Capresso Froth Plus

Confession: when I want to fix a latte, I start by stirring espresso powder into regular hot coffee. Caffeine snobs might recoil at the thought, but I'm fiercely loyal to my drip coffee maker and have no room in the kitchen for an espresso machine on the side. The only obstacle is getting the perfect microfoam to cap off my cup. Without a steam wand, which is almost always included with automatic espresso makers, a freestanding milk frother is the only way to go.

If you're in the same predicament, cheap battery-operates stick blenders and wands —ubiquitous in kitchenware shops — are not your only option. The Capresso Froth Plus is a plug-in countertop machine that foams hot and cold milk for coffee drinks, chai, hot chocolate, and whatever other drinks require a splash or two of milk.

I concede that someone who drinks Café Bustelo straight off the bodega shelf has no business caring about the quality of her milk foam, but it's a crucial component in perfecting my punk rock latte art skills. (My first stab at a Misfits skull suggests that I need more practice.) Find out how the froth Plus fared in providing: 1. Morning fuel and 2. A liquid medium for silly food art.

Positive (+)

The froth Plus requires nothing more than some milk and common sense. An acrylic pitcher with clearly marked minimum and maximum fill lines sits on a base that warms and whips milk at the touch of a button. Frothing and heating disks attach to the bottom of the vessel like a blender blade and store easily on the underside of the machine when not in use.

After pouring eight ounces of cold milk into the frother for an iced cappuccino, the machine took three minutes to whip the liquid into a rich and silky foam. A gentle motor allowed me to keep the lid off without suffering any splashing or mess, and an automatic shutoff let me walk away from the machine without any concern.

Using the heating function, it took all of five minutes to turn some shaved Scharffen Berger and milk into a frothy hot chocolate.

Negative (-)

While there are no issues with operation or performance, size is a clear concern. A two-pound, 7"-by-5" machine doesn't sound like much, but in fact it requires a precious amount of countertop real estate. Even hardcore coffee drinkers might question whether or not they want to dedicate space for a one-trick mini blender. All plastic parts also give it a cheap feel. The acrylic pitcher is easy to clean, but prone to scratches, so a soft sponge is required when it hits the kitchen sink.


Relative to other milk foamers on the market, the froth Plus works well and is priced right. It's double the cost of flimsy wands, but half the price of its higher-end electric counterparts. It's also handy if you have a children or your own secret weakness for hot cocoa. But if you're just a casual coffee drinker, save the money and hit the Google search bar for ways to froth milk by hand. Capresso Froth Plus; $59.99,

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