This is a break in the middle of my steaming milk series to take a look at another option (not as ideal, but certainly easier)
Cool tool report – the swizler “as seen on TV.”
As a joke of a stocking stuffer many years ago my mother gave me the as seen on TV Swizzler. The product is essentially a very small, compact whisk with many loops packed into a relatively small area. The surprise though was that it worked. It certainly could not create latte art worthy micro foam, but as my roommate at the time pointed out it made much better foam than his espresso machine did. This was almost 20 years ago and at the time I did not realize that the blame may not have fallen as much on his espresso machine as on the two of us who were using the machine. Even so it was a cheap enough, under powered enough machine that I think he may well have been right.
The way you use it is that you heat up milk to your desired temperature – I usually just stuck a pint glass of milk in the microwave and then you pull it out and you stick the swizzler in and place it between the palms of your hand rolling it back and forth as fast as possible to create foamed milk.
Since then there have been other options introduced that produce the same type of result. You can take a French press, fill the pot with already heated milk and push and pull the plunger rapidly many times and achieve the same thing. The problem with this is that French presses tend to break and are not as robustly built as the swizzler.
I also think an ordinary whisk might work, but I never tried it.
The swizzler clearly doesn’t beat a skilled barista with an espresso machine, but it is cheap and easy and fun and if you don’t have a skilled barista nearby and don’t want to become one, it is a good solution (an it might just beat an autofrother at a fraction of the price.
It is available here along with a picture, but I have no idea if this company is honest, so please do your due diligence before ordering it from them to make sure they are a legitimate company.