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My go-to Starbucks order is a grande iced chai with two pumps of hazelnut topped with vanilla sweet cream cold foam. It’s delicious, but it’s also expensive — the grande size comes out to a whopping $7.53 before tax. It costs an extra $1.25 to add cold foam to any drink, so you might want to consider saving your stars and learn how to make cold foam at home.
You can save money making your own Starbucks drinks at home, then top them with your homemade foam. It’s super easy (seriously, you can totally make this yourself), and the ingredients themselves cost about the same as one venti iced drink. When you do decide to treat yourself to a drink at a Starbucks drive-thru, use these cheap Starbucks hacks to save money on your next iced coffee.
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What is Cold Foam?
Cold foam is a creamy milk foam found on top of Starbucks cold brews. It’s made from cold low-fat or non-fat milk and is often flavored with sweeteners or flavored syrup and is super easy to make at home. Because it’s made from cold milk, it won’t melt or warm up your cold coffee beverages.
Best Milk for Cold Foam
Starbucks’ cold foam is so good you’d probably think it’s made with cream and sugar, but it’s actually made from non-fat milk. Milk with lower fat actually whips better, since the cold foam is supposed to be more of a light and airy consistency. Skim milk, 1% milk, and 2% milk are all great options.
How to Make Cold Foam
Cold foam sounds fancy, but it’s basically just whipped non-fat milk. Add a few pumps of syrup to it, and you have pumpkin or vanilla cold foam, or any other flavor of syrup you can find.
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1-2 pumps of flavored syrup
To make this game-changing foam, pour 1/4 cup of milk into a glass and add 1-2 pumps of flavored syrup. While the syrup is optional, it does elevate the foam’s taste. You can use a whisk to whip this up by hand, but who has time for that in the mornings? The easiest method is to use a handheld milk frother ($8.99, Amazon). This one is battery-operated and small enough to fit in any kitchen drawer, plus it comes in 16 different colors.
Hold the frother in the milk mixture for about 10 seconds, or until it reaches a firm consistency. The texture of the foam will depend on the kind of milk you use (more on that later!), but the handheld frother makes it easy to make the foam exactly how you like it. Once you’ve whipped the foam, pour it onto your iced coffee or homemade pumpkin spice latte and enjoy!
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How to Make Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam
With a few pumps of syrup, you can make cold foam in any flavor you want, including vanilla. But Starbucks’ signature Sweet Cream Cold Foam is a tiny bit different than this vanilla-flavored foam—but it’s just as easy to make!
- 1/8 cup milk
- 1/8 cup cream
- 1-2 pumps of flavored syrup
Whip 1/8 cup of milk, 1/8 cup of cream, and two pumps of vanilla syrup. Since the cream is heavier than milk, it will take a little longer to whip, but you can have the tasty foam finished in about 20 seconds.
This concoction is ah-mazing on top of an iced latte — and it tastes even better because it doesn’t cost $8 per drink!