Some of the elaborate coffees Starbucks serves up may seem like they need expensive coffee equipment and incredible barista skills to concoct. However, some are surprisingly easy to make. One of them is the outlet’s cold brew topped with cold foam, which you can recreate at home with basic kitchen equipment.
This article will outline all you need to know about cold foam and offer recipes for cold beverages, including the ever-popular Vanilla Sweet Cream cold foam.
What Is Cold Foam?
The Starbucks cold foam uses non-fat milk whipped in a specialist blender at high speed. Frothing the milk is achieved without heat, making it a match made in heaven for cold brew coffee. This frothy layer offers a refreshing cold coffee flavor, texture, and a real “wow” factor. Better still, it works in all iced coffee drinks.
In a regular espresso-based drink, steaming the milk is necessary. For example, this is necessary for cappuccino, latte, flat white, and other espresso drinks with milk. However, this presents a problem for cold drinks. After all, it is hardly ideal for pouring hot milk into a cold drink. Enter cold foam.
Creating foam is straightforward. You need to add air to the milk mixture, and you can do this without an expensive blender. Indeed, a handheld milk frother or even a French press will suffice.
How To Make Cold Foam At Home
What Milk Should You Use For Cold Foam?
Firstly, why is non-fat or 2% milk preferred over others? Because the higher protein percentage in those kinds of milk produces a stronger foam. However, you can use any milk because the more air you introduce to it, the more bubbles it will create.
So, frothing whole milk, oat milk, soy milk, or others takes longer, but eventually, you will get the required foam.
If you want foam that’s longer-lasting, incredibly velvety, and smooth, we suggest either using half and half milk or mixing milk with whipping cream or heavy cream.
OK, let’s take a look at the ingredients we need for cold foam. Remember, you don’t have to use non-fat or 2% milk – you can use whatever milk or cream you prefer, but the aim is to froth the milk until you have doubled the volume.
What Tools Do You Need To Make Cold Foam?
Handheld Milk Frother
A handheld, battery-powered milk frother is both easy to use and simple to clean. It’s not particularly powerful. However, with the correct technique, you can make satisfyingly fluffy foam. It’s our favorite tool for making cold foam.
Firstly, place the milk frother deep into the milk mixture and switch it on, ensuring it doesn’t splash milk over the sides of the bowl. Then, begin moving it up and down to blend the milk thoroughly.
A simple trick you can apply to create better milk foam with a handheld frother is to lift up the frother when the milk starts swirling. Lift it until it is just beneath the surface, then whisk at a 45-degree angle. This technique froths the milk in a similar way to a steam wand in an espresso machine. Whisking close to the surface adds more air to the milk. However, the deeper the frother is, the fewer bubbles it will create.
Keep the mixture swirling for around a minute (it may take longer depending on the type of milk you’re using) until the volume is double. The resulting cold foam should be thick and creamy.
French press is a versatile brewer adept at full-bodied beverages, cold brew, and even frothing milk. The French press’s stainless steel mesh filter has many small holes. This means that when you move the plunger up and down, it creates lots of bubbles. The more rapidly and longer you move it up and down, the thicker the foam will be.
All the ingredients can go in the French press, but don’t fill it to more than half a cup because you need to double the volume. Aim to move the plunger up and down 40 to 60 times for a smooth cold foam.
If you have neither a milk frother nor a French press, you can use an immersion blender or food processor for making cold foam instead. However, be warned: they are far harder to clean! Shaking the milk mixture in an airtight container or mason jar are other options, but it’s not as easy getting that all-important foamy, velvety texture.
In general, if you’re making cold foam for yourself, we recommend either a milk frother or French press as each froths small amounts of milk easily and with less mess.
How To Make Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam Cold Brew Coffee
Now you know that making cold foam at home needn’t be difficult or require expensive equipment, how about trying a few recipes? A basic cold foam is whipped cold, unsweetened, and without flavoring. However, if you add sweeteners like vanilla or caramel syrup, you can transform them into the homemade Vanilla Sweet Cream cold foam.
Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam Recipe
- 6oz of whipping cream
- 3oz of 2% milk
- 3-6 pumps (or 2oz depending on preference) of vanilla syrup
- Ice cubes
- 1 cup (8oz) of cold brew coffee
- Handheld milk frother
- Milk pitcher
- Pour the whipped cream and milk into the milk pitcher, add some vanilla syrup and mix them.
- Begin whisking the mixture with your handheld milk frother. You’ll need around one or two minutes to get fluffy sweet cream foam.
- Make a cup of cold brew coffee and add some ice cubes.
- Pour the frothed milk into the cold brew. If you want a beautiful, professional-looking layer, scoop it into the cold brew using a spoon rather than pouring the foam.
Tip: Instead of vanilla syrup, you can also use vanilla extract with granulated sugar or sweetened condensed milk to make the sweet cream cold foam. We made the cold brew using Mizudashi Hario cold brew pot, you can also use a mason jar or French press to make cold brew coffee.
As you can see, this simple copycat recipe makes it easy to recreate Starbucks’ hugely popular vanilla sweet cream cold brew at home with just a few steps and in around five minutes.
Other Cold Foam Recipes
For other recipes, the method for making the cold foam is identical. You just need to tweak the ingredients for a different flavor of cold foam topping on your iced cold brew. However, while simple to do, you will have gorgeous, delicious Starbucks-style cold brew drinks at home within minutes.
The ingredients in the following recipes are intended only as a guide. As we mentioned earlier, any milk is appropriate – simply adjust the time you need to create the fluffy foam.
We have experimented with whole milk, skimmed milk, half and half, and heavy cream. In every case, providing you whisk your milk mixture for long enough until you get a fluffy foam before pouring (or scooping) on top of the iced cold brew coffee, you’ll barely notice the difference between your creation and the ones sold at Starbucks.
Salted Caramel Cream Cold Foam Cold Brew
Starbucks’ signature cold brew is sweetened with a little caramel with a salted, rich cold foam on top.
- 6oz of whipping cream
- 3oz of 2% milk
- 2 tablespoons of vanilla syrup
- 1 tablespoon of caramel syrup
- Salt (Or sea salt)
Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam Cold Brew
To recreate this popular drink at home, we add vanilla syrup to our cold brew to sweeten it, then pour pumpkin cream cold foam over the top, finishing with a dusting of pumpkin spice topping.
- 6oz of whipping cream
- 3oz of 2% milk
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla syrup
- 1 tablespoon of pumpkin spice sauce or pumpkin puree
- Pumpkin pie spice
About The Syrup
Not surprisingly, the type of sweetener you add to the cold foam determines the drink’s flavor. You can turn your regular coffee into a specialty drink with simple syrup.
Some coffee lovers enjoy homemade vanilla syrup, pumpkin spice sauce, or any number of syrups. If you have both the inclination and the time, this is great for making tweaks according to your taste preference.
However, if you’d rather make your cold foam flavors quickly and more easily, there are many fantastic syrup brands on the market. So, look out for Monin, Torani, or Jordan’s Skinny Mixes, among others. They offer an extensive range of flavors, and if you’re watching your waistline, some of them (such as Jordan’s Skinny Mixes) are both sugar and calorie-free. You can also buy Starbucks vanilla syrup in some shops.
Because they’re so delicious, it is easy to assume that the cold foam-based drinks whipped up by your local Starbucks barista must require professional-level expertise and a range of expensive equipment. However, as this article has shown, this is far from the case. Indeed, with some basic coffee-making equipment and a few ingredients, you can create gorgeous cold foam drinks at home in a few minutes, whether you’re a seasoned domestic barista or a beginner. If you love Starbucks, you should definitely try this at home.
Not only that, but once you have mastered the technique of making cold foam, you can experiment with different types of milk or cream and choose from an extensive range of flavors. So, not only can you recreate Starbucks’s cold foam beverages with ease, but – who knows – you may even come up with some flavors it hasn’t introduced!