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Sometimes taking care of yourself is as simple as rethinking a routine. The$169 Nespresso Barista certainly adds a level of indulgence to your morning ritual. More compact appliance than mere frother, it’s capable of preparing 20 coffee-based recipes at almost-cafe quality. Choose from flat whites or iced frappés using a touch-sensitive surface that turns into an LED screen to control the heating element and whisk power inside the stainless-steel jug. You can also personalize recipes—turmeric latte, anyone?—or select more complicated options from a Bluetooth-linked app. Either way, all you have to do is add ingredients and push a button.
•Breville’s $130 Milk Cafe features two types of whisk and variable temperature selection to make extremely precise—and very hot—pours from its carafe.
• A longtime standard for at-home frothing, the$20 handheld Aerolatte is a battery-powered wire whisk that produces foamy milk with larger bubbles. It just doesn’t heat or cool.
• The$200 milk frother from Smeg uses two different whisks and has a simple knob interface to select between hot and cold and thick and light settings. It comes in seven colors that correspond with the brand’s other retro-style appliances.
Outside of a steam wand on a professional-grade espresso machine—and the skills to match, naturally—no frother rivals the Barista. It uses 600 watts of power, 100 more than any other. Its innovative whisk, a wavy disk that attaches to a flat magnetic base, permits a wide range of specific milk textures and gives more modest concoctions such as cappuccinos a superior mouthfeel. The countertop device excels at more than milk-specific drinks, too. Add chocolate to the jug to easily make a rich mocha, or toss in espresso and ice for a satisfyingly thick iced nitro. $169; nespresso.com
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