A frothy coffee is something that feels just a little bit special. Like a warm bubble bath or sitting around an open log fire, it’s a warming treat that satisfies you completely. Gone are the days where you had to rely on your local coffee shop to make these delicious drinks for you. Frothy coffees are becoming a homemade luxury that everyone can enjoy.
For those of us that like to experiment, you’ll be excited to hear that you can froth a whole lot more than just cow’s milk. Non-dairy alternatives are on the rise and one of the surprising options here includes coffee creamer.
It turns out, you can froth coffee creamer and you can do so in a variety of ways. Powdered creamer will need to be dissolved beforehand in either water or milk. I’ve tried and tested 7 ingenious ways to froth this tasty treat so you’re bound to find a method that you can try at home, without having to purchase any new equipment!
Before we jump right in, let’s first cover the basics about coffee creamer and why you should consider it for your next frothy coffee.
What Is Creamer
The technical definition of creamer is a non-dairy substitute that you add to tea or coffee. They are designed to give that rich, creamy taste and texture that comes from adding milk or cream.
They are theoretically a perfect choice for vegans or people with dairy intolerance but confusion emerges here. A lot of non-dairy creamers are actually made from dairy derivatives so are not actually as vegan-friendly as they may first appear.
The term ‘creamer’ is widely used to describe the addition of anything to coffee that has a thick texture. From actual cream to oils and fats, the phrase can be used to cover a whole host of ingredients.
Can You Froth Creamer
Thanks to the fats and stabilizers used in creamer you can froth it in many ways to create a beautiful thick foam. Of course, this can vary depending on the brand of creamer so frothy results are not guaranteed.
If you’re using a powdered creamer you need to add some milk or water to dissolve it before you froth it. For some of the frothing methods described here, you can even add the powder to coffee and froth the whole drink to make a latte or flat white type coffee.
Why Froth Creamer
A dollop of foamy creamer can elevate your morning cup of joe from ordinary to full-on luxurious. Creamer helps balance the bitter and acid notes found in coffee to create a sweeter, more gentle flavor. It also transforms the coffee texture to a much richer and fuller mouthfeel.
Frothed creamer can substitute for milk in all sorts of specialty coffees such as lattes, cappuccino, flat white, and macchiato.
How To Froth Creamer – Tools To Get The Job Done
If you like the sounds of rich, frothy creamer then you may be wondering how you go about achieving this culinary feat. There are a variety of different methods available to try so don’t worry if you think you don’t have the necessary equipment.
Shake It Up
The first method involves nothing more advanced than a glass jar. Yep, it can be as simple as this. A mason jar works well but so does any empty (clean) condiment jar.
Fill the jar to around halfway with creamer and screw on the lid. Shake the jar vigorously for 45 seconds to a minute then remove the lid and microwave the jar for 30 seconds. This helps stabilize the foam and warms the milk perfect for lattes.
You can also use this method for frothy iced coffees by skipping the microwave step.
Manual Milk Frother – Bodum Latteo Manual Milk Frother
This method requires some equipment and can make both hot and cold beverages. You add the desired volume of creamer to the milk jug and place it over low heat on the stovetop (you can skip this step if it’s iced coffee).
Once the creamer has heated to around 60C/140F (or just too hot to touch) remove it from the heat and fix the lid in place. Pump the plunger up and down firmly for around 30 seconds. The very fine mesh on the plunger introduces lots of air into the creamer creating a thick, bubbly foam.
French Press – Bodum Chambord French Press
The French Press is the DIY version of the manual milk frother. The mesh filter fixed to the plunger acts in a similar way to the plunger on a milk frother. The only difference is you need to heat the creamer first unless the french press is safe to apply direct heat to it (ie a stainless steel design).
This method works pretty well as a DIY option but the differences in the plunger design compared to a milk frother mean the French Press produces a weaker foam with larger air pockets. It’s can also be a bugger to get clean unless it’s dishwasher safe.
Electric Milk Frother Jug – AEVO Detachable Milk Frother Machine
This method is the easiest one by far but is a little costly. The electric milk frother jug requires the initial investment but the results more than make up for this.
It’s so straight forward. You simply add the creamer to no higher than the maximum level (indicated on the jug), install the whisk, and press a button. That’s it!
The electric frother jug has three options one for warm, thick foam (ideal for lattes). One for lighter, fluffier foam (ideal for cappuccino) and one for cold foam for iced lattes.
These devices are so easy to use and produce a lovely thick textured foamy drink but the downside would have to be cleaning them out.
