Before we go any further, we should note that if you’ve got a machine like the Delonghi Eletta or the Melitta Caffeo Barista TS you don’t need one of these as it’s done for you by the integrated milk texturing systems.
Are All Milk Pitchers Created Equal?
As with virtually all products, you can get different features depending on what you’re buying. There’s a couple of key considerations with milk jugs for coffee machines, so lets look at them individually.
The capacity of a jug reflects how much it will hold when you’re preparing milk for your coffee. Also referred to as volume, it’s usually measured in millilitres (ml), and will typically fall into the range of 350ml at the smaller end, ranging up to around a litre for the largest jugs. For those of us that still work in old money (imperial measures rather than metric), a pint roughly equates to the 600ml jugs, as a pint is 568 millilitres.
Of course, very few people will be frothing anything like a litre of milk in one go, unless they’re running a commercial operation. What you have to remember is that the milk takes up more space once frothed, and of course blasting air through it is the way that’s achieved. Both of those together mean that the jug will need to be significantly larger than the amount of milk that’s initially poured into the jug.
As a rule of thumb, 600ml jugs should be sufficient for most home consumers, so if you’re not sure what you need, the chances are that a 900ml+ capacity pitcher would be overkill.
The second main factor to consider is whether you get a jug that includes the ability to read the temperature of the milk in the jug. A sometimes forgotten effect of frothing is that it heats the milk as part of the process as well as creating the bubbles for the foam.
There are two common formats for temperature readings, one is a panel that somewhat resembles the film thermometers you hold against a child’s head to check for a fever, with the other being a more traditional style metal thermometer with a long metal probe to stretch down into the milk, and usually includes a clip to attach it to the side of the jug.
Of course, the jugs are also available without a thermometer at all, in which case you can buy the latter of the above types separately later if needed.
Buying Milk Pitchers
Let’s have a look at some of the more popular milk jugs on Amazon right now, grouped by their size. Below we’ve got a selection organised into 350ml, 600ml and 900ml capacities.
Small 350ml Milk Jugs
If you will rarely need to froth milk, or are very limited on space, a small jug like these are likely to be a good choice.
Anpro Milk Jug 350ml/12 fl.oz, 304 Stainless Steel Milk Pitcher, Milk Frothing Jug for Making Coffee Cappuccino
Milk Jug, Dailyart 350ml/12 fl.oz Stainless Steel Milk Cup Milk Frothing Pitcher Milk Pitcher for Making Latte Coffee Art, Cappuccino
Milk Jug,350ml/12 fl.oz Stainless Steel Milk Jug Milk Frothing Pitcher Jug Cup with Measurement Mark, Milk Pitcher Jugs Perfect for Barista Cappuccino Espresso Making
Here’s the same size, but this time specifically with thermometers:
WXJ13 Milk Jug 350ml/12OZ, Stainless Steel Milk Frothing Pitcher, Milk Thermometer with Clip, Powder Shaker with Lid and Latte Art Pen for Hot Chocolate Cappuccino Coffee Latte Art Maker
Skystuff 1Pc 350ml Milk Jug Stainless Steel Milk Frothing Pitcher with Measurement Mark and 1Pc Milk Thermometer with 1Pc Clip and 1Pc Latte Art Pen for Making Coffee Cappuccino
Kitchen Craft Barista Espresso Coffee Frothing Tea Milk Latte Jug Thermometer (350ml Jug)
Medium 600ml Milk Jugs
As we said earlier, 600ml jugs are what we consider to be the standard size, so are a good choice for people who are unsure about the size they need. They’re big enough for regular use, especially if you’re making coffee for more than one person, and also reduce the risk of spraying milk foam out during frothing compared to the smaller options.
Anpro Milk Pitcher 304 Stainless Steel Milk Cup Milk Pitcher 600ml/20 oz with Measurement Marks
Mari Chef - 600ml Stainless Steel Milk Pitcher Frothing Jug Measuring Cup with Internal Markings
Milk Pitcher, Dailyart 600ml/20fl.oz. Stainless Steel Milk Cup Milk Frothing Pitcher Milk Jug
For 600ml jugs that also measure milk temperature, here’s the current top selection:
Le’Xpress Stainless Steel Milk Jug with Frothing Thermometer, 600 ml (1 Pint)
WXJ13 Milk Jug 600ml/21OZ, Stainless Steel Milk Frothing Pitcher, Milk Thermometer with Clip, Powder Shaker with Lid and Latte Art Pen for Hot Chocolate Cappuccino Coffee Latte Art Maker
Milk Pitcher 600ml Stainless Steel Milk jug Frothing with Thermometer for Coffee, Cappuccino, Espresso, Latte Art
Large 900ml Milk Jugs
Finally, if you know you want a big jug, for completeness here’s some 900ml choices:
HOOMIL Milk Frothing Jug 350ml/600ml/900ml (12oz/20oz/32oz) Stainless Steel Milk Pitcher Cup Barista Milk Jug and Latte Decorating Art Pen for Making Coffee Cappuccino Frothing Milk Coffee Machine
Dailyart Coffee Milk Frother Jug 200ml/350ml/600ml/900ml Metal Milk Jug Stainless Steel Coffee Jugs Barista Coffee Accessories for Coffee Latte Cappuccino Frothing Milk Coffee Machine
Milk Jug, FlamGen Milk Frothing Pitcher Jug Cup (32oz/900ml), Stainless Steel 304 Measuring Cup with Art Decorating Pen | 16PCS Coffee Decorating Stencils for Coffee, Cappuccino, Espresso, Latte
And the 900ml varieties with thermometers included:
900ml Stainless Steel Coffee Frothing Milk Tea Latte Jug Scale + Thermometer
Milk Jug Frothing Cup Pitcher Stainless Steel Cappuccino 900ml +Thermometer
Stainless Steel Coffee Pitcher Jar Milk Tea Latte Jug Balance + Thermometer 900ML
The Last Word
If you enjoy a cappuccino, to make it at home you’ll need to froth milk. To achieve that you’ll either need a machine with that functionality built in, or one with a manual frothing arm (like the one with the Magnifica from Delonghi) that allows you to use one of these milk pitchers.
For most people, a 600ml capacity jug will be perfect, but if space is tight you might prefer a smaller option.