How to Make Cold Foam at Home: 4 Simple Ways

Last Updated On : December 2021
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How to make cold foam

There was a time when the Starbucks menu didn’t exist. Indeed, in 1971, when Starbucks opened its first store in Seattle, it only sold whole beans, teas and spices. You could not go grab a cup of joe on the go like we do today.

It took 11 years, when its fifth store opened in 1982, for Starbucks to start offering brewed coffee at its stores. Yet, the menu was still quite limited. Even by 1992 and 1993, arguably one of the most important years for Starbucks, the menu was limited.

Nowadays, the menu variety pales in comparison to what was offered before. Today we have frozen frappuccinos with whipped cream, iced coffee drinks, refreshers, and of course, let’s not forget to mention the cold brew with the now famous Starbucks cold foam.

Cold foam has recently become so popular that everyone is talking about it - drinks with cold foam make half the Starbucks beverages sales in the US (1)

So let’s get into cold foam and learn more about it, including how to make cold foam from the comfort of your home!

What is Cold Foam?

We all may have heard about cold foam, but what exactly is it? If you have this question in your mind, then sit back because I have some answers! 

The regular foam used in hot drinks is made by frothing milk with hot steam. This foam is ideal for all hot beverages. However, this regular foam does not hold up when it comes in contact with cold drinks, such as an iced coffee. This is where “cold foam” comes into the picture!

Cold foam is frothed without using heat or steam. This process gives you a thick and creamy topping for iced cold brew, iced lattes, and nitro coffee. Further, cold foam is made using nonfat milk. 

Why, you ask? The answer is a bit technical, but here we go!

The reason is that nonfat milk contains a greater percentage of proteins, which are critical in the formation of foam bubbles. When air is introduced into the milk, either by agitation on injection, air bubbles form, and the proteins attach to the bubbles, stabilizing them. 

In addition, fat acts as a destabilizing agent, as it disrupts the protein layer. This is most prevalent at temperatures between 10 to 40 degrees Celsius (2). Also, remember also that water and fat do not mix! However, when heated, the lipids “melt”, and as a result they do not hinder as much foam formation.

My curious head always comes up with questions! I could not help but wonder who came up with such an idea? 

There isn’t an exact timeline for the evolution of cold foam as a coffee topping to answer the question. However, Japanese beverage brands have been using over-the-top foam drinks for the past several years. 

Back in 2012, a beer company, Kirin, came up with a machine used to dispense frozen beer head onto its beverages in the manner of a frozen yogurt machine. 

The Greek coffee culture is also credited with the invention of some sort of cold foam. The Greek outdoor cafe culture is all about frothy iced coffees. In 1957, a Nescafe representative used a Nesquik shaker to make an iced coffee, which resulted in a foamy head. 

It wasn’t until 2014 when Starbucks introduced the cold foam we know of today for its iced coffee. But it took all the way to 2018 for it to become widely available. Since then, it has been further popularized by Starbucks (and social media). Many people chose to pour cold foam on many Starbucks iced drinks such as cold brews.

How to Make Cold Foam at Home?

Have you ever wondered how to make cold foam at home? If yes, follow these 4 simple ways to make cold foam. 

The secret is using skim milk! 

Although technically you can make cold foam using whole milk or even heavy cream, you may need to be an expert at foaming, or you may need a fancy machine.

Making cold foam is easy to make at home - just make sure that you have all the ingredients. I will walk you through 4 simple ways to make cold foam. These are: 

  • Cold foam with a blender

  • Cold foam with a frother 

  • Cold foam with a mason jar 

  • Cold foam with a French Press 

How to Make Cold Foam with a Blender?

This cold foam recipe is the fastest way to make a cold foam at home. The blender will blend the foam quickly, and your cold foam will be ready in no time! 

This is your best bet if you want large quantities of cold foam.

Ingredients/Tools

  • Blender of Choice 

  • 1 cup of skim milk

Preparation Method

  1. Add the cold milk into your blender.

  2. Turn on the blender, and slowly keep increasing the speed of the blender until your reach full speed. 

  3. Remove the milk from the blender cup once the foam is fluffy and smooth. 

  4. This requires a bit of trial and error, as blender speeds and blade settings vary

Ninja BN801 Professional Plus Kitchen System

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How to Make Cold Foam with a Frother?

Half of your work is done if you have a milk frother at home. This is the easiest way to make cold foam as it requires little cleaning.

