To be the best barista, the equipment you need in your kitchen also includes a milk frother or a milk steamer. I always had a problem narrating a comparison of milk frother vs milk steamer. Lately, I bought each of them and tried to figure out why they are different.
While using, a milk frother froths the milk while heating it, making it light, airy, and full of foam. While a Milk steamer heats up the milk and gives it a texture, it does not create a full-fledged foam/froth. I will explain the exact difference and the reason why milk frother and milk steamer are so confusing.
So, if you’re a coffee lover, you must have come across lots of materials used to make a perfect coffee. But making coffee isn’t all about espresso machines and a professional barista! You can brew your favorite cup of coffee at home with ease if you have the perfect equipment. But wait! Before you get ready to make your first cup of coffee. You might get a little confused by all the equipment and instructions. We all have experienced that before! A primary concern here is that most coffee makers get lost when producing foams in their coffee.
Here’s the thing. There are two distinctive devices: milk frother and steamer, that help you produce foams on your cappuccino and espresso shots. But what’s so different about them? The main difference between a milk frother and vs. milk steamer is that a milk frother creates a strong foamy froth while a milk steamer heats the milk and creates a fluffy texture. We’ll tell you what exactly these two miraculous machines do for getting a frothy coffee and whether you have to use one of them or a tool that can do both.
Why Is Foamed Milk Introduced Into Coffee?
Typically, foamy milk is added to a variety of coffee drinks such as cappuccino, espresso, lattes, and others. This foamy texture is introduced with a slight difference in method and texture. Also, you may need a frothy-cold coffee to start your day. Separate tools pull off all these temperatures and textures of beverages.
What Is the Function of Milk Frother?
It is used for frothing milk to make it fully foamy. The frother renders the milk airy and light by expanding the milk 2 to 3 times. The frother is best for making foams in cappuccino and other foam coffees. You can find various types of milk frother, including handheld milk frother that works with a battery and automatic frothers for commercial use. Although the manual, handheld frothers, and automatic all are uncomplicated to use. But, the automatic is more expensive and consumes less time. On the other hand, manuals are less expensive but consume more time.
How to Froth Milk Using Milk Frother?
The frothy milk is produced by aerating milk by spinning action. The bubbles initiated during the frothing process add up the volume of the milk and make it lighter and foamy. The electric frother allows you to froth and heats the milk simultaneously. You can sprinkle your preferred toppings as well.
What Is a Milk Steamer?
A milk steamer is a device that creates a fluffy, foamy, creamy layer on a latte’s top. This milk steamer can be bought separately to pair up with any coffee maker or Nespresso machine. All the espresso machines at any coffee shop have a built-in steamer. Also, a steam wand does most of the milk steaming and texturizing process.
What Is the Function of a Milk Steamer?
For creating forms of latte and espresso coffee, a milk steamer is used. This machine first heats the milk to a specific temperature to form micro-foams. This stream wand is used for making steamed milk. It is usually available in espresso machines. The milk expands while you provide the correct temperature, so the stream milk gives.
How to Use a Steam Wand?
For producing steamed milk with the steam wand, ensure that the cup is not fully filled with milk as milk is going to expand. Dive the stream wand into your cup and switch on the streaming option. Bring the milk pitcher near the steam wand allowing it to contact the surface for seconds. Furthermore, ensure the milk pitcher is not too far, as milk may splatter. This aerating causes bubbles formation, which in turn creates microform. You can tilt the pitcher for better churning of the milk resulting in thicker foam.
Main Difference Between Milk Frother and Milk Steamer
The significant difference between a milk frother and a milk steamer is that in the frothing of milk, the air introduced expands the milk. As a result, frother gives your cup of coffee a light, airy, and foamed milk texture. Streamed milk is best for those who prefer heated textured milk but not quite foamy milk. Moreover, the frothers are separate small devices used for frothing milk. On the other hand, a stream wand is inbuilt in most espresso machines to introduce steam. Also, the handheld frother does not require an electrical supply, but the espresso machine does require plugging for a steam wand to work.
