How a simple coffee accessory elevated my mornings
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When I first set out to create a healthier morning routine, I didn’t anticipate kicking my Starbucks habit completely. I just wanted to slow down my daily iced-latte visits, which, along with the pastries I purchased, were contributing to my expanding waistline. But after making much-less-sugary breakfasts at home and feeling uninspired by my Keurig, I feared the daily coffee-shop habit would return—until I discovered the one gadget I didn’t know I needed.
Five months later—and now 35 pounds lighter (and still counting)—I can thank my Nespresso Aeroccino 3 Milk Frother (available at Amazon for $69.00) for helping me avoid daily Starbucks stops on my commute. My mornings are now healthier, but also more civilized, tastier, and something I look forward to every day, no matter how early the alarm clock blares.
This love affair I have with a milk frother began innocently when a close friend and mentor offered to make me an espresso while staying with her for a few days. "Sure," I said and asked for some milk to go with it. Soon after, she was serving me a cup of espresso, with warm milk, foamed on top. I never heard any loud whooshing sounds, and the coffee stayed hot while we ate breakfast outside on her balcony in the cool morning air.
Sipping that coffee felt like a mini respite, even though we both had somewhere else to be and couldn’t linger. After clearing our dishes, I discovered a Nespresso milk frother sitting in her sink and knew I needed to investigate.
It didn't take long to discover that the Aeroccino 3 is the perfect morning gadget—even if you’re half asleep you can operate it without fear of messing up or, even worse, burning yourself. Pour cold milk to the first fill line, attach the plastic lid, and set the Thermos-looking vessel onto its base. Briefly press a button and let the round whisk-like piece inside quietly whirl your milk into frothy goodness.
While it's not completely silent, the barely audible sound only travels a few inches, so if you’re concerned about living in a tiny apartment with a sleeping significant other or roommate, it’s probably the last sound that would wake them.
Sixty seconds later, like magic, about half the milk you poured into the Aeroccino is pure foam, while the other half underneath is perfectly warmed. For me, it’s exactly what I need for my coffee: I can pour in warm milk and there’s plenty of froth to spoon on top, creating at least an inch-high layer (if not more). Don’t worry: If you prefer iced coffee (which is my usual coffee shop order, even in the dead of winter), there’s a cold foam setting, too.
Once I was back home, I was a little concerned about the $99 retail price, even though my colleagues had already declared the Nespresso Aeroccino 3 as the best milk frother on the market. Did I really need to spend extra money on heating and frothing milk? Plus, I’m lucky enough that I can survive most mornings without caffeine, and while I’m a huge wine nerd, I don’t geek out about coffee in the same way.
That all changed the week of my birthday when I stumbled upon the Nespresso counter at my local Bloomingdales. Lured in by curiosity of why the world (or maybe just George Clooney?) goes gaga for Nespresso coffee, the next thing I knew, I was upgrading my five-year-old Keurig for a VertuoPlus, which came bundled with the Aeroccino 3. A sale price, combined with a Friends and Family event—plus it's Reviewed's best-tested pod coffee maker—made purchasing a no-brainer.
Now that I’ve used it for myself, I should have never questioned the price. (Besides, even on its own, I see it regularly on sale for less than retail). It only took a single morning to understand that in the exact same time it took to brew a pod coffee, I could have foamy warm milk, which when poured into my morning cup of joe, elevated my entire morning routine.
That same sense of civilized relaxation I felt while on pseudo-vacation visiting my friend was still there. And five months later, that hasn’t changed, even on the days when I’m rushing to get out the door. Now, the only time I rely on Starbucks (or any other coffee shop) for my breakfast routine is if I’m traveling.
And while it's not the only thing that contributed to my weight loss, it's a key component in an overall healthier morning—one in which I’m not tempted by freshly baked pastries behind a coffee-shop counter. I haven’t done the exact math, but it’s clear I’m saving money I once spent on iced lattes and pastries (about $7 a day), even with the cost of the coffee maker and pods ($1 each) figured in.
While I’d advocate that any milk frother would be a morning game-changer, I’ve been really impressed with how easy it is to use the Nespresso Aeroccino 3. It’s frothed my skim milk quietly with no troubles since I brought it home, although my friend mentioned it took her a few tries to find the right brand of almond milk that frothed (she recommends Pacifica).
Cleaning the Aeroccino is almost as easy as operating it—just rinse immediately after use with hot soapy water (it’s not dishwasher safe, but who really wants to run their dishwasher every day?). The milk doesn’t crust onto its sides, but the frother does need a little bit of an extra wipe to ensure you rinse away all the loosely sticking foam.
If you’re not a perfectionist like me, don’t keep the lid on it while it’s not in use. I accidentally capped it when it wasn’t fully clean (or perhaps it wasn’t fully dry yet), and the next morning there was a spoiled smell coming from inside. Fortunately, a good cleaning and an overnight with the lid unattached eliminated the odor, and I haven’t had the problem since.
If you can't drink your coffee without milk—or you entertain houseguests who enjoy coffee—there's honestly no reason why you shouldn't treat yourself to this swoon-worthy device.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.