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How to Make Cold Foam for Coffee (Simple Steps)

cold foam coffee

Creamy, smooth, and slightly sweet, cold foam is an enjoyable addition to any refreshing iced coffee drink. But what exactly is it, and why would you want to use it? Most importantly, how do you make cold foam for coffee?

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about cold foam: where it came from, how to make it, and what the best kind of milk is. You’ll be whipping up smooth, creamy drinks before you know it!

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What is cold foam?

Cold foam is cold milk that’s been whipped into a foam. The big difference from regular steamed or frothed milk is the lack of heat! Cold foam may have originated earlier, but Starbucks gets the credit for popularizing it. The famous coffee chain rolled out its sweetened cold foam back in 2014. These days, you can order it on top of any iced Starbucks drink.

Milk frothers
Image: Christos Andrews, Wikimedia, CC 3.0

Why use cold foam?

Why would you want to use cold foam instead of steamed milk? If you’re drinking an iced coffee, you don’t need to use heat. Cold foam will also last longer on top of your drink. And there may be a chance of hot milk growing bacteria when poured over ice.

What kind of milk should you use?

The best milk to use for cold foam is nonfat cow’s milk. The ratio of protein to fat is optimal in nonfat milk, and cold foam doesn’t work well with alternatives like coconut or oat milk. On the other hand, if you’re steaming milk for latte art, you’ll want to use higher fat milk like two percent — which will produce the small bubbles that make for smooth foam.

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How to Make Cold Foam for Coffee:

iced coffee with cold foam

  • Nonfat milk
  • Sugar (or honey)

1. Mix milk and sugar.

Stir ¼ cup of milk with a dash of honey or sugar. You can adjust this ratio if you’d like your cold foam sweeter. Or leave the sugar out entirely!

2. Froth using a blender or milk frother.

Using a milk frother, blender, or food processor, froth the milk mixture until it’s thick and creamy. You want the foam to last, so don’t stop blending too early.

3. Put it on your favorite iced drinks!

Spoon your cold foam onto any iced coffee drink, like cold brew, iced coffee, or an iced latte. Because it’s made up of small bubbles, cold foam doesn’t store well, so we recommend making small batches and using them within a day or two.

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There you have it: the simple process of making cold foam for coffee. If you drink a lot of iced coffee, you’ll enjoy this creamy topper. It’s a big improvement on combining hot foam and cold drinks, and it’s surprisingly easy to make. We hope you enjoy your refreshing, slightly sweet coffee!


Featured image credit: pilipphoto, Shutterstock


Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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