What is Cold Foam?

If you love coffee, you must have noticed how major coffee houses such as Starbucks garnish their cold coffee cups with nice frosty foam. But that can’t be the same foam used on hot drinks because it would melt down the minute it touches the cold drink. This begs the question, what is this foam used on cold coffee, or better still, what is cold foam? 

Cold foam is the beautiful white peak on Starbucks’ cold latte. It is made from frothed non-fat milk with no heat processes. This is why the foam doesn’t melt when placed on cold drinks. 

You can sweeten your cold foam with a sweetener such as vanilla or any other you prefer. 

How to Make Starbucks Cold Foam at Home

The good news is that you don’t have to buy coffee from Starbucks to enjoy cold foam on your drink. You can make some cold foam at home with two simple ingredients; skimmed milk and a sweetener.

Here’s how to make cold foam at home:

  1. Pour the milk and sweetener into a glass or cup. A cocktail mixing glass, measuring cup irregular glass would work just fine. 
  2. Submerge the end of your milk frother into the mixture. 
  3. Press the button and froth away!
  4. Do this for 20 seconds or more until the cold foam stabilizes into a nice thick texture. 
  5. Pour your froth on your cup of iced coffee or latte, and enjoy your drink. 

Alternatively, you can watch this 4-minute video that shows how to make cold foam at home:

What is The Point of Cold Foam?

For most coffee houses, cold foam is just an innovative way to make their cold coffee cups more appealing. It gives the drinks an aesthetic and texture appeal. 

Cold foam is mainly used as a garnish for cold coffee drinks such as iced coffee or iced latte. It’s also edible and is a great addition for people who prefer non-fatty milk. If you add a sweetener, the cold foam becomes a nice addition to your drink. 

What Does Cold Foam Taste Like?

Frothed non-fat milk has a sumptuous appeal but is majorly watery and flavorless. Cold foam is just a fancy aesthetic addition to your drink, nothing tasty.

This isn’t the best garnish for your cup if you love milk in your cold coffee.   

Is Cold Foam the Same as Whipped Cream? 

Cold foam is like a cold version of the hot steamed milk froth used in lattes and other hot coffee cups. It’s made from skimmed milk and sweeteners. 

On the other hand, whipped cream is made from fatty milk, is thicker, and can hold shape. It’s sweeter because of the added sugar. 

Cold foam is your best option if you’re looking for a healthy topping for your iced coffee. However, whipped cream is your best alternative if you prefer a sweeter option and don’t mind the extra calories. 

Both cold foam and whipped cream are made by whisking air into milk or heavy cream to create tiny air bubbles. 

What is Starbucks Cold Foam? 

Starbucks has adopted cold foam as a beautiful garnish for its cold coffee. They make the foam by frothing skimmed milk, mixed with sweeteners and flavors for different cups on their menu.

However, the Starbucks cold foam is not different from what you can make at home with the same ingredients. 

What is the Best Milk for Cold Foam? 

The best milk to use when making cold foam is skimmed non-fat milk. This milk has fewer fat molecules and is easier to froth even without heat. 

Whole milk isn’t a good alternative because it has a high ratio of fat to protein. The giant bubbles in the cold foam are made of protein molecules. If you use whole milk, the fat molecules will weigh down the protein molecules and reduce the milk’s ability to froth. 

What is the Difference Between Cold Foam and Sweet Foam? 

The main difference between cold foam and sweet foam is its taste. Cold foam is flavorless, especially if you don’t add artificial flavors to your skimmed milk when making the froth. On the other hand, sweet foam is sweet and more palatable for people with a sweet tooth. 

The other difference is how the two are used. Cold foam is used as a garnish for cold coffee. It doesn’t mix with coffee, but you can eat it if you like. Sweet form is made to blend into the coffee and make it tastier. The foam mixes with the coffee to give it a milky taste. 

Cold foam is designed to sit on the coffee as a garnish, while sweet foam is made to blend into the coffee. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Does cold foam have flavor? 

A: Cold foam doesn’t have flavor because it’s made from flat, non-fat skimmed milk. However, you can add some flavor with artificial flavors such as vanilla or chocolate. 

Q: Is cold foam or whipped cream healthier? 

A: Cold foam is healthier because it’s made from skimmed, non-fatty milk and is more nutritious. On the other hand, whipped milk has more sugar and unsaturated fat, giving you 100 calories (give or take) per serving. 

Q: Is cold foam sweet?

A: Cold foam is tasteless because it’s made from non-fatty skimmed milk. 

Q: What is the cold foam at Starbucks made of?

A: The cold foam at Starbucks is made from skimmed milk and is flavored with different artificial flavors such as vanilla and chocolate, depending on the different iced coffee or cold coffee drinks on their menu. 

Q: Is cold foam basically whipped cream? 

A: Cold foam differs from whipped milk in terms of ingredients, nutritional value, and use. 


If you like relaxing while sipping an iced coffee or latte, there’s a way to add an aesthetic appeal to your cup. You can froth some skimmed milk to form cold foam and use it to garnish your drink. You can use this trick when hosting friends on a hot summer afternoon and borrow the Starbucks trick for your coffee cups.