As someone who enjoys experimenting with different milk and espresso drinks, I wondered whether it's possible to froth coconut milk.
Since other dairy-free milk like oat milk and almond milk can be frothed, I figured I'd give coconut milk a shot!
Here, I share my experience and put together everything you need to know, from how to froth coconut milk, the different types of coconut milk you could use, and more!
Is Coconut Milk Good For Frothing or Does it Disappoint?
Coconut milk can be good for frothing, but a couple of factors influence whether or not you get frothed milk.
If the coconut milk meets the above conditions, you can get coconut milk froth.
The protein and fat content in cow's milk can also be found in coconut milk.
Even though the protein content may not be as high as cow's milk, there's still a good amount of fat content, so you'll still be able to froth it.
The ideal temperature to get frothy coconut milk is to make it warm milk - somewhere under 149°F/ 65°C, so if you consider that, you'll be good to go.
How To Froth Coconut Milk (These Methods Are Easy!)
Here are some easy methods that you can try when it comes to creating coconut milk froths!
Use a Manual Milk Frother
Manual milk frothers are affordable and a great way to get frothed milk. Here's how you'll go about using a manual milk frother:
- Prepare the hot or cold milk you want to froth and fill it up to one-third of the vessel. Then, go ahead and attach the lid or the cap of the frother and ensure that you've placed it correctly so it doesn't spill.
- Once everything is in, start pumping the plunger up and down, gradually building your speed.
The faster you pump, the more aerated your milk will be and the more froth you'll get.
Just ensure you're careful not to use too much pressure, or you'll risk damaging your frother - especially if it has a glass body!
Use an Espresso Machine
Another good way to froth delicate coconut milk is to use the steaming feature on an espresso machine. Here's what you'll do:
- Warm up the steam wand on your espresso machine with a clean hand towel.
- Fill your metal pitcher with your coconut milk.
- Hold your pitcher up to the wand before pulling the lever.
- Insert the wand about ⅓ of the way into the coconut milk.
- You should see your coconut milk frothing and some soft steam forming. Continue steaming until you get the froth you want.
- Turn the wand off, remove the pitcher, and pour your warm milk into your coffee or espresso shot. Top with the coconut foam, and you're good to go.
Use a Steam Wand or Electric Milk Frother
In terms of getting your coconut milk to feel like dairy milk, using a steam wand or electric milk frother is the best way.
Here’s how you’ll use a steam wand:
- Get a bowl and place your cold coconut milk in there.
- Plug in the steam wand and insert the steam wand halfway into the coconut milk.
- Move the wand in a circular motion until the coconut milk becomes heated and starts to bubble.
- Continue steaming until a layer of silk froth appears. If bubbles start to appear, you can always repeat the process until you get a layer that's on the smoother side of things.
With electric milk frothers, it's really simple, and you can use this for standard dairy milk and also to froth almond milk, oat milk, and so much more.
To use an electric milk frother, follow these steps:
- Pour the coconut milk into the machine and press the 'on' button.
- The electric milk frother will heat up the coconut milk in seconds, and you'll have frothed coconut milk all ready to go.
I think this is a really easy way to get some froth resembling milk foam, and it's also great that you can use it for everything from cow milk to non dairy milk and more.
Use a Handheld Milk Frother
Another method you could consider is using a handheld automatic milk frother, also known as a hand frother. These are battery-operated and portable, so you can bring them on the go.
To use this, you'll need to:
- Make sure that your desired amount of coconut milk is heated - to the point that it's warm or you see bubbles on the side. Make sure that it isn't boiling.
- Before you use your milk frother, make sure that you've purged it near a kitchen sink first - ensuring that you've removed any excess water. Then, place the frother wand above the milk and dip its head in.
- Tilt your high-quality milk pitcher slightly and froth for about 40 to 60 seconds until you see bubbles forming and your froth forming.
- If it's not working, you can also choose to move your frothing wand in circular motions.
- Once you have the desired consistency for your foam, pour over your drinks and you're good to go.
How To Froth Coconut Milk Without a Frother
If you don't have any of those appliances mentioned in the above methods, consider using some of the methods below.
Just note that a little practice might be required before you can produce high-quality foam.
Use a French Press
One of the ways to froth coconut milk without a frother is a French press! It's quite similar to a manual milk frother, and here's how you'll do it:
- Place your heated coconut milk into the French press, ensuring it's not filled more than ⅓.
- Pump up and down with the plunger; the longer you do so, the frothier it'll become. About 60 seconds should be all you need for frothing coconut milk.
Use a Stovetop
Another way to get some frothed coconut milk without a frother is with a stovetop. To do this, you'll:
- Pour your desired amount of milk into a pan and have it on medium-low heat for about 30 seconds.
- After that, you'll need to whisk the milk vigorously - either with a hand whisk or an electric whisk. After a while, you should see some milk foam form.
Use a Jar
For a more manual method, you can also consider using a mason jar to froth coconut milk.
For this method, all you'll require is a large glass mason jar with an airtight lid along with your coconut milk.
- You'll want to ensure your jar is warm or at room temperature.
- You'll then pour your coconut milk in, screw the lid tightly and shake your jar back and forth. Ideally, you'll want to use warm coconut milk as frothing cold coconut milk will take more time.
- After the froth has formed, allow it to rest for a few seconds, and you've got froth coconut milk. Simply add it to your cup of coffee, and you're good to go.
