If you are looking for the very best coffee maker with frother like you’ve seen your favorite barista use every day for the past several years, there are some essential features you should insist upon. However, with that said, unless you are willing to spend thousands of dollars, don’t expect to get a coffee maker with milk frother as big and with quite as many features as you’d find in a Starbucks, for example.
Those are commercial units and unless you are going to open your own coffee shop, you would probably want something a whole lot less expensive and certainly much smaller. Before getting ahead of ourselves here, let’s look at an example or two of a coffee machine with frother that will get the job done nicely and have you enjoying a delectable cup of your favorite coffee drink right there at home.
What Features Do You Need?
One of the things you may want to think about would be the features you absolutely need. Perhaps you simply want a coffee maker with steamer so that you can make a quick cup of latte now and again. You don’t really need to always froth the milk quite as much as you would for a cappuccino that is preferred for a stronger coffee taste with less milk. While that cappuccino may appear to be filled to the brim with milk, it’s an illusion! There is more coffee and less milk because you would froth the milk to the point where it looks like a cloud hovering nicely at the top of your mug. Latte, on the other hand, actually has less coffee and more milk, probably in equal proportions but without all the froth.
Additional Features for the True Coffee Lover!
If you are going to start searching for coffee makers with frothers, why not look for some special features so that each and every cup is made with freshly ground beans? You can find a really nice and affordable coffee maker that grinds beans and frother wands as well. If you are already looking for a coffee machine with built in milk frother, why not add a feature and start searching for a coffee machine with grinder and milk frother both? Do you really need both a coffee grinder and milk frother? If you truly love the best cup of cappuccino or latte that your favorite coffee shop serves, you bet you do! There really is no comparison to freshly ground whole beans when trying to satisfy your discriminating taste buds. Any coffee aficionado will tell you there is a true distinction between freshly ground beans and those that come pre-ground.
Why You Need Both a Coffee Grinder and Milk Frother
There is a very important reason why you would want to settle for nothing less than a coffee machine with milk frother and grinder options. The milk frother is that feature that enables you to make the widest assortment of coffee drinks while the grinder enables you to make a good, hot, and above all, fresh cup of coffee. What many coffee drinkers don’t quite understand is that pre-ground coffee tends to lose flavor because it dries out easier and also loses the natural oils that are responsible for the taste they so enjoy. Sometimes it has less to do with the manner in which it is packaged and more to do with the amount of time those whole beans have been ground. Sometimes it’s possible, if you have a larger grinder, to grind enough for a couple pots or several cups if you will be drinking them within the next few hours. Ground coffee shouldn’t lose oils or flavor that quickly. With all that said, if you are going to be in the market for the best coffee machine with frother, why not add the grinder function so that you can have the best of all worlds?
Recipes for Your New Coffee Machine with Frother
Perhaps it is time to take a look now at some interesting recipes and how-to tips. Again, you will need a frother coffee machine, but you don’t actually ‘need’ a grinder unless you have discriminating tastes that yearn for those extra layers of freshness and flavor! Here are a few of the recipes you probably see listed on the menu at that coffee shop you stop in before and after work and sometimes even on your lunch break. Why not? They have the best coffee in town, until you get your new espresso machine with frother that is! You might want to start with some of these:
This is, perhaps, one of the easiest specialty coffee drinks to master. The only difference is that the espresso is cut with water to smooth out the taste a bit. Espresso can be a bit bitter for someone who prefers a smoother cup of coffee and this is one of the reasons why they choose lattes and cappuccinos. Since the Americano isn’t typically served with milk, you only need the basic espresso function on your coffee maker. With that said, why would you want a machine without that frother you will almost always need for other recipes included here? Moving on with a bit more information on the recipe, instead of milk to smooth out Americano, extra water is added. It’s usually a 2:1 ratio of expresso to water. While we’re at it, some people still like that lemon twist or cinnamon stick served with their Americano just like they’d want their stronger espresso garnished.
As discussed above when talking about finding the best coffee machine with milk frother functions, this is imperative for the perfect basic cappuccino recipe. The interesting thing about the basic cappuccino recipe that it is made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk froth. For this one, you will absolutely need an espresso maker with frother, even for such a thin layer of froth because that layer is what holds the sprinkled cinnamon, nutmeg, or chocolate floating shavings.
A basic latte is quite similar to a cappuccino in that the recipe calls for espresso and steamed milk, but it differs in the amount of froth. Also, you might like to note that you will need that espresso maker with milk frother, even though a latte has a thinner layer of froth at the top and this is what distinguishes it from a cappuccino with a much greater amount of froth. As is the case with cappuccino, lattes are typically ‘garnished’ with cinnamon, nutmeg, or shaved chocolate.
This is where it gets totally confusing! The difference between a cappuccino and a latte is basically in the differences between the amount of froth at the top. Here again, the recipe calls for a very thin layer of froth and this is why it can be quickly confused with a cappuccino. Some baristas say that they make their flat whites with a little more froth than a latte but far less than in a cappuccino. Also, many baristas serve their flat whites and Americanos in a traditional coffee cup while the other coffee drinks are served in what have become known as cappuccino mugs. These are traditionally clear glass mugs sitting on an elegant pedestal. It would be interesting to learn why one cup is considered elegant and the other basic glassware.
What an interesting drink from South of the Border! Sometimes called Gibraltar, a cortado is equal parts steamed milk and espresso. They usual recipe calls for a double shot of expresso to 2 ounces of steamed milk, always in that ratio of 2:2.
Now this is an interesting way to get that instant jolt of caffeine without dulling it with so much steamed or frothed milk. Yes, a macchiato does have a healthy spoonful of froth at the top, minus the steamed milk that is. While there isn’t a huge amount of froth and virtually no steamed milk, you will absolutely need an espresso and milk frother machine for that heaping spoon of froth that is its distinguishing feature.
And Then There Were Flavors!
Other than the few garnishes we mentioned, so far, we haven’t discussed flavors. These can be blended into the coffee drink at the time in which it is made or can be added later once the coffee is served. Some coffee shops have bottles of flavor at the tables where you can get sugar, ground cinnamon or nutmeg and sometimes even nondairy to add a shot to a plain espresso. Can you imagine that? Here there is a lovely espresso machine with automatic milk frother, and someone wants nondairy. Actually, that is more common than you might think because many people are lactose intolerant. Why should they be denied delicious coffee drinks just because they cannot tolerate milk?
With that we’ll leave you with a question. Can a coffee machine and milk frother work with soy and other nondairy milks? That’s a very good question and one we will answer at another time. For now, let’s begin experimenting with our new cappuccino coffee maker with frother and we’ll get to nondairy at a later date.