

After the milk foam has been produced, the induction milk frother switches itself off.

To use the induction device, it must be connected to a power source.

After the creamy milk foam has been whipped, you can remove the container from the base and pour the foam onto the speciality coffees. Once you have skimmed off the milk foam, the milk container can be cleaned in the dishwasher.

Compared to other milk frothers, those with induction are usually a little more expensive to buy.

Here are the most important advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages
  • no boiling over
  • dishwasher safe
Disadvantages
  • more expensive to buy
Dampfdüsen-Milchaufschäumer

Steam nozzle milk frother

If you are a professional in the field of coffee specialities, the steam nozzle milk frother is exactly what you need.

It takes a little practice before you can handle the steam nozzle device perfectly. But it will definitely pay off.

To froth, hold the steam nozzle in the container with the milk. By moving the nozzle up and down slightly, air is guided under the milk. At the same time, the milk warms up. When you feel that the milk is warm, hold the steam nozzle at the edge of the container in the milk.

Now the milk swirls in a circular motion and large air bubbles disappear. No more air is added.

When the temperature is now around 65 degrees Celsius and too hot to hold, the milk foam is ready.

This should now be added to your coffee, cappuccino or similar as soon as possible. If you wait too long, the foam will separate from the milk again.

If you want the milk foam to be a little firmer, tap the milk jug lightly on the table. Any remaining air bubbles will disappear.

We have outlined the advantages and disadvantages of the steam nozzle milk frother.

Advantages
  • particularly creamy foam
Disadvantages
  • only together with espresso and fully automatic coffee machines
  • practice required

Guide: Frequently asked questions about milk frothers answered in detail

How do I operate the different milk frothers?

Operation varies depending on the model. In principle, frothing at the touch of a button is particularly easy. Battery-operated or manual milk frothers are operated by hand.

Milk frothers with a battery have a handle and a whisk. The whisk is held in the milk and the electric motor turns the coil. All you have to do is hold the frothing wand in the milk.

Manual milk frothers are a little more work to operate. Here, the milk foam is created by a sieve that you move up and down.

The use of steam nozzle milk frothers requires dexterity and some practice. The steam nozzles must be held in the milk container in different ways during the frothing process. However, if you know how to use the steam nozzle milk frother correctly, you are guaranteed excellent frothing results.

Electric and induction milk frothers are the easiest to use. At the touch of a button, the milk is whisked and the creamy foam is created. The induction milk frothers even switch themselves off again.

In the video you can see three different techniques for frothing milk.

What types of milk can I froth?

Many types of milk are suitable for the perfect milk froth crown. The most important factor is the protein content of the milk. Another factor is the fat content. The protein content should be 3.3 % for the delicious milk cream. The fat content has more of an effect on the taste. Connoisseurs prefer milk with a fat content of 3.3 % for a particularly creamy foam. A medium fat content between 1.5 % and 3.5 % is perfectly adequate.

Milchaufschäumer-1

Not only cow's milk is suitable for coffee specialities.
(Image source: Kaffeemeister / Unsplash)

With most machines, cold milk should be used. If it is heated beforehand, it will quickly become too hot during frothing. If the temperature exceeds 70 degrees Celsius, the proteins coagulate and the foam becomes bitter.

If you want to froth cow's milk, you should use UHT milk.

But even people on a vegan diet don't have to do without milk foam topping. Milk foam can be made with the following types of milk:

  • Soy milk
  • Oat milk
  • Almond milk
  • Cow's milk (UHT milk)

We have created a table to give you an overview of the different types of milk:

Type of milk suitable for frothing properties
Soy milk suitable neutral taste
Almond milk suitable nutty taste
UHT milk suitable flavour carrier and foams well
Oat milk unsuitable watery result
Fresh milk unsuitable does not foam well
Rice milk unsuitable foams badly
Coconut milk unsuitable foams badly and watery result

How much does a milk frother cost?

The price range for milk frothers is very wide. Simple battery-operated models can be purchased for as little as about €2. Electric milk frothers, which can also be used in cafés, cost up to 600€. However, there are numerous models from a wide range of brands that cost between €30 and €100.

So basically, a milk frother is available for all budgets. Of course, the models also differ in terms of their quality features along with their price. You should therefore think carefully beforehand about what you expect from a milk frother and then you will be able to find the right one for you.

Are milk frothers dishwasher safe?

Not all milk frothers are dishwasher safe. With a battery-operated milk frother, often only the whisk is suitable for the dishwasher. This assumes that the whisk is removable. With electric milk frothers, on the other hand, the container is often dishwasher-safe.

If it is important to you that the milk frother can be cleaned in the dishwasher, you should make sure before buying that the parts can be separated from each other, as the electronic parts must not be put in the dishwasher.

What are the alternatives to a milk frother?

Since milk foam is a compound between the fat and protein molecules of milk and air, it is not available as a ready-made product. Therefore, it must always be prepared fresh.

If you don't have a milk frother at hand or if it's not worth buying one, a whisk is a simple alternative to frothers.

The result is fine as an alternative, but not comparable to that of a real milk frother.

First, you can heat the milk in a saucepan. When the temperature of the milk is around 50 to 60 degrees Celsius, you can use a whisk. By turning the whisk between your hands, the milk is whisked up in the pot.

After about a minute, a loose milk foam will have formed. However, as the air bubbles remain very large, you can whisk the milk foam a little more.

How big should a milk frother be?

Milk frothers have different capacities. Since most machines come with a container, you should choose the size that is right for you. If you want to make milk foam for one or two hot drinks, a milk container with a volume of 0.2 litres is sufficient.

If you want to prepare several coffees, cappuccinos etc. with milk foam, choose a milk container with a volume of 0.2 litres. If you want to add milk foam to several coffees, cappuccinos and the like, you should use a larger milk frother with a volume of around 0.5 to 0.8 litres.

Milchaufschäumer-2

Milk foam is an integral part of some coffee specialities. Here you can see a delicious latte macchiato. (Image source: Georgi Petrov / Unsplash)

However, a battery-operated frother offers you the most freedom in terms of milk quantity. Since it does not have an integrated container, you can froth as much milk as you like. You put the milk into a suitable container such as a cup or a stainless steel jug and froth it with the whisk. Depending on the amount, this may take some time.

How do I prevent the milk from boiling over?

To prevent your milk from boiling over when frothing, you should use cold milk from the fridge.

During the frothing process, the milk in most milk frothers warms up. If the temperature of the milk is already around 40 to 50 degrees Celsius beforehand, it will become too hot during frothing. This leads to it either boiling over or the milk becoming bitter.

Milchaufschäumer-3

This is where a coffee with milk foam is professionally prepared. This is also possible at home with a milk frother.
(Image source: Pravit/ 123rf.com)

If you want to be sure that your milk does not boil over, you should use an induction milk frother. Inside this device is an induction motor. This regulates the temperature of the milk. As soon as it exceeds 70 degrees Celsius, it regulates the milk temperature. As soon as the milk foam is ready, the induction device switches off.

Image source: Belchonock/ 123rf.com

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