I started drinking coffee when I was 14 years old and, to this day, yeah, nothing’s changed — I just really guzzle the stuff down. I drink at least three cups a day.
On a hot day, on a cold day, on a holiday, or just any kinda day (I’m coming for you, Dr. Seuss), there’s nothing more comforting and life affirming than clutching tight to a mug of freshly brewed coffee. And these days, yep, I’m clutching hard enough to crack the mug in half.
Over the years I’ve relied on powdered rather than liquid creamer because I like my coffee piping hot. I get a lot of weird looks for this, I suppose because, outside of your local oil change place or a Motel 6, where else do you ever really see powdered creamer as an option?
Nonetheless, I ignored the judging eyes and continued in my ways — that is, until a recent discovery that changed my coffee drinking world forever.
While dog sitting for a family in the suburbs (where all the good kitchen gadgets live) I had the opportunity to try a small electric milk frother for the first time. Having clocked many hours as a barista for coffee chains both big and small, I was familiar with the concept of frothing milk, but… not like this.
My previous experience with milk frothers were the kind that look like a bent metal wand sticking out of a professional grade espresso machine, like this one:
This one, the Nespresso Aeroccino3 Milk Frother was different — it was a small tube-shaped canister that sat neatly on the counter. I poured the milk in, pressed a button, and a few quick whirrs later, poured freshly frothed milk into my mug of coffee.
The first time I used it, I was amazed at how the simple addition of hot, foamy, frothed milk transformed a run-of-the-mill cup of coffee into something that rivaled anything I’d get from a cafe.
The froth floats on top of the coffee, rather than mixing into it, so every sip starts with that hot cushion of foam, the life force of caffeinated brew following right behind it. The froth never separates, instead remains steadfast, a cozy pillow that I now simply can’t do without.
It took a single calendar week of using an electric milk frother for my coffee routine to change for the better, forever. From the time I arrived to dog sit, put my suitcase down, got comfortable enough to thoroughly use all of their kitchen gadgets and appliances, I went from “Wow, this milk frother changes everything,” to texting my wife, “Keep an eye out for a package, it should be getting there in 2 days.”
That’s right, I enjoyed this milk frothing business to such a degree that I bought one (an affordable miroco electric milk steamer that was highly rated on Amazon) and shipped it to my own house so that, when I returned home from dog sitting, it would be there waiting for me. And I’ve been frothing the hell out of milk ever since. Goodbye powdered milk, viva la frothed milk!
To this day, when I hear the frother beep, I can’t believe that I wasted so many years fixating on maintaining my “hot” cups of coffee, when I could have been having “hot damn” cups without even leaving the house.
There are so many possibilities — mochas, lattes, macchiatos — the sky’s the limit when you have an electric milk frother at home.
What’s next for me on this journey? Will I learn how to pour out the foam in such a way that each home-brewed, home-frothed cup features an empowering message in foam art? Maybe so.
Seeing as though I’ve used my new gadget to such a degree that I’ve already feared burning out its little motor, I’m already looking for ways to enhance my milk frothing skills. Let me just do a quick Google search to see if I can special order a froth art stencil that says “froth life” and get back to you on that.
If you decide to change your own coffee drinking world by investing an electric milk frother of your very own, here’s my favorite recipe:
- 6 ounces freshly brewed coffee
- 5 tablespoons pumpkin spice-flavored coffee creamer
- 5 tablespoons of another kind of plain creamer or milk, optional (to cut the sweetness of the flavored creamer)
- Brew a pot of coffee to your liking, using your preferred brewing method.
- Fill your favorite mug about halfway with coffee.
- Take the lid off of your electric milk frother. Look inside and you’ll notice a few different fill line options. Pour in pumpkin spice creamer and any other optional creamers or milks, up to the middle fill line.
- If your milk frother has multiple options, select the one that will give you hot/heavy/dense frothed milk. Press the button to start the frother.
- When the milk frother is done, it will beep. Use a spoon to hold back the thickest part of the foam as you pour, letting some hot milk into the mug before plopping the foam on the top.
- Instant WFH PSL. Enjoy!
Some other uses for your milk frother
- For WFH mochas, caramel macchiatos, or vanilla lattes, just follow the same steps as above but swap out the pumpkin spice creamer for chocolate milk, caramel creamer, or vanilla flavored creamer of your choosing.
- More of a cold brew fan? Select the option which makes cold frothed milk rather than hot!
Kelly McClure is a writer who has written for NY Magazine, GQ, The Hairpin, Rolling Stone and more. Find more of her work here.