Is There A Difference Between Nespresso's Aeroccino Milk Frothers?

Nespresso machine with milk frother
Nespresso machine with milk frother -

Nespresso is a global coffee name, and with its impressive product lineup, it's easy to see why. The company pioneered the world of coffee capsules, which are employed in an original and Vertuo line of machines. A few of these machines come with built-in milk systems, capable of preparing your favorite coffee-based milk beverages all in one. However, if you already bought a machine -- or want to keep the frothing systems separate -- Nespresso also offers standalone Aeroccino frothers.

There are several iterations of the product — including the Aeroccino 3 and the Aeroccino 4. At their most fundamental, the two devices accomplish the same task; frothing milk, to either a cold or hot temperature. However, Nespresso did pack in a few new features to the 4: swapping for stainless steel rather than plastic, attaching a pour spout, and even including two additional heating settings. As it often goes with newer product releases, this comes at a slightly higher cost, which may be warranted depending on your frothing and maintenance needs. So before buying, pay attention to a few details.

Read more: 26 Coffee Hacks You Need To Know For A Better Cup

The Aeroccino 3 Is An Affordable, Easy-To-Use Milk Frother

Aeroccino 3 pictured standalone
Aeroccino 3 pictured standalone - Jeniffer Fontan/Shutterstock

The Nespresso Aeroccino 3 is a dependable model, found on shelves for over a decade and frequently sold as a bundle with machines. This frother has a capacity of just over four ounces — the same as the newer model. Despite being made of plastic, the machine lasts for a while, although one Amazon user reported the internal nonstick came off after several months.

This Aeroccino 3 only has one speed capability, applicable for either cold or hot frothing. While still effective, it does limit milk drink customization. Furthermore, attaining consistency with alternative milks becomes trickier, as the aeration impacts each liquid differently. To work around its more limited range, baristas employ a few deft customizations. The frother trick for thicker, dreamier foam is to simply leave the lid off during operation. Alternatively, the move for hot and cold foam that's more milky is to remove the whisk's spring -- a move only possible with this model. The quantity and temperature of milk also affect frothing, so don't worry about being limited to a single milk result.

If it all sounds a bit too complicated, there's an appreciation to be found in this model's streamlined design. The standalone machine effortlessly froths with the press of a single button, so it certainly wins points on intuitive design. Throw in a more accessible price tag -- it's usually around $20 less -- and those a little less fussy about their coffee will be satisfied with the Aeroccino 3.

The Aeroccino 4 Packs In Additional Frothing Features

Aeroccino 4 and latte
Aeroccino 4 and latte - @ourplaceupthehill / Instagram

The Aeroccino 4's first distinction is immediately apparent; Nespresso tweaked the design. This model comes with a sleeker, shiny steel exterior, as well as a spout and handle -- much-needed additions for easier milk pouring. It lends to an improved look on the counter, as well as added ease in crafting latte art. Plus, this model is dishwasher safe, which might just be the deciding factor for some. Just keep in mind frequent washing will lessen its lifespan, so rinse mindfully.

The whisk design is unchanged from the previous model, however it has expanded capability to two additional speeds. This allows for more nuanced milk drink creation, with delineated froth and heating milk ratios with each button. For coffee drinkers who frequently use alternative milks, this feature presents a better shot of replicating an ideal latte, too.

With its expanded capabilities and sturdier build, the Aeroccino 4 is likely the better buy for most consumers. Its ease of cleaning enhances shelf life, so the added cost also means a replacement will be less imminent. And don't forget you can employ a Nespresso frother trick to create drinks like the shaken espresso, so investing in the model isn't only for a latte.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.