Similarly, frother allows you to produce cold foams, which is not the case in stream wand. It only allows warm foam creation. The streamer elevates the temperature of milk, which causes the breakdown of the fats. This happens due to the breaking and heating of lactic sugars in milk. The proteins are responsible for air bubbles and lactose to enhance the milk’s sweet flavor.
Best Milk Steamers and Milk Frothers
If you are impatient to start making your own cappuccino and espresso cups, we recommend some of the best steam wands and frothers for you. Not only that, but the all-in-one espresso machines also have the capability of frothing milk.
Best All-In-One Milk Steamers and Frothers That Can Kickstart Your Coffee
1. Best All-In-One Coffee Machine Aevo Milk Frothing Machine
If you don’t want a separate frothing and steaming machine, then an all-in-one Aevo milk frothing machine is ideal for you. You can adjust the settings for either steamed milk or frothed milk. This automatic all-in-one device works as a milk warmer, steamer or frother. You can get almost all types of drinks using this frothing machine. It has separate settings for cappuccino, latte, hot chocolate, and more. Also, it only weighs 850 grams, which is portable enough for quick use. You can choose any settings for warming, steaming, or frothing the milk.
Why Do We Love It?
- Detachable, dishwasher-safe pitcher.
- Aluminum pitcher with magnetic frothing lid.
- Automatic shut off, quiet working, four different modes.
Look at the following video to get a full demonstration of using this frothing/steaming machine.
2. Matchadna Premium Milk Frother & Steamer Jug
MatchaDNA is an all-in-one milk frother jug that helps in steam and milk warming processes. You can rely entirely on this jug if you want to speed up your morning chores in the kitchen. You can have a thick layer of creamy foam or texture the milk deliciously. You have multiple options to create either hot froth or cold, depending upon the drink you need. Also, the jug is detachable from the base, which makes cleaning easy. Furthermore, I liked this all-in-one frothing pitcher as quite handy, speedy, and versatile.
Why Do We Love It?
- Made up of durable steel material.
- Froths the milk within 90 seconds.
- Can froth milk, low-fat milk, no dairy milk, almond or soy milk.
- Detachable pitcher, lightweight frother, Weighs 2 pounds only.
3. Powerlix Milk Frother
This handheld frother works with a battery and is the most economical option for anyone with a low budget. Powerlix milk frother is compact-sized and easy to carry to make your favorite cappuccino cup wherever you go. This milk whisk frappe maker is a cost-effective choice for travelers rather than having a big coffee machine. The best part is you can use this milk frother for multiple drinks, including latte, cappuccino, and hot chocolate. You also get a stainless steel stand that keeps it safe, and you can put the frother on your countertop for easy usage. Not only that, it is a great egg beater that can help you prepare your quick breakfast.
Why Do We Love It?
- Froths the milk within 15 to 20 second
- Unbreakable spiral whisk made up of 18/10 food grade stainless steel
- Beautifully styled
- It can be used to make milkshakes, cocktails, and other beverages
You can watch the following video to understand the complete functioning of this frother.
4. Breville bmf600xl Milk Frother
Breville BMF 600XL is the best luxurious milk frother you can complement your kitchen. It has a jug-shaped metallic silver color that fits any decor and gives a luxury feel. Also, it is made up of stainless steel, weighs 3.6 pounds, and features a latte frothing disk. For cappuccino making, another disk is available that helps you make thick and creamy froth. The best part of this frother is that it also works as a hot chocolate maker. Just pour the milk, chocolate powder, or chunks, and you are ready to enjoy your drink.
Furthermore, a disk storage drawer is present at the bottom part of the frother that keeps the disks safe. It uses an induction heating system, and it is also dishwasher safe. A simple touch button helps you command the machine as you need.
Why Do We Love It:
- Separate disks for latte and cappuccino also have the disk storage feature
- Has 3 cup capacity
- Dishwasher safe, easy, and quick cleaning
- Variable temperature, cold stir setting, and auto shut-off features
If you want a complete tutorial on how to use it, watch the following video.
5. Nespresso 3694-Us-Bk AEROCCINO3 Milk Frother
The busy dwellers who don’t like the hectic processes can opt for this hassle-free milk frother. This milk frother gives an automated frothing option just at the press of one button with an 8.1-ounce capacity. You only need to pour an amount of milk you want to froth, and you are all set to go. A single press button will start the frothing process for delicious and foamy milk and heats up the milk up to 160 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. It is made up of non-stick material with a lightweight of only 1.9 pounds. But you can’t wash this frother in the dishwasher, and thorough cleaning is necessary.