Ingredients/Tools

  • Milk frother

  • 1/2 cup of skim milk 

We recommend this handheld frother by PowerLix. They are cheap and easy to use!

PowerLix Hand Held Milk Frother

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However, if you are looking for something fancier, check this frother by Bodum.

Bodum 11870-01US Bistro Electric Milk Frother

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Preparation Method

  1. Pour the milk into the milk frother or a container (if using handheld frother). 

  2. Use the measuring line to ensure the level of milk. (or if using a handheld frother leave some room for the froth

  3. Froth the milk, it should take about 15 to 20 seconds. Again, this timing depends on your frother.

How to Make Cold Foam with a Mason Jar?

Do not worry if you don’t have a milk frother or blender at home. You can even make cold foam with the help of a mason jar. You can also use a resealable storage container in place of a mason jar. 

This is probably the simplest way to make cold foam at home.

Ingredients

  • Mason Jar (Resealable jar of choice)

  • 1/2 cup of skim milk

Preparation Method

  1. Add the cold milk to the mason jar.

  2. Close the lid (make sure it’s properly sealed or you will make a huge mess)

  3. Vigorously shake the jar until you see foam. This can take more than a minute so it’s a bit of a workout.

  4. Once you see fluffy foam, remove the lid, and have your cold foam ready!
Cold Foam Mason Jar

How to Make Cold Foam with a French Press?

Using a French Press is our favorite way of making cold foam. The results are better than even using a frother (unless you have a fancy one). The only downside is cleaning that French Press. You definitely want to make sure no milk remains in there.

Ingredients

  • French Press

  • 1/2 cup of skim milk

Barista Warrior Insulated Stainless Steel French Press with Thermometer

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Preparation Method

  1. Add the cold milk to your French Press.

  2. Close the lid.

  3. Move the plunger up and down until you get the desired consistency

I Want Cold Foam Variations!

Your wish is my command!

Fortunately, you can very easily customize your fluffy milk foam. You can modify the above cold foam recipes as follows.

Vanilla Cold Foam

Do you want vanilla sweet cream cold foam? Then add a dash of simple syrup and vanilla extract to the cold milk.

Watkins Butter Vanilla Flavor

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Salted Caramel Cold Foam

Do you want salted caramel cold foam? Then add a dash of caramel syrup (see below) and a pinch of sea salt.

Torani Salted Caramel Flavor Syrup

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Honey Cold Foam

Do you want honey cold foam? Then add a dash of honey to the cold milk.

As you can see, you can very easily adapt the cold foam recipe. It’s fun to experiment with different flavors and how they match with your iced coffee.

What Starbucks Drinks Have Cold Foam?

Try these fantastic Starbucks drinks that have Starbucks cold foam. 

  1. Vanilla Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew

  2. Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew

  3. Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte

  4. Iced Caffe Mocha

  5. Honey Almondmilk Nitro Cold Brew

  6. Iced London Fog Tea Latte with Cold Foam

  7. Iced Matcha Tea Latte with Cold Foam

  8. Violet Drink with Cold Foam

  9. Pink Drink with Cold Foam

  10. Dragon Drink with Cold Foam

  11. Salted Caramel Nitro Cold Brew

  12. Iced White Chocolate Mocha

  13. Iced Starbucks Blonde Cappuccino with Cold Foam

  14. Cold Brew with Cascara Cold Foam

  15. Nitro Cold Brew with Cascara Cold Foam

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best Type of Milk to Use for Cold Foam?

Many people consider whole milk or heavy cream one of the creamiest and richest for hot foam. But guess what? Skim Milk is the best type of milk to use for cold foam. 

What are some Popular Cold Foam Variations?

Some examples include Vanilla Cold Foam, Brown Sugar Cold Foam, Pumpkin Spice Cold Foam, Honey Cold Foam, Lavender Cold Foam and Peppermint Cold Foam

What drinks can I add cold foam to? 

You can add cold foam to any iced coffee drink (replacing milk or cream). 

Iced Coffee Cold Foam

Bottom Line 

We have discussed what cold foam is, and showed you three simple ways to make it at home. I hope you found these techniques simple and easy to implement.

So what are you waiting for? Try these techniques and pour the cold foam on your favorite iced coffee!

Let us know in the comments which method you liked the most.

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Disclaimer:

This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Do not consume any type of tea if you are allergic to it. The information in this article is not intended to treat serious medical conditions. Please seek professional medical advice before using home remedies.

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