How to Froth Milk with a Frothing Wand

Cappucino foam
Coffee University Tutorials

If you are a beginner to milk frothing, it may seem like a work of magic to achieve nice, foamy milk, perfect for cappuccino and latte. Not everybody can afford to buy an espresso machine that does the frothing for you, nor should they just buy one for this feature alone. Learning how to froth milk with a frothing wand is actually very easy to do, and anyone can learn it within minutes.

Ready? Here is what you will need:

  • Milk
  • Thermostat
  • Frothing wand
  • A jug for frothing

1. Heating up the milk

Before you grab a pan and start boiling some milk, be warned. Heating your milk for frothing needs some extra consideration because boiling milk can affect the nutrient content and the taste. To avoid this from happening, use a thermostat while heating up your milk so that you don’t reach the boiling point, and end up with milk that tastes bad.

A good rule of thumb is to heat your milk to around 140-158°F (60-70°C) so that you can be sure that it will be ready to be frothed successfully. If you get above this level, the taste and nutrients will be at a greater risk of being compromised. Simply place your thermostat in the water while you are heating it up so that you can monitor the temperature.

2. Preparing for frothing

Now that you have your milk ready at the optimal temperature between, it is time to begin preparing for the frothing. Remember, the whole point of frothing is incorporating air into the milk so that it has that foamy texture and taste—you will need some extra space in your cup to account for this.

In simple terms, you should only fill your glass or jug 1/4 of the way to the top so that you can leave plenty of room for the foam. If you put too much milk into your jug, you can end up overfilling it and spilling the milk, so make sure that you leave a generous amount of space. Once you start frothing you will see why.

milk frother wand head

Photo by Sonny Abesamis/ CC by 2.0


3. The frothing process

Now that you have heated milk placed in a jug with plenty of space left for the foam, you are ready to start frothing. Grab your frothing wand and get ready for the most important part of the job—adding some foam to that milk.

Place it into your milk jug all the way to the bottom at a right angle. Leave it there for about 90 sec. You should now start to notice the bubbles and foam appearing at the top of the milk.

As the foam starts to rise, switch to an up and down motion. This will slow down the frothing process so that you can slowly add in more bubbles while being sure that you don’t add in too much, too fast. Or just keep it at the bottom but at a 45° angle. This may allow forming a microfoam that could be good enough even for latte art.

Of course, you don’t want to froth your milk too much as this can negatively affect the taste and texture of your milk by adding too much air. Assuming that you followed instructions and only filled up your glass 1/4 of the way, the desired amount of frothed milk when you are finished should be around 3/4 of the cup. This means that you should gain about 1/2 of the cup of extra milk volume just by adding foam and bubbles to the mix.

4. Add into your coffee or espresso

Frothed milk is an ingredient that many skilled baristas will add to your coffee or espresso to give it an authentic taste and feel. Once you have finished your first jug of frothed milk, it is now time to add it to your drink of choice. Whether you add it to coffee, espresso, or something else, you should have a new delicious ingredient in your cooking repertoire.

If you didn’t end up with the jug of frothed milk that you were hoping for, do not worry. Learning how to froth milk with a frothing wand doesn’t always come naturally, so cheer up. With enough practice, you will soon be frothing milk as good as any barista at your favorite coffee shop.

Below you’ll find a great video showing making a milk foam with a frother wand for latte art! Yes, you’ve read it right 🙂 Have a look for yourself!


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