Handheld Milk Frother – Zulay Original Handheld Milk Frother
If ease of use and portability is an essential consideration for you then you’ll love the handheld milk frother wand. It’s battery-powered so can be used anywhere. You simply introduce it to your creamer, turn it on and gently move it up and down to incorporate air into the liquid. It can take 1-3 minutes to get the creamer beautifully thick and foamy but it does a great job.
It’s worth noting that the handheld milk frother does not heat the creamer up as the jug version does. You need to warm it first in the microwave or over a stove.
Steam Wand – Hanchen Commercial Milk Frother
A steamer wand is the gold standard when it comes to milk frothing. It the method used at most coffee shops and definitely produces superior results. It works by using pressurized steam to simultaneously heat and froth the creamer or milk. It requires a lot of practice to get consistently good results but if you love foamed milk, then it’s worth it.
You need a metal jug that can hold a volume similar to your cup size. Add creamer until it just reaches the bottom of the spout level or just below halfway.
A thermometer can be really useful for this method as it stops you from overheating the creamer.
Start by purging the steam head by opening the valve whilst the steamer wand is positioned over a drip tray and leave it on for a few seconds. This removes any water from the device so keep it open until it’s a uniform stream of steam being produced. Close the valve and introduce the steam wand to your creamer until the tip is submerged.
Open the valve fully and with the jug tilted to a 45-degree angle, keep the wand just off-center so that it creates a whirlpool type effect. Keep going until the creamer temperature rises to 20-30C (this is the stretching process).
Next, lower the jug slightly so the tip of the wand contacts the surface of the liquid, and a “kissing” sound is heard. This is the air being introduced. Move the jug gently up and down to gradually introduce air as required and submerge the tip to break up larger bubbles and “thicken” the creamer.
Keep going until the temperature reaches 60C/140F or the jug is just too hot to touch. Turn off the steam wand and tap the base of the jug firmly on the countertop. This removes any larger bubbles.
Don’t forget to purge the steam wand to remove any creamer residue and wipe the wand with a cloth to keep it clean.
This process is a lot more involved than other methods and steamer wands can be very expensive to purchase. Once you get good at it though, the results are superior so it’s worthwhile if you’re a big fan of foamy coffees.
Immersion Blender – Mueller Austria Ultra-Stick
This is another DIY method for at-home creamer frothing. The idea is that you introduce a hand-held immersion blender into warm creamer and turn it on a low speed, gradually increasing to make a fluffier texture. You can blend the coffee and creamer together to give latte type drinks.
I find this technique produces a very weak foam that’s mostly just large air bubbles. It’s not the thick, creamy effect that I normally aim for and the blender tends to cool the drink down quite a lot.
The blender can also make a mess of the kitchen if you’re not using a deep enough container.
This method is best for iced coffees or when using powdered creamer straight into the coffee.
What Options Are Available For Frothy Coffee?
As this is the focus of this article, artificial creamers are a fine choice for a frothy coffee. One of the most popular choices is Nestle Coffee-Mate which is made from glucose syrup. It is listed as non-dairy but it does contain milk derivatives.
If you’re not a fan of anything artificial then good old-fashioned milk is the top choice for frothy coffees. The more fat the milk contains the better it behaves when being steamed so ideally choose a whole/3% fat milk.
Half and Half
If you like a thicker texture then half and half is a great choice. It’s a 50:50 blend of whole milk and single cream and it froths incredibly well. The only downside is the slightly higher calorie content.
Dairy-free milk alternatives like almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, and coconut milk are great choices if you don’t do dairy. The only downside with plant and nut-based kinds of milk is they tend to be thinner than dairy and less heat stable. This means they can curdle and separate when the heat is applied to them. To avoid this issue use a barista blend and make sure you don’t heat it above 60C/140F.
Coffee creamer with added MCT oil is making itself well known in the keto world. MCT oil is said to provide a stable source of energy and helps you burn calories and maintain wide awake and alert. This Rapid Fire Ketogenic Creamer is a fine example that also contains butter from grass-fed cows.
Collagen-based creamers have the added benefit of helping contribute to healthy hair, skin, and nails as well as adding a delicious creaminess to your coffee. This Primal Kitchen vanilla coconut blend is a really tasty option.
A frothy coffee is a rich and inviting cup of coffee. There are loads of ingredient options out there that can be easily frothed as well as lots of ways to do this from the comfort of your own home.
Coffee creamer is a good choice to make your coffee frothy and it comes in loads of forms and flavors to suit anyone. Whether it’s a plant-based vegan-blend, keto-based, or mixed with other health-promoting ingredients, you’re bound to find one that’s right for you.