How To Make Cold Foam For Coffee – Explained!

When the Starbucks cold foam was discontinued, hundreds of thousands of people mourned the loss nationally. Luckily for you, we have perfected the recipe and now you can make it from the comfort of your kitchen. 

Mix together half n half and sugar with a few drops of vanilla extract. Pour your mixture into a french press and move the plunger up and down till you get a fluffy foam. Scoop it out and place it on your iced coffee.

This article will go over 5 different techniques you can use to make cold foam including the French Press method. At the end, we’ll explore product reviews for the tools you need in case you don’t have them lying at home. So keep reading. 

What ingredients do I need to make cold foam?

You only need 2 ingredients:

  1. Half and half
  2. Sugar 

Don’t use plain cold milk unless absolutely necessary. Foamed milk doesn’t have the same rich fluffy foam you can easily get with half n half. You can use heavy cream if you want.

Extra Flavorings

Make your cold foam even more delicious by using extracts or flavorings. Some common adaptations include vanilla sweet cream cold foam which uses vanilla extract, You can also use any of the following to create your own version:

  • Vanilla syrup
  • Caramel syrup
  • Salted caramel syrup 
  • Melted chocolate

What is the best method to make cold foam

You can make cold foam for your iced coffee drink with one of five methods including:

  1. French press
  2. Handheld milk frother
  3. Milk frother 
  4. Blender
  5. Mason jar method

French Press

Place your half n half and sugar into a French press and move the plunger up and down till the mixture doubles in volume. Once you’ve made your cold foam, fold in any extra flavoring chosen. 

Pro tip: It’s super easy to overfill your french press. Leave more than half the container empty when you’re starting out because the half n half will double or triple in volume. 

Handheld milk frother

Whisk together the half n half and sweetener for around 20 seconds or until your cold foam is fluffy enough. 

Once you’ve made your cold foam, fold in any extra flavoring chosen. 

Automated milk frothing machine

Put the half n half, sugar, and flavorings into your milk frother and turn it on the cold foam setting. These machines have predetermined running times and will automatically stop working once your cold foam is ready. 


Add all the ingredients into your blender and turn it on at the lowest speed. Gradually go up to higher settings and run your machine for 30 seconds.

Mason jar

Pour your half n half, sweeteners, and syrups to a mason jar. Close the jar tightly and shake it till you reach the consistency you want. 

Where can I get everything I need to make cold foam?

With the ingredients and method out of the way, let’s look at where you can get the tools needed. 

You can easily find half n half and sugar at a convenience store but finding the right french press or handheld milk frother is a little more tricky. There are countless options on the internet and sorting through them is a hassle. 

Make your life easier and just choose one of the following items. We’re giving you two options per frothing method.

Note: The mason jar is excluded because you can use any jar with an airtight lid. You do not need to buy a jar specifically for milk frothing purposes.  

The best french press for making cold foam

The two best french presses include:

  1. Espro Everyday P3
  2. Bodum Brazil French Press

Let’s take a deeper look at each of them. 

1. Espro Everyday P3

This convenient and stylish french press makes the best cold foam. It’s made with sturdy materials that will last you a lifetime. 

Even if you start using it for your coffee and cold foam, you’re bound to get a good few years out of this product. It’s also super easy to clean which is a huge plus. 

80% of Amazon reviewers (over 400 people) rated this machine with 4 stars or above. 

The only criticisms relate to poor insulation. Users report that a pot of coffee will be lukewarm in less than 30 minutes. 

Note that if you drink cold coffee, this is an issue for you too because it means your cold coffee will be room temperature quickly. 

However, if you use an espresso machine or a moka pot to make coffee and will only use this french press for the cold foam on top, there’s nothing to worry about. 

2. Bodum Brazil French Press

A budget option, the Bodum Brazil french press, is great for people who aren’t familiar with a french press. It doesn’t have any fancy complicated functions that people can need for coffee making. 

So it’s perfect for the simple task of making cold foam.

Much like the previous option, this machine also has mediocre insulation.

However, it is available in multiple sizes and colors which isn’t available in the Espro machine. 

The carafe is made from heat resistant borosilicate glass. This makes it easy to see inside the machine. You don’t have to open up the french press and scrape down the sides to see how fluffy your cold foam has gotten. 

You can easily see it from the outside. 

The best handheld milk frothers 

The two best handheld milk frothers are:

  1. NanoFoamer Milk Frother
  2. Aerolatte Original Steam Free Milk Frother

Let’s explore both options in detail. 

1. NanoFoamer Milk Frother

Easily achieve Starbucks quality cold foam with this handheld milk frother. 

It can get you the micro bubbles impact you usually can’t achieve with at-home techniques with absolute ease. 

A notable issue with this frother is that you need to hold down a button to get it to work. So if you’re someone who will blend their cold foam for over a minute, you might get tired before you’re done. 

