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How To Froth Milk Without A Frother: 5 Crazy Easy Methods

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There’s nothing quite like that first sip of a latte. The fluffy, foamy top hits your lips, and you’re momentarily transported to pure, milky latte heaven.

We get it. A frothy espresso drink is a beautiful thing. But even though those morning delights aren’t your wallet’s best friend, you’ll keep hitting up your local coffee shop because it’s gotta be cheaper than an at-home espresso setup, right?

Wrong.

Did you know you don’t need an espresso machine to make frothy milk at home? It’s true! But how do you froth milk without a frother?

Here, we’ll teach you how to froth your milk without a frother. And, spoiler alert, it’s super simple. So, let’s get frothy.

tattooed hands holding milk frothing pitcher under steam wand, Froth milk vs. steamed milk
Frothy milk at home
What is frothy milk, steaming milk

What Is Frothy Milk?

Frothy milk is milk that’s been aerated (had air added to it). The air creates tiny bubbles that produce the rich, fluffy foam we love on our cappuccino.

Milk is typically frothed using a wand affixed to an espresso machine and used in various drinks like lattes, cappuccino, flat white, and others.

But not all of us have a fancy espresso machine on our kitchen counter. Lucky for us, it’s pretty easy to make frothy milk at home without a frother. 

cappuccino with frothy milk from above, Froth milk in microwave
How to froth milk in the microwave

How To Froth Milk Without A Frother

So, how do you froth milk without a frother? There are several methods for frothing milk without a frother, but some produce better results than others. 

Here, the goal is to create rich, velvety foam to add to espresso or coffee for a delicious, creamy beverage (be it a mocha or latte, flat white or cappuccino, you get the idea).

Can you make cold foam without a frother? Of course! The beauty of frothy milk is that you may froth milk cold or hot! Learning how to froth milk for iced coffee is super simple.

If cold foam on your cold brew is your jam, get crazy with it. Read on to learn how to make cold foam without a frother using the methods below.

When practicing how to froth milk without a frother, you might want to try a couple of these methods to see which works best for you. We recommend you froth milk with a French press, but any of these methods will work if you don’t have a French press.

The microwave is the first and easiest method to make frothy milk without a frother. (gasp)

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How To Froth Milk In The Microwave

The most straightforward path to DIY-frothed milk is through your microwave, which couldn’t be more foolproof.

Here’s what you’ll need to learn how to froth milk in the microwave:

  1. Microwave (ok, duh)
  2. Mason Jar with lid
  3. Milk 

Pour the milk into the mason jar, but be careful not to fill it more than halfway. You’ll want to leave room for the milk to expand (it will nearly double in size).

Now for the fun part. Place the lid tightly on the jar and shake vigorously for about one minute. We like to do this to music.

Remove the lid and place the jar in the microwave. Microwave for about 30 seconds or until the milk is heated to your desired temperature. The heat from the microwave will assist in stabilizing the bubbles created during your dance. 

And that’s it! Now you know how to froth milk without a frother using the microwave. If you want to learn how to make cold foam without a frother, read on.

Next, let’s froth milk by hand.

hand holding whisk with whipped cream

How To Froth Milk With A Whisk

Frothing milk in the microwave is incredibly straightforward, but the foam created by this method might leave something to be desired. Not to mention, the frothy milk created by this method is, as you would expect, hot.

If you’re wondering how to froth milk for iced coffee, the whisk, and the following three methods are a better bet.

Frothing milk with a whisk will give you a slightly better result than the microwave and is just as simple. Here’s what you need to learn how to froth milk with a whisk:

  1. Medium-sized mixing bowl
  2. Whisk
  3. Milk

Pour enough warm milk for your cappuccino or latte into the bowl. Use the whisk to aerate the milk for approximately one minute vigorously. We like to move the whisk side to side quickly, but use whichever motion is most comfortable for you.

When you froth milk by hand, you will get a slightly thicker foam than when you froth milk in the microwave. Therefore, the whisk is a superior method for how to froth milk without a frother.

Plus, it includes a free arm workout. Bonus.

If you don’t feel like working out when frothing milk, try using the blender.

cup of frothy milk shot from above, latte with foam, How to froth milk in a blender

How To Froth Milk In A Blender

Can you froth milk in a blender? Absolutely! Frothing milk in a blender is as simple as it sounds. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Blender
  2. Milk

Pour the desired amount of warm milk into the blender. Cover, and blend until frothy.

The frothy milk from the blender will have a decent foam with more uniform bubbles than the whisking method. 

Using a blender to froth milk is one of the easiest ways to learn how to froth milk without a frother. Unless, of course, you happen to have an immersion blender lying around.

Airscape vacuum coffee canister in matte black
Airscape Stainless Steel Coffee Canister

Froth Milk With Immersion Blender

Can you froth milk with an immersion blender? In short, yes. You can use an immersion blender to froth milk, and quite well, actually.

