Inside: The Magicook Milk Frother is the perfect tool for creating a perfect coffee experience. Read a review of this tool and learn about the science of milk foaming. There are affiliate links in this post but at no cost to you. I may make a bit of coffee money if you decide to click to learn more.
I love my morning coffee. It is a weakness I know. I don’t feel like I’ve gotten a good start to the day unless I’ve had at least one cup before work. Admit it…many of you feel the same way. Sometimes, if it is a cold winter day, I’ll sneak in a second cup before I leave for a day of teaching. But don’t tell!
On the weekends my husband and I love to brew a whole pot. The weekends are when I create my rich, foamy latte sprinkled with cinnamon and just a hint of sugar. It is heaven in a cup.
And since I researched the benefits of coffee for an earlier post, I feel a lot less guilt indulging in my favorite morning pick me up. Read about the health benefits of coffee here. You’ll feel a lot less guilty as well. And like me you’ll be likely to equip yourself with the tools to make your coffee fix exceptional.
My latest coffee splurge is a coffee frother. I have tried the battery operated hand version. I’ve made a pretty good cool foam with it. But I wanted something fool proof that made both warm and cool foam quickly and easily. After researching frothers at my favorite coffee shop and Amazon I came upon the Magicook Automatic Electric Milk Frother & Heater. It was my first venture into the world of coffee frothers so I didn’t want to spend a fortune. After looking at the reviews and features I decided it was worth the relatively small investment. Update: August 24, 2019: Unfortunately, since writing this post, Amazon no longer carries this excellent milk frother although my frother is still whipping up milk just fine. I did find another model made by Secura that looks almost identical and has the same features and similar price. Feel free to take a look here to check out the Secura model.
You can see me loving my foam topped coffee. I really have to learn the art of decorative lattes. That skill is next on my list of making the perfect coffee!
Before I give you a review of this product I thought I’d provide the science behind frothing or foaming milk. It might be the extra convincing you need to invest in this awesome product to improve your coffee drinking experience.
Science Behind the Magicook Milk Frother
The Magicook milk frother works on the same principle as all milk frothers whether electric or hand powered. To get milk frothy, you’ve got to add air bubbles. You can shake it by hand, whip it manually or use electric whippers to add those air bubbles. But there is some pretty complex chemistry of the milk itself that allows it to turn into the warm or cool frothy goodness we love in our beverages. Read on while I provide a simple lesson in the chemistry of milk and why it can froth.
Key Ingredients for Milk Froth
Milk is a colloid. A colloid is a kind of mixture that has one state of matter (a solid, liquid or gas) suspended in another state of matter. This kind of mixture does not separate on its own. Fog is liquid droplets of water suspended in the air. Smoke is a colloid of tiny solid particles like soot, suspended in air. Soda pop is a colloid of gas bubbles suspended in a liquid – yum! Milk is a special kind of colloid known as an emulsion. When you combine 2 liquids that don’t normally mix, you’ve got an emulsion. Milk is an emulsion of fat in water. It does have some other ingredients that are solids including lactose, caseins, whey proteins, and minerals.
I told you milk chemistry is complicated. Milk has sugar. We know that sugar dissolves in water. If something dissolves in water then it is a solution. A solution is another kind of mixture. If you remove all fat from milk, you get skim milk. Skim milk is a solution of sugar and protein solids dissolved in water.
Milk is an emulsion of fat droplets suspended in this milk serum or skim milk solution.
Fat Hates Water so How do Fat Droplets Stay Suspended in the Liquid?
We’ve all seen oil mixed with water. Oil is a type of fat. When it’s mixed with water, the oil will rise to the surface forming a layer on top of the water. So, how do fat droplets in milk serum stay suspended? It’s not a mystery. It’s science!
