Feb. 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM ET
A creamy cloud of foamy milk is often the thing that turns a routine cup of coffee into a real treat. But you don't have to run out to your local coffee shop for your next cappuccino or foam-topped drink. Try these three easy ways to steam milk at home.
The Milk Steamer Method
Most high-end espresso machines or coffee makers will have a milk steamer attachment or built-in frother—they will also run you a few hundred dollars. For steamed milk on the cheap, try a hand-held battery powered milk frother. Most models are small enough to fit in your utensil drawer and usually cost around $20.
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Aerolatte Milk Frother, $19.88 from Amazon
IKEA Produkt Milk Frother, $5.68 from Amazon
Norpro Glass Froth Master, $11.17 from Amazon
The French Press Method
If you have a French press, you can use it to make thick, frothy milk. Simply heat a small amount of milk (hot but not boiling) in the microwave, then pour it into the French press. Pump the plunger up and down until the milk is frothy. Spoon the milk over your hot coffee.
The Jar and Lid Method
This method may be low-tech, but it gets the job done.Find a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, then fill it with the desired amount of milk, no more than halfway. Screw on the jar and shake it for 30 seconds, or until it has doubled in size. Remove the lid and microwave the milk for 30 seconds, then pour the foam onto your coffee. Want to know why it works? The Kitchn explains the science behind this cool trick.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.