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 creamy, velvety, and fluffy so it sits on top of the iced beverage before slowly making its way down the cup.
  • It’s sweetened with sugar or simple syrup and can be made flavored by adding flavored simple syrups.
  • At Starbucks, cold foam is made using a special blender to create perfectly smooth, textured foam that’s made up of tiny bubbles. To make it home, all you need a is French press or a handheld milk frother. It only takes a few seconds to get perfect cold foam!

Turn your cold brew instantly into an iced latte by adding cold foam. Try making my Irish Cream Cold Brew, Salted Caramel Cold Brew, and Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew which are all made with 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.
  • Sweetener
    White, granulated sugar or simple syrup can be used. Starbucks makes theirs with vanilla syrup and you can use any flavored syrup you like.

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.

Cold Foam Using a French Press
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.

Cold Foam Using a Handheld Milk Frother
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

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.

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.

How can I make peppermint cold foam?

Add peppermint simple syrup to the half & half to sweeten and flavor your cold foam.

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.
5 from 2 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.

  • Starbucks makes theirs with vanilla syrup and you can use any flavored syrup you like.
  • 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.

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
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