In order for emulsions to work, emulsifiers must be present. Emulsifiers are two-faced particles. They have a water-loving or hydrophillic side and water-hating or hydrophobic side. The proteins in milk act as emulsifiers. Many protein molecules surround each fat droplet. The hydrophobic end sticks in the fat droplet while their hydrophillic end floats in the water. With enough protein molecules surrounding each fat droplet, they are unable to join back together into one large drop and float to the surface. Check out this video by SunnyLearning for a more visual explanation of emulsions and emulsifiers
Magic Milk Ingredients
The three key ingredients of milk are:
- lactose or milk sugar
All three of these components will influence the flavor of your milk and the texture of the foam you create no matter what method of foaming is used.
Lactose gives milk a slightly sweet taste. Warm milk is much sweeter to the taste because lactose dissolves easier in warm temperatures than colder ones.
Fat content brings out the flavors in milk but also in the beverages in which you add milk or cream. More fat will give a richer, creamier taste. Fat also affects the volume and stability (how long it will last) of milk foam.
So…How Does Frothing Work?
Heating milk produces the most long-lasting foam. The reason is due to the dual nature of those protein molecules. When heated, those proteins unravel better exposing their water-hating and water-loving ends. When the milk is whipped adding air, the water-hating ends of the proteins want to escape the water and find refuge inside air bubbles. Their water-loving ends stay floating in the liquid part of the milk. With enough protein molecules surrounding each air bubble, the mixture remains foamy.
Milk with higher fat contents foam less. The reason is that the fat-hating ends of those proteins don’t care how they escape the water. They will hide in fat droplets or in the air bubbles. Thus, there are fewer proteins available to stabilize the air bubbles and you get less foam.
The Problem with Skim Milk
The problem with skim milk foam is that even though it is foamier, it is not as tasty. Also, when added to a beverage like coffee it tends to float on the top and not mix well at all. Fat my friends, also provides flavor. Its texture is more pleasing and it also brings out the flavors in your beverage.
Getting the Best of Both Worlds
So, how do you get the best of both worlds. Heating your milk hot enough, melts the fat droplets and reduces the competition making more proteins available to stabilize those air bubbles. Your foam is rich and creamy. It mixes well with your coffee and brings out the unique flavors of your beverage.
Check out this entertaining video by milk expert Thom Huppertz on the Science of Milk Foam.
Magicook Automatic Electric Milk Frother & Heater Review
This Frother has a number of important features:
- it is mostly of durable metal construction
- this frother is one button operation so is easy to use
- milk foams well and quickly in about a minute
- clean-up is a breeze because the unit lifts off the base
- the whisk attachment lifts out for even easier cleaning
- there is a second attachment that stores conveniently in the lid that can be used when just heating milk
- milk can be heated and frothed, just heated or it can be frothed without heating
- it is reasonably priced at under $40
I have been using this frother regularly for almost a month. It consistently produces thick, warm foam that has been long lasting in my coffee. I have used homogenized milk and half and half cream both of which produced silky thick foam. I am not a fan of almond milk or other milk substitutes. As long as there is some kind of protein content in your milk substitute you should be able to produce foam. Some percentage of fat content is necessary to get that silky, thick foam experience.
Cons (or just the usual getting used to a new machine!)
There were some difficulties I encountered when using this frother in the beginning. It does give minimum and maximum guides for milk amount. My first time making froth with the Magicook Milk Frother I added milk to the maximum line. I was making froth for both myself and my husband. Using homogenized milk, the foam started leaking out from under the lid. I got a nice puddle of milk on the counter. Thank goodness for the easy clean features of this device.
It has taken some experimentation to find the perfect milk level but I have discovered that adding milk until I can just see the tip of the whisk gives me the best results. I have not had any overflow since. I am sure ideal milk amounts vary depending on fat content. You’ll have to experiment with your favorite milk or milk substitute to discover your optimal results.
I am thrilled with this machine. It is so easy to create warm, silky rich foam for my oh so needed weekend latte. I imagine it will also be a game changer for my hot chocolate in the winter.
Try the Magicook Milk Frother . I am confident you will not be disappointed.
If you prefer to shop on Amazon, look here for a milk frother model that appeals to you. I am loving my homemade lattes and cappucinos with easy to froth milk. I know you’ll love them too!