The mystery of the missing froth

I have this Aeroccino milk frother that I use at home to – um – froth and heat my milk when I make myself a latté. I have a latté pretty much every morning that I don’t go to work, so I have been making them all this week. I also add a little vanilla syrup and voilà! Almost just like Starbucks! (Except with Tim Horton’s coffee.)

photoTwo days ago, my latté wasn’t quite right, however. It was the milk. It was heated, yes, but it wasn’t frothy. It tasted fine, but I missed the frothy goodness. I thought that maybe I hadn’t properly attached the little doodad that spins around to make the froth. In any case, I didn’t worry about it and simply went back to sipping my latté.

Yesterday, I ensured that the spinny thing (I’m sure it has a name. I just don’t know what it is.) was firmly in place before turning the Aeroccino on. But alack and alas! The same thing happened: warm, frothless milk!

Two days in a row. Now I was concerned. So I googled it. There seemed to be two possibilities: an issue with the Aeroccino or an issue with the milk.

It seems that the turny thingamajig needs to turn at a particular speed in order to froth the milk correctly, and apparently, a little water that has dripped inside can prevent this from happening. The suggestion was to dry the machine as thoroughly as possible after washing it and to let it sit upside down at least overnight to ensure that every little bit of water is gone. There was another suggestion to just not use it for several days. Someone else said if that didn’t work, just contact the manufacturer, and they had a reputation of being extremely good at replacing defective machines. Well, all that was possible, I reasoned. I could do any or all of that.

And the milk needed to be quite cold and quite fresh for it to froth properly, it seemed. A number of people online had reported that their Aeroccinos didn’t seem to do the job properly if the milk had been left out a while, or was a few days old. I didn’t think that would be an issue with me, I thought: this was a new jug of milk, and I had just lowered my fridge temperature by one degree recently – and besides, I had never had any problem in the past with even slightly older milk or a slightly warmer fridge. Also, lots of people mentioned that whole or 2% milk just didn’t froth well at all. Some said that 1% wasn’t great, either, though it was better than the other two. There seemed to be unanimous agreement that skim milk frothed the best. I felt pretty smug: I always buy skim milk.

Ah, but wait just a minute! I had gone to a different grocery store than my usual one and had just bought a different brand of milk! Maybe that was the issue! Maybe my Aeroccino just had a bit of a hate-on for that particular brand!

I took it out of the fridge to show DD. And as I started to explain everything to her, I quite suddenly realized that not only had I bought a different brand of milk, I had also bought 1%, not my usual skim. The cap and label were most assuredly purple, not blue.

And this took me three days to figure out, three days in which I took that milk out of the fridge every single morning and poured it into the Aeroccino, apparently without looking at it at all.

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4 responses to “The mystery of the missing froth

  1. Like Jazz said, spinny thing. And all was well that ends well. When we were in the Cook Islands lattes were all we could get — which we didn’t mind at all — but there they’re called ‘flat whites’ so that’s what Wendy and I now refer to them as.

    • That sounds like a type of paint! I’m done my painting for a while, so I think I’ll stick to calling it a latté or a café au lait.

  2. Spinny thing is the technical name for it. Everyone knows that!