In 2019, a tanker truck toppled over near Lebec, California, dousing the freeway in nearly 6,000 gallons of condensed milk. This is roughly equivalent to the amount of cream I dump into my coffee each morning. I love, love, love an ultra-milky cup of coffee. (I also love exotic coffee creamers. Cadbury Egg and BP have partnered up for an exclusive line of coffee creamers? I’m there. Your nearby Conoco is serving a Chobani product by the pump? I would like to try it, yes.)
For months, I’ve been struggling with my at-home coffee setup. I have a SMEG drip machine that brews wonderfully, but I’ve never been able to whip up a high-quality cafe au lait. In the past, I’ve resorted to heating the milk on the stovetop while beating it into a frenzy with a metal whisk, but this really just resorts in warm, slightly bubbly milk. And one big meh cup of coffee.
Then came the froth. This Christmas, my little sister gave me a brand-new Bodum Schiuma handheld electric milk frother, a wildly lightweight little gadget that packs some serious horsepower. The thing froths all manner of dairy products in seconds. In the morning, I use it to froth three-quarters of a cup of heated almond milk to dump in my coffee. In the afternoon, I combine two tablespoons of half and half with a teaspoon of powdered sugar, froth it all together and plop it on top of a hot mug of sugared Constant Comment tea.
Considering that it retails for less than 15 bucks (most other brands you can find online are right in that same price point), my electric milk frother adds a stunning amount of luxury to my cranky, repetitive pandemic existence. It makes my morning coffee and afternoon tea sweeter in every way, which helps me pretend that I’m cradling a mug in my favorite coffee shop. The frother is also versatile, surprisingly adept at beating eggs or frothing egg whites with simple syrup for a lazy cocktail. Plus, it’s fun to wield like a scepter. I like to hold it out, turn it on, and pretend that I am knighting my beagle. Beagle or no beagle, you have to snag little bits of luxury where you can find them these days.