Milk Frother Vs Steamer: A Barista’s Guide to Milk Magic

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on April 1st, 2023

When it comes to making a delightful cup of coffee, the magic often lies in the milk. But here’s the catch—there are two different ways to work that magic: milk frothing and milk steaming. So, what’s the difference, and which one is the best fit for you? Let’s dive into the world of milk and unravel this mystery!

Table: Milk Frother Vs Steamer at a Glance

Milk FrotherMilk Steamer
TemperatureCreates cold milk foamProduces warm, fluffy milk
TextureLight, airy foamCreamy microfoam with glossy shine
Best ForCappuccinos, coffee artLattes, velvety hot drinks
Example DevicesManual frother, electric frotherSteam wand, electric milk steamer

Milk Frother: The Art of Foamy Milk

Let’s start with milk frothers. These nifty gadgets are used to create cold milk foam—a light, airy layer that sits on top of your coffee and adds a silky smooth texture. Perfect for cappuccinos and creative coffee art!

milk steamer

Bullet Points: Types of Milk Frothers

  • Manual milk frother (great for an arm workout!)
  • Electric mains milk frother (for the tech-savvy)
  • Battery-operated handheld milk frother (portable and convenient)

Quick Tip: Pour cold milk into a container (double the volume of the milk you’re using), turn on the frother, and watch the magic happen!

Milk Steamer: The Secret to Creamy Milk

Next up, milk steamers! These are often found in espresso machines and create warm, fluffy milk. Ideal for making lattes with that beautiful, reflective shine!

Bullet Points: Types of Milk Steamers

  • Handheld milk steamers (super easy to use)
  • Milk steamer wands (your espresso machine might have one!)
  • Compact electric milk steamers (for the countertop)
  • Stovetop milk steamers (old-school cool)

Quick Tip: To steam milk using a steam wand, fill a pitcher with cold milk, submerge the wand halfway, and turn on the steam. Introduce air to create creamy microfoam!

Frother Vs Steamer: Which One is Right for You?

So, which one is right for you—a frother or a steamer? It all depends on your love for milk-based coffee and the type of coffee drinks you want to make. If you’re all about that foam life, a milk frother is the way to go. If you crave a creamy, indulgent latte, you’ll want a milk steamer.

Pro Tip: Don’t worry if you’re still torn! Some espresso machines have built-in steam wands that can do both—foam and steam. It’s a win-win!

Common Milk Questions

  • Should milk be hot or cold for frothing? Use cold milk for frothing, and heat it to 140-155°F if you want to enjoy it warm.
  • Do milk frothers heat the milk? Electric frothers do, but manual ones don’t.
  • Can you steam milk with a frother? Nope, you’ll need a steamer for that.


Now that you’re a milk maestro, you can confidently choose between a milk frother and a steamer. Whether you’re crafting foam art or savoring a creamy latte, you’ve got the skills to create coffee magic. Cheers to your next brew-tiful cup!

Pro Tip: Experiment with different types of milk, such as dairy, almond, oat, and soy, to discover how each one froths or steams differently. You might just find a new favorite!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links. Remember to support us by purchasing through the Amazon/Walmart/Impact Radius links provided. Last update on 2024-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.