Strange Milk Frothers/Steamers


I know very little about frothing milk for coffee, except that I do
enjoy it added to most drinks, ie, chocolate, cafe latte, even chai
latte. However, I've inherited 2 strange looking milk frothers, one
new, and one barely used. They were wedding gifts a long time ago for a
relative who was never into coffee, and she passed them on to me
(though, I can only take coffee heavily diluted with milk, due to rapid
heartbeat from even a decaf cut with a bit of milk.)
I do like coffee flavourings, and at one very old Italian restuarant I
went to a few years ago, the server/co-owner was nice enough to give me
a heaping serving of steamed, frothed milk, on top of a very nice
chocolate & coffee drink cut with milk, which she made just for me
because of my caffiene sensitivity.
I still remember the nice frothed milk, and have used, what I guess are
cheap imitations of this, though pleasant, in the form of those manual
Bodum frothers and cold skim milk. I now have inherited some machine
called Cappuccino Plus, by Ariete of Italy, which looks like it's used
only for steaming milk, since there is no drip area for coffee and it's
got an extra thin attachement to the steaming wand. Almost needle
sized.
My Aunt told me this machine was never used, and she knows it was
pretty expensive at the time. I haven't seen anything else like this on
the internet, that is, a dedicated electric steamer for only steaming
or frothing milk. Has anyone had experience with any of these? It does
look a little bit like those toy espresso steamers that Salton used to
make, that is, a barrel to put the water into to steam, and a big cap,
however, again, my machine is not for coffee, but for steaming/frothing
milk only.
The second item she gave me was a nice little Bialetti or Frabosk
Teflon lined manual frother. It's barely used, and appears to be made
of brushed aluminum, and has a circular stove top pattern on the
bottom, so presumably this is to be used on the stove, with heated milk
only. I'm just wondering what kind of milk to used and what temp.
setting to put it on to get the best results with this particular
frother, and since it's much less intimidating than the Ariete machine,
I'd like to try it out first. Any advice on the use of these two, very
different machines?
Thanks for any input.
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weft2

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