What is a frothing pitcher, you may ask? A frothing pitcher is a pitcher designed to froth milk for using in hot espresso drinks such as lattes or cappuccinos. It can even be used to put steamed milk on top of a regular cup of coffee.
Types of Frothing Pitchers
There are different kinds of milk pitchers. The main types that we see are the stainless steel pitchers found in coffee shops, and the electric frothing pitchers, which are available for household use.
Stainless Steel Pitchers
Certain frothing pitchers are designed to be able to contain milk steamed at the espresso machines mostly found in coffee shops. These stainless steel pitchers are designed to hold milk and are great because they change temperature quickly. So, the barista can tell the temperature of the milk inside by the temperature of the pitcher itself.
Electric Frothing Pitchers
These milk-frothing devices are excellent at steaming milk for those who want to have great coffee but don’t want to put a full-on espresso machine inside of their home. The truth is that most people can’t afford a $10,000 espresso machine.
Stovetop Frothing Pitcher
Another option is the stovetop version, which is designed to froth milk in a stainless steel pitcher placed on top of a stove.
How it Works
A milk frother works by forcing air into the milk, which increases its volume. The term many baristas use for this method is “aerating.” Using pressure to put air particles into the milk is what many people refer to as “frothing.”
The Texture of the Milk
When working with a manual milk frother like a steam wand, it’s important to note that not all aerated milk created is equal. Milk that has been aerated and is ready to mix with coffee or espresso should have a velvety texture for lattes or a café au lait.
A cappuccino uses milk that is stretched longer, meaning it has been aerated or frothed even longer than the milk used for a latte. That gives it the extra foamy texture.
The Different Kinds of Milk
In discussing frothing pitchers, it’s also important to distinguish between the various kinds of milk, as each kind of milk will froth differently in the pitchers.
Whether 2% or Fat-Free, dairy milk is a popular choice for coffee shops. Whole milk aerates best, as there are more fat particles within it to absorb the air.
One advantage of dairy milk is that it has a more traditional “milk” taste that is very neutral and goes great with hot espresso drinks.
This dairy-free product is popular among those who are unable to have dairy. It’s also a bit healthier than dairy milk, and many people prefer almond milk for that reason.
The important thing to remember when making espresso drinks is that almond milk will not aerate as well as the fattier dairy milk. With this, it makes turning almond milk quite difficult, though not impossible.
Soy is another great option for those who are unable to have dairy. Baristas have to be careful with soy milk because it aerates quickly. There are other varieties of milk, like coconut milk, but these three are the most popular ones found in coffee shops around the world.
The Best Part About a Frothing Pitcher
What is a frothing pitcher for? The best part about a frothing pitcher is that it allows milk to be prepared for a delicious espresso drink. The world is in the Golden Age of Coffee, and without frothing pitchers, it would be nearly impossible to come up with the milk that’s necessary for making espresso drinks so delicious.