“ Manufacturer: Dualit / Type: Milk Frother „
This is such a cool little gadget.
The Latteccino by Dualit will turn your kitchen into your local Caffe Nero.
I bought mine the only place I have seen it, Amazon, back in July. At the time it set me back £49.99 and prices don't seem to changed since then.
Dualit describe this as a milk frother and heater. I had wanted a frother for ages as a thick foamy daily cappuccino is one of my favourite treats and I wanted to be able to get this in my home, and without spending £2 a pop.
I have never tried one of the tiny hand held whisks that you can get as a frother, I always felt that they were so small as to be a waste of my time, plus you have to heat the milk separately and this seemed a bit off a faff - there had to be something better out there. Lots of coffee machines come with a proper steam jet and so I assumed that you could get these without the coffee machine - wrongly it seems as I have been unable to find such a gadget. But I did find the Latteccino.
The Latteccino itself is around the third of the size of a regular kettle - I compare it to a kettle sine it looks very much like one, and is cordless like many kettles these days. It has a powerbase with cord tidy so you can chose the length you need, the powerbase allows you to have 360 degree movement of the jug. The jug itself is heavier than it looks, this is because it is double walled - the outside is cool to the touch whilst in use, and mine is the cream colour shown in the image here. The finish is high gloss plastic and feels nicely made. The inner is much smaller than you would expect by looking at the jug - it has a non stock coating and is made from metal. The lid of the jug is made from a transparent thick plastic, the lock on the lid is plastic too - again very sturdy and high gloss with a feeling of durability and quality. Attached to the lid is the magic - Dualit describe it as a spindle, I would say it was a simply a thin metal rod, attached in the lid to a motor to that powers it. There are two attachments for the end of the spindle - one that is a small whisk for frothing your milk and a second that is just a little plastic T shape that will stir the milk if you are heating only.
In order to use the Latteccino you decide firstly if you are frothing or just heating and attach the correct part. Inside the jug you can see two measurements indicated. There is a minimum amount that the jug will take, whether frothing or heating, then it says 150 MAX this means 150mls and it is the maximum amount that can be put into the jug if you are frothing. The second measurement is 250 MAX, this is 250mls and the maximum amount you can use if you are heating milk only.
Once your milk is in the jug you can pop the lid on, taking care to ensure it is closed properly, the lock will click into place so you can be certain that you are secure.
Next - simply press on! The power button is the round black button you can see in the image. It lights up too - a pretty blue neon colour, that doesn't really match cream, but there you go.
The gadget will then get to work, it is quiet and doesn't move around like some kettles do, it just makes a small, fairly pleasant whirring sound.
Frothed milk takes 60-75 seconds and heated milk a little longer at 70-80 seconds. Dualit say that the milk is heated to around 65C. I have no idea how it works out how long to go for, but the turn off is automatic, so you just have to look out for the light going out.
Once you have poured your milk, the last and most annoying part of operation has to take place - cleaning! urgh. The manufacturer says that you should IMMEDIATELY rinse with warm soapy water and wipe clean after every use, and to wait for 2 mins before you use it again.
So after a little description on how it works (which I could not find when I was looking over reviews before I bought it, hence why I have included it) what do I think?
Well, it doesn't really give you the same kind of results as Caffe Nero's glorious milk steamers, but then it does work in a different way, so it is a different result. The milk is heated, which is always nicer and gives a creamier taste to the coffee. The froth is good and thick, and does usually last until the end of my cup, but the texture is definitely not as foamy and there isn't as much air running through the froth either. However, it is certainly better than nothing! We find that using the maximum amount of milk to froth is enough milk and topping for 2 cups of coffee. You can, of course be a real glutton and have it all yourself, but you'll need a big mug.
The non stick coating certainly makes it easy to clean, but personally I'd like to just drink my coffee before I have to start cleaning up. We have left it a couple of times, but the cooled milk and froth residue left behind is difficult to remove once cold, and I think if the coating was damaged by having to give it a bit of elbow grease you may be in trouble as the milk would stick and burn to the side of the jug. Also you must be so very careful - the jug cannot be immersed in water at all, many reviews I read on Amazon mentioned operational problems with this product, (it stopped working) but I have a suspicion that these issues may be caused by a short circuit after the motor or electrical have gotten wet. We have been really vigilant about this and have had no problems with the Latteccino. Dualit seem to have included an extra leaflet in the box explaining again just how important it is to take care of the non stick coating and how not to get the item wet - they also mention that it cannot be put in the dishwasher. I do wonder how many people did this before Dualit had to make it totally clear!
The instruction manual also has some hits and tips about what kind of milk to use - we use cold semi skimmed and the results are good. Apparently milk with a high protein level works best. They also tell you that the attachments are small and can easily be lost (?!). The product is guaranteed for 1 year. With all the working parts, and possible operational issues as described by reviews on Amazon it may be worth your while getting extended cover on this if you manage to buy it at an outlet that offers this.
I can also recommend this as a great way to make hot chocolate!
Whether you drink instant or posh coffee freshly ground this is a nice gadget that tends to impress friends and makes a pleasing addition to my kitchen.