You want to prepare your own milk foam in the comfort of your own home? From the battery-operated hand whisk to the automatic induction milk frother, we have tested and compared the options for you. Result: with the right machine you can make great homemade milk foam – but not with just anyone.
Last updated on: 22. february 2021
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The milk frother test – what you should know
When people talk about "drinking coffee" these days, the first thing they think of is latte drinks like cappuccino or latte macchiato. Between "latte" and "to go", the simple filter coffee has taken a bit of a back seat. Loyal readers should know that I am a fan of traditional filter coffee from the coffee maker.
Nevertheless, of course, espresso is not neglected in my work either. The creamy, mild sweetness of good milk foam is a great complement to a strong espresso. Since I am not only concerned with fully automatic coffee machines, but am also a purist, I have tested the 10 best milk frothers 2022 for you.
The best milk frother
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- Great milk foam
- Compact and handy
- Pleasant to use
- Easy to clean
- Moderate price
- Small filling quantity
- No grip
|product category||milk frother test|
|maximum foam quantity||120 ml|
|maximum filling quantity||240 ml|
|foaming time||approx. 2 minutes|
|milk temperature||70 °C|
Brewing espresso is known to be a science in itself. From the roasting of the coffee beans and the grinding to the brewing pressure and the water temperature, many variables have to work together to achieve the right result.
Fortunately, it’s not quite so complicated when it comes to milk foam. But even here, nothing works without the right equipment, and even here, a lot can go wrong.
Therefore, this article gives you an overview of the possibilities to make nice milk foam at home and recommends the best machines in each category. The recommendations are all based on their own independent tests.
What types of milk frothers are there??
If you want to make warm milk foam at home, you have several technical options to choose from. The good news is that you can get good results with all methods, if you do it right and choose the best equipment.
Practical and inexpensive: the manual
A first option for milk frothing comes from manufacturers like bodum, bialetti and cilio, who are best known for stovetop jugs, french presses and the like.
Price not available
The principle of operation is the same for all milk frothers of this type. They differ only in details of material and design.
The bottom line is that the bodum latteo wins because it provides the best milk foam with the least amount of effort, looks nice and is all around pleasant to use.
One weak point: the jug on this model is made of thin glass, which is naturally fragile. For example, it should not collide with other hard objects when washing dishes. So you have to be a little careful when using it.
At least you can put the pot directly on the stovetop. This is not an official recommendation from the manufacturer and comes with a certain risk of the glass cracking. However, I know of latteos that were regularly on the stove and lasted for ages.
At first glance, the bialetti tutto crema is more attractive in this regard, because it is made of metal. Neither the hotplate nor collisions with plates and cutlery can harm it. It uses a double strainer to froth the milk.
Unfortunately, the tutto crema has the disadvantage that after a few months, the coating of the metal often comes off. This manifests itself in unsightly streaks on the inside, which make you wonder how much of the stuff has ended up in your own stomach.
Scraping the inside with the edge of the sieve can logically not be prevented. I can report from my own experience of these strips, and on the internet many complain of the same problem. I’d rather go for the nice, clean glass of the bodum latteo, which is just as easy to clean.
Another option is the competing product from cilio. This milk frother is officially called "cappuccino creamer" and is made of stainless steel. It is definitely the most decorative and highest quality manual milk frother in our selection. But it also costs about twice as much as the other two candidates.
If you like it fancy and don’t mind the price, the cilio cappuccino creamer is a good option. But the bottom line is that the bodum latteo wins because it is significantly cheaper and produces the best milk foam with the least amount of pumping.
With battery operation: only for small quantities
Battery operated milk frothers are something like the minimum solution in terms of size, price and comfort. These machines resemble a whisk, but are smaller and do not have a chopper at the end, but a whisk for milk frothing.
Price not available
Battery operated milk frothers are a dime a dozen, especially at the lower end of the price range. Although exceptions prove the rule, you can generally assume that a 30 euro machine can do more (and looks better) than a 5 euro one.
The only question is whether you shouldn’t add another ten euros to your 30 and buy an induction milk frother – you can already get our test winner, the clatronic MS 3326, for around 40 euros. But more on that later.
Because I assume that a battery operated milk frother should be inexpensive, I have chosen the scanpart milk frother as the test winner. It feels good in the hand, delivers acceptable milk foam and costs only about 8 euros.
Automatic milk frothers with induction
The most convenient solution for home use is an automatic milk frother that prepares hot milk foam at the touch of a button.
Today, most manufacturers of coffee or espresso machines have these devices in their assortment. Their prices are usually between 40 and 100 euros. They consist of a base part, which is connected to the mains, and the container for the milk. They are thus remotely similar to a water boiler.
Technically, however, there is a big difference: automatic milk frothers do not generate heat with conventional heating rods, but by induction.
Induction is mainly known from the corresponding type of modern electric stoves. These create a magnetic field under the cooking surface, the energy of which is converted into heat in the bottom of pots and pans. This only works with dishes that have a magnetizable bottom. Nothing else gets warm.
Generating heat by induction has several advantages. Above all, the process is efficient: the heat is generated immediately, can be regulated with pinpoint accuracy and consumes little electricity.
Because of this technology, automatic milk frothers are also pleasantly fast. Depending on the quantity, heating and foaming a portion usually takes between one and three minutes. Since the matching espresso usually takes longer.
In addition, milk foam preparation could hardly be more convenient. Fill with cold milk, press start, wait a moment, beep, done. Thanks to the automatic shut-off, nothing can boil over or burn on the stove. Only for cleaning you have to invest some time again. But here, too, the effort is very low.
As always in a product test, it is important to consider several criteria and to find the best compromise for different requirements when selecting the winner. That’s why test winner here means as much as price-performance winner.