How To Steam Milk At Home (6 Best ways)

How To Steam Milk At Home (6 Best ways)

man using handheld frother milk

Want to make barista-level matcha lattes and cappuccinos at home? Here’s how to make a delicious foamy creamer without having to go to Starbucks. Everyone can become a barista and create milk foam at home – all you need is a small tutorial on how to steam milk and a few utensils. Definitely no need for a fancy espresso machine.

Are you looking to upgrade your milk foam experience? Great, because we also discuss the options on how to froth milk with a frother.

How to make steamed milk

A milk frother is still the best way to make a perfect frothy latte or milk foam. These machines come in all shapes and sizes, but at a starting price of around £10, they won’t break your budget. It’s an easy way to rich, creamy froth in seconds. On top of that, milk frothers are easy to clean and give you a consistent amount of foam bubbles.

A milk foam maker is typically available in three types:


A handheld milk frother

The most affordable and compact option to get started with frothed milk. This small machine is a tiny version of a kitchen mixer, specially designed to create milk foam at home. They’re also convenient for other light whisking jobs like eggs, matcha, and dressings. The price range is £10–£15.

  1. Heat up some milk
  2. Place the milk inside a tall container
  3. Put the milk frother inside and move it up, down around for 30–50 seconds
froth milk with a handheld milk frother

A milk foam maker

For those who like to upgrade their milk froth game and save time, these milk foam maker machines are an absolute must. Not only do those milk froth machines offer better quality frothed milk than handheld frothers, but they also heat the milk automatically. If you’re looking for a non-dairy-based milk foam, these gadgets tend to produce better results. The price range is £30–£150.

  1. Add milk to the machine, and with a push of a button it heats (or cools) and froths
  2. Gently swirl the milk foam to soften the thick texture if desired
smeg milk frother machine

Froth milk with a steam wand

This method is a little bit more advanced. However, more and more espresso machines for home usage come with a steam wand. Something you might want to consider during your next purchase.

Making milk foam with a steam wand requires a little bit of practice, but the advantage is you can control the milk foam’s consistency. This is why a steam wand is also the ideal option for creating latte art at home. The milk foam in latte art has a different consistency compared to the one in a cappuccino, so controlling its consistency isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity!

steam wand froth milk

How to froth milk without a frother?

Perhaps you want to steam milk at home without a frother? Great, because milk foam is easy to create at home, even without a frother.  There are plenty of options available, including with items you might already own at home.

Shaking in a jar

This first method is super simple and a great workout too. It’s also the cheapest option. You just need a jar, or a protein shaker or any other heat-proof bottle.

  1. Heat up the milk
  2. Pour the milk inside your chosen container, until it’s around half-full
  3. Close the lid
  4. Shake as hard as you can for around 1 minute

If the jar is too hot, wrap a towel around it to avoid burning your fingers.

The result is a thicker milk texture, with lots of foam on the top. Gently pour the milk foam into your cup, or use a scoop to transfer the frothed milk.

froth milk with a shaking jar

French press or pump frother

If you already own a French press, this solution is great! There’s also a similar device on the market –  the “pump frother”. It nearly the same characteristics as a French press, so we’ll categorise them together for these instructions:

  1. Heat up the milk
  2. Pour the milk inside the French press/pump frother
  3. Press up and down vigorously for 10–20 seconds
french press pump frother

A mixer or a blender

If none of the above options are available, you can use a mixing device commonly found at home. Maybe a manual whisk, kitchen mixer, blender, or anything else you use for mixing. You may not get the same quality of texture, but you can still get results:

  1. Heat up the milk
  2. Pour the milk inside a bowl or blender
  3. Mix or blend as long as necessary until foam bubbles appear.
froth milk mixer blender

The best milk for frothing

Every farm produces milk with a different fat and protein content. The question is how to select the best milk for latte foam.

The most important key factor in achieving a good froth is using fresh, cold milk.

  • Whole milk (around 3.5% fat) results in a thicker, creamier foam.
  • Skimmed milk (below 1% fat) results in more foam and larger air bubbles.

If your milk is not frothing enough, consider another type of milk.

Can you froth almond milk?

If you’re looking for non-dairy options, almond milk, soy milk and oat milk can also be used in a frother.

Just be aware that when you froth almond milk, the resulting texture can be quite thin. This is because of its lower protein and fat content. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t froth the milk.

Homemade almond milk or almond milk with extra almond usually provides better results.

The best temperature for frothing almond milk is around 65°C (150°F). At temperatures higher than this, the milk can break down, leaving you with a not-so-frothy and not-so-creamy almond milk topping.

Consider using a milk foam maker. These machines produce a better texture for non-dairy milk alternatives.

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