How To Make Cold Foam At Home – 5 Easy Methods

iced coffee with cold foam in a plastic cup

Social media platforms have been bombarded with #coldfoam posts lately.

The way it slowly drips down into your coffee makes for a stunning photo or video. It’s no wonder it’s quickly become the internet’s favorite addition to iced coffee.

You know you can get it at Starbucks. But did you know you can also easily make it at home?

Well, good news for iced coffee lovers – you can.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to make cold foam a few different ways. We’ll go through each method step by step, and talk about different flavor variations. I’ll also go over a bunch of ways you can use your cold foam to create delicious coffee beverages at home.

Ready to find out more?

Let’s jump straight into it!

What Is Cold Foam?

cold foam iced coffee in glasses

In a nutshell, cold foam is a type of foamed milk that’s made without using heat. 

You can use cold foam exactly the same way you’d use ordinary milk.

Add it to an iced coffee, cold brew coffee, iced latte, iced chai – any iced drink you can think of, really. Well, as long as it’s something you’d normally put milk in.

Cold foam is usually sweetened with sugar or simple syrup, and it can often be flavored or spiced.

It was originally introduced by Starbucks in 2014 as an addition to their Americano Con Crema. Today, there are loads of variations of cold foam on the Starbucks menu, that you can add to any iced beverage you like.

As you may or may not know, the foamed milk used to make most coffee beverages is achieved using a steam wand. This wand pumps hot steam into the milk, which aerates it and gives you a hot, foamy milk cream to add to your coffee drinks.

So basically, cold foam is foamy milk of the same consistency – except it’s cold.

This makes it perfect for adding to iced coffees, as it gives them a beautiful, creamy top that slowly combines with the coffee underneath. 

The best part is that it’s just as visually pleasing as it is pleasing to your taste buds.

It’s basically an all round sensory delight in the form of an iced coffee.

Because why just add milk when you can add frothy milk foam that sits on top of your iced coffee like a puffy little cloud of sweet, creamy goodness?

How To Make Cold Foam At Home

5 things you can use to make cold foam at home

Luckily, you don’t have to go to Starbucks to enjoy an iced coffee topped with cold foam.

There are actually several easy ways you can make it from the comfort of your own home.

You can make your own cold foam using any of the following tools:

  • A milk frothing machine
  • A handheld milk frother
  • A stand or immersion blender
  • A French press
  • A mason jar

Here are all the details you need to know about how each method works.

The Milk Frothing Machine Method

Let’s start with the easiest method.

If you have a milk frothing machine at home, making your own cold foam is as easy as pressing a button. 

The Nespresso Aeroccino is an example of the type of electric milk frother I’m talking about.

It’s as simple as following these steps:

  1. Pour your cold milk into the frothing machine
  2. Add any sweeteners, syrups and spices (optional)
  3. Choose the cold foam setting
  4. Run the machine

That’s it. 

It’s literally that easy.

Note: If your milk frothing machine doesn’t have a cold foam option, then unfortunately this method is off the table. In that case, you’ll have to use one of the methods below.  

The Handheld Milk Frother Method

Don’t have a milk frothing machine with a cold foam setting?

No worries!

You can make cold foam using a handheld milk frother – almost just as easily.

I’m talking about those whizzy little wands that you use to whip the instant coffee for a frappe.

The great thing about these is that they’re super cheap. 

Other than the mason jar method (which we’ll talk about further down) this is definitely the cheapest piece of equipment you can use to make cold foam. 

And it gives you a creamer foam than the mason jar method, with considerably less effort.

Here’s how you make cold foam using this method:

  1. Pour the cold milk into a tall glass – make sure not to overfill it
  2. Add any sweeteners, syrups and spices (optional)
  3. Submerge the end of the milk frother wand in the milk and switch it on
  4. Whizz until you reach a consistency you’re happy with

When you’re done, just pour your cold foam over your iced coffee – and enjoy!

The Blender Method

Another kitchen appliance you can use to make cold foam is a blender.

You can use either a stand blender or an immersion blender. Both will work just fine.

This is an excellent option if you want to make a larger batch of cold foam. 

Say you have a bunch of friends over and everybody wants an iced coffee. You can make enough cold foam for everybody’s iced coffee all at once using a blender.

If you’re using a stand blender, follow these steps:

  1. Pour your cold milk into the blender
  2. Add any sweeteners, syrups and spices (optional)
  3. Close the lid
  4. Turn it on at low speed, then slowly turn it up until you reach the fastest setting
  5. Blend until you reach a consistency you’re happy with

If you want to make cold foam using an immersion blender, here’s how:

  1. Pour the cold milk into a bowl
  2. Add any sweeteners, syrups and spices (optional)
  3. Submerge your immersion blender in the milk and turn it on at low speed
  4. As it starts to thicken, slowly increase the speed
  5. Blend until you reach a consistency you’re happy with

As you can see, both of these methods are pretty straightforward. 

