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Standalone frothers, what are my options?

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  • Standalone frothers, what are my options?

    Hi,

    Having just moved into a new studio in Melbourne I'm on the hunt for coffee gear. I'm on a pretty tight budget and have very limited space, hence I can't justify getting an espresso machine (even if I find a cheap one, I just don't have the bench space). I think I've decided on a Presso with a Sunbeam EM0480 grinder for the coffee side of things (open to suggestions on this though), so the last piece left in my DIY setup is something to get decent milk.

    Obviously a standalone steaming wand would be best, but is there anything like this out there (that still fits in the cheap and compact category)? I've never trusted those pour-the-millk-in-and-push-a-button type frothers, can they produce anything close to microfoam? To be honest I'm not hugely fussy, especially considering my constraints. Just something I can use to make a passable piccolo at home ;-)

    Any ideas?

  • #2
    Just saw that the Presso comes with a little plunger style milk frother. Anyone have experience with these? Completely useless or can you coax something decent out of it?

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    • #3
      I'm not a big fan of the mini "potatoe masher" type frothers, too much like a milk shake

      I do hear mixed reports about the $20 Aldi electric frother, most seem happy with it and at $20 with a good return policy you won't go too far wrong.
      (they were sold out when I tried to buy one so I don't know first hand).

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      • #4
        Saw the Aldi one again recently.
        Worth keeping an eye out or asking local Aldi Manager.

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        • #5
          I saw the one you mean at my local Aldi the other day. The only experience I've had with electric frothers (I assume the Aldi one is the kind with the little spinny thing at the bottom?) is the one that came with the (old) Nespresso machine we had at work, which was fairly rubbish. Have they come along since then?

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          • #6
            what about those handheld electric whisks like the aerolatte? That way at least you have a bit more control...maybe?

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            • #7
              The Aldi one isnt bad. We have one for the lazy nights when we use the pod machine, plus its quieter while the kids are asleep. We use the real machine during the day for the cafe style drinks lol I find sometimes the milk has larger air bubbles than other times, but i just put it in our milk jug and give it a tap and its almost like frothing it with a real machine. Thats just my 2cents

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              • #8
                does it have a steam wand, or do you put the milk inside?

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                • #9
                  Nope, no steam wand. It's one of those auto-magical ones you just pour milk in and it comes out frothed. Looks like it might be my best option, unless anyone knows of a cheap, compact, standalone steam wand? And what was the verdict on those handheld gizmos, better or worse than the Aldi style?

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                  • #10
                    Responded to this question a couple of days ago, The only 'stand alone wand frother' that I can think of that was plug-in-the-wall, is the old black and decker "mister cappuchino" from ten-fifteen years ago

                    Failing that, you could perhaps try a Bellman frother from one of the sponsors? (I think they're a stovetop device though) but if you go that way, you might as well get the whole kit? I dunno, Depends on how much space you're willing to sacrifice for having a seperate steamer...

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                    • #11
                      Guess the Aldi one may be my best bet then. Thanks for the input everyone.

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                      • #12
                        Pre-espresso m/c,..i always had great results with a Bodem "plunger" type frother .
                        150 ml of milk, 2 min in microwave, and a few seconds frantic frothing resulted in nice creamy foam.
                        Also, my experience with the Nespresso /Aldi "auto frothers" is they have capacity for one small cup only, and must be cleaned between cups.
                        ..And they are a bitch to keep clean !

                        And there is always the Belman stovetop steamer....
                        http://fantes.com/images/16374milk-frothers.jpg

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                        • #13
                          G'day,

                          I've just started using a Bellman cx25s... Utube people get latte art from it, I'm not quite there yet but it does good foam and fits in a cupboard...

                          good luck...
                          Daverelli

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                          • #14
                            My wife bought one of those battery operated frothing wands a few months ago (for use while traveling) it really does quite a good job, think it cost about $20.

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                            • #15
                              I was recommended the Aldi one, but researching it a bit I discovered that it used to be ok but the newer model had a lot of problems.

                              I then tried the Bodum milk frother (Latteo), but not having a microwave, I would double-boil the milk (as in put the Bodum in a saucepan of boiling water). A bit of trial and error started to get pretty good results.

                              But it was only when I bought a Bellman stovetop steamer did I understand what people meant when they used the term 'silky'. I never got anything out of the Bodum like the Bellman gives. I'm sure stepping up to a prosumer machine would probably give another leap in quality.

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