Milk Frother Vs Steam Wand - Which is better and why?

Milk Frother Vs Steam Wand - Which is better and why?

A milk frother is a device used to froth milk (with or without the ability to heat up the milk, depending on the device being used).

A milk steamer is a device used to heat milk and is commonly found attached to espresso machines.

Both devices can be used to create foam, but a milk frother is better at creating a more consistent foam, and a thicker foam. When frothing milk, it is important to use cold milk and avoid over-frothing, as this can make the foam collapse.

Is a steam wand the same as a milk frother?

A steam works by heating up the milk and then injecting pressurized air into it, which creates a textured, frothy hot milk. Steam wands are commonly used by baristas and are used to create lattes and cappuccinos. At Starbucks and coffee shops, this is most commonly used for your lattes and cappuccinos.

Milk frothers are similar devices that are used to create frothy milk. However, they often do not have the ability to heat up the milk and instead rely on electric coils to create the steam.

This can sometimes result in a less consistent texture. A common household milk frother is the Nespresso Aeroccino - although this device does have the option to heat up the milk as well (not all milk frothers have this option)

What Are the Key Differences Between Frothed and Steamed Milk?

The key difference between frothed and steamed milk is that the former is made by using an electric milk frother (such as the Aeroccino) whereas steamed milk is made by heating the milk while also adding in pressurized air into it (what baristas use). Both methods produce foamy milk that can be used for making lattes and latte art.

If you're making a cold drink, you'll obviously want cold milk foam instead of hot. In the case of cold drinks you'll need frothed milk, not steamed.

Can a steam wand froth milk?

Yes, a steam wand can froth milk. The steam from the wand helps to create the froth, and the wand itself can be used to help control the amount of frothiness.

If you are using a handheld steam wand, you would need to first heat the milk on the stovetop. Then use the steam wand to froth the milk by moving it around in a circular motion. Be careful not to over-froth the milk, as this can make the espresso taste bitter.

If you have an espresso machine with a steam wand, you can use that to froth your milk as well - and you don't have to heat up the milk first. The steam wand that comes with an espresso machine will typically do both for you.

Frothed Vs. Steamed – Which is Better?


Frothed milk and steamed milk are both popular choices for making espresso drinks, but which is better?

Frothed milk is made by using a steam wand to force air into milk, creating a light and airy foam.

Steamed milk is made by heating milk until it forms a thick, creamy foam. Both types of milk have their own benefits and drawbacks.

Frothed milk is often used in drinks that are served cold, such as iced lattes. The light and airy foam helps to cool the drink down and makes it more refreshing. However, frothed milk can be harder to work with than steamed milk.

It can be difficult to get a consistent foam, and if the froth is too dense it can make the drink taste bitter.

Steamed milk is better suited for hot drinks, such as cappuccinos. The thick foam helps to insulate the drink and keep it hot. Steamed milk is also easier to foam consistently. However, steamed milk can sometimes make the drink taste overly rich and creamy.

So, which is better? It depends on your preferences. If you like your drinks cold, frothed milk may be the way


What is the best type of milk for frothing?

I definitely prefer whole milk. It tends to produce a richer and creamier froth. If you use 1%, 2%, or skim milk, the froth you get is not as dense and rich. The same goes for dairy alternatives such as oat milk or almond milk. However, any type of milk can be used to produce milk froth.

Looking to do latte art? You're going to need whole milk - the milk foam you get is rich and stable whereas the other versions are too airy and therefore not stable enough for latte art.

What is the best milk frother for making lattes at home?

The Nespresso Aeroccino is perfectly suited for making lattes at home - it heats up the milk whilst also frothing it at the same time.

You don't have to worry about having to heat the milk first on the stovetop and then using a handheld version.

Of course, a consideration here would be the price tag of a typical Aeroccino - it starts at around $89-$109, compared to a battery powered handheld milk frother that can be purchased for $8 or $9 on

Note: I love to use heavy cream for my coffee and I find that the metal coil in the Aeroccino is not "strong" enough to spin - it fails to spin half the time. The same is true for thick coconut milk that I love. If you're like me, you might have to deal with heating it first and then using the handheld wand, or settling for whole milk.

Types of Milk Frothers

A milk frother is a tool that is used to froth milk. There are several types of milk frothers, including handheld, electric, and manual milk frothers.

Handheld milk frothers are the most common type of milk frother. They are small and portable, making them ideal for use with espresso machines.

Electric milk frothers are larger and more powerful than handheld milk frothers. They are also more expensive.

Manual milk frothers are the least expensive type of milk frother. They require the user to manually pump air into the milk to create the foam.

Types of Milk Steamers

A milk steamer is a device that uses steam to heat up milk. There are two main types of milk steamers: stovetop and electric.

Stovetop milk steamers are placed on top of a stove and use pressurized steam to heat up the milk.

Electric milk steamers are built into an espresso machine and use a steam wand to heat up the milk. Both types of milk steamers can be used to make lattes, cappuccinos, and other espresso-based drinks.

I personally don't prefer the steamers that are built into the espresso for one simple reason: there is a minimum amount of dairy that is required to pour into the metal canister.

This minimum amount is probably enough for ten coffees. It's pretty wasteful in my opinion, for home use.

For this reason I always prefer the aeroccino - there is a minimum amount required, too, but it is a lot less than what the espresso steamer requires.

How To Steam Milk Properly with a Steam Wand

To steam milk properly with a steam wand, you'll need to hold the steam wand just below the surface of the milk and angle it slightly. Then, slowly bring the wand up to create froth.

Keep the wand moving in a circular motion until the milk is frothy. Finally, hold the wand close to the surface of the milk and allow the steam to penetrate the milk and create microfoam. Be careful not to overdo this, as it will collapse the foam!

Yes, the Type of Milk Matters

The type of milk you use for your coffee can have a big impact on the final product. For example, using whole milk will create a richer, creamier cup of coffee with more froth and body than if you were to use skim milk.

This is why whole milk is often used for lattes and other espresso-based drinks. I must state here, that at Starbucks the default milk used is 1% - unless you specify otherwise.

Latte art is also heavily dependent on the type of milk being used. For instance, it is much harder to get those pretty designs in your latte when using skim milk because the foam isn't as stable.

So, if you're looking to impress with your latte art skills, it's best to stick with rich creamier versions such as whole milk.

How to choose the right type of milk for your coffee

When it comes to coffee, there are a lot of different milk options to choose from. Whole milk, skim milk, almond milk, soy milk... the list goes on. So, how do you know which type of milk is right for your coffee?


Think about what kind of flavor you want in your coffee. If you want a richer, creamier flavor, then whole milk or half-and-half would be a good choice. If you're looking for something lighter, then skim milk or one of the non-dairy options might be a better fit.

Keep in mind that oat milk, almond milk, and coconut milk aren't tasteless - they will add flavor to your coffee - you may or may not like that.


Second, consider what kind of nutritional value you're looking for. If you're watching your fat intake, then skim milk or one of the non-dairy options would be a better choice. On the other hand, if you're trying to get more protein in your diet, then whole milk or almond milk would be a good option.


Finally, think about what kind of texture you want in your coffee. If you like your coffee thick and creamy, then whole milk or half-and-half would be a good choice. If you prefer a thinner coffee, then skim milk or the alternatives will be fine.