From lattes and cappuccinos, barista-style coffees are just never the same without the creamy top. And while nothing beats the delicious taste of your favorite coffee shop drinks, you can easily learn to froth milk without a milk frother from the comfort of your home.
If you’ve ever wondered why your takeaway coffee tastes so much better with the silky foam top, the secret is simply in the foam. Frothy milk creates a lighter texture, that keeps the coffee flavor as close to the original taste as possible. This is the one reason why I can’t live without my trusted milk frother that transformed my coffee routine.
But what if you don’t have a fancy gadget or one of the best espresso machines? Luckily, there are ways you can froth milk without a milk frother. All you'll need is one of a few household appliances that you probably already have in your kitchen. What’s more, these may well save you money, as it will let you skip all those Starbucks runs. So if you enjoy creamy froth at the top of your coffees, here’s five ways to froth milk without a milk frother.
1. How to froth milk with a hand-held (immersion) blender or wand
First, warm your milk either in a deep pot on the stove or in a microwave. You only need the milk to be warm and not boiling hot, so take care when handling it. Next, pour your milk into a glass jar that is just wide enough to fit your immersion blender and only fill halfway. Place your hand blender in the milk, and blend on low for about 30 – 60 seconds or until frothy.This should create a creamy texture with bubbles at the top. You could also try the same method using a frothing wand like this Bonsenkitchen Handheld Milk Frother ($8, Amazon) for similar results.
2. How to froth milk with a stand blender
Simply pour warm milk into one of the best blenders, and press ‘pulse’ several times until it begins to foam. Alternatively, you can just leave on a medium speed until the milk has a frothy texture. Best of all, this will take seconds to do — far less time than waiting for your favorite coffee at the shop!
3. How to froth milk in a French press
First, warm your milk in a pan on the stove, or in the microwave. Allow it to rest/cool for one minute before carefully pouring into your French press. Once you’ve placed the lid on the press, move the plunger up and down for about 10 seconds. The milk will double in volume when frothed, so avoid overfilling the press, or else you’ll have a mess to clean up.
4. How to froth milk with an electric hand mixer
Again, warm your milk in a pan on the stove, or in the microwave before carefully pouring into a wide, heatproof bowl. Immerse the hand mixer into the bowl and turn on to rotate the whisk. Keep moving the hand mixer through the milk until the milk has a thick texture and develops a foamy layer on the top. Once you’re happy with the frothy results, you can pour on your coffee or scoop out with a spoon.
If you’re looking to buy a new mixer, check out our guide on hand mixer versus stand mixer —which is better?
5. How to froth milk in a large mason jar and lid
This is probably the easiest option, and doesn’t even require any appliances. Carefully pour warm milk into a large mason jar, filling halfway. Ensure the milk is warm and not boiling hot to avoid any accidents. Secure the lid tightly on the jar, and shake for about 20-30 seconds until the milk is frothy. This will create instant, frothy milk with large bubbles, ready to pour over your coffee. If you're feeling indulgent, you can swap cold cream for the milk, and shake for a bit longer to get whipped cream.
What is the best milk to froth?
Generally, full-fat milk or ones with at least 2% fat content will froth the best. This is because the higher the fat content, the more dense the foam will be for the perfect creamy coffee. Skim milk or other low-fat alternatives such as almond or coconut milk will not froth as much when heated, and may separate during the process.
If you’re a coffee connoisseur however, you might want to check out one of the best espresso machines that usually has a built-in frother.
You can also check out this gadget that has us hooked to hot chocolate even in the summer. And if you’re a keen coffee drinker, you may also want to check out the best coffee grinders , best Keurig coffee makers or the best coffee makers if you prefer a slow brew.
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features.
Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.
With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!