“ Brand: La Cafetiere / Type: Milk frothing jug / Subcategory: Coffee Press „
I am a complete coffee addict and although nothing beats a freshly made coffee from a really good coffee shop unfortunately this isn't something I can treat myself to several times a day so I need to make coffee at home.
Whilst I love good coffee to be honest the majority of the time I just use instant or my senseo because it is easier but when I can be bothered or if I have guests then I get the fresh coffee out.
My favourite way to make fresh coffee is with my little Bialetti espresso maker. The coffee from this is delicious and a great way to make an authentic tasting cappuccino is to use it in conjunction with the Bialetti cafecrema. This is what I do when I have guests and the results never fail to impress my friends when they come for coffee.
The cafecrema is basically just a frother for milk but wrapped up in a fancy package. It is made from aluminium and is just a little jug with a handle and a plunger but it certainly looks stylish and goes well with my fancy coffee set that I only bring out for guests.
To use the cafecrema all you need to do is pour in some milk and then use the plunger to get the milk really frothy and creamy. You only need to use the plunger for about 30 seconds to get a froth that would put any coffee shop to shame and I can get a good few cups worth of froth from it which fill my cups by a good couple of inches.
The lid stays on nice and secure so even though I am pushing the plunger quite vigorously it doesn't come splashing out the top.
To get the best out of the cafecrema you really do need to use full fat milk as skimmed milk will give you a watery and weak froth whilst the full fat will give you a gorgeous foamy froth. Also although you can froth the milk cold it really should be warm for the ideal cup of cappuccino. As the jug is made from alaminimum it can go straight on to the hob with no worries and this is the best way to heat the milk and it also saves having to wash another jug if you use that to heat the milk.
Cleaning the cafecrema is a doddle and a quick rinse under the tap is all that is needed. It is Teflon coated so the milk doesn't stick to it so even when you use it on the hob and the milk gets hot and a skin sticks to the sides it just rinses off quickly and easily. The plunger part is also easily cleaned by just rising it under the tap.
I paid £17.50 for my cafecrema which might seem a lot but I have used various frothers over the years with some being small whisks and some being battery powered ones and none have come close to the level of thickness that I get from my froth with this one. I also really loved its look and it fit on with my other things so for me I would have bought it just for show so it is lucky that it froths as well as it looks good.
I enjoy a good cup of coffee but cappuccinos in the home are very hard to achieve. I have dabbled with coffee machines that use pods; this results in a pathetic couple of centimetres of grey foam and have tried one of those mini electric milk frothing sticks; hours later my milk is simply "well stirred."
Both my partner and I got really into Galãos when visiting relatives in Portugal. A Galão is very similar to the Italian Capuccino except it is served in a tall glass and has more coffee; there is about one quarter coffee to 3 quarters foamed milk; very delicious.
Alas, our dreams of creating these delicious coffees in our home were dashed as we simply do not have the room to have a proper coffee machine installed. You can pick up a second hand, good quality Gaggia for less than £200, but there is nowhere to plumb it in. Nevertheless, we moved on and I purchased a Moka Express Hob espresso maker and discovered a new passion for rich espressos, simply perfect for giving that hit of caffeine on a Monday morning! Whilst searching the internet for a new stand for my espresso maker, I saw this Bialetti Tuttocrema Frothing Jug. I am very familiar with the Bialetti brand; they were behind my beloved espresso maker, so despite my pessimism, I decided to give one a try.
I paid £39.99 from John Lewis online and a few days later, it arrived through the post, complimented with an instruction booklet. How complicated was this going to be? It is not complicated at all. the jug is simple in design and very simple to use.
*A quick look at the jug*
The foaming jug is made from aluminium and has a plastic lid and pump at the top. At the side is a plastic handle that does not get hot, so you can take a good firm hold of it.
Once you remove the lid, you are ready to pour the milk into the jug. Obviously to make the best foam you need hot milk so you can either heat your milk up in the jug or heat it separately and pour it in. As the jug is metal you cannot heat it in the microwave. I have used a stand and heated the jug on the hob but the mess at the bottom of the jog afterwards was a nightmare to get off. Milk skin sticks to non-stick surfaces! I find it easier and less messy to heat the milk in the microwave and then pour it into the jug.
*A good firm hand*
On looking at the jug, it is quite puzzling at first how it is going to turn your milk into delicious foam. The secret is in the lid. In the lid attached to the knob at the top are two circular layers of mesh. Now the magic is in the pumping; this swirls the milk around very fast; similar to how a whisk works but faster and the fine mesh puts air into the milk, ultimately resulting in foam.
As you pump the knob up and down it is important to hold the jug with your other hand, I tend to push down on the lid with my other hand as holding the handle does not keep it as still as I want and some hot milk can escape causing burnt fingertips.
It doesn't take too long to product the foam and you can feel the difference in the movement of the handle when you know it is ready. No arm ache involved!
It was trial and error at first with how much milk to use but the machine does need to be at least a quarter full of milk for it to foam at all. Disappointingly there is always around an inch of milk left in the bottom after making drinks as this just doesn't turn, no matter how long I make my boyfriend sit there pumping it!
