Our Top Pick for 2019: Breville BMF600XL Milk Café Milk Frother
Sometimes the best thing about your morning latte isn’t the coffee itself, but the delicate foam of the milk on the top. It’s so delicate and exotic that it seems like something only the barista at your coffee shop can whip up for you, using one of the giant machines behind the counter, but it doesn’t have to be. Frothing milk to top your latte, cappuccino, or hot cocoa is something you can do at home with the right equipment. Read on for our “cream of the crop” picks of the best milk frothers to use at home.
Let’s Have a Quick Look of Our Top 4 Picks:
#1. Breville BMF600XL Milk Café Milk Frother
The Breville BMF600XL may be a mouthful to say, but it outshines the competition in a few key areas. This is a machine you want on your kitchen counter when you’re serious about your morning cuppa. It has twice the capacity of any of the other listed frothers, sitting at a pretty 500 mL. You don’t have to fill the carafe that high, but it’s useful to be able to make greater volumes of milk if you’re hosting a breakfast or brunch or pulling an all-nighter. If you overfill the Breville, you’ll notice that no matter how many times you press the frothing button that it won’t do anything– this is because it has a sensor specifically to disable use if it’s overfilled, so you don’t have to worry about overfilling it and getting hot milk froth all over your kitchen counter just because you weren’t awake enough yet to be operating kitchen machinery. The Breville will keep you safe.
You can make two different types of froth with the Breville, but a key difference to note is that unlike some of the runners-up, this doesn’t mean two different temperature settings. The Breville can froth milk at both temperatures, but the two froths available are different in consistency. One froth is creamier and silkier for use with lattes, and the other is foamier and stiffer for cappuccinos. It can achieve these two consistencies because it comes with two “discs”. The “discs” aren’t the kind of wide disc you would see in a food processor, but a very small attachment that you pop into the bottom of the carafe before you pour in the milk of your choice– CoffeeGear.com calls them “whisks” which sounds a little bit more accurate. They’re about the size of a hardware washer. If you’re worried about losing them, don’t be! The little discs pop onto the front of the Breville when you aren’t using them. Just be careful when you’re washing them, especially if you have a garbage disposal. Any machine with small parts can lose them while they’re not connected to the machine.
Actually using the Breville is like taking the coolest science experiments you forgot about in school and making use of them for your morning routine. The Breville operates with two spinning magnets instead of a motor, which is great if you’re sensitive to annoying, loud noises in the morning. While waiting for your froth to be ready, you can leave the Breville alone and keep making breakfast, or you can eagerly watch it through the clear lid and be mesmerized by spinning action. You could say that Breville is really transparent about their milk frothing. If, while watching your Breville spin foam out of your milk, you find that it stops suddenly, don’t be alarmed. Magnets can get knocked out of alignment sometimes completely naturally. If that happens, just give the Breville a push to restart the magnetization.
The magnetic operation isn’t just useful for keeping this milk frother quiet, though– it also means that the Breville is the only frother on this list to be completely dishwasher-safe. There aren’t any exposed electrical parts to plug into other electrical parts that could explode everything in your kitchen. The Breville is not a homeowners’ insurance risk kind of appliance. Again, this frother is keeping you safe no matter the level of your morning stupor. You can do whatever you want with it when you’re finished using it: drop it in the sink until you get home from work, rinse it and stick it in the dishwasher, or just clean it by hand if you’re a morning overachiever. It can be submerged in water without hurting you.
The only downsides to worry about with this frother are only downsides in certain circumstances. Small parts could be a concern if you have tiny children inhabiting your home. The discs are, as previously mentioned, very small, and have to be cleaned after each use. They can also be a concern if you’re prone to losing small kitchen items. The Breville frother is a top-performing frother, but if you’re more comfortable with an appliance that has a longer warranty, the Breville’s standard 1 year warranty may concern you. Despite the shorter warranty period, it’s a higher performer than most home frothers and well worth its price, and Breville’s customer service is rated highly, and doesn’t take long to get in touch with at all.
#2. Epica Automatic Electric Milk Frother and Heater Carafe
The Epica Automatic is another automatic milk frother with two temperature settings and a carafe. Like the Breville, it doesn’t take much manual-reading to learn how to use. It’s a set-and-forget kind of machine. You plug the base into your wall outlet, pour in your milk of choice, and choose what temperature you want your froth to be. The Epica can make your froth hot or cold as well as just heating your milk if you’re a latte-drinker. Cold foam is especially convenient for topping iced coffees, so if you prefer your coffee cold when it’s blazing hot out, the Epica should be high on your list. The carafe is insulated so whether you pick hot or cold, the milk will stay hot or cold once frothed and poured onto coffee or hot cocoa, and it’s detachable so you can carry it to the breakfast table instead of everyone in the family lining up at the counter to top up. The Epica allows less room for error than some other milk frothers because of its multiple-button setup. You can accidentally pick the wrong button for frothing or just heating the milk, but you can’t press the buttons the wrong way. You’ll see what that means in the next frother’s review.
