2020 brought us many new trends, but I think my favorite is the growing popularity of the home cafe. When the world shut down, people were bored and didn’t want to leave their homes (or couldn’t leave their homes), and thus the home cafe grew in popularity. By home cafe, I mean making fancier coffee drinks from home versus going to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts (to likely pay too much for one). Being a coffee fanatic and a frugal gal myself, I had to join in on the fun. I intend for this to be a little ongoing series. Essentially as Starbucks comes out with new drinks, I will try to copy their ideas and make them myself.
One of the most popular drinks, and one of my favorites, Starbucks released in 2020 is undoubtedly the “cold foam” topped cold brews. A dense, creamy foam floating atop a refreshing iced coffee or cold brew hits the tastebuds just right. Having a neutral foam also allows for a wide variety of flavoring options, with countless ways to spice up a standard drink.
Making a cold foam is actually quite simple. Pour your milk into either your frother or a cup (depending on what type of frothing device you have. I’ll typically pour in about 1/4c of milk. Then simply froth until the milk has about doubled in volume. I have both a hand-held frother and a fancier four-setting frother, both purchased on Amazon. Then pour over your coffee.
You can use iced coffee or cold brew for this. For my iced coffee, I just refrigerate leftover hot coffee until cold. My favorite way to make cold brew is to place about 40g of ground coffee with 700mLs of cold water into my French press, place in the fridge overnight with the press plunger up, and then press the plunger down in the morning. You’ll want to use a more coarse grind on your beans
I’ve experimented with using different types of milks for making a cold foam, and what I’ve found works the best is either a heavy cream or a skim milk. Alternative milks like almond and oat milk do not hold their froth as well as traditional dairy milk. For a dense, thick, creamy cold foam, of course heavy cream works best for this. It almost becomes a whipped cream and floats very nicely on top of the coffee. For a “lightened up” version of cold foam, I’ve found that skim milk holds a froth better due to the added proteins in the milk.
That’s about all I’ll say for now about cold foam cold brew drinks for now. Stay tuned for more!