Finding the best milk pitcher for latte art can be challenging. The professional barista-style milk pitcher is now found in many different shapes and sizes, all designed with something slightly different in mind, but all aimed at creating either better milk texture or an optimised pouring experience.
These two details are the most important factors when looking to pour beautiful designs on top of your coffee.
Below we look at our top recommended milk pitchers that all aim to make milk frothing and latte art a little easier for the user.
The Rhinoware Professional milk jug is a classic entry-level stainless steel milk pitcher.
Its polished exterior gives it a professional finish and it’s a jug you’ll regularly find as part of a standard set up in many commercial coffee shops.
It has a 360ml capacity and is the right size to pour drinks up-to 10oz like lattes and cappuccinos.
It has a precision spout that allows the barista to get full control of the milk they are pouring by getting as close to the coffee’s surface as possible.
It is also available in a larger size if you like more milk with your coffee or plan on steaming more milk at the same time.
The Motta Stainless Steel pro pitcher oozes Italian style.
The matte black finish and elongated pouring spout give this milk jug a sense of class and a polished, pro-barista look.
Its wide lower section makes milk spinning easier, then the more narrow top and spout give you better control over how quickly you pour your milk, which can really help on certain designs of latte art.
The Motta jug’s handle is shaped to allow for comfort no matter what kind of technique you use when pouring milk.
The shape of the jug makes it act a little differently from a classic style milk jug and may be suited to someone with more experience.
The one downside to this jug is that the outer lining can be chipped or scuffed quite easily if not taken care of, although there is a plain stainless steel option in this model too.
When looking for home espresso gear, Breville’s name is never far away.
Their Temp Control milk jug is a great tool for someone learning how to control the temperature of their milk.
A barista will ultimately go by touch to keep track of the temperature when frothing milk.
This milk jug can help you understand exactly how a certain milk temperature feels with its built-in thermometer that accurately shows you when your milk has reached the desired temperature to create the perfect milky coffee.
It is available in the larger size of 480ml and does also have the folded lip on the spout that many desire when performing latte art.
The Tiamo Tapered milk jug is made from stainless steel and is nickel coated.
Available in several colour options, the milk jug’s tapered design not only gives it a stylish and unique look but also allows for more consistent milk frothing by encouraging better temperature and foam distribution.
Its easy pour spout makes this milk jug great for pouring latte art over and over again with consistency.
The 450ml capacity is ideal for small or large coffee drinks but is also available in a larger size if it doesn’t quite reach the volume you require to fit your favourite cup.
Rattleware’s Latte art pitcher is one of the larger milk pitchers on this list coming in at just under a 600ml capacity.
It is made from stainless steel and its tapered spout makes it the ideal setup to create latte art with.
Larger sized milk jugs will suit the coffee drinker who prefers their coffee in a nice big cup or if you want to save time and make more milk to go into several drinks, this could be a great option.
Bigger capacity milk jugs are often found to be better suited to certain designs in latte art, like the Rosetta for example.
The Latte pro milk jug is another classically designed milk pitcher.
The matte black finish gives the jug a great look.
The neat thing about this jug’s design is the small insert hole found on top of the milk pitcher’s handle. The jug comes supplied with 3 different colours of silicone inserts that can be used to colour code and identify what type of milk is being used in the jug, especially useful for a commercial setting or for those households where not everyone drinks the same type of milk.
The milk pitcher also features a replaceable temperature reading strip on the outside which will help the user identify when their milk has reached the optimum temperature, as well as having the iconic folded lip at the tip of the spout that can really help with latte art.
Named after, and signature milk jug of multiple latte art competition winner Jibbi Little, the Jibbijug original latte art pitcher is designed with latte art as its main focus.
The weight of the jug and the shape of its spout are optimal for creating beautiful designs on top of your espresso coffee.
This self-described ‘entry level’ latte art pitcher, matched by the price point it is available for, is made from high-grade stainless steel.
The spout and handle are both handcrafted to create the correct angle and ergonomics for latte art.
The overall design of the 380ml capacity jug is pretty classic but has a slightly more refined tapered form to it that helps with pouring and steaming milk with perfect micro-foam for your coffee.
Milk Jug Buying Guide
When you start to outgrow your original milk frothing pitcher, upgrading your barista gear with a milk pitcher designed with features that help you bring your milk quality to a whole new level can be exactly what is needed to move you onto the next stage of your latte art journey.
Why would knowing the exact milk temperature help you pour pretty hearts on your coffee? And how does the shape of a milk jug affect the way that you pour?
Our milk jug buying guide is here to clear up any confusion over what goes into choosing the best milk frothing pitcher to add to your pro-level barista gear.
The size of the milk jug you are buying needs to be able to hold more than the amount of milk you like with your coffee.
Before buying a new milk jug check the size of the cup you regularly use to drink your coffee from.
Around 40ml of the capacity will be taken up by the espresso shot you have prepared, but also remember that when you froth milk, you are ‘stretching’ it, which means you are adding volume to the liquid, so you need to have enough space in the milk jug to add your preferred amount of foam to your milk.
The spout shape is important when wanting to pour beautiful designs on top of your morning latte or flat white.
A folded lip on the end of the spout allows accurate placement of your desired design.
Without this feature, the milk doesn’t pour as freely, or allow the spout to get in as close as possible, which helps us to produce the intricate designs we are aiming for.
The shape of the milk pitcher will have some effect on the way that air is added to the milk to create the desired foam texture. Wider bases allow more air into the jug, so if you like a frothy cappuccino, the wider the better.
Steaming a tight-knit micro-foam is needed for an overall glossy finish on the milk, which helps with the clarity of the design you have poured.
Different shapes of pitcher handle will also be something you will regularly see a difference in between jugs.
The classic handle style on a milk jug is usually slightly squared with a large space in the gap to allow your hand to grip the handle firmly. You will find some without a handle at all, instead opting for a silicone sleeve to protect you from heat when pouring.
Everyone has their own preference with a pitcher handle and different shapes can be fun to try, as you may find one that suits your style of pouring better.
A high-quality entry-level milk pitcher is very affordable, making it an easy purchase if you want to upgrade from the default milk jugs that a lot of home espresso machines come equipped with, in the box.
There will always be premium options available. More refined designs and specialist coatings to cover the thin stainless steel seen in most milk jugs comes with an extra cost, but remember that just because you have spent more money one a milk pitcher, doesn’t mean that your latte art will instantly improve.
Practice makes perfect and finding a pitcher that feels comfortable to you is more important than higher-priced equipment.
There are a couple of features available in the milk jug market that can help when looking to raise your milk quality and bring out more definition in your latte art.
The small strip on the side of a milk jug allows you to monitor the temperature of your milk.
The importance of temperature comes from the moment you open your milk carton.
When steaming fresh milk it is always best to use milk straight from the refrigerator as this gives you more time to texture and heat your milk which results in better texture for latte art.
Optimal milk temperature is somewhere between 55 & 65c. Going hotter than this can cause fats and sugars to burn, which in turn will affect the quality of your milk and not allow you to produce perfect latte art.
Coated Stainless Steel
Teflon or nickel coating on a barista milk jug is useful for quickly rinsing out the pitcher after use. The non-stick lining doesn’t let milk quickly dry on its surface, which could then have an impact on the flavour quality if old dried milk gets mixed in with fresh milk when steaming.