Best Milk Thermometer For Coffee & Jug Frothing

 Last Updated July 30, 2023

There's nothing worse than a cold coffee. So make sure you have the right temperature for your drink with a coffee thermometer. In this post we'll be taking a look at the best milk thermometers for frothing milk, and giving some handy tips on how to use them.

Milk Thermometer with coffee

The thermometer I use at home to make coffee.

Best milk thermometer

Below I've listed the three types of milk thermometers you can buy. For most people, I recommend going with the classic one from KT Thermo below.

This is a classic analogue coffee thermometer. These are the best type of thermometers as they're cheap, accurate, and do their job perfectly. Go in any cafe and you will see baristas using these types of thermometers for a reason.

If you don't like how thermometers hang from a pitcher, or don’t won't to rinse another coffee tool, you can grab one of these thermometer stickers that change color to correspond with the temperature of the milk.

The final option is this digital thermometer. It works just like the analogue one above, but it has a digital reader instead of a dial.

Why do you need a milk thermometer?

There are two reasons why you need to have a milk thermometer. One is obvious and the second a little less so.

1. Getting the correct temperature

The first reason why you should use a coffee thermometer is to make sure you get your coffee to the correct temperature. If the milk is too cool, it won't be enjoyable. If you steam your milk too hot, you'll end up burning it and it'll taste awful! 

So if you're new to steaming milk, it's best to start off with a thermometer rather than relying on touch to make sure you froth your milk to the correct temp, being between 55-65 degrees Celsius (131-149 Fahrenheit). Once the milk goes over 70 degrees Celsius (158 Fahrenheit) it starts to burn.

A pitcher thermometer will make sure your milk is frothed to the correct temp!

2. Consistency

The second reason to use a thermometer when making coffee is for consistency. This is especially important in a cafe setting.

Different baristas may steam their milk to different temperatures. Customers expect consistency to become regulars. Using a milk thermometer is a simple and cheap way to make sure your cafe makes repeatable results.

At home consistency is important too, so you know how hot to make the coffee you enjoy drinking. And once you know the feeling of your desired heat, then you can steam milk by touch with your milk pitcher.

Frothing Thermometer

A coffee thermometer is a simple but handy tool.

How to use a coffee thermometer?

Using a coffee thermometer is rather easy. The first step is latching it onto your milk jug. The thermometers come with a little latch on the side that allows it to grab the side of your jug so it doesn’t move while frothing.

Coffee Thermometer In Milk Pitcher

Use the latch on the espresso thermometer to get a secure hold.

The next step is just to steam your milk as you normally do and watch the dial of the thermometer go up to your desired temperature. You can see me doing this below on my home espresso machine. 

Using espresso thermometer

Your milk temperature will increase steadily from the heat of the steam wand.

The final step is turning your steam wand off once you reach your desired temperature.

IMPORTANT: It's important to know that your milk will keep increasing in temperature even after you turn off your steam wand, typically by 5 degrees Celsius (41 Fahrenheit).

So if you want your milk to be 65 degrees Celsius  (149 Fahrenheit), you want to turn your steam off at 60 degrees (140 Fahrenheit). You'll watch your thermometer keep increasing after you remove it from the heat source.

Milk thermometer correct tempreature

My thermometer showing the final heat of my milk, 65 degrees. 

Digital vs analog milk vs sticker frothing thermometer

In this post you would have seen I listed three different types of thermometers that are available on the market today. I recommend grabbing the analogue one over the other options.

Analogue thermometers are the original type and the ones you see in cafes for a reason. As they say, if it’s not broken don’t fix it!

The reason I say this is that the other two types have a slight flaw. For stickers, they stop working after a period of time as the heat of the milk jug will slowly decrease the effectiveness of the sticker. For the digital ones, you need to have a small battery in it unlike the analogue one, and I feel it is easier to track the increase of the temperature in an analogue thermometer compared to a digital one.

For these reasons I recommend grabbing the original unless you like the features of the others.


And there we have it, you now have some good thermometers to try out and understand why it's good to have one as part of your coffee set up. In summary, I recommend getting the KT Thermo below.

This is a classic analogue coffee thermometer. These are the best type of thermometers as they're cheap, accurate, and do their job perfectly. Go in any cafe and you will see baristas using these types of thermometers for a reason.

About The Author 

Ivan Bez

Ivan is the founder of Latte Art Guide and a barista with 10 years of experience. He loves coffee and aims to help people improve their coffee making skills.

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