Ways to Froth Milk for Your Coffee at Home

Foamed milk is a great addition to beverages like coffee, tea, and hot chocolate – and you can now enjoy it in the comfort of your home without heading to the nearest cafe.

Whether you have an espresso machine or not, here are some ways you can froth milk for your morning brew at home.

Which Milk to Use?

As the proteins and fats present in milk are responsible for creating that creamy froth, whole milk is often the best choice.

For a healthier alternative, skimmed or non-fat milk still does the job well although the froth loses some of its richness. But if you are a novice home barista, these types of milk are the easiest to practice with.

Dairy-free alternatives such as soy and oat milk can be used. However, the lack of fat will result in a milder flavour and thinner froth.

Lactose-intolerant? We evaluate five common, plant-based milk and how they measure up to regular cow’s milk.

All things considered, all kinds of milk can be used for frothing as it’s a matter of taste and personal preference. Just ensure that you always use fresh, cold milk straight from the refrigerator as it is key in achieving a good froth.


man's hand placed next to a cup of coffee
Using the microwave method usually results in an over-bubbly consistency. Photo from Patrick Tomasso.

If you don’t have an electric milk frother at home, one alternative is using a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.

Pour cold milk into the jar, ensuring that you do not exceed more than half of the jar’s volume. Shake the jar for at least 30 seconds and heat it in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds.

It takes seconds for the foam to rise and spillover, so stop the microwave and allow the foam to settle before repeating the heating process. Once the milk has frothed to a smooth consistency, put it aside to cool for about 10 seconds before scooping it onto your coffee.

Although this method may seem simple, it has its limitations. Often, the foam is too bubbly and lacks a creamy texture.

Using a Milk Frother

hand removing milk frothing wand from electric milk frother
An electric milk frother is an economical and easy way to froth milk if you don’t have an espresso machine. Featuring the De’Longhi Distinta Electric Milk Frother. Photo from De’Longhi.

Milk frothers offer one of the most basic approaches to frothing. It is not only convenient but also economical especially if you already own an espresso machine.

Finding a coffee machine that fits into your budget? We’ve put together a list for you.

Just pour cold milk into the frother and the whisker spins the milk to create a creamy froth. The only downside of using a milk frother is having to wash it after each use. Moreover, having to heat up milk and coffee separately can become time-consuming. 

Tip: Opt for electric milk frothers like the De’Longhi Distinta Electric Milk Frother to save the trouble of replacing batteries.

Shop for the De’Longhi Distinta Electric Milk Frother.

Espresso Machine with Built-in Steam Wand

the de'longhi dedica range in various colours
Espresso machines with steam wands are perfect for those who prefer a fun, hands-on approach to frothing milk. Featuring the De’Longhi Dedica Range. Photo from De’Longhi.

Espresso machines with built-in steam wands usually require a level of skill and knowledge to get the foam right. Practice makes perfect.

Using a small metal pitcher half-filled with cold milk, insert the steam wand just below the milk’s surface. Keep the wand’s tip near the side of the pitcher, allowing a vortex to form in the milk. Slightly move the pitcher up and down to incorporate air into the milk. Once the milk has doubled in volume, your foam is ready to enjoy.

Tip: After each use, always run the steam wand for a few seconds and clean the outer surface with a damp cloth to prevent pesky limescale from forming.

Been a while since you last descaled your coffee machine? Follow this step-by-step guide.

Fully Automatic Coffee Machine

de'longhi dedica plus coffee machine
Brew your coffee and milk beverages effortlessly with a fully automatic coffee machine. Featuring the De’Longhi Dinamica Plus. Photo from De’Longhi.

Why go through the hassle of frothing milk when a coffee machine can do the job for you? 

De’Longhi’s selected range of bean to cup coffee machines come with two independent heating systems, brewing your coffee and milk simultaneously. With these heating systems, one boiler is dedicated to preparing your coffee while the other froths milk at the same time. 

Moreover, the thermal milk carafe that comes with the machine keeps your milk cold at an optimum temperature for up to 4 hours. Poured too much milk in the carafe? Simply detach it from the machine and store it in the refrigerator.

Just one touch of a button and the machine takes care of the rest for you. With a smart coffee machine like this, making the perfect cup of coffee has never been easier.

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