Cold Foam: What It is & How to Make It at Home

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Top your iced coffee and tea with decadent, creamy cold foam instead of adding creamer or milk. Get step-by-step instructions and see how surprisingly easy it is to make it at home in 2 minutes!

Pouring cold foam into a cup of iced coffee.

Recipe Highlights

  • Cold foam is cold, frothed milk, made without heat or steam, for iced drinks. It’s a creamy, velvety, and fluffy milk foam that is poured on top of an iced beverage. The cold foam will slowly make its way down the cup.
  • It’s sweetened with sugar or simple syrup and can be made flavored by adding flavored simple syrups.
  • This quick and easy cold foam recipe uses just 2 ingredients to make perfectly delicious cold foam at home using a French press or a handheld milk frother.

RELATED: Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam

Cold Foam at Starbucks

At Starbucks, cold foam is made with nonfat milk, using a special blender to create perfectly smooth, textured foam that’s made up of tiny bubbles.

Aside from regular cold foam, there are also flavored cold foams made using heavy cream. There’s salted caramel cream cold foam, vanilla sweet cream cold foam and a seasonal pumpkin cream cold foam.

Cold foam can be customized! Try topping your drink with matcha cold foam (matcha blended with cold foam), strawberry cold foam (strawberry puree sauce blended with cold foam) or pumpkin spice cold foam (pumpkin spice syrup blended with cold foam).

Any iced drink at Starbuck can be ordered with cold foam, although there is an extra charge.

RELATED: How to Make Pumpkin Spice Cold Foam

Ingredient Notes

Cold foam ingredients.
  • Half & Half
    Half cream and half milk, the cream half is the key to getting perfect cold foam. Milk can be made into cold foam but it’ll be thin and not very fluffy or rich.
  • Sugar or Simple Syrup
    White, granulated sugar or simple syrup can be used.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Three photo collage showing steps to make cold foam using a French press.

For full ingredients and instructions, scroll down to the recipe.

French Press Method
This method creates perfect cold foam with tiny, uniform bubbles.

  1. Put cold half & half and sweetener into a French press.
  2. Place lid and move the plunger up and down.
    The half & half will more than double in volume.
  3. Pour cold foam on top of an iced beverage.
My French Press Pick

Photo Credit: amazon.com

Get the smaller 12 ounce or the larger 34 ounce French press to froth milk and make cold foam at home.
SEE PRICE ON AMAZON
Two photo collage showing steps to make cold foam using a handheld milk frother.

Handheld Milk Frother Method
This is the second best way to make cold foam since you do get bigger, uneven bubbles but a handheld milk frother is easier to clean than a French press.

  1. Whisk half & half and sweetener using a handheld milk frother.
    It should take about 20 seconds to get fluffy cold foam.
  2. Pour cold foam on top of an iced beverage.
My Handheld Milk Frother Pick

Photo Credit: amazon.com

The one that has lasted me the longest out of many milk frothers I’ve purchased over the years. It’s cordless and holds a charge for a very long time.
SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

Serving Suggestions

  • Cold foam can be used instead of milk or cream in an iced drink or in addition to. 
  • It’s up to you if you want to stir in the cold foam into the drink, or drink it as is, sipping the cold foam first as it works its way down the cup.
  • Turn any iced coffee drink like iced latte or cold brew, into a coffee shop quality beverage by topping it with cold foam.
  • Instead of using plain sugar or simple syrup, make flavored cold brew for a tasty treat.

Flavored Cold Foam

Expert Tips

  • The goal is to get tiny, uniform bubbles that won’t even look like bubbles since that’s what creates the smooth texture. The French press does a better job of doing this than the handheld milk frother.
  • The French press makes better cold foam but it’s a bit of a chore to clean. The handheld milk frother is much easier to clean than a French press but the cold foam isn’t as smooth since there are bigger bubbles. But they both taste great and adds velvety foam to your iced drink.
  • Don’t overfill the French press. The cold foam will double or triple in volume as air is pumped in, so keep that in mind when you pour the half & half into the French press.
  • Don’t underfill the French press. The strainer needs to be submerged in the half & half so that the air can be pumped into it.

RELATED: Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

Questions You May Have

What drinks can I add cold foam to?

Any iced drink where you would normally add milk or cream, you can add cold foam instead. Iced coffee, cold brew, or iced tea like chai.

Can I use a blender to make cold foam?

You can, but It’s more work to clean than handheld milk frother and doesn’t create tiny, uniform bubbles the way that a French press can.

Can I make cold foam without a frother or French press?

You can but it’ll take some work. Put half & half and sweetener into a large jar with a tight lid. Shake vigorously until it doubles in volume.

Iced coffee with cold foam.

Related

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How to Make Cold Foam

Author: Jee Choe
Two easy ways to make cold foam at home for iced drinks.
4.8 from 8 votes
Prep Time 2 mins
Total Time 2 mins
Course Drinks
Yield1 serving

INGREDIENTS
 

  • cup half & half
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (or 1 tablespoon simple syrup)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Put cold half & half and sweetener into a French press.
  • Place lid and move the plunger up and down 30 times.
    The half & half will more than double in volume.
  • Pour cold foam on top of an iced beverage.

EQUIPMENT

NOTES

How to Make Cold Foam Using a Handheld Milk Frother

  1. Whisk half & half and sweetener using a handheld milk frother.
    It should take about 20 seconds to get fluffy cold foam.
  2. Pour cold foam on top of an iced beverage.
 

How to Make Cold Foam Using a Jar

  1. Pour half & half and sweetener into a large jar with a tight lid.
  2. Shake vigorously until it doubles in volume.

  • The goal is to get tiny, uniform bubbles that won’t even look like bubbles since that’s what creates the smooth texture. The French press does a better job of doing this than the handheld milk frother.
  • The French press makes better cold foam but it’s a bit of a chore to clean. The handheld milk frother is much easier to clean than a French press but the cold foam isn’t as smooth since there are bigger bubbles. But they both taste great and adds velvety foam to your iced drink.
  • Don’t overfill the French press. The cold foam will double or triple in volume as air is pumped in, so keep that in mind when you pour the half & half into the French press.
  • Don’t underfill the French press. The strainer needs to be submerged in the half & half so that the air can be pumped into it.

Flavored Cold Foam Variations:

  • Vanilla Cold Foam
    Combine vanilla syrup and half & half to make Vanilla sweet cream cold foam, just like at Starbucks.
  • Brown Sugar Cold Foam
    Make homemade brown sugar syrup to make a deliciously sweet cold foam.
  • Pumpkin Spice Cold Foam
    Flavor cold foam with fall’s signature pumpkin spice by using pumpkin spice syrup.
  • Honey Cold Foam
    Use honey syrup to top your iced coffee with honey cold foam.
  • Lavender Cold Foam
    Add a floral touch to your drink by mixing lavender syrup into half & half to make lavender cold foam.
  • Peppermint Cold Foam
    Add mint simple syrup to half & half to sweeten and flavor your cold foam.

NUTRITION

Calories: 136 | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 105mg | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 286IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @coffeeatthree and use hashtag #coffeeatthree!

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