What Is a Frother?


You may not be a coffee aficionado or barista. But you have probably seen this contraption in your favorite coffee shop: the milk frother. The whirling whisk inside the glass jug can create some of the most creamy milk foam imaginable, but what is a frother exactly? And why does it matter?

The frother is a small piece of kitchen equipment that has different purposes. Although most people are content with knowing that the frother is used to make items such as Cappuccinos and Lattes, there is so much more to explore. For those looking for an answer to these questions, read on.

What Is a Frother?

A frother is a special type of machine that produces steam and heat to prepare milk foam. This part of the Espresso process is often forgotten or left to baristas. A professional barista should produce a perfect froth every time without any mistake and ensure a productive business. 

What’s So Attractive?

A useful frother can be a great asset to any coffee shop. It is often an essential tool for baristas and eventually becomes a part of their routine work. An efficient frother should last for more than two years and cost no more than $200. It is used for caramelizing sugar, cooking eggs, and producing milk foam for cappuccinos and lattes. On the other hand, frothers aren’t just for coffee shops. Cafes, hotels, restaurants and even your kitchen can benefit from a frother. Because of its versatility and cost-effectiveness, it has become a popular machine in the industry.

A frother can add some serious appeal to the store or restaurant. This device is beneficial and also showcases an eye-catching display of the barista’s skill and professionalism.

How Does It Work?

There are three parts to a frother: the steam, the jug (the milk container), and the whisk. The steam is produced by heating water in a special boiler. A small electric heater is connected to a pipe, which, in turn, is connected to the stainless steel jug of milk. Next, a professional-grade whisk with two revolving wires is connected through another pipe to the jug with milk. The whisk whips the hot air in the jug, churning it into a froth as it spins rapidly above it. The speed is controlled by twisting the whisk. This changes the texture of the milk inside the jug. Thereby slowing down the speed, you can convert the steamed milk into a froth which can be seen at the top of the beverage. 

Why Do You Need a Frother?

1) Frothing makes your drinks look more appealing. Customers can’t resist a fluffy, white layer of milk topping on their coffee or hot chocolate. It may be the first thing that catches their attention when they see a picture on the menu.

2) It creates the perfect texture for a coffee drink. You can choose from different kinds of foam according to your preference: silky latte, dense cappuccino, and so on.

3) If a problem occurs, you can replace the unit parts and work like a new machine. 

4) You can use your frother to make hot chocolate, tea drinks, and more.

5) It is effortless to use. Anyone can operate it with a bit of practice.

What Is Milk Frothing?

Milk foaming is the art of creating a light and tender texture inside a jug of milk. There are two kinds of milk foaming: “dry milk foam” and “wet foam.” Dry milk foam has a more dense texture than wet foam, whereas wet foam has more moisture.

An efficient milk frother should be able to create both kinds of foam. It is also recommended that you don’t need to use more than 50% of the actual amount of milk when you froth it since it would affect the texture.

Types of Milk Frothers

1) Manual

Manual frothers can be found in several price ranges. Most manual frothers are small and hand-held. They are made of plastic, glass or metal. These kinds of frothers are inexpensive and fragile, providing discomfort when used for an extended period of time. They can’t produce a high quantity of foam as they don’t have adequate power. The foam, in turn, eventually loses its thickness and disappears from the coffee cup. 

2) Commercial

Commercial frothers are larger and stronger than most manual frothers. They can make a considerable amount of froth and can serve numerous customers in a single day. Commercial frothers usually come with an electric steam wand to make steam (which produces heat). Commercial frothers typically cost more than $300. But the price is worth it if you can afford one.

3) Electric Frother

Electric milk frothers allow you to make a concoction of ingredients depending on your personal preference and the required recipe. For example, if you require a drink with no milk or cream, use the electric milk frother. 

Cleaning Tips

1. The frother will quickly accumulate coffee stains, resulting in unpleasant scalding of hot water pouring out of the frother. Therefore, it’s best to clean the whirling whisk after every use.

2. When you’re cleaning the whirling whisk, use some warm soapy water and a brush to prevent any rust or build-up inside the standpipe.

3. To clean the steam wand, fill it up with some soapy water and let it sit for a while. Then wipe off the inside with a dry cloth.

4. Never use abrasive cleansers or pipe cleaners since they can degrade the quality of your frother over time.

5. If you plan to use your frother with a milk steaming jug, ensure that both the jug and the steam wand are clean. Otherwise, the result will not be productive.

6. Once you have cleaned your frother, remember to wait until it completely dries before using it again. Otherwise, small water drops may drip on top of your drink and spoil its taste.

Making Whipped Cream Using a Frother

Frothers can also be used to make the whipped cream:

1. Put the frother on the stand and pour some warm milk into the jug.

2. Hold the whisk right in front of you on a flat surface with your thumbs around the two base bars of the whisk. Start the whipping process until you get a creamy texture.

3. Take the frother off the stand and enjoy your freshly whipped cream.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, don’t ever forget how important frothers are. They add monetary and social agglomeration to businesses. In addition to it, they make drinks more attractive, create the perfect texture for a coffee drink that entails more customers. Investing in a good frother is one of the smartest decisions you can make. 


Q: What is the best milk frother at a reasonable price?

A: This depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to make your recipes with a particular texture of milk, get an electric frother. These are usually more expensive than other kinds of milk frothers but offer optimum results. However, If you need something cheap and easy to use, get a manual or commercial frother.

Q: What is the best milk frother for beginners?

A: The best milk frothers are available in a variety of styles and price ranges. Frothers are easy to use devices. As a beginner, you should always opt for the basic ones, but if you have a reasonable budget and want long-lasting equipment, purchase an expensive one. Make sure that you choose a good one based on your needs and budget.

Q: Is milk frother of the same kind as milk steamer?

A: No, they are two different devices. A milk steamer is for steaming milk to make hot chocolate. A milk frother is for frothing milk.