I don’t know about you, but I have no desire (or money) to purchase a fancy machine to steam and froth my milk for my morning coffee. You’ll get a perfect froth from an espresso machine, but you can get just about the same effect from a plain old jar, and it’s virtually free.
There are those who say that you can froth milk by first microwaving it and then whisking it, but as of yet I haven’t been able to get this to produce good foam. Also, this requires some sort of whisking/stirring element, whereas this method requires only a jar and a good shake.
Step 1. Acquire a microwaveable jar with a lid, preferable one you can screw on/seal tightly. I use a Ball jar with a screw-on lid. You might use an old condiment jar or some other container–you don’t even have to buy something. Use whatever you’ve got:
Step 2: Pour at least 1/2 cup cold milk or half-and-half into the jar. Make sure your milk hasn’t expired. For some reason, it won’t froth if it’s spoiled, but of course you wouldn’t want to drink that anyway.
Step 3: Screw on the lid tightly and shake the milk vigorously for 30 seconds. Dancing is optional but a lot of fun at this step.
Step 4: After shaking, quickly remove the lid (this is especially important if it’s metal!) and pop into the microwave for 30 seconds. Note: if, when you’re done shaking, the milk bubbles/foam is close to the lid of the jar, you’re definitely going to overflow when you microwave it because the foam expands. So pour out a little bit or put something under the jar.
Step 5: Remove the jar from the microwave, pour the milk from the bottom into your coffee, and spoon all the delicious milk foam on top. Note: if you’re going to add syrup or a spice on top, be aware that the bubbles will deflate in just a few minutes and your syrup will sink in.
Like this coffee hack? There’s a ton of cost-saving coffee tips for college students (or the young at heart) in my new ebook, Coffee 101: Coffee Shouldn’t Cost As Much As Books, available for the Kindle in August! (Check out a sample here.)