Use a Microwave
Finally, you can also use the microwave to make some froth coconut milk. Here's how you'd go about it:
- Take a glass jar or one that's microwavable and fill it with coconut milk (about half will do).
- Close the lid and shake it vigorously for about 1 to 2 minutes until air bubbles form. Then, remove the lid and place it in the microwave for about 30 to 60 seconds.
- With that, you should get a nice airy foam, and you'll be able to easily replicate this method at home.
Types of Coconut Milk (Which Is Best For Frothing?)
Now that you know the different methods to froth coconut milk, which type of coconut milk is best for frothing?
Coconut milk cream is a thicker, richer version of coconut milk made from pressing coconut meat. While it is rich and has a higher fat content than coconut milk, it's not exactly the best for frothing.
Why? It's pretty similar to whole milk cream. Frothing it means you'll likely get something closer to whipped cream, which is not quite what you're looking for.
If you want something a little heavier than froth, though, this is definitely a great option!
Creamed Coconut (Coconut Butter)
Creamed coconut is essentially a solid block of coconut that has been ground and pressed to remove moisture.
Since it's literal butter and a block of coconut, creamed coconut is not ideal for frothing. You'd want something that has a liquid texture, like coconut milks!
Coconut Milk Powder
A dehydrated form of coconut milk, coconut milk powder is often used in both cooking and baking, and it has around 10 to 15% fat.
You can use this for frothing; you just need to rehydrate it with 250 ml of hot water for about one to three tablespoons of coconut milk powder.
It probably isn't the best in comparison to liquid coconut milk, but you can definitely use it if you don't have anything else available.
Canned Coconut Milk
The most common and the most used, this coconut milk is made with coconut meat and water and has about 20 to 22% fat.
While you can definitely use this for frothing, canned coconut milk is typically the better option as it has a thinner consistency.
If you only have canned coconut milk on hand, make sure you're using full-fat coconut milk and blend it with some water to make it a little more diluted.
Carton Coconut Milk
A popular non-dairy milk alternative, ordinary coconut milk is made from a mixture of coconut water and coconut cream.
I would say that carton coconut milk is the best coconut milk for frothing! It has a thinner consistency and is great for making your froth dreams come true.
Dairy Vs Coconut Milk (Who Wins This Milk Mash Up?)
This is a tough one to compare - especially since I love both dairy milk and coconut milk!
As mentioned, typical cow's milk contains more animal fat than coconut milk. Full-fat cow's milk, in particular, is typically thick and creamy.
Even though coconut milk comes from coconuts, it also has a high fat content thanks to the coconut oils within the plant.
If not mixed with coconut juice or water, the result is that you also get a thick and creamy texture perfect for frothing.
For this milk mash-up, I would say that they're both equally good with a creamy consistency. The only difference is that one's vegan and one isn't.
If you're on a vegan diet or lactose intolerant, you could easily replace cow's milk with coconut milk, and it's likely that you'll barely notice the difference!
6 Common Issues When Frothing Coconut Milk
There are some issues you might encounter when frothing milk, and here's how you can fix them.
Froth Is Watery
If your froth is watery, there are two reasons: either you're not using enough coconut cream, or your coconut milk isn't cold enough.
Try using warmer milk or more coconut cream, and you should be good to go!
It’s Noisy When Frothing
If your frother is making a lot of noise, it could mean that you're either not using a cold frothing pitcher or you're overfilling it.
Try either frothing in smaller batches or using a frothing milk pitcher that's cold, which should fix the problem.
Milk Tastes Burnt
Does your coconut milk have a burnt taste? You're probably overheating the milk or using a frother that isn't of the best quality.
Try either heating the milk at a lower temperature or switching out your frother.
Not Enough Froth
Not getting enough froth is likely because your coconut milk is too thin or it isn't cold enough.
To start, you can try chilling the coconut milk or using a brand that has a higher fat content. Alternatively, you can use a stabilizer like xanthan gum to achieve your desired consistency.
Too Much Froth
Too much froth can also be an issue! If you have this problem, it could mean you're over-frothing or using too much coconut milk. Adjust either, and you should rectify that issue.
The Milk Starts Separating
If your coconut milk starts separating, it could largely be due to the brand of coconut milk that you're using. Try using a more natural brand that has a higher fat content, and that should fix it.
Otherwise, you might also be overheating the coconut milk or not frothing it immediately after you've heated it.
Common Frothing Coconut Milk Questions
What temperature is best for frothing coconut milk?
149-158°F (65-70°C) is the best temperature for frothing coconut milk.
What coconut milk does Starbucks use?
How long does it take to froth coconut milk?
It depends on which method you use, but generally, it shouldn't take more than a minute or two to froth coconut milk.
Can you steam coconut milk?
You can steam coconut milk, but you would get larger bubbles this way. You can, however, bang and swirl the air bubbles to turn it into a finer microfoam after steaming.
Start Frothing Coconut Milk Today!
So, can you froth coconut milk? Yes, you definitely can, and it's as good as cow's milk!
There are many different ways to froth coconut milk, whether automatic milk frothers or handheld milk frothers.
The most important thing is to choose the best coconut milk and method that works with your needs - some technique can be required in frothing milk!
With that, you’ll be on your way to creating some delicious beverages and experimenting with different recipes!