Grab the nonfat milk and get frothing
starbucks smoked butterscotch latte
Credit: Photo via Starbucks

This week, Starbucks announced the launch of Cold Foam to top iced drinks like their Cascara cold brew, Nitro cold brew, and Blonde iced cappuccino. Although the news of the cold foam was covered far and wide, I’m still invested in a different piece of Starbucks news: the recent arrests of two black men for essentially no reason other than blanket store policy and racial bias. While the company appears to be working diligently to right this wrong (for one, they’ll close over 8,000 of their stores on the afternoon of May 29 for training “geared toward preventing discrimination,”) but for many, there’s still an overwhelming sense of ickiness when it comