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How to Use a Coffee Frother?

A coffee frother is one of the most used tools in coffee making. Anytime you need a frothy milky beverage, it comes to mind.

Frothers are used to aerate milk creating bubbles that come together to make milk foam. It is this milk foam that you see on dessert coffee drinks, and it’s also used when creating latte art.

Milk foam gives coffee specialty beverages a velvety mouthfeel and a nice flavor.

There are different ways of using a coffee frother. Once you master how to use it, you’ll become an expert at preparing delicious milky coffee beverages such as cappuccinos and lattes.


Factors to Consider When Using a Coffee Frother

Coffee frothers are used to froth cold or hot milk. You can use them to create creamy, velvety coffee beverages. The quality of foam you get and how long it takes to produce it will differ from one machine to the other.

However, what matters most when using a frother is the type of milk you use and the temperature at which it is steamed before frothing.

There is no need to worry about temperature when frothing cold milk.   However, the ideal temperature to boil milk for frothing is about 140 – 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Always ensure your milk does not boil when using a coffee frother. It should only steam to ensure it retains its flavor and foams correctly.

You may also buy a frothing pitcher to hold your milk during frothing if the machine you choose doesn’t have a container to froth milk in.

A frothing pitcher is a container similar to a milk jug used to steam milk or froth milk. It is used when creating coffee beverages that require cream or milk foam.

The type of frothing pitcher you choose should be deep enough to fit the device you are using for frothing. Short steam wands work best in short pitchers, while long steam wands work well with tall pitchers.

Milk doubles in volume during frothing. Therefore, remember to fill the vessel you are frothing milk in only until halfway to avoid spillage.

Skim milk is easy to froth and creates excellent milk foam. However, it doesn’t produce a creamy foam like full-fat milk. Therefore, most people use full-fat milk when creating milk foam for coffee.


Different Types of Coffee Frothers You Can Use to Create Milk Foam


Coffee making using coffee maker


There are several coffee frothers that you can use to froth milk. These are steam wands, manual coffee frothers, automatic coffee frothers, and hand-held coffee frothers.

These frothers differ in terms of ease of use, affordability, and how they froth milk. Here is how to use each of them.


1. How to Use a Manual Coffee Frother

manual coffee frother

A manual coffee frother requires some effort to use, but it comes in handy when you don’t have access to an automatic or hand-held coffee frother. Here is how to use it.

  • Pour milk you’ve heated to about 150 degrees Fahrenheit into the manual coffee frother. Make sure it doesn’t exceed the halfway mark.
  • Secure the lid of the coffee frother and pump it up and down a few times to test it.
  • Once you are sure your frother is working correctly, continue pumping the milk until you hit a minimum of 60 pumps.
  • Any resistance as you pump downwards is a sign that the frother is working. The more resistance you feel, the more milk froth you’ve created.
  • It takes about 30 seconds to create milk froth using a manual coffee frother.
  • As you pump, open the lid of the frother to check the consistency of the milk foam you’ve made.
  • Make sure you don’t open the lid of the frother too frequently; otherwise, the milk will go cold.
  • Once you are satisfied with the foam in the milk jug, swirl it around gently to ensure the milk settles to the bottom.
  • You may now scoop the dollops of foam over your coffee beverage using a spoon


2. How to Use a Hand-Held Milk Frother

hand held milk foamer

Hand-held milk frothers are easy to use and affordable. They are battery-powered. Therefore, you can use them anywhere to froth milk in minutes.

Some people think hand-held coffee frothers are easier to use than manual milk frothers because they do not necessitate up and down pumping movements.

They also take less time to froth milk than manual coffee frothers. Here’s how to use a hand-held milk frother.

  • Heat milk to 150 degrees Fahrenheit and pour it halfway up a carafe or milk jug
  • Power the frother on before using it to ensure no particles are stuck on it.
  • Tilt the milk jug at a 45-degree angle and gently dip the frother into the milk. Ensure it does not hit the bottom of the jug to avoid scraping it.
  • Press the high-speed setting on your frother and let it run until milk froths to your satisfaction.
  • The foam will float to the top of the milk jug as the milk settles at the bottom.
  • Bend the milk jug slightly and pour the steamed milk into a coffee mug with your preferred brew. It will fold into the coffee, creating a nice milky drink.
  • Scoop the milk froth on top of the coffee beverage or pour it on using the jug.
  • Enjoy your creamy, milky coffee beverage with a velvety consistency.


3. How to Use an Espresso Steam Wand


espresso steam wand

Espresso coffee makers come with a steam wand that you can use as a coffee frother. They can steam, heat up, and froth milk simultaneously.

How you use a steam wand will depend on whether you use a single boiler or double boiler.

If you use a coffee machine with a single boiler, steam the milk before frothing it.

However, if you are using a double boiler, ensure your steamed milk and foam are ready at the same time your coffee beverage is ready. That will enable you to create a hot frothy beverage.

Here’s how to froth milk using an Espresso machine.

  • Brew espresso coffee to your preferred strength and set it aside.
  • Pour the milk you want to froth into a frothing pitcher or milk jug.
  • Activate the wand before dipping it in milk to purge it off any water trapped in the steam wand.
  • Purge the wand until it releases steam, then start frothing your milk, ensuring you don’t exceed 150 degrees Fahrenheit while frothing.
  • Tilt the frothing pitcher or milk jug at a 45-degree angle and dip the Espresso maker steam wand 3/4 way into the milk frothing pitcher.
  • Avoid scraping the bottom of the milk frothing container as you use the steam wand.
  • If the milk is swirling around in a tiny whirlpool, you are frothing it correctly.
  • Observe the milk foam as it comes up, and stop when you’ve created enough of it.
  • You may tap the milk jug on a flat surface to ensure the milk settles to the bottom as the foam comes together.
  • Once the milk and froth have separated, scoop the milk foam over the coffee beverage you are preparing and enjoy.


4. How to Use an Automatic Coffee Frother

If you don’t have an Espresso maker, the other frother you can use that’s easy to operate is an automatic milk frother.

These frothers require little input from you to create foam. All you have to do is pour milk into it and turn it on.

Automatic frothers come in two forms. These are self-contained frothers and appendage unit coffee frothers.

Self-contained auto frothers have a detachable carafe you can plug into the frothing machine. They can steam and froth milk in minutes.

You can determine the amount of froth you want and how long it takes to froth it by pressing the setting on the coffee frother. Once your froth is ready, power off the machine and use it in any beverage you like.

Appendage-style coffee frothers do not have a separate carafe in which you can put milk when frothing. They come with a rubber hose attachment that froths the milk in a separate container.

It would be best if you used a milk jug, frothing pitcher, or cup to hold the milk when using an appendage-style coffee frother.

Once you’ve measured your milk, dip the frother extension 3/4 way into the milk and steam your milk.

The rubber hose attachment will suck the milk into the frothing machine, heat it up and suck it back into the cup with the foam. You may power off the machine once you’ve created enough milk foam.



Now that you know how to use a coffee frother, practice at home until you can create the perfect milk beverage with fantastic latte art.

You don’t have to froth plain milk; you can also add some ingredients to it to make it taste better. Some examples are cinnamon, vanilla extract, and pumpkin spice.

Once you learn how to use a coffee frother, you’ll be able to enjoy beverages like macchiatos, frappuccinos, and lattes at home. There’ll be no need to rush to the coffee shop anytime you desire a delicious creamy sweet coffee beverage.