Although the Epica Automatic operates with a motor rather than the Breville’s fancy magnets, it isn’t loud or obnoxious at all. Amazon user Ali Julia uploaded a video in a review proving that the Epica frother can barely be heard operating. Because it operates with a motor, the Epica carafe has some exposed electrical parts that connect it to the base and is not dishwasher-safe. Please do not put it in your dishwasher. You will regret it. Instead, rinse it out after you’re done using it so that a film of froth doesn’t stick to the inside, and you can wash it fully later if you want to wait. Epica includes a brush to clean the inside of the carafe in case any foam was missed during the rinse, so it can easily be scrubbed out. If you notice that your Epica isn’t frothing your milk as fast as you’re used to, check to make sure there are no small bits of dried milk in the carafe. Besides being a little gross, they can slow down the spinning action of the motor and make it work harder to froth.
The Epica frother also has a transparent lid so you can watch your milk alchemize into froth. It isn’t quite as easy to see through as the Breville’s, since the handle on the top of the lid is large and warps the view, but if seeing the transformation of milk into a delicious cappuccino-topper is a highlight for your day, it’ll still do the trick.
If you’re looking for a milk frother with a longer warranty period, you can put a little superhero cape on your Epica once it arrives because it’s here to save your day. Epica gives this frother a 2 year warranty, which shows how strongly they believe in its quality.
#3. Secura Automatic Electric Milk Frother and Warmer
The Secura Automatic works in much the same way as the Epica, and produces similar results– hot milk and cold froth. It operates with a motor that isn’t quite silent like the Epica’s, but hasn’t produced complaints about its volume (Amazon user danakscully64 notes that it’s preferable sound-wise to a loud espresso machine’s steaming wand). It’s another set-and-forget machine that you can plug in, turn on, and walk away from if you prefer. The trick is making sure you press the buttons the right way. Unlike the Epica, the Secura Automatic’s temperature options are chosen by the way you press the buttons on it. Instead of multiple buttons, the Secura has one power button, and heats only milk; the frother is the function that is available in both temperatures. For hot milk, press the power button once, and for cold froth, press the power button and hold it for 2-3 seconds. This may take some getting used to if you’re normally a zombie before you’re caffeinated, but the results of the Secura are consistently high-quality and satisfying for both hot and cold froths.
Like the Epica, the Secura is not dishwasher-safe. It attaches to the base with the same kinds of exposed electrical parts as the Epica at the bottom of the carafe, so while the carafe itself is detachable, the electrical parts are not. Secura also includes a small brush to clean the carafe with, and some users such as Amazon reviewer NewYorker noted that a thin layer of burnt milk can appear after use. If this happens, users recommend rinsing the inside of the carafe with water and then wiping it with a napkin before cleaning it. The brush Secura provides is small, so when cleaning it you may want to skip the included brush and use your own brush or sponge. The Secura also provides a “small parts” concern like the Breville, as the whisk inside the carafe is detachable and very small. Be careful to not let a child get hold of it or drop it down the garbage disposal.
Many users have noted that the Secura doesn’t achieve the high temperatures necessary for other beverages such as hot cocoa, or leaving a cup of coffee to cool before drinking it. You’ll want to get right to your coffee once this frother finishes your milk, and remember to rinse it immediately.
The customer service for the Secura Automatic is what drives most customers to purchasing it over other milk frothers. Secura and its distributors, such as Lafraise, provide the level of customer service that keeps customers as customers rather than driving them away. Secura gives this frother a 2 year warranty, so if something happens and you need to use this warranty, contacting customer service won’t be the chore it often turns out to be. The Secura has a devoted consumer base for a reason, and even a 2 year warranty guarantees that this frother will pay for itself quickly if you’ve been buying lattes or cappuccinos daily. Some customers have noted that the Secura Automatic’s maximum fill of 250 ml is particularly small for them. The same machine comes in a size twice as large, 500 ml, and at the time of this writing the larger version is roughly $20 more. If spending $20 more, you may want to consider one of the above options, the Breville or the Epica. The version of this Secura Automatic with the best value is the 250 ml.
#4. Kuissential SlickFroth 2.0 Electric Milk Frother
The SlickFroth 2.0 is Kuissential’s (previously spelled “Cuissential”) answer to frothing milk. It has a completely different shape from the previously listed options because it operates completely differently from all the automatic frothers. The SlickFroth 2.0 doesn’t come with its own carafe like the above all-in-one frothing mechanisms, which means it’s also not nearly as heavy. Blogger Rishikasmommy notes that it’s light to hold, as it should be; the SlickFroth 2.0 weighs only 1.6 ounces. This frother does require a little bit of work to use as it’s essentially (Kuissentially) a superpowered whisk, but luckily instead of doing all the whisking yourself, all you have to do is lift it up and down to aerate your milk.
