$4 Usb Latte Foamer




Quick and easy mod to a $4 battery powered latte foamer for your office, so that you can run it off of your computer's USB port.

You love your coffee in the office, and some time you just can't run out to get one, so you brew your own.

But you can't easily get those nice lovely latte foam tops going.  You could purchase expensive machines, but ... well, they are expensive.  You can get cheap-oh battery operated ones, but you always are running out of battery juice, and they are not that powerful either.

So purchase one of those non-expensive ones, and follow these steps to give it USB power and more torque.

Tools you will need:
  - cheap foamer
  - a USB cable that won't be missed
  - pliers and/or sharp knife
  - soldering gun
  - drill

You can get away without soldering if you want to, just twist-tie your wires.  Messier, but functional.

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Step 1: First Step.

First, you will need to cut the end of the Usb wire that otherwise would connect your external device to you computer.

Step 2: Second.

Next, you will need to expose the black and red wires that run inside the USB cable, and strip the ends.

Also, gently force the two sides of the foamer apart to expose the battery terminals.

By default this particular foamer required two AA batteries (supplying 3V of DC current to the motor).

The motor in this foamer will handle the 5 Volts coming from your computer through USB cable. 

And it will also result in a more powerful whipping action.

Step 3: Third Step.

Solder the black and red wires to the battery terminals. 

It doesn't matter which one makes it to which terminal.  The motor will just turn in one direction or in the other, depending on which one gets the positive and negative.  Foam will form in your coffee independent of the rotating direction of the motor.

Tie a knot on your USB cable, so that we won't be tugging on the soldering contacts later on.

Step 4: Amost Done.

Re-assemble the foamer by gently pushing the two sides together.

Drill a hole the size of the USB cable on the side of the unit, so that you can close "battery compartment" by guiding the USB cable through it.

Close, and you are done!

Enjoy your lattes!!!

1 Person Made This Project!


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24 Discussions


4 years ago on Introduction

This is amazing! I've been practicing latte art with an aerolatte but the battery life is a killing me and my wallet. Will plugging the USB into a Phone Charger instead of the laptop be too much power for the milk frother?


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

good one!  ;-D  will just have to find a long enough usb cable first - that will reach the bathroom....


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

How about converting an old laptop into a digital photoframe to double as a mirror with a webcam, then you could plug it into the usb on that one :P

Sabatafungus amungus

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Even $4 CDN is still way cheaper than a lot of stores. I saw one in Bed Bath and Beyond for about $20 US. Other than the "name brand" sticker on it, it looked exactly like the one I bought at Ikea for $2.


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Yepp!  And the kicker is - turns out - that the manufacturer could ship them for $0.64 per unit for lots of a 1,000!  now THAT's a bargain!  I wonder how much they would charge for a USB-fied ver?


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Hmm, I bet they could do it for a buck or so.

Which reminds me, this is where I saw my first $20 milk frother:

I had to laugh when I read that article the day it was published, cuz I'd just bought a frother at Ikea for $2. See my comment (4th from the bottom) made under the name "technophile," which I got courtesy of bugmenot.com. ;)

ok i do have some points to bring up but i don't want to start a political flame war on a diy site