Making Cold Foam

You don’t have to be a coffee connoisseur to know that cold foam is the latest coffee trend taking the barista scene by storm. Mimicking steamed milk, this foamy sweet topping has become a popular request atop many iced drinks beyond coffee. We’ll teach you how to make cold foam so you can take your coffee drink menu to the next level.

What Is Cold Foam?

Cold foam is a frothed topping for ice drinks usually made with low-fat or non-dairy milk and sweetener. After a limited release in 2014, Starbucks® introduced cold foam on a wide scale in 2018 to mimic the creamy layer on top of lattes and cappuccinos. Unlike steamed milk, which would dissolve rapidly over a cold beverage, cold foam is meant to hold its integrity on an iced drink so the contents can be enjoyed with the creamy topping. It is now a staple on beverage menus across global franchises like Dunkin’® and Jamba Juice.

How to Make Cold Foam

Whether you’re starting a coffee shop or sprucing up your favorite iced drinks, try this easy-to-follow cold foam recipe to add a frothy topping to your beverages.

Cold Foam Recipe

You’ll need the following to prepare your DIY cold foam:

Two coffee drinks with cold foam on top

To make cold foam for coffee, follow these simple steps:

  1. Pour low-fat or non-dairy milk into cup.
  2. Add simple syrup or flavoring syrup to taste.
  3. Froth mixture for 15 to 20 seconds until fluffy.
  4. Scoop cold foam with spoon and gently ladle it onto surface of cold beverage.

Editor’s Note: You can make your own simple syrup or use a store-bought syrup for cold foam.

Cold foam drinks are typically served without a straw so the beverage can mix with the sweet cold foam as the customer drinks. Try using sip-through lids so your customers can enjoy their cold foam orders on-the-go.

How to Froth Milk without a Frother

Cold foam being spooned onto coffee drink

What if you don’t own a milk frother? That’s alright because you don’t need one to make cold foam. Try these other milk-frothing alternatives:

  • French Press - Used short pumps with a French press to introduce air into the milk mixture and achieve foamy results.
  • Immersion Blender - The whipping action of an immersion blender can help you create a foamy texture in place of a milk frother.
  • Commercial Blender - For large batches, you can use a commercial blender for a few seconds to whip up cold foam.
  • Mason Jar - For small batches, vigorously shake the milk mixture in a mason jar until foamy.

Best Milk for Cold Foam

Hot coffees like lattes and cappuccinos call for types of milk with higher fat content to help hold their structure, but cold foam is the opposite. The best milk for cold foam is low-fat milk because it has a higher protein percentage than whole milk and is light enough to hold the whipped air. There are a handful of milk alternatives that you can use for cold foam as well. Try some of the following for your cold foam drinks.

  • Low-Fat Milk - Use skim milk to 2% milk for cold foam to add creaminess to the beverage as it is sipped.
  • Almond Milk - For a dairy-free option, reach for almond milk to make your cold foam. With its subtle natural flavor, it can be easily customized to the flavor profile of your drink menu.
  • Oat milk - Craft a vegan menu with oat milk cold foam. This dairy-free option froths easily and provides exceptional creaminess to your beverages.
  • Coconut Milk - Coconut milk is light, vegan-friendly, and naturally flavorful, pairing nicely as a cold foam topping for sweet drinks. For added creaminess, swap the coconut milk for coconut cream.

While you can still use whole milk or heavy cream for superior creaminess, the foam will deflate at a quicker pace than low-fat or non-dairy options.

Cold Foam Drinks

Black coffee with cold foam and cinnamon on top

Starbucks® originally crafted cold foam to top off their popular cold brew coffee drinks, but the potential has expanded beyond the caffeinated selection. Add an eye-catching cold foam topping to some of the following cold drinks and frozen desserts:

  • Iced Coffees - Lattes, cold brew, nitro coffee
  • Iced Teas - Matcha tea lattes, Thai teas, iced chai lattes
  • Soda Floats - Italian sodas, root beer floats
  • Frozen Drinks - Slushies, smoothies
  • Cocktails - Moscow mules, espresso martinis, strawberries and cream cocktails, frose

Cold Foam Flavors

A caramel cold foam coffee drink with syrup on top

The best thing about cold foam is that it can easily be customized for your beverage menu. With the addition of some flavoring syrups or spices, you can create a cold foam flavor profile that will impress your customers. Here are just some fan-favorite cold foam flavors:

  • Maple Cold Foam - Milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract
  • Salted Caramel Cold Foam - Milk, caramel flavoring syrup, sea salt
  • Chocolate Cold Foam - Milk, cocoa powder, malt powder
  • Pumpkin Spice Cold Foam - Milk, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin puree, salt
  • Raspberry Cold Foam - Milk, raspberry flavoring syrup

Delight your cafe customers by adding cold foam as an option on your beverage menu. With so many flavor profiles and customizations to explore, you're sure to craft drinks that will have your patrons coming back for more.

Posted in: Coffee & Tea|Recipes|By Janine Jones
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details.
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