5 Ways to Froth Milk at Home
Frothing milk at home can transform your latte experience. Here are five easy ways to froth milk and upgrade your latte.
Frothing Milk at Home
I make a lot of tea lattes at home but I don’t have a fancy espresso machine to steam milk to get that lovely froth.
What I’m aiming for is microfoam, tiny bubbles that are so small that you can barely see them. What I want to avoid is dry foam that has a lot of big bubbles.
Lush, velvety foam adds a rich mouthfeel and smooth texture that elevates the latte experience at home.
To get that gorgeous froth for lattes, I’ve tried a few methods with varying degrees of success.
- Automatic milk frother
- French press
- Handheld milk frother
- Immersion blender
- “Pulled tea” method
Here’s how well each did in making froth.
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Frothing Milk in an Automatic Milk Frother
FROTH QUALITY: ★★★★★
This automatic milk frother was a game-changer for me. It creates THE BEST froth at home without having an espresso machine.
I use it almost every day in the winter to make tea lattes.
This machine warms up the milk for you so no need to heat up milk on the stovetop or the microwave. Pour in cold milk, set the temperature, and watch it froth the milk to perfection.
The Breville Milk Cafe is my pick for making perfect lattes at home. I highly recommend it.
My Pick for Best Milk Frother:
To froth milk for the methods used below, you need to start with heated milk.
The Breville Milk Cafe is the only one that doesn’t require this extra step since it does it for you.
I heat milk in a saucepan on a stovetop, heating it up on simmer. Stir it occasionally to prevent that thin layer from appearing on top. Turn the heat off once you see steam coming from the milk.
Don’t leave the stovetop unattended since milk can easily boil, which is NOT what you want.
A quicker method is to heat milk using a microwave. Start with 30 seconds, stir, then heat for another 15 seconds until the milk starts to steam.
Frothing Milk in a French Press
FROTH QUALITY: ★★★★★
Pour the heated milk, filling no more than a third of the container, into a French press and put on the lid. Then, pull and push down on the plunger until the milk increases in volume.
It doesn’t take too much effort and froths the warm milk in less than a minute.
The French press creates great microfoam. Lots and lots of little bubbles and your latte will have a smooth froth.
It’s the least expensive way to create beautiful froth but the big drawback is the cleanup. It’s a lot of work to do extra dishes for one cup of latte.
My Pick for French Press:
Frothing Milk with a Handheld Milk Frother
FROTH QUALITY: ★★★☆☆
I got my first handheld milk frother years ago to make tea lattes and have since gone through multiple brands.
This frother is the best since it’s held up the longest without any issues. I had a Bodum one which works fine but it goes through batteries like crazy.
To create froth, you’re basically adding air into the milk. The milk frother whips around the milk to aerate and should double the volume of the milk.
The handheld milk frother will increase the volume of the milk, but as you can see, the froth isn’t so smooth and you can clearly see the bubbles.
I would recommend using a handheld milk frother if you want something quick and easy to use and clean but the froth is just ok and not ideal.
My Pick for Handheld Milk Frother:
Frothing Milk with an Immersion Blender
FROTH QUALITY: ★★☆☆☆
An immersion blender is basically a handheld milk frother on steroids.
It can make a mess so be sure to use a deep container otherwise you’ll end up with your own Jackson Pollack all over your walls and floor.
It did almost double the volume of milk but no microfoam in sight.
I wouldn’t recommend the immersion blender method since it creates a ton of big bubbles.
My Pick for Immersion Blender:
“Pulled Tea” Method to Froth Milk
FROTH QUALITY: ★☆☆☆☆
A method to create froth I’ve seen at a Malaysian cafe was pouring a liquid from one container to another.
They call it “pulled tea” and the more times you pour the liquid, the more air you end up adding, which is what we want.
I did get the milk to increase in volume but it created dry foam, not the microfoam I was aiming for.
I wouldn’t recommend this method since it makes too much of a mess AND the froth isn’t ideal.
Tea Latte Recipes
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