But if you own both of these appliances, which one should you use?

They’ll give you similar results as far as texture goes, so it’s a matter of personal preference. 

That said, I’d recommend using a stand blender for larger batches, and an immersion blender if you’re making a smaller amount.

The French Press Method

As it turns out, your French press does more than just brew great coffee.

It can also froth your milk.

If you own a French press, I definitely recommend giving this method a shot.

It gives you a cold cream with nice, fine bubbles like no other method will give you.

And making cold foam with a French press couldn’t be easier.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Pour your cold milk into your French press
  2. Add any sweeteners, syrups and spices (optional)
  3. Push the French press plunger up and down repeatedly until you’re satisfied with the thickness of your cold foam

This should take around 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on the amount of milk.

How easy is that?

The Mason Jar Method

If you haven’t got any of the equipment we’ve talked about, you can always make cold foam with a mason jar and some good old fashioned elbow grease.

This is a great method because wherever you are, you’ll always be able to find a mason jar. That means you’ll be able to enjoy foamy milk in your coffee anywhere you go.

You’ll never have to settle for plain old liquid milk in your coffee again.

This works, but we warned – it’s a lot more work than any other method.

But, if you’re prepared to put in the effort, it can be done.

To make cold foam in a mason jar, this is what you need to do:

  1. Pour your cold milk into a mason jar
  2. Add any sweeteners, syrups and spices (optional)
  3. Close the lid tightly
  4. Shake the jar vigorously
  5. Keep shaking until you reach a consistency you’re happy with

Like I said, this method is not easy.

Be prepared to break a sweat if you want to get that fluffy, creamy consistency.

What Kind Of Milk Should You Use To Make Cold Foam?

iced latte with cold foam and caramel syrup

You might think that full fat milk is the way to go. 

After all, it’s creamer and has a fuller taste.

While that may be the case, it might surprise you to learn that nonfat milk is actually the best choice for home made cold foam.

That’s right – nonfat.

You see, nonfat milk has a higher protein content than 2% or full fat milk, which makes it easier to froth. Especially if you’re not super experienced and don’t have a ton of fancy gear at your disposal.

Bottom line – using nonfat milk means you’re more likely to get that nice, creamy and fluffy cold foam you’re aiming for.

Different Flavors & Variations

There are endless ways to add a little extra flavor and fun to your cold foam.

First off, you’ve got syrups. 

Vanilla syrup, caramel syrup, hazelnut, amaretto… The list goes on.

Syrups used to flavor coffees are ideal for adding to your cold foam. Just a dash is enough to flavor your cold foam.

Next up you have spices. 

Spiced cold foam has been all the rage lately and for good reason – it’s delightful. Whether it’s pumpkin spiced, coffee spiced, or cinnamon spiced, you can be sure it’ll taste like heaven.

Another interesting way you can play around with your cold foam is by adding in a little heavy cream before you froth it. This will give you a thicker, creamier foam, like the Starbucks sweet cream cold foam. 

Add a dash of vanilla syrup to that and you get your very own homemade copycat Starbucks vanilla sweet cream cold foam. Yum!

Just make sure you don’t add too much heavy cream, or whip it too much – you don’t want to end up with whipped cream.

Half & half is another thing some people like to add for a creamier cold foam with a fuller flavor.

Finally, try adding a pinch of sea salt to your cold foam. 

I’m personally a huge fan of sweet and salty flavor combinations. If you are too, let me tell you – a sweet salted cream cold foam definitely hit the spot.

iced black coffee with cold foam

Sweet Cream Cold Foam

A quick and easy sweet cream cold foam recipe to top your iced coffee and cold brew.
Prep Time 3 mins
Total Time 3 mins
Course Drinks
Servings 1

Equipment

  • French press OR
  • Handheld milk frother OR
  • Automatic milk frother OR
  • Blender

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp simple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Put all the ingredients into your milk frothing device of choice
  • If you're using a French press, push the plunger up and down for a couple of minutes, or until the foam is light and fluffy
  • If you're using a blender or a handheld milk frother, blend/whizz until you're happy with the consistency
  • If you're using an automatic milk frother, run the cold foam cycle
  • Once it's finished, pour it over your iced coffee drink and enjoy!

What Comes Next?

Congrats, now you know how to make cold foam at home!

Your favorite iced coffee drinks with cold foam are no longer something you can only enjoy at Starbucks and other coffee shops. You can make them for yourself anytime you like. 

How awesome is that?

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors. Adding syrups and spices to your cold foam can really take the flavor to the next level, so play around and get creative with it.

Enjoy! 

For more ideas on drinks to try with cold foam, you can find a full list of iced coffee drinks in our guide on types of coffee.