With the rise in popularity of various coffee drinks, such as cappuccino, many people want to make these beverages at home. One tool often used in making such a drink is a milk frother. Many coffee beverages have a nice foamy topping of frothed milk, which is created by aerating warmed milk and combining it with the coffee. Common models include hand-pump varieties, motorized whisks, and small devices that can warm and froth the milk simultaneously.
Each milk frother typically does the same basic thing: it aerates the milk by rapidly agitating it to introduce as much air as possible. This creates bubbles within the milk that makes a light texture and significantly increases its volume. The result is a foamy mixture that helps cut through some of the dense, sharp flavor of strong coffee often used in cappuccinos and similar drinks.
Frothers on Cappuccino Makers
Shoppers can typically choose a milk frother based on their budget and how often they are likely to need it. It is a small device that can be stored almost anywhere in the kitchen, so space is usually not a concern. An avid cappuccino drinker may already have a cappuccino maker, and many of these machines include a steam-operated milk frother. These frothers produce a stream of hot air that froths the milk and makes the characteristic hissing noise associated with cappuccino and coffee bars.
A hand-pump milk frother has a plunger attached to a fine mesh screen and usually comes inside a stainless steel cup. These frothers are easy to use and quite affordable, though a fair amount of effort may be required to create the desired amount of foam. Such models are typically sufficient for someone making only one or two cups of coffee at a time, since a small amount of foam is easy to make.
Whisk and propeller models get at the job in essentially the same way as hand-pump versions, but they are hand-held electric devices. A small whisk or propeller is attached to the end of the milk frother and when it is turned on, the attachment turns rapidly to froth the milk. Propeller-type devices should be used with care, however, since they can scratch or chip the inside of porcelain cups. These devices often cost a bit more than hand-pump models, but are easier to use for making larger batches and can make the desired foam faster.
There are also small, electric frothers that are self-contained and often look like a small food processor or cup. These may be the best choice for someone who routinely makes multiple cappuccinos at once, since they usually froth a larger amount of milk than the alternatives. This type of milk frother is fast and some models even warm the milk while frothing, but is also typically more expensive. As with most any appliance or kitchen gadget, some comparison shopping can help a cappuccino drinker find the best option.