Every year this time, I usually share—and re-share—what has proven to be a rather popular post on this blog: how to make a true Cappuccino Freddo (an iced cappuccino) at home. In that original post, I explain cappuccino, hot and iced, give a short description of espresso machines, a run-down of the tools you use, and step-by-step directions on how to make the perfect Cappuccino Freddo.
Now, let me refresh your memory a little on the technicalities: A hot cappuccino is traditionally prepared with espresso, hot milk, and steamed milk froth. A Cappuccino Freddo is prepared with espresso and cold milk froth that’s whipped into a smooth cream. (This prevents it from dissolving all too quickly, but rather the froth is better retained, and milk is released slowly into the coffee sip after sip). So after years of trial and error, let’s talk milk more!
As I explain in said post, I use a standing coffee mixer to whip the milk. In Greece, we call them frappè mixers, but Amazon lists them as drink mixers instead. I realize lots of people use hand-held milk frothers. Although these may work great for frappè coffee, they have never creamed milk properly for me. Here’s what I’m talking about instead:
In the latest years, we have also invested in a Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother for hot & cold froth. (The special froth steam nozzle on your espresso machine is for hot cappuccino coffee only. The same thing applies to any froth maker you might already own unless it specifically says it has a cold function as well.)
I’ve used both gadgets exhaustively and still do, depending on my mood, time of need and/or haste, and I have tried several types of milk on both. For the convenience of illustrating my point, I took the liberty of devising a scale of “froth creaminess” from 1 to 10. Here’s what I have concluded:
- Regular milk (skimmed or semi-skimmed) froths better with the Aeroccino and so does the barista milk—the special milk they use in coffee shops that is enriched with proteins. Both should be used chilled, straight out of the fridge, and 1-2 ice cubes need also be added if they are whipped in the standing mixer.
- Condensed unsweetened milk (aka evaporated milk) froths best both with the Aeroccino and with the mixer. It produces the silkiest, smoothest cream you can get.
- Soy milk froths poorly in the standing mixer. Use chilled, straight out of the fridge but without any ice cubes, or you will get a whole lotta watered milk.
- Almond milk doesn’t froth cold at all—at all!
- Carton coconut milk is usually a combination of water, coconut cream, coconut water, and almond or rice milk. As a result, it doesn’t froth at all in the Aeroccino and barely fluffs with the mixer (no ice cubes should be added).
- Canned coconut milk is less watered-down and whips up really stiff with a mixer, but it’s not as silky smooth as condensed milk. It froths up poorly in the Aeroccino.
*Condensed, unsweetened milk (aka evaporated milk)
**Soy milk froths excellently in the Aeroccino on the hot function—for regular cappuccinos.
***Coconut milk cream will hold better than condensed milk atop your iced coffee and get slowly diluted into your drink. It may, however, curdle really bad in the end even though it’s been whipped.
- All types of dairy milk used were non or low-fat. You do not need to use full-fat milk as that is actually not an important factor in the frothing process. Proteins, rather, do the trick, which is why the special barista milk, used in coffee shops, is usually enriched with them.
- Both dairy and non-dairy milk must be chilled.
- The Nespresso Aeroccino comes with 2 whisks: a wire whisk for froth & a ring whisk for steamed milk (used for Lattes). Use the wire whisk for frothing milk for a Cappuccino or a Cappuccino Freddo.
- Do not add any ice cubes when blending soy, almond, or fresh coconut milk with a standing or hand-held mixer.
- Whipped soy and canned coconut milk may eventually curdle in iced drinks.
- This post contains affiliate links (see my disclaimer below). You can browse more products I use and highly recommend in my Amazon Store.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am an affiliate for the products I recommend in this post. I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising & linking to amazon.com. If you purchase those items through my links, I will earn a small referral commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my links. I only recommend products & systems that I use and love myself.