Frothed milk may seem like a luxury reserved for visits to the local coffee house, but with an automatic milk frother on hand, you can create your own luxurious lattes and creamy cappuccinos at home. Battery-powered, handheld frothers are less expensive and easy to use and clean with a quick rinse off, but you can learn to use your fancy automatic milk frother in no time.
Getting to Know Your Frother
Before you use your automatic milk frother for the first time, familiarize yourself with its parts. The frother comes with a carafe that includes a fitted lid and a heating unit that plugs into the wall. The carafe, which sits on the heating unit, is marked with maximum fill lines both for frothed milk -- the lower line -- and for warmed milk -- the higher line. It will also come with a couple of whisk attachments. The curly one is used for creating warm, frothed milk and the plain one is used for warming milk with little to no foam.
Frothing or Warming Milk
Plug in the heating unit, place the carafe on it and remove the lid. Select the appropriate whisk attachment for the type of milk you would like -- with or without froth -- and install in the bottom of the carafe. Fill the carafe with milk to the appropriate maximum fill line and replace the lid. If your unit comes with variable heat settings -- cold, warm or hot -- select the desired temperature. Press the button to turn the unit on and wait until the light turns off indicating the cycle has fully completed.
Cleaning Your Automatic Milk Frother
Unplug the heating unit from the wall and allow the carafe to cool before handling. Remove the whisk attachment from the carafe and clean the whisk thoroughly with warm soapy water. Remove the carafe from the heating unit and clean with a warm soapy cloth. Your carafe may or may not be waterproof, so check for your particular model to verify. If it's not waterproof, gently rinse it, being careful not to submerge the carafe in water. Dry the carafe with a soft towel, wiping down the exterior as well. Replace the carafe on the heating unit with the whisk attachments until next use.
Hints and Tips
For best results, always use fresh, cold milk. You may use cow's milk -- full fat, low fat or nonfat -- soy milk, almond milk or coconut milk. While you will be able to foam any kind of milk, some will produce more foam than others and results can also vary from brand to brand. Experiment to find the one you like best. Typically nonfat and low fat cow's milk will produce the best foam. Organic and lactose-free milks will typically not foam as well, according to coffeemaker manufacturer Capresso.