Milk Steamer Vs. Milk Frother – What’s The Difference?

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Steaming and frothing are two different processes used to add foam to milk. The foamed milk is then used to make various coffees like Latte, cappuccino, and Flat white. Getting your coffee to have the right amount of foam is not easy.

You must have the right amount of foam along with the right temperature to make your coffee perfect. Milk frothers and Milk steamers are often used for this purpose. But this is not always the case. Many people use coffee machines for frothing or steaming.

According to a survey, 18% of people use a coffee machine as a milk frother, while 14% use it to steam the milk manually. But a lot of people use the word steaming and frothing interchangeably, but they are separate processes that use different ways to add foam to milk. Coffee steamers use pressurized steam (which has a higher temperature than normal steam) to add some air to the milk while raising its temperature; on the other hand, a milk frother uses mechanical force to whisk the milk, which induces the production of foam in the milk.

Milk Frother

The milk frother is a must-have if you love foamed coffee like cappuccino and Latte. Every kitchen counter today has a milk frother on their countertop to make various types of coffee. Milk frother’s name tells us about its function; to make the milk frothier.

Milk frother incorporates air into the milk, making it lighter, foamy, and frothier. The air expands the milk up to three times. So, when using a milk frother, ensure that you are using a vessel that can hold two to three times the milk you are frothing. But not all milk frothers are the same.

There are two main types that you need to know about; one is automatic frothers other is manual frothers. The former is a larger machine that professionals usually use to froth their milk with minimum effort and more efficiency; they are usually more expensive, but if you want to ensure that your milk has the perfect amount of froth in your milk, then you should go with one of these.

But if you are not an avid coffee maker (or drinker), then the manual type is the better option. But before you go on to buy a manual milk frother, keep in mind that it uses more effort and time, while the automatic type is almost instant. No matter which type you are looking for, there is always something for everyone, and it doesn’t matter which one you buy; milk frother is the perfect gadget to add that extra foam in your daily cup (or cups) of coffee.

Milk Steamer

Milk steamers are the popular choice at coffee shops to add foam and steam milk for coffee. The Milk Steamer is perfect for anyone who loves lattes because milk steamers make the milk for the Latte fluffier, warmer, and tastier. These little gadgets are present in most coffee machines, even the small ones present in homes.

Milk steamers come in different shapes and forms. The most popular ones are stove-top steamers, steam wands, and electric milk steamers. The easiest, cheapest and efficient one is the wand steamer. You can use the wand steamer almost anywhere where you have an electric outlet. And if you buy the one with batteries, you don’t even need the power outlet.

Just add the milk in a large enough cup or pitcher (or anything that you use to make coffee in) so that the milk doesn’t spill after being steamed; This happens because the milk expands two to three times while steaming. Then, dip the wand steamer in your milk (halfway) and turn it on. Remove the streamer when the milk becomes bubbly and wait for the bubbles to settle down. Now Put the steamer back (not as deep this time) in there and turn it on again until the milk starts swirling.

You can tilt the cup slightly to check if the milk is swirling beneath the foam or not. You can also use stove-top steamers to do this job, but that is a little more advanced and takes practice to perfect. Sticking to wand steamers is your best bet if you want to keep things easy and quick.

So What’s the difference between Milk Steamer and Milk Frother?

Despite having almost the same final results, milk steamers and Milk Frothers are different. Some key features separate the two from one another. First of all, we have to talk about the mode of action of each one, which is different in Milk Steamers and Milk Frother. Steamers use pressurized heated steam to heat the milk, which makes the milk bubble; This formation of bubbles adds air to the milk and makes it bubbly.

Frothers are different because they use movement to whisk (or beat) the milk; this breaks down the proteins in the milk and adds air. The result is a smooth layer of foam on your milk. Frothing is a pretty straightforward process, right? But steaming is a little more complicated because while steaming, the lactose in the milk is heated as well; this breaks down the fats present in the milk.

Breaking down a whole component of milk is no small matter; it affects the texture and feel of the milk and the froth or foam formed. Steamed milk usually has a velvety and silky texture, the kind of texture you want in your Latte, while a frother has an airier and softer texture, usually found in cappuccinos and flat whites. Steamed milk also looks different because it has a glossy appearance, while frothed milk doesn’t.

At the end of the day, it is your choice to want a steamer or frother. If you are a person that drinks coffee regularly, buying either of the gadgets can save you a lot of money and keep you from drinking the same old coffee every day!