Whether it’s a cappuccino, latté, macchiato or iced coffee, perfectly frothed milk is an important final touch to many hot and cold beverages, so you want a machine that can deliver the goods.
The Lattemento resembles a small electric kettle. It has a motor on its lid connected to a rotating whisk attachment that stirs the milk. It can froth hot or cold milk in minutes and also has a heating element at the bottom of the jug for warming the milk if required. Simply fill the jug to the required level, select either the warm or cold switch, and the rest is done automatically – the jug will switch off at the end of the operation. It can froth a maximum of 300ml at a time – enough for three to four cups.
However, our tester was not impressed. The froth resembles what’s known as “roadhouse” froth due to its hard peaks. It might be good for iced coffee, but isn’t ideal for latté- or cappuccino-type beverages. The milk cannot be poured out of the jug neatly, so you won’t be able to create latte art, for a high-quality café style finish.
The ideal temperature range for frothing milk is 65°C- 72°C. When frothing the minimum 150ml of milk in the Lattemento using the warm function, we found the temperature of the milk was slightly higher than this range.
It’s not dishwasher-safe, but its non-stick surface makes it very easy to clean – essentially its only plus. If you just want to heat milk, a maximum of 500ml can be heated and you simply remove the whisk attachment – but why spend so much on a gadget that heats milk when you can easily do the same thing in a saucepan on a stove, or in a jug in the microwave?
At $149, the Lattemento isn’t worth the spend; it doesn’t produce the quality silky froth you’d expect in your coffee. Instead, we suggest the Sunbeam Café Espresso Stainless EM3800 ($199 RRP), the Best Buy in our last round of espresso machine testing. For just $50 more, it not only produces a good froth but also makes a good cup of coffee – without taking up too much space on your kitchen bench. Also check out our latest espresso machines update, for some interesting tips and tricks on perfecting the milk frothing technique.