Steamed Milk with and without an Espresso Machine

There are multiple ways to froth milk at home without an espresso machine. Below, I show two different methods that are relatively inexpensive and can give you a nice quality frothed milk to add to your coffee or tea. I also show a method with the espresso machine for those of you that have one.


Hand Milk Frother

The hand milk frother is the most inexpensive option of the three that I show. All you need to do is warm up one-half cup of milk in the microwave in a microwave safe container for 45 seconds, pour the milk into the frother and pump the handle for 1-2 minutes until you get the desired consistency.


Electric Milk Frother

Aeroccino 3 from Nespresso

The electric milk frother is another great option if you want to have perfectly warmed, frothed milk at the push of a button. All you do is put milk in the top up to the fill line, put on the lid and press the button. In around a minute, you have warmed, frothed milk waiting to use. Very simple!


Espresso Machine

The espresso machine is going to be the most time consuming and difficult option of the three, but the results are worth it. You actually get velvety steamed milk, not frothed milk with this method. To do this, you first must warm up the machine and turn it to steam mode if there is one. Then, with a half filled milk pitcher, place the steam tip just under the surface of the milk and turn the steam on. Place the steam tip near the edge of the pitcher so that it swirls the milk as it is heating it. Adjust the height of the pitcher as the milk rises to keep the steam tip just below the surface. Once the pitcher is just too hot to touch, and the milk has risen near the top, turn off the steam and immediately wipe the steam tip and purge to make cleanup much easier. Then, you can tap the base of the milk pitcher carefully on a counter to help remove any large bubbles at the top, and gently swirl in circles. When done correctly, it should look like wet paint. This is now ready to pour into your coffee or tea.


Final Notes

The hand frother and electric milk frother do not actually steam milk, but by warming it up and introducing air to it, they are essentially “whipped” milk products. The consistency and mouthfeel will be more light and airy with these two methods. The espresso machine heats the milk and agitates it with steam, which produces a much more dense, smooth, velvety texture. You can decide based on amount of effort involved, budget and final quality which one will be best for you. There are quite a few other ways to achieve frothed milk, but these three are my favorite, and the espresso machine is the one used the most in my house. Please subsribe and let me know if you have any experience with these methods. I look forward to your comments!

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