You already know that frothed milk tastes great with coffee.
But maybe you want to try something new or add a different flavor to your coffee.
Can you froth creamer?
Without a fancy steam wand?
Short answer, yes.
In this article, I’ll explain how and why you should try frothing creamer. I’ll also give you some options for frothing creamer at home.
Let’s dive in!
Can you froth creamer?
Let’s say you’re a morning cappuccino sort of person. But you wake up to find that all the milk is gone and the only thing you have left in the fridge is some creamer.
“Can I froth this for a cappuccino?” you ask yourself.
You totally can.
Frothing milk or creamer is the act of creating microfoam (or adding bubbles to get a texture you would find in a latte from a coffee shop).
Creamer acts almost exactly like other kinds of milk you might get in espresso-based drinks. All creamers are milk-based, meaning that frothing them will produce the same result as regular milk.
This is true for non-dairy creamers as well (more on that in a later section).
If you’re out of milk and liquid creamer but have some powdered creamer, don’t worry. Powdered coffee creamer can be frothed too. Just dilute the creamer into water or milk, and froth away.
Types of coffee creamer
Creamer is different from half-and-half and heavy cream. Heavy cream is the high-fat cream that rises to the top of milk during production, and half-and-half is equal parts heavy cream and milk. Creamer is made from water, sugar, and vegetable oil, making if lactose-free.
While considered lactose-free, most creamers contain casein, one of the proteins found in milk. So, if you’re dairy-free or vegan, make sure to double-check the ingredients list and opt for a non-dairy creamer instead.
One downside to most creamers is that they contain a lot of sugar. There are plenty of sugar-free options, but be careful when deciding and make sure to check the nutrition guide.
On the plus side, creamers come in so many flavors, giving you another way to spice up that morning latte.
Hazelnut, French vanilla, and peppermint are common flavors you can find in almost any grocery store. Coffee Mate is one of the most popular brands found in stores which offers various flavors and types of creamers.
Powdered coffee creamer is just that, powder. Like protein powder, powder coffee creamer can be added to drinks (usually coffee.) to act like regular milk or cream.
Powder creamer dissolves into your coffee and turns it cloudy, just like adding milk.
People might choose powdered creamer for its longer shelf life compared to liquid creamer or milk. Powder coffee creamer can last anywhere from one to three years.
To froth powdered creamer, simply add it to warm water or milk and froth as you would normally.
Liquid creamer acts and pretty much is the same as powder creamer, just already diluted. It contains a mix of vegetable oil, flavors, sugar, and casein.
Use liquid creamer as you would regular milk.
Creamers come in many different flavors, from French vanilla to hazelnut, and are usually found in the dairy section of the grocery store.
Treat liquid creamer as you would regular cream or milk and froth the same way.
Plant-based creamers contain no casein (a protein found in dairy milk). That’s the biggest difference between lactose-free and plant-based creamers.
Plant-based creamers are either soy, oat, almond, or any other type of non-dairy milk out there.
Other than that difference, plant-based and regular creamers are very similar. They behave and taste almost identical when added to coffee drinks.
And yes, it’s still possible to froth plant-based creamers. Just treat them like other kinds of milk and creamers and you will end up with the same result.
How to froth creamer at home
Sometimes you might be in too much of a rush to hit the coffee shop on your way to work.
Or maybe you want to save money and start making lattes and cappuccinos at home.
Either way, frothing your own creamer is a great way to save time and money.
Let’s start with a couple of items you might have on hand already:
It’s true. If you don’t want to go out and buy another kitchen appliance or a single-use machine, a whisk is a great way to try your hand at frothing creamer.
While not a great choice for the die-hard latte drinker, a whisk is a great and cheap option for frothing creamer. It’s handy and you probably already have one.
To use a whisk as a milk frother, simply warm up some creamer (either in the microwave or on the stove), pour it into a mixing bowl, and whisk away.
Whisk the creamer as you would an egg, and after a minute or so you will get some nicely frothed milk.
This method won’t give you the nice microfoam you might be used to from a coffee shop, but it will still level up your at-home drinks.
- Cheap, usually already on-hand
- Doesn’t take up kitchen space
- Hard to control the temperature
- Not much control of microfoam or texture
If you have a French press handy, it can get you closer to a coffee shop milk texture.
Warm up your creamer in the same way as before, either in the microwave or on the stove, and pour the milk into your French press.
Then pump up and down with the plunger and after a minute or so you will have frothed milk.
It’s important to make sure you raise the plunger above the level of the creamer once or twice to work in some air, as air is what makes creamer foamy.
Only raise the plunger above the milk once or twice, then keep the plunger in the creamer. If you work in too much air, you will get big bubbles and the texture won’t be as smooth.
- Cheap, especially if you already have one
- Easy to use
- Better control of texture
- Not much control of temperature
- Can’t do cold creamer or milk
- Takes some elbow grease
If you want frothed creamer but don’t want to put in the elbow grease required by a whisk or a French press, a frothing wand is the way to go.
Cheap enough to not break the bank, and easy enough to use by anyone, frothing wands are handy little tools.
You will still need to warm up the creamer as before, but an added bonus of a frothing wand is that you can froth cold creamer. This makes a frothing wand a great choice if you want frother creamer in an iced coffee or latte.
- Still relatively cheap
- Easy to use
- Can do cold milk and creamer
- Takes some work
- It’s a single-use machine
- Still need to pre-heat the creamer or milk
If you don’t mind buying a single-use appliance or you want something more hands-off, try a milk frothing machine.
There’s plenty out there, so keep in mind the control you want from a machine. Find a machine that has different settings so you can decide what kind of foam and warmth you get.
These are great options for someone with busy mornings because you simply add creamer and turn it on.
Frothing machines tend to be more expensive than frothing wands, and the best ones can be over $100. These machines are for the die-hards.
- Hands-off frothing
- Lots of control of temperature and texture
- Perfect results every time
- Somewhat expensive
- Single-use machine
Home Espresso Machines
If you really like making lattes and other espresso drinks at home, and you have the extra cash around, buying a home espresso machine is the solution.
While it’s possible to find home espresso machines for under $200, the good ones usually cost upwards of $2,000.
Home espresso machines usually have a steam wand on them, meaning you can steam creamer for drinks like a barista.
Espresso machines are good investments if you don’t like going to your local shop every day and want to save money in the long run.
But keep in mind that it could take months or even years to start saving money making lattes at home with an expensive machine.
There are some non-machine options for making espresso at home, like the AeroPress or the Flair. These are great options for making espresso at home. Neither come with steam wands, so you’ll still have to go with one of the other options for frothing your creamer.
- Control of every step of the process
- Most control of temperature and texture
- Best results for espresso-based drinks
- Can’t do cold foam
- The best machines require maintenance and upkeep
Coffee creamer is a great alternative to regular milk. For those who are lactose intolerant or just want other flavors in their coffee, creamer is the way to go.
It’s totally possible to froth coffee creamer, either in powder or liquid form.
You can use tools already on-hand like a whisk or French press to create frother creamer.
You can even make an entire latte from the comfort of your own kitchen.
Plant-based creamers are a great alternative to plant-based milk. They are usually thicker and respond better to frothing.
Hopefully, now you have the knowledge to try frothing creamer.
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