Monday, March 7, 2016

Lectric Cafe, Milk Frother

Lectric Cafe Frother, batteries included
Lectric Cafe Description:
The milk frother is an affordable kitchen tool that you can benefit from morning after morning. This frother packs a powerful punch - With a 15,000 RPM motor, it can effortlessly whisk up some milk (preferably warm), creating a nice frothy foam - which is the same thing you get with a latte or cappuccino.

My Review:
A little over 6 months ago I wrote a review for a MatchaDNA Milk Frother. Sadly it has quit working already. Asking around, 6 months to 2 years seems to be the lifespan of most of them. After it expired I took it apart to figure out what happened. I learned there is almost nothing to them. That explains why you can find one for $3 if you are near a bigger city. In my town, you can't find one for any amount of money. That leaves me having to order blindly online.

Blindly factors heavily here. The day I placed the order, I was researching for a few other items I needed after picking out the frother. However, I wasn't paying attention and put the wrong frother in my cart and hit order. This one is red. So was the one I meant to order. I didn't realize what I had done until I had already started using it. Oh well, it happens.

When I ordered it, I paid around $12-13. Today as I write the review it is showing $35 on Amazon. That's crazy. Don't pay that kind of money.

Current price gouging aside, let's look at this frother?

Inside the end cap
I use a frother every day with my morning matcha and cold milk latte. I am far too lazy to whisk by hand but I do like a creamy frothy cup. This is a perfect solution.

This model came with 2 AA batteries. The whisk is stainless steel. The handle is plastic. It has a chrome on/off button on the end cap. The cap easily slides off for battery access.

You can see the inside of the cap in this picture. The small electrical board switch feels solid and I expect it to hold up well. It may not be, but the switch feels a little more high tech than the sliding version on my older model.

I mentioned earlier that when dismantling the dead unit, I discovered there is not much to these things. The whisk and rod are one piece. The rod is part of the tiny motor. The little motors are fairly powerful but have one terrible design flaw. This new one appears to suffer the same design flaw.

Down the barrel of the battery compartment
Looking down the inside of the battery compartment, there are two metal contact points that the batteries push against. That is the way batteries work so it should be fine. Except it isn't.

Dismantling the machine, you would find the contact points are part of the motor. While that is fewer parts, it is also a weak point.

On my old frother, one of the contact points broke off. On a $3 frother you toss it and get a new one. With an $8 one, you snort a little and get a new one. As they start getting more expensive it starts becoming more of an issue.

I have no idea how long this will hold up. I want to believe longer than the last. The end cap goes on smoothly so maybe it isn't placing as much stress on the motor contacts.

In normal day to day operation this performs its frothing duties very well. Though it is not the particular frother I intended to order, I am relatively pleased with it so far. That said, shop around and do not pay anywhere near $35 for any handheld unit that doesn't have a multi-year warranty and a customer service department that take care of any repairs. My suspicion is such a thing does not exist.

You can find the Lectric Cafe Milk Frother here.

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