The KitchenAid Mixer of Milk Frothers
Reviewed in the United States on 12 February 2017
I bought this to replace my IKEA frother. I have been enjoying tea lattes a lot lately, but the frother I had was just not living up to the task and I knew there had to be something better that didn't cost a fortune.
I bought my IKEA frother years ago on a whim. Sure I now had a frother, and it did last for years, but the power was really low - frankly, it was anemic. And the performance was unreliable. It could take forever to actually froth the milk. The wand had gotten bent (despite fairly gentle use), which also negatively affected the performance. About a year ago, the battery flap started flipping open during use and eventually just wouldn't ever stay closed: I had to resort to sealing it shut with some tape.
This upgrade to CafeCasa has been. Amazing. Amazing. I'll say it again. Amazing!
This Cafe Casa frother froths up a storm. The motor on high is 15,000 rpms. On its "low" setting, it's a mere 13,000. But who's going to park it on low? Just jack it up full force, get that Latte going. You'll be glad you did. In froths my milk in a fraction of the time of the IKEA frother, and builds up even more head in that short time.
And this frother has heft. The handle is super sturdy. Lovely actual stainless steel handle (not plastic with a coat of metal over it) . The handle even has finger grooves to make it easier to hold if your hands are wet or slippery.
The frothing wand itself is very solid and unlikely to bend accidentally, and the whip portion is significantly larger than the IKEA one, which helps explain why it froths so much better and faster.
The Cafe Casa Frother is also a tank. It weighs 8.6oz (245g) with the batteries loaded. It's basically a power motor incased in steel. Think KitchenAid mixer of milk frothers. From the weight, I have to assume the interior mechanics are metal as well (not plastic, so in that sense, has potentially more longevity than even Kitchen Aid Mixers which does have plastic motor parts. To be fair, I have not opened this up, so I don't know for sure that it's all metal parts, but I can't explain the heft otherwise.
For those of us who grew up in the 60s and 70s and remember how appliances felt when they were still made all out of metal, this has that feel. It's the kind of appliance you'd see at your grandma's house: it's not gussied up and fancy, instead it's simple and elegant and does the job incredibly well, and never, ever dies (I'll let you know if it does, but I expect it will outlive me).
I do want to highlight one thing: the little cover piece at the base of my wand didn't touch the handle, which looked like a flaw when I first saw it. I called the seller (on a Saturday) to find out whether this was normal or a manufacturing defect. Within 5 minutes, the seller had called and confirmed this is intentional to prevent friction between the wand pieces and the handle. There is probably some variation between the individual frother assemblies, where some might have more of a gap than others, but my gap, it appears, is normal. That being said, the lovely lady on the phone said she would replace it if it was an issue, so top marks for that, too.
I will say, part of what impressed me was how quickly the company got back to me (like I said: within five minutes on a Saturday) to answer my questions and to make sure that I was satisfied with the product even if that meant replacing it. They encouraged me to call back anytime if I had any concerns. Superb customer service, in my opinion.
There are CONS, but the PROS are so solid that I am not inclined to even knock a star for them.
Some of the assembly feels a touch imprecise. While the battery compartment closure mechanism feels very sturdy, you can see a slight gap at the base of the handle where the battery compartment closure connects to the handle. The gap doesn't signal any type of failure, it's just that I feel the need to point it out. The other con is that the switch in theory has Off/Low/High, but the "middle stop" isn't all that noticeable in terms of haptic feedback (that is, you don't necessarily "feel it" when you have hit "low"), and you might have to go to high and come back to Low. But I just slip into high. I don't even know why there needs to be a low setting. But if for some reason you are into frothing on "low" you might find it a tad annoying. Calling it out.
For me, these issues do not affect performance or reliability for me at all, so I'm not dinging the score.
Overall, I am very happy with my new frother.
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