Best Electric Milk Frother 2013

If you are like me, in the market for a milk frother, you might be overwhelmed by the choices from handheld battery-operated, standalone manual to fully automatic/ electric type. There are certainly pros and cons for each type in terms of ease of use, speed of frothing/steaming milk, outcome and the cost. Since I am mainly interested in an electric frother, I’d like to focus on what to look for when buying one.

Before diving into the technical specifics of a frother, let’s talk for a minute why some of us need a frother.

For me personally, I don’t drink straight espresso but love a milk-based drink such as a latte with a hint of coffee. Whether you are an espresso drinker, a latte or cappuccino lover, the end of the day is all about the sensory indulgence from sight, smell, taste, texture and aroma.

The job of a good frother is to froth/stretch the milk as well as incorporate air into the milk, also known as texturizing. The final outcome consists of microfoams that are light and airy and milk heated and sweetened between 150 to 160 F, perfect for making a cup of cappucinno or latte. The proportion of foam vs. steamed milk varies for different drinks.

A few factors you’ll need to keep in mind when shopping for an automatic milk frother:

  • Style and Construction: What we are looking for is mainly the form factor such as the color, dimensions, color, shape and build material. For example, if your kitchen décor is sleek and modern with stainless steel appliances, you might want to choose one of similar style. The material of the frother determines the durability and ease of cleaning. Stainless steel is best known as one of the most durable materials that are dishwasher safe.
  • Speed and Noise Level: Here we are talking about how long it takes to froth/steam 5 ounces of milk measured in seconds. The quicker it gets the job done, the sooner you can enjoy your drink. How much noise does it generate? Some frothers are ultra-quiet while others may not be so. If you froth milk in the morning, would you wake up the rest of the family?
  • Ease of Use: Is it a push-button operation or do you need to invest a lot of time learning how to use the device? The fewer steps and fewer buttons to push, the better.
  • Outcome: More than anything is the frothed/steamed milk. Is it full of small bubbles and heated at the right temperature to accentuate the smooth texture and sweetness in milk or is it full of big/soapy bubbles and lukewarm at best?
  • Cleaning: As a simple accessory, the frother should only have a handful parts such as a milk container, a wisk or two, a base, etc. Are some of the parts dishwasher safe or do you need to hand wash them? Either way, it’s not a big deal. But when two models are very similar in other ways, this might be a determining factor.
  • Price and Customer Ratings The price ranges from $50 to $150 or so. Paying more is not necessarily better. Knowing what features suit your needs and what your brand affinity lies will make it easier in deciding which one to buy. What others have to say about the product carries a lot of weight in my buying decision.

I’ve listed 6 products from Amazon that are all highly-rated by everyday folks like you and me. They represent six brands at varying price points. I’ll give you a 50K view of the pros and cons of each.

6 Bestselling Milk Frothers

Breville BMF600XL Milk Café Milk Frother
Breville BMF600XL Milk Café Milk Frother

Capresso Froth TEC Automatic Milk Frother
Capresso Froth TEC Automatic Milk Frother

Froth Au Lait Frothing Unit White or Black
Froth Au Lait Frothing Unit White or Black

Jura Automatic Milk Frother
Jura Automatic Milk Frother

Nespresso Aeroccino and Milk Frother
Nespresso Aeroccino and Milk Frother

Secura Automatic Electric Milk Frother and Warmer
Secura Automatic Electric Milk Frother

Breville BMF600XL Milk Frother

Pros:

  • Comes with two disks, one for frothing to make cappuccinos and the other for steaming for lattes
  • Clear temperature indicators from 120 to 160F with an easy knob to turn from left to right (low to high temps)
  • 1 to 3 cups in capacity
  • Produces silky and creamy milk
  • Milk container dishwasher-safe

Cons:

  • Can be finicky to operate initially
  • Takes 3-4 minutes to froth, way too long in my book

Price & Customer Ratings:

  • Under $130
  • 4.3 out of 5

Capresso FrothPro

Pros:

  • Creates thick, meringue-like froth
  • Three temperature settings for cold, hot or warm milk
  • Two frothing disks and one heating disk
  • Three LED illuminated buttons for easy operation, auto shutoff for warm and hot milk
  • 8 oz for frothing or 12 oz for heating
  • Non-stick milk pitcher removable and dishwasher-safe with stay-cool handle
  • 4 minutes for hot milk at 140F
  • Quiet
  • The least expensive

Cons:

  • Takes a few minutes to heat up milk
  • The disks are made of plastic and it takes a little bit of finagle to insert or remove.

