How to Froth Milk With a French Press

There are all sorts of methods used to froth milk. If you’re using an espresso machine built for a cafe, it’s quite easy to get a nice pillowy foam for your cappuccino, or some velvety milk for a latte.

However, if you’re looking to make a Saturday morning treat but don’t have a fancy machine, there’s a better way. I swear by the french press milk froth method, and I prefer the foam it makes compared to what an espresso machine can do.

Ditch the tiny vibrating whisks, smash the silly milk-froth machines, and pull out your old trusty friends: the French Press.

How to Froth Milk using your French Press

You must have a glass walled French press for this to be worthwhile. You can still froth milk this way with a metal French press, but there’s an extra step that makes it not worth the time and dishes.

Using your glass walled French press, fill up about a third with milk.

Put in the microwave for about 45 seconds. The milk should be hot, but never boil.

Assemble your French press and begin slowly plunging up and down. You are introducing air into the milk.

You’ll notice after about 10-15 pumps, the milk will begin to foam up. At this point, you can plunge quicker. Make sure you are introducing air with each pump, otherwise you’re just wasting your precious, precious strength.

It takes around 40-50 pumps to get a rich foam going. For cappuccinos, you have to scrape the foam off the top of the French press with a spoon and dollop it into your cup; otherwise, you’ll just end up with something in between a latte and a cappuccino. This method is very well suited toward lattes, however.

I love this method because of its simplicity. It uses a tool many of you may already have, and it allows you to do something a little different with your morning coffee.

Plus, if you’re looking to see what your home roast might do in espresso based drinks, this is a great way to do some testing.

My French Press is Made of Metal

I’ve broken so many glass French presses; it’s infuriating. That’s why I now use a metal French press.

A metal French press makes this method more difficult, as you can’t just microwave the whole thing without some sort of electric arc explosion. You have to heat the milk up first in a pan on the stove, or you can microwave it in a glass or ceramic pitcher first, then pour the hot milk into your French press.

The only other issue with this method is that you can’t see the foam rising. You have to go by sound, which takes experience.

Give it a try!

Give this method a try. It’s certainly better than buying a uni-tasker tool that you’ll only use every once in a while.

This is the method used in Roman cafes before the steam wand was added to most every espresso machine. Some Roman cafes still use this method as it’s more traditional. So if you want your house to have the laid-back, sophisticated atmosphere of an Italian plaza, try frothing your milk with a French press!

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