4 Milk Frothing Alternatives That Really Work

No machine or steam wand? If you need some milk frothing alternatives, the tips below can help a great deal.

Milk frothing for coffee - Milk frothing alternatives
Creating milk foam is very easy using several ways

Frothing milk is relatively easy when you have the right equipment. However, if a milk frother isn’t to hand or simply wants to experiment, you can easily create milk foam using several other approaches.

1. Shake It

You can shake warm milk in a jar and create foam, though it’s hard work. Additionally, you may have to wrap the jar in a towel to avoid burning yourself.

As possible, shake the jar from side to side for more consistent bubbles that hold up over time. A glass jar with a single lid will be ideal, but make sure that the lid did not once cover anything that included a vinegar or brine solution.

If you use a canning jar, make sure the ring is sealed tightly and consider wrapping the whole jar in a plastic bag to avoid a mess leak. You will need a towel or a silicone heat wrap to get a good grip.

2. Whisk It

Woman making coffee drink at home kitchen using electric milk frother.
An electric whisk can make a lot of bubbles in no time

An electric or handheld whisk can incorporate a lot of bubbles in no time. Unfortunately, means a lot of mess and cleanup. 

To keep things simple, place your milk in a wide glass bowl or large glass measuring cup with a flat bottom and microwave it, checking it often for steam. 

You can whisk your milk directly inside the container from here and get good foam with minimal cleanup.

3. Use A Blender

An immersion blender is a terrific option for creating milk foam. Again, microwave your milk and blend it right in the jar for a dose of sweet foam in your coffee. Do make sure that you work the milk in a deep container when using an immersion blender.

The spatter from this will be hot and can be dangerous.

For those who don’t have an immersion blender, a countertop blender can work. You will need to work quickly to keep the foam hot. If you have a short blender container available, use it to reduce the cleanup time but put a lid on it.

Pour heated milk into the blender and foam it up in short bursts. Remember, there are many blender types to pick from.

4. Try A French Press

A man wearing a blue apron holding a French press coffee maker.
Simply pour the milk and add the plunger in creating milk foam in a French press

You can also create terrific milk foam in a French press, but it will take some elbow grease. Once your French press is clean, simply pour in the milk, add the plunger, and go to work plunging the press through the milk until you notice bubbles and an increase in volume. 

If you have a French press that has never been great at keeping grounds out of your coffee, you may now have an excellent milk frother. In fact, you will want to use a larger French press for this if possible. Do not fill the jar more than 1/3 full as you can quickly run out of space as you work the plunger.

A milk frother can make for lovely coffee options, but you can get froth without a frothing tool or a steam vent. Keep your milk within the safe temperature range and work to keep hot milk-covered when you are shaking or whisking it.


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.