*Tastes so good*
The consistency of the foam is always spot on and you can really get beautiful looking, billowing clouds of foam dolloped on the coffee. I love sitting in the garden, with my book and enjoying a delicious cappuccino or Galão. You know the drink works when you take a sip and the result is a foam moustache!
Ah, the downside to such a wonderful device. Having one of these coffees is a luxury and a rare treat because I hate cleaning the jug! Firstly, the exterior scratches so easily that I do not really like putting it in the dishwasher and secondly, the mesh filters are really hard to clean. They need a good soak or they start to smell like stale milk. The jug needs a good clean out, but luckily the non stick surface tends to make this quite easy; unless I heat the milk in it in the first place, then it take a lot of scrubbing. The trick is to get it into soak straight away.
The price of a Starbucks cappuccino has hit over the £2.00 mark. For the price of 20 Starbucks coffees you can have your very own foamer and make your very own speciality coffees. Mix it up, add syrups and experiment with different flavours there is so much choice available. I never thought I would be able to make foam as easily as this little jug can; it really is as simple as it sounds. The only downsides come afterwards when you need to clean the thing!
When my partner came home with this frothing jug (along with lots of other coffee-making paraphernalia) I was intrigued; I had never heard of frothing milk in this way. Of course, I was a relative newcomer to the world of coffee back then, and was looking forward to trying my first home made cappuccino.
Using this milk frother is very simple. All you need do is pump the knob on the top up and down quickly, and your milk will magically froth! You can heat milk in the jug itself on the hob, or you can pour preheated milk into the jug, whichever you find easiest. I personally always preheat milk before using the jug, as when I heat milk I am always left with that horrible residue on the bottom of the pan. Now, although this jug is incredibly non stick and easy to clean (more later), I like to make things even easier by making more mess in a pan than in the jug! I can't tell you if the handle stays cool to the touch when using the jug to heat milk on the hob, as I have never done it this way. I would guess (in a semi educated way) that it would, as otherwise it would be a major design flaw.
The frother part of the jug is integrated into the lid - attached to the knob on top are two circular sections of mesh, approximately 1 inch apart. These are the magic bits that turn milk into froth as they pass through the milk at speed. It really is a case of simply getting hot milk in there and pumping. I find it easiest to hold the handle, using my thumb to keep the lid in place and pump with my other hand. It doesn't take much pumping to produce froth, and care should be taken that you don't splash yourself with any hot milk that escapes the confines of the jug while frothing.
As with our other Bialetti products, this looks good on my shelf with its sleek lines and silver/black colour scheme. And of course the little Bialetti barista adorning it! It is non stick inside, and this makes it super easy to clean. It is also dishwasher safe, although I prefer to wash by hand to ensure the mesh parts get a good scrubbing. There's nothing worse than a lingering smell of old sour milk! It's a good idea to at least let it soak straight after use, to prevent any milk drying at the corners. It will be harder to clean properly if this happens. The outer can take a good scrubbing and come up really well too.
The only thing that bugs me about this, is that it's difficult to dust! The lid has a strange rough texture to it, which means that you can't just wipe over it with a dry or slightly damp cloth to remove any gathered dust (which since this sits out in my house, it does get!) without the cloth catching.
Overall though, this is a great addition to any coffee drinker's supplies. It is easy to use and clean and lets you produce coffee shop quality coffee in your kitchen.
I love making nice coffees for myself at home but after my glass Bodem frothing jug had an accident I needed to find a replacement. I have had Bialetti percolators in the past and they have always been good quality so I purchased this from Amazon for just under £20. This is around the same price I have paid for these previously - my last one was £15 but I wanted to avoid a glass one this time and go for something more sturdy.
The way these milk frothers work is that they have a kind of mesh inside of the jug, attached to the handle that comes right out of the top. You pump the handle up and down and the mesh moves up and down and froths the milk. I have always had better success with these than any other kids of milk-frothers - even better than milk wands on home coffee machines.
Unlike my previous jug which was glass so could go in a microwave, this one is metal so you have two choices - either heat the milk in another container and pour it into the milk frother, or you can heat the milk on the hob in the jug itself. I usually use the jug on the hob these days but for some reason it didn't sit properly on my old hob so it was a choice of either a dangerous balancing act or a separate jug in the microwave. On my new gas hob it sits fine.
In terms of frothing, this jug is superior to any I have had in the past. You often find with these jugs that if you are just wanting to froth a small amount of milk then the results aren't as good but I haven't had any issues with this one at all. The only thing to milk froths beautifully and due to the fact that this has a double filter (mesh) it takes hardly any time or effort at all. The only issue that I have had which is the same as all the other ones I have used is that occasionally milk will spill out around the lid when you are frothing greater amounts at a time. I usually have tea towel around the top of the lid to grip it while frothing so this doesn't cause too many problems.
As the milk frother has a Teflon surface it is nice and easy to clean. With the meshs it's definitely worth while soaking them straight after use or milk can get stuck in them. I usually just hand wash mine straight after use as I don't think they clean as well in the dish washer.
I think that frothing jugs are one of the best accessories for making coffee at home and this is probably the best I have used so far - I would definitely recommend anyone to try them out.