How to Froth Milk Without a Frother



on May 28, 2023

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Frothed milk is milk that has been aerated with a tool like a milk frother (which only creates foam) or a steam wand (which heats the milk and creates foam).

Adding frothed milk to coffee elevates it to an entirely new level. Just look at a cappuccino or macchiato – half the fun of drinking it is savoring the texture of the foam.

If you’re looking for a great milk frother, here are some of our favorites:

  • Breville Milk Cafe: This milk frother can whip up a lot of foam at once and also comes with design discs for cappuccinos and lattes.
  • Bodum Bistro Electric Milk Frother: Use this frother to heat and/or foam milk. It can heat up to 1 cup of milk and shuts off automatically when the milk temperature is below 122 degrees or over 158 degrees.
  • PowerLix Milk Frother: This handheld frother is lightweight, battery-powered, and can foam milk in as little as 15 to 20 seconds.

How to Froth Milk Without a Milk Frother or Espresso Machine

If you don’t have a milk frother and need to create foam in a pinch, here’s how you can do that with items you already have in your kitchen. (And if you want the milk steamed so it’s even sweeter, make sure to heat it on a stovetop or in a microwave until it’s between 140 and 155 degrees Fahrenheit – around the time you see steam begin to rise and micro bubbles began to form at the edge of the pan.)

  • Sealed jar or container: Pour the warmed milk in a jar and shake until it reaches your preferred level of froth, which usually takes around 30 seconds.
  • Whisk: Whisk the milk by hand with a back and forth motion until you reach the desired amount of foam (this creates slightly more froth than some of the other methods).
  • Blender: Blend the milk on medium speed until it reaches your ideal consistency.
  • Electric mixer: Electric mixers create consistently uniform bubbles. Simply place the warmed milk in a tall bowl and blend it on low-to-medium speed until you get the preferred amount of foam.
  • Immersion blender: Even though immersion blenders can create froth, they can be messy to use. Make sure you use a tall bowl and blend for around a minute.
  • French press or pump frother: A pump-style frother makes excellent foam, and you can replicate these same results with a French press. Simply pour heated milk in (but not too much, since it will expand to nearly double the volume) and pump the handle up and down for around 10 seconds. Both pump frothers and French presses are ideal for pouring due to the narrow spout.

Milk Alternatives

Want to top off your drinks with foam but you’re not a fan of dairy? There are plant-based alternatives that can replace milk.

However, not all non-dairy milks are ideal for creating froth since most plant-based alternatives are too watery to foam.

If you’d like to make frothed milk with a non-dairy milk, oat milk is an excellent option – specifically, Oatly’s Barista Edition, which is made for drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. It has a thicker, creamier consistency (which is comparable to whole milk) and it’s easy to foam and use as latte art. Bonus: oat milk is considered more sustainable and environmentally-friendly than other types of milk due to the fact that it uses less land and water than many other types of milk (such as almond milk).

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