You can get the desired result with this frother within 30 seconds. However, if your half n half isn’t ideal quality or if your flavorings affect the chemical composition of your mixture, you may need to blend for longer. 

Keep in mind that you will always get the fluffy velvety texture you’re looking for. 

Sometimes, you’ll need to work out your wrist to get there, though. 

2. Aerolatte Original Steam Free Milk Frother

The best thing about this milk frother is that it is made with high quality materials which don’t break. You’re bound to get at least a year out of it before facing any hardware issues. Other hand held machines often break down after only a month of usage.

Another benefit is that it is easy to clean. 

Moreover, you can froth just a small amount of half n half. So if you only want to make enough for one or two cups, this is the machine for you.

It took a little while to find an original Aerolatte on Amazon so click the link above and get your hands on it before it goes out of stock again. 

The best automated milk frothing machines

Miroco Milk Frother

The Miroco milk frother is the machine with the best value available these days. It is a low fuss machine and will get you a fluffy foam in seconds. However, you won’t be able to get the right microfoam. Also, you can’t set a temperature so you will get a semi-warm foam every time. There isn’t any variance.

These machines are excellent value for money. For the amount of money you’re paying, they are a decent choice. 

It has two wisp types and two settings. It’s a lot quieter than its competitors too. Moreover, the spout and handle make it easy to maneuver the frother. 

Nespresso Aeroccino 4 

This is the best automatic milk frother you’ll find. It has easy to use buttons and doesn’t heat up quickly. However, this machine isn’t the best value for money because you can easily find machines with more functions at the same price point. Even so, the automation makes people want to purchase it all the same. 

Nespresso is typically known for its pods and machines specifically catering to those pods. However, their aeroccino is equally if not more impressive. 

The machine can froth milk up to 170 degrees without heating up itself. Give it 60 seconds and it will froth up over 4 ounces of half n half. 

The frother itself is simple with two foam consistency and four buttons for heating, cold foam, dense airy hot froth, and hot froth. So you can always explore beyond simple cold foam if you feel like it.  

The best blenders for making cold foam

Blendtec Frothing Container

The Blendtec machine errs on the expensive side but is a great purchase. It can give you a fluffy cold foam within 10 seconds at the lowest speed. Moreover, it has a huge scope for functioning. You can produce several batches of cold foam in just one go given the big size. 

Moreover, the blade has a ‘wave’ feature which enhances the frothing capacity and helps the machine double the volume of many liquids. Even if you use plain milk instead of half n half, you’ll be able to get the consistency you’re looking for. 

However, the machine is a bit loud and can be disruptive because of it. Also, this machine isn’t suited for any non-frothing purposes. Meaning, you can’t use it as a typical blender. 

Hamilton Beach Aeration Container

The Hamilton blender is made with polycarbonate and has a removable filler cap. Its 48 ounce capacity makes it great for when you have to serve many customers. It is also expensive, much like the Blendtec machine. 

Moreover, it is only suited for frothing up liquids. You can not replace your current blender with it. 

FAQ Section

Can you add cold foam to any drink?

Yes, you can add cold foam to any kind of drink you want. Most popularly, it is added to iced coffee drinks like cold brew coffee, hot coffees, cappuccinos, lattes, and teas. 

Can you make cold foam dairy free?

Yes, substitute the half n half for any plant based alternative. Popular options include vanilla almond half n half. If you can’t find the right half n half, consider making the topping with plain almond milk. 

What is the difference between cold foam and whipped cream?

Cold foam has a frothy consistency while whipped cream is thick and creamy. The former is a lot lighter and more pourable.  Whipped cream is considered to be heavier than cold foam since it is often made with heavy cream while you can make the other with simple milk or half n half.

Moreover, whipped cream doesn’t blend well in cold coffee drinks while cold foam does so effortlessly. This makes it popular among iced coffee drinkers.

How is cold foam made?

Cold foam is made by frothing up milk or half n half. Sweeteners like sugar or syrup are added to enhance the taste and flavorings like vanilla syrup and caramel syrup are added to give the cold foam a personalized taste.

What is Starbucks cold foam?

The Starbucks cold foam is frothed nonfat milk used as a topping for iced coffee, cold brew, and iced cappuccinos. Homemade versions often replace the nonfat milk with half n half to get a richer texture and flavor.

Do you mix in cold foam?

No, you do not mix in cold foam since it dissolves on its own. Cold foam slowly blends into your drink to give you a nice fluffy texture. Many people prefer to have this instead of whipped cream since it is a lot heavier and doesn’t mix in well with iced drinks. 

Photo of author


Jeff Stone
Jeff is a coffee aficionado. He loves a couple cups of joe first thing in the morning. He like trying out new grounds and gear and then writes about it here. When he is not sipping java, he is usually writing it for his clients as a software engineer.

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