Price & Customer Ratings:

  • Under $55
  • 3.9 out of 5

Froth Au Lait Frother White or Black

Pros:

  • Thick and microfoam froth last for 45 minutes
  • Fully automatic shut-off in Heat On mode with two whips
  • Can be used for frothing, making sauces for desserts and custards, gravies, etc.
  • Minimal of 1/2 for fat-free and 3/4 for 1%, 2% and whole milk; maximum of 1 cup for fat-free, 1 1/4-1 1/2 cup for 1% and 1 1/2 cup for 2% and whole milk
  • Hatch/outlet for adding flavored syrup to the froth
  • Easy to clean with warm water

Cons:

  • More expensive
  • Noiser
  • Smaller capacity

Price and Customer Ratings:

  • $160
  • 4.3 (currently unavailable on Amazon at the review)

Jura Automatic Milk Frother

Pros:

  • 3 temperature settings (hot, warm & cold) with indicator lights for each
  • Capacity of 8-ounce froth/12 ounce heat with indication marks inside of the pitcher
  • Removable stainless steel pitcher that’s durable and low maintenance with a heat-resistance rubber grip on the outside; pitcher has an oval shape for easy pouring
  • 2 frothing disks/1 heating disk stored on the bottom by magnets
  • Easy operation with a touch of a button
  • Quiet
  • 2 minutes to complete the cycle

Cons:

  • The stainless steel pitcher gets pretty hot so use caution when picking it up from the base.

Price and Customer Ratings:

  • $80
  • 4.1 out of 5

Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother

Pros:

  • In Black, White and Red colors
  • Sleek and compact that doesn’t take much counter space
  • For hot or cold milk frothing with 2 wisks
  • 4 ounces for frothing and 8 ounces for heating
  • Takes 1 minute to froth milk.
  • Very quiet and easy to clean

Cons:

  • Pricier
  • Smaller capacity size

Price and Customer Ratings:

  • $100 or more depending on the color choice
  • 4.4 out of 5

Secura Automatic Milk Frother

Pros:

  • For hot and cold milk frothing with rich and creamy froth better than Starbucks
  • Two models with the smaller one of 4 ounce frothing and 8 ounce heating; the larger model of 8 ounce frothing and 16 ounce for heating
  • Stainless steel exterior with vacuum insulation to keep the milk hot or cold longer
  • Spout for easy pouring
  • Takes 2 minutes to froth
  • Detached base makes it easier for cleaning
  • 2-year warranty
  • Excellent customer service by the Distributor, Lafraise

Cons:

  • Light milk residue on the inside bottom that takes a bit effort to clean up

Price and Customer Ratings:

  • Under $70 for the smaller and $85 for the larger
  • 4.3 out of 5

Which One to Buy?

Out of the six frothers, I’d say:

If you want to spend a minimal amount to get a decent frother, choose Capresso frothPro as it’s the more affordable one under $55 on Amazon, slightly more expensive at BedBathandBeyond but you can use a 20% coupon to save a few dollars.

For the overall style, speed and performance, Nespresso Aeroccino seems to be the winner to wisk up some froth in under 1 minutes and quietly.

For me, Secura milk frother wins me over for all-around features and performance, more important the customer care and two-year warranty.

Christmas 2013 is just around the corner. Whether to get one for your cappuccinos or lattes or for someone coffee lovers in your family or friend circle, this is such a thoughtful gift that will last for years.

 

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