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Many of us know that if we stop buying $5 coffees, we'll all be millionaires — or something like that — one day. But how can you get coffee shop results at home without buying a pricey, pro-grade machine?
Just start with an inexpensive handheld milk frother.
I've tried a bunch over the years, with mixed results. Then, the TODAY team spotted the $15 PowerLix milk frother on Amazon, so I decided to see if it could live up to the more than 2,000 glowing reviews.
PowerLix Milk Frother, $15, Amazon
Here's what we found:
1. It's easy to use.
How does it work? Fill a cup about one-third full with milk (I used 2 percent, but any type will do), then warm it in the microwave for 45 or 50 seconds. At a 45-degree angle, stick the frother in the cup, turn it on and froth the milk. Ideally, keep the frother moving from the top of the milk level to the bottom of the cup. It's battery-powered, so you don't even have to plug it in.
2. It works like a dream.
After 45 seconds or so, the milk level essentially tripled, creating lofty peaks of frothy deliciousness. Spoon it on top of prepared espresso or coffee, and boom, you have elevated your home brew.
3. It's easy to clean.
Run the metal wire part under water after use. That's it!
4. We found uses beyond coffee.
Of course, we love gadgets that earn their keep. If it couldn't be used for anything but frothing milk, it probably wouldn't be worth it.
Aside from turning out stellar lattes and macchiatos at home, though, we used the frother to scramble eggs — and they turned out to be super fluffy (with none of those stringy egg-white parts). It also emulsified salad dressing in seconds and turned out a single serving of whipped cream in about a minute (using cold heavy cream and a pinch of sugar). And best of all, the tool is built strong enough to withstand each of these versatile uses.
Interested in more wacky (but useful) kitchen gadgets? Check out some of our other reviews: