How To Choose The Best Milk Type For Foam-Topped Drinks

The choosing of the best milk type for hot drinks that’s topped with foam is one of the critical matters if not the most critical matter in the world of hot beverages. A simple change of milk can alter the appearance of the drink, the taste of the drink, the consistency of the froth. After extensive research, this is what I have found.

Milk contains fat. Every moment a portion of the fat is removed, it finally becomes skimmed. It has a different connotation and called by percentages removed. Like 1%, 2%, Semi Skimmed, etc.

Before get down to comparative analysis on which milk is the best for frothing hot drinks, let me tell you some things very important. It makes sure that you are ensuring enough ideal conditions milk to froth:


If you are using an automated machine then it is highly important that you purge the machine before you actually use it to make froth for your hot drinks. Without purging, your coffee might not taste as nice as it should. The steam stimulates the machine’s exhaust and make sure that the actual frothing is done without any overdue steam which was entrapped beforehand. Also, it removes any foreign debris is stuck in the pipe.

Use a pitcher

It is called pitcher. The jug which you are using to steam the milk. Some people put the pitcher in the fridge beforehand so that you are not putting extra effort to cool the milk. As we all know cold milk will always froth better.

Use cold milk

Another way to ensure the effect is by using the cold milk to start with. The coldness allows the atoms within the milk to stay relatively close. So once steamed, the turbulence with the milk creates enough friction among atom to froth in maximum. Remember! You can create more froth without overheating the milk.

Steam the milk ½ a cup

It is important you steam ½ a cup of milk every time. Anything more and the performance of the milk to froth may drop substantially.

Don’t overheat the milk

While steaming, it is vital to remember, you do not want to overheat the milk. Sure, it differs on individual preference on how hot you want to have your milk. But hotter it is the less froth you will have. The acceptable temperature is somewhere between 160-165 Degrees. The best way to work that out without the help of a thermometer is, just when it becoming uncomfortable to hold.

Understanding that you have followed these steps, we are going to do a comparative analysis between 5 types of milk. Soy Milk, 1% Skimmed Milk, 2% Skimmed Milk, Skimmed Milk and Whole Milk. To see, which the milk can create a perfect froth for cream topped hot drinks. You should look not only for froth. But try to see the bubble size. Longevity of the froth and also look for creaminess and tenderness within the froth:

1.Soy Milk

Soy milk will also give your bubbles but should also fall relatively quickly. On top of that the bubbles should seem to be larger. That is not ideal. You want your froth to have small bubbles the smaller the bubbles the longer the froth will last. Plus, Soy Milk will fall really fast. Even though it might struggle to pass the test with cold drinks like: Cold coffee or Chocolate. But it has no chance to pass a hot drink.

2.Whole Milk

Whole milk should have a nice and creamy froth. And it should look to last for quite a longer time. This is the one you want to use for frothing because it will  only give you control over frothing but also texture.

3.Skim Milk

Like Whole milk, the Skim Milk too will be bubbly. Skim milk should hold up fairly well. The milk is especially effective for coffee related frothing. It doesn’t give you a smooth bubbly froth through. Rather it gives you a bubble that looks rougher in texture and dull in color.

4.1% Milk

1% Milk should be somewhere in the middle of the Whole milk and the Skim Milk. The 1% is closer to the whole milk but not as creamier as you would expect from a Whole milk generated froth.

5.2% Milk

Just like 1%, 2% Skimmed milk should also be somewhere in the middle of the Whole and Skimmed milk. It gives you froth closure to the Skimmed milk generated froth but it will also leave you with a bubbly feeling while having the actual drink. Some people like it and some don’t. I personally do not like the taste.

There you go. That settles it. All the milk creates froth. It is up to you what kind of milk you want to use to create froth for your hot drinks. But it seems that if you want to create a froth that looks just like the picture of hot beverages in poster and magazine you want to go ahead with either Whole or Skimmed Milk. This also destroys a myth about frothing. People sometimes will tell you Protein level and the fat content has to have an effect on frothing. Well Bogus! Protein and fat content of the milk have nothing to do with the frothing what so ever. These types of milk along with Soya Milk will also give you the most distinctive layering while making an espresso.

So there you go ENJOY!