How To Make Frothy Milk For Coffee Without Any Fancy Tools

Drinking coffee is an act of self-love, isn't it? There's nothing better than going for a stroll by yourself, listening to your favorite podcast, and arriving at your local coffee shop where the barista remembers that you love to drink a cortado. However, deep down, we know that this habit costs more than it should. 

Luckily, the internet is our best friend when it comes to low-budget coffee. First and foremost, getting a moka pot and whipping up espresso at home for a macchiato, cappuccino, and more can save serious money and time. A french press or AeroPress are also efficient and affordable instruments for tasty and convenient brewed coffee at home. But what about that perfect splash of foamed milk as a finishing touch?

Although you can get a milk frother for under $20 online, you don't actually need this utensil to froth up some milk. Simply shake some milk inside a lidded glass or mason jar, and you'll have delicious foam in less than a minute, ready to elevate your regular black coffee. This trick works best with whole milk, but you'll get a similar bubbly sensation if you give your plant-based milk an extra shake.

How to master this frothing trick

While you could shake up some already warmed milk in your mason jar to make a foam that's ready to go, Starbucks says you can heat it after shaking it instead, putting the opened jar in the microwave for about 30 seconds before proceeding with the rest of your drink. As for how long and how vigorously you need to shake the milk, about 30 seconds with a moderate amount of force should do; just pretend you're a bartender shaking up a martini. Finally, be sure you leave the jar at least half-empty, as the milk will expand.

You can pull off a similar trick with a french press instead of a jar, though this works best if you first raise the temperature of your milk as the coffee connoisseurs do (between 140 and 155 degrees Fahrenheit, per EspressoWorks), before frothing. And instead of shaking the press, move the pump up and down briskly until a bubbly foam forms.

Finally, it's time to get creative with your coffee drinks! If you top an espresso shot with milk foam, you have a macchiato. Add an extra layer of foam and more milk to your coffee, and you'll have a cappuccino. Or, put your coffee and milk in a glass with ice and enjoy an iced latte. Not a coffee drinker? One frothy matcha latte coming your way. From there, add your sweetener of choice and enjoy an Instagrammable beverage without leaving home.