Earlier this year, when Subminimal announced the release of their new automatic milk frother, the NanoFoamer Pro, on Kickstarter, I didn’t hesitate to back it. After several months of anticipation, it has finally arrived.
So, does it live up to expectations? I’ve put the NanoFoamer Pro through its paces and am excited to share my comprehensive review.
Also, don’t miss my YouTube video review – you can check it out on my YouTube Channel.
- The NanoFoamer PRO is a more user-friendly alternative to its predecessor and can heat and froth milk simultaneously
- It’s perfect for anyone without an espresso machine or a more streamlined method for creating barista-quality milk texture
- My testing results showed that the device can work for different types of milk and produce microfoam perfect for latte art
- Different foam thickness controls and milk volume guidance allow you to precisely craft both dairy and plant-based milk options
About NanoFoamer PRO
I’m a huge fan of the Subminimal NanoFoamer, a handheld milk frother capable of creating microfoam perfect for latte art. The device works by creating a vortex and, with the use of a patterned frothing screen, it forms a gorgeous microfoam. Check my previous Nanofoamer review here.
However, you need to pre-heat the milk to the optimal temperature and control the frothing time, angle and position, which is a bit of a hassle. Now, the NanoFoamer PRO is a more user-friendly alternative.
The newer device not only froths milk but heats it, too, using a base similar to one on an electric kettle. The aim is to create a barista-like milk texture the original version was known for, but at the touch of a button.
Having tested this automatic microfoam maker, I can say with confidence that it is the perfect solution for anyone who owns a lever device or capsule machine without a steam wand, or those who want a more streamlined approach to making milk-based coffee beverages.
Design And Build Quality
As well as its innovative devices, the company is known for creating aesthetically pleasing and functional coffee devices. It’s no surprise, then, to find the NanoFoamer PRO continues that trend with a build quality that looks and feels high-end.
The stainless steel container is satisfyingly robust yet elegant. Meanwhile, it fits comfortably in the hand. It also has a double-layer design that ensures your milk stays at the optimal temperature while frothing.
The device heats milk to between 55°C and 65°C, but it remains cool when you touch the container, so it won’t burn your hand.
The container’s lid integrates the coffee impeller, which is unique as most milk frothers have a frothing disc at the base of the jug. However, the NanoFoamer PRO uses strong magnets to power the impeller. I immediately found that one of the advantages is I can easily clean the screen and the flat jug bottom.
The device has three magnetic flow control pads – black, which is used for most dairy, blue for milk alternatives producing larger bubbles and green for the kinds of milk that are trickiest for foaming. The pads snap on and off with ease, making the transition between milk varieties seamless.
A minimalist screen also doubles as a control button, which adds to the device’s modern aesthetic. Overall, the product would be a stylish addition to any kitchen.
Ease Of Use
Nanofoamer Pro has a screen and button combination, which is intuitive and allows you to switch between six foam density settings effortlessly. It’s also perfect for experimentation.
So, you could have light and airy foam or a more dense, creamy texture. Setting 1 works for lighter foam, settings 2 to 4 are perfect for lattes, and setting 5 is great for even firmer foam. There’s also a setting zero, which is for cold foam.
To get started, follow these simple steps.
- Plug in the NanoFoamer PRO and place it on the base. Then, wait for the logo to appear.
- Snap a flow controller on the wall of the jug, depending on your milk type. There are volume indicators on the flow control pad.
- Fill the jug with cold milk to the desired volume line.
- Cover the lid, but make sure it is securely attached. Otherwise, the impeller won’t spin.
- Multi-touch the display to select your milk density. It will start automatically.
- When the screen displays “OK,” the temperature will be around 55°C (130°F). If you leave it on the base, it will heat and churn the milk to around 65°C, at which point the device will turn off. You can also manually stop it, either by touching the screen or removing the device from the base.
If you steam milk with a traditional steam wand, it requires a precise angle, depth and aeration time. In contrast, the device doesn’t require a steep learning curve and is very suitable for home coffee lovers.
Pro tips: For better result, I don’t pour latte art directly with the jug. I first transfer the milk to a milk pitcher before pouring. Also, make sure your espresso shot is ready when the milk frothing is done, don’t let the milk froth sit for too long.
Ease Of Cleaning
The NanoFoamer PRO will need cleaning after each use to ensure remove the milk residue on the bottom of the jug. Doing this will avoid a burnt taste as it heats the milk.
The milk residue on the wall is easy to rinse off thanks to its non-stick coating. One drawback, is I regularly find some curdled milk to the bottom of the jug. Thankfully, the brush accessory that comes with the device is designed for scrubbing it off without damaging the coating.
However, the milk jug is not waterproof, so don’t submerge it in water or let water reach the base. Also, make sure the base of the jug is dry before placing it back on the unit.
Performance With Different Milk Types
An important element of any milk frother is its ability to work with various milk types. Because of this, I put the NanoFoamer PRO to the test with whole milk, skimmed milk, and oat milk to determine how it would perform.
With the whole milk, using the black flow control pad on setting 2, the device performed exceptionally. It produced consistent microfoam with a silky texture and a glossy finish for premium cafe quality cappuccino or other milk-based espresso drinks. It was easy, too, and took only 40 seconds to heat the milk to 55°C.
Using skimmed milk, I opted for setting 3-4 with the same flow control pad, and it was again excellent, with a similar texture and finish.
Plant-based milk is often a challenge for frothers, so I was interested to see how it would compare. This time, I used setting 3 with the blue flow control pad, and it delivered velvety, stable microfoam. The fact it works so well with plant-based milk is a big advantage, making it a suitable option for a wide variety of dietary needs.
You can also froth milk without heating for a cooler, iced beverage.
With the heated options, I tested the milk temperature with a thermometer. Although its reading wasn’t precisely the 55°C to 65°C the device claimed, it was well within reason.
Things To Be Improved
The lid must be tightly attached, or it won’t start, meaning it often needs to be pressed hard, which is a small drawback.
Meanwhile, even though rinsing the milk jug is easy, you have to be careful with the one-piece design to avoid the base getting wet.
Latte art can be tricky to perfect and that’s no different with the NanoFoamer PRO. For certain milk, I use the black pad and set it to 2. However, that can make the foam too dense, but setting 1 is too watery. Changing the milk solved the problem.
For beginners, if you find creating latte art challenging, change your milk texture before questioning your latte art pouring technique. If you haven’t tried pouring latte art before, check out their Latte art master class to learn some basics.
I have tested many electric milk frothers, and none have promised fine microfoam that allows you to pour latte art. Like the NanoFoamer PRO, most will heat the milk and froth, but the bubbles are generally much larger.
Other frothers often struggle with plant-based milk or lack versatility for different milk types, too, but the NanoFoamer PRO excels in both areas.
Its design and build quality are also better than many rivals, and there is a premium feel, a functional aesthetic, and ease of use.
One thing to note is the NanoFoamer PRO’s price point, which is at the high end, so it may be out of reach if you’re on a tight budget. However, if you can afford it, superior performance and versatility justify the outlay.
Final Thoughts And Recommendations
The Subminimal NanoFoamer PRO is an excellent choice for anyone looking to create coffee shop-quality microfoam for latte art and its exceptional results, ease-of-use and elegant design make it stand out in a crowded market.
If you own a Nespresso machine, a moka pot or have a manual machine like the Flair Espresso Maker, the device is perfect for making high-quality microfoam. You can also experiment with a range of drinks, from classic lattes to more intricate latte art creations.
Of course, you will need to consider the cost, but its results and versatility more than justify it.
Overall, for anyone hoping to replicate coffee shop quality drinks domestically, it’s an exceptional investment.