The SlickFroth 2.0 doesn’t heat the milk, of course. Kuissential’s instructions for use are to fill a tall glass ¾ of the way full, submerge the whisk entirely before powering on, and gradually lift and lower the whisk in the milk to aerate the milk into foam. Keep whisking until you have the amount of foam desired for your drink. Rishikasmommy notes to be careful that you turn the Slickfroth 2.0 off before removing from the glass, or it’ll cut through some of the foam you’ve been working to create. You’re also likely to get foam all over your counter if you aren’t careful, similar to if you just took the lid off of one of the above all-in-one machines. You may get foam all over your counter at first. Most users note that there’s a learning period with the SlickFroth 2.0, as with the other milk frothers, but in this case it’s a matter of technique rather than which button to press.
The SlickFroth 2.0 does run on two AA batteries, which are, as you may expect, not included. Because of these electronic parts in the handle, cleaning this frother does not include a dishwasher. Even though the handle can survive a splash of water here or there, submerging it into liquid will expose the metal inside and most likely fry your frother. To clean the SlickFroth 2.0, rinse the froth off the whisk with running water and then wash it with soap. Be sure not to submerge the handle when you wash it! With a good set of rechargable batteries, a good tall glass, and a few minutes to dedicate to foaming your milk each morning, the SlickFroth 2.0 is a great budget pick if a full-sized all-in-one milk frother isn’t in your means, or if the space required for one isn’t on your counter. It will fit neatly into a kitchen drawer, so even if its sky blue handle doesn’t match your kitchen as well as other, more neutrally colored frothers, you’ll never have to notice because it isn’t on display– unless you want it to be, of course.
Corded vs Non-corded
Depending on the size and layout of your kitchen, whether your milk frother has to be plugged in or not can make all the difference in deciding to purchase. You may not have room on your countertop for another kitchen appliance, no matter how small. Whether you have to move your milk frother from a cupboard to the countertop every morning to use it can make or break your enjoyment of your morning coffee. You may have room on your countertop but not enough outlets without breaking a circuit. On the other hand, you may have plenty of room on your countertop and no room in any drawers. Whichever frother you pick should fit your kitchen’s size, layout, and your everyday routine inside of it.
The amount of froth you prefer to top your lattes with is how you should determine what size carafe you purchase. If you prefer a lot of froth, you’ll want a larger carafe with a taller maximum fill line. If your carafe doesn’t hold enough milk to give you the amount of froth you want at first, you can refill it, but it adds extra time to your morning coffee-making. If you prefer a different amount of froth than what an automatic frother can produce, a handheld frother may be your best option, since you can provide the carafe.
Some milk frothers are specifically insulated to retain either cold or heat, and these are the ones you should consider if you make coffee well before you drink it in the mornings. If you purchase a milk frother with a carafe that isn’t insulated, your froth will begin deflating and your heated milk will begin cooling quickly, especially on cold days. If you start on your latte the second it’s prepared or if you live in a particularly warm climate, insulation may not matter so much.
Whether the carafe in your milk frother detaches or not can be another serious factor to consider. A frother with a detachable carafe is easier to clean, especially if it’s corded, because instead of moving your whole machine to scrub it out, you can easily lift it and rinse it so it’s easier to fully clean later in the day. If you dread cleaning your frother and end up avoiding daily use because of that, you’re not likely to get the money back that you put into it. The layout of your kitchen and how your morning routine works can also make this an important feature to consider. With a detachable carafe, you don’t have to carry your hot latte or cappuccino to the counter and struggle with lifting the machine to pour in your foam. Instead, you can carry just the carafe to your breakfast table where your coffee is waiting for you already.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
Frothing milk at home is a great way to avoid high coffee prices, long lines, and limited ingredients. At home, you can froth whatever kind of milk you like, at whatever temperature, with whatever ingredients you prefer. Purchasing a milk frother for at-home use is a great way to have greater control over what your morning cup of Joe involves, and greater control over your commute.
You don’t have to travel to your nearest trendy coffee shop and worry about parking if you make your coffee entirely at home, or being late to work, or if the barista is going to make it just the way you like it. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it’s your first, and your first cup of coffee should be relaxing and exceed your expectations. Any of the listed milk frothers can make your morning routine more streamlined, more relaxing, and less expensive. If you buy a cappuccino every work day, most of these frothers will pay for themselves in no time flat. The one that works best for you is the one that works best for you. Here’s to a “latte” easy mornings in the future!