Why Do We Love It:
- Prepares either hot or cold froth in only one second for hot and 2 seconds for cold setting
- Auto shut off feature when the frothing is finished.
- It can also froth any no dairy milk products or low-fat milk.
- You can prepare a variety of milk, including iced latte/iced cappuccino, cappuccino/latte, and Cafe au lait.
- Nespresso is made fast and delicious frother with a space-saving design.
You can watch a complete video to understand how this milk frother works and how you can use it.
Best Espresso Machines With Built-in Milk Steamers
1. Breville bes870xl Barista Express Espresso Machine
This espresso machine is one of the Barista series that provide precisely grinding coffee. Also, the steamer makes thick and creamy foam with enhanced flavors and allows you to design latte art. It comes up with 4 pounds capacity, which is quite big to handle a large family or small coffee shop. Furthermore, you can have a fantastic burr grinder that grinds the coffee in the right amount to provide fresh ground coffee on demand. You don’t need to buy a separate grinder, portafilter, brew machine, and milk frother if you buy this machine as it has all in one.
Why Do We Love It:
- The steam wand helps in creating microfoam, texturized milk, and latte art
- A grind size dial allows for deciding the grain size of coffee grounds.
- Comes with many accessories, including a trimming tool, portafilter, single or dual wall filter baskets, stainless steel milk jug, and many others.
- Weighs 23 pounds only
The following video can help you better understand the function of this machine.
2. Jura E8 Automatic Coffee Machines 15271
If you prefer light foamy coffee, then choosing the Jura E8 automatic is perfect. This automatic machine allows you easy steaming with the inbuilt steam wand. Also, it features an auto-filtering water system. It is the best luxurious all-in-one coffee maker with a milk steamer/frother. It has a six-level Aroma G3 grinder which grinds the fresh coffee beans while preserving the aroma of the coffee. Using the milk frother, you can prepare a latte, cappuccino, macchiato, and other delicious drinks. Its microfoam technology heats up the milk and aerates it to create a fluffy, foamy silky froth for your beverages.
Why Do We Love It:
- An ideal coffee maker for luxury lovers
- Features an intelligent water system that automates the process
- 6-level aroma G3 grinder helps to grind the coffee while maintaining the best flavor
- A TFT LCD features separate buttons for a latte, cappuccino, milk foaming, espresso
Watch the following self-explanatory machine to learn more about this machine.
Features to Look For While Choosing Milk Frother and Steamer
Coffee making can become easy if you have the right tool and machine. But having a perfect machine doesn’t mean it has all the necessary features. So before choosing the right tool, you must consider the below few features:
Ease of Use:
It is necessary to choose between the automatic or manual device according to your need. Automatic machines are easier and provide faster results as compared to manuals. At the same time, handhelds are also easy to use but cause more time consumption.
Keeping your expense in mind, choose the budget-friendly device that may ensure the best quality and thick foams.
The cleanliness of the device is compulsory as it also allows you to work without worrying about your health. Cleaning also helps you get the right foam on your coffee.
Quick foam production is essential for getting your coffee on time.
Getting a machine that fits your counter space is essential. Most coffee machines are lighter in weight and compact.
In the end, the decision of choosing between a milk steamer and a milk frother is up to your preference. If you are used to drinking a light foam espresso, then a steam wand will aid you in making one yourself. However, if you prefer seeing more foams on the top of your coffee, then a milk frother is the one for you. Also, you can easily change the type and flavors of your beverage by simultaneously using a frother and a steamer. Any good coffee shop and cafe might serve you good quality steamed and frothed coffee, and now you know how to make it yourself!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a specific milk type used for making frothy coffee?
Generally, whole milk with more fat produces a thicker, creamier foam. Whereas skinny and low-fat milk gives larger bubbles and great foam.
Which is better, a milk frother or steamer?
While differentiating milk frother vs. steamer, one is curious about the quality of milk froth they form. In my opinion, both work great.