Here’s how to froth milk with an immersion blender:

  1. Immersion Blender
  2. Deep pot
  3. Milk

Place your pot (use one with high sides) on the stove and add the desired amount of milk. Heat the milk until it reaches about 155 degrees.

Once the milk is hot, use the immersion blender to create beautiful, frothy milk at home. Submerge the blender in the milk and blend until frothy.

Be careful not to lift the blade from the milk while on, as this will spray hot dairy everywhere. This is one of the messiest ways to froth milk without a frother, but it produces a lovely foam.

If you’re wondering how to make cold foam without a frother, follow the steps above, but skip the heating. Use a high-sided pan or cup with cold milk; you’ll have cold foam in minutes.

So, what is the best way to froth milk without a frother?

Fellow Clara French press in black

Froth Milk With A French Press

Can you froth milk in a French press? Yes, you definitely can. In fact, it is our preferred way to froth milk without a frother and to create creamy, frothy milk at home. So, grab your French press.

It may seem odd, but the French press is the best way to froth milk without a frother. We love that a piece of equipment used to make coffee has a dual purpose as a milk frother. And if you’re new to the French press, it might be worth checking out our article on how to use French press coffee makers.

Here’s what you’ll need to froth milk with a French press:

  1. French Press
  2. Milk 

How to froth milk in a French press:

  1. Heat your milk on the stove, then pour it into the French press. Be mindful not to overfill the press, as the milk will nearly double in size.
  2. Pump up and down vigorously for about 10-20 seconds or until the milk is frothy.
  3. Remove the filter basket and pour the milk into your espresso.

The French press is also best for making cold foam without a frother. So if you’re wondering how to froth milk for iced coffee, reach for your French press. The French press is hands down the simplest method for those who want to learn how to make cold foam without a frother.

Now that you know how to froth your milk without a frother, it’s time to talk about milk.

frothy cappuccino in grey mug on grey saucer taken from above, Froth milk cold or hot
Diy frothed milk

What Is The Best Milk For Frothing?

There are many choices these days regarding milk, but what is the best milk for frothing?

The answer depends on your end goal: thick, fluffy foam with more giant bubbles (for a cappuccino) or silky, rich foam with smaller bubbles (for a latte or flat white).

Can you froth 2 percent milk? Yes. In fact, to achieve a thick foam with larger bubbles that hold up well, 2 percent milk is actually the best choice.

Opt for whole milk instead for a creamy mouthfeel and a thinner layer of uniform, tiny bubbles (perfect for latte art). Whole milk makes a beautiful addition to any espresso drink.

If you’re wondering how to froth heavy cream without a frother, you may employ the methods above. Heavy cream will yield a very rich result, best for dessert coffees (in our opinion), but it will froth nicely.

Can you froth oat milk without a frother? Absolutely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Almond Milk Froth?

How to froth almond milk without a frother:

Yes and no. Almond milk is notoriously challenging to froth due to its low protein content. Unfortunately, many almond milks are mostly water.

Can you froth almond milk without a frother? Yes. Will it yield the creamy, frothy milk of your dreams? No.

To know whether almond milk will froth or not, look at the ingredients and nutrition facts before buying. Look for those with a higher percentage of almonds and the highest protein content available.

Some brands make “barista” versions of their almond milk; if you see this, buy it instead. Just know that successfully getting almond milk to froth will take a bit of practice.

If you’re wondering how to froth almond milk without a frother, we recommend using the French press and following the steps above. While this method won’t yield results nearly as frothy as a milk steamer, this is your best option for frothing almond milk if you don’t have a frother.

oat milk latte  in white mug on white saucer with Califia barista blend oat milk container laying beside it, Califia oat milk, Will oat milk froth

Can You Froth Oat Milk?

How to froth oat milk without a frother:

Does oat milk froth? Absolutely. In fact, the answer is pretty straightforward if you’re wondering how to froth oat milk without a frother. Much like almond milk, oat milk is a bit tricky to froth well. But oat milk will froth much better than almond milk.

Several oat milk brands make “barista” versions of the standard oat milk, and these varieties do froth quite well. They have added protein and fat, which helps to create a richer foam.

Here’s how to froth oat milk:

Froth milk with a French press. Yep, it’s our favorite method because it simply works the best. It’s the best way to froth oat milk without a frother.

You will need to froth the oat milk longer than you would cow milk, and, unfortunately, the foam seems to dissipate faster than foam on cow’s milk.

So froth your oat milk and be ready to drink up! Can you froth cold oat milk? Sure! Frothing cold oat milk will yield similar results to hot oat milk and is delicious in any iced beverage.

Can you froth oat milk in a frother? Absolutely. In fact, frothing oat milk in a frother (aka steam wand or other frothing devices) will yield creamy, rich results. Investing in a milk frother may be a good idea if oat milk is your go-to.

Happy Frothing!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather Calatrello

Heather Calatrello owner of ShedLight Coffee Roasters