Kitchn Love Letters

The Tiny Tool I Use Every Single Morning

updated May 17, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Close-up of a woman pouring herself hot filter coffee to a mug while staying at home.
Credit: juanma hache/Getty Images

Even as a strongly self-identifying morning person, there are many sleepy days (especially in the depths of a Northeast winter) when I loathe the sound of my alarm. On the groggiest of mornings, the beacon of my first revitalizing sips of coffee is the only thing propelling me from my pillow. 

While I love coffee as much as the next New Yorker, I’m a cook and I just can’t justify dedicating acres of countertop space to gleaming, steaming contraptions, or having a chemistry lab-like setup of funnels and beakers. I like to keep things simple in my routine — after all, I’m usually operating on autopilot at this time of day, so why take the risk of boiling water? 

That’s not to say I haven’t tried my share of coffee contraptions. I’ve had several large-and-in-charge drip machines. And for several years, I was all about the French press. But when I moved to a smaller kitchen and had to choose between keeping my electric kettle or my toaster on display, the French press went into storage above the fridge, only to make an appearance for guests. 

These days, I’m less picky about the coffee itself as long as it’s topped with a mountain of foamed milk — the higher the peak, the better. I’ve searched high and low for the frothiest of frothers, but the only one I’ve found that can produce the luscious, bountiful foam I crave is the Nespresso Aeroccino3 Milk Frother

What’s So Great About the Nespresso Aeroccino3 Milk Frother?

The tiny but mighty Nespresso Aeroccino3 doesn’t overcomplicate the art of spinning milk into a heavenly cloud. There’s only one thing to do: add an inch or two of your favorite milk, and press the frother’s singular button — hold it down for one second for hot foam, two seconds for cold. Then let the suspense grow for about a minute while the machine automatically whizzes and whirls up creamy air. Pop off the lid, and peer in to find a consistently delicate ice rink of foam every time. 

Credit: Elizabeth Briskin

I’ve seen how baristas tap and stir the foam they produce, but I’m on a campaign to stop messing with that beautiful froth! It can get flat quickly, so to preserve as much texture and height as possible, I run a small spoon around the edge of the foam to separate it from the frother’s non-stick interior, and then gingerly pour the entire contents on top of my espresso. I call it a cappuccino, but baristas would probably roll their eyes. Whatever you call it, it’s the exact way I want my coffee every morning. 

How Do You Clean the Nespresso Aeroccino3?

The little canister is super easy to rinse out with just water, or with a little bit of dish soap. Just don’t submerge it in water! 

What’s the Best Milk to Use With the Nespresso Aeroccino3?

In the process of testing out other milk frothers to find my favorite in the Nespresso Aeroccino3, I’ve found my favorite kind of milk for foaming — organic 2% milk. Organic dairy seems to become more voluminous in the frother compared to the usual stuff, and for me, 2% has the right amount of milkfat for flavor and structure, without feeling too heavy (like whole milk) or totally watery and flavorless (like skim). 

Credit: Elizabeth Briskin

On the dairy-free side, my favorite for foaming is Three Trees Pistachio Nutmilk. It becomes light and bubbly, and holds its structure well. Many dairy-free milks I’ve tried tend to fall flat within a few minutes.  

I’m not saying a homemade cappuccino with a mountain of foam will solve all life’s problems, but it can go a long way towards making every morning a little more joyful. And really, who doesn’t want a reason to jump out of bed every day?

Buy: Nespresso Aeroccino3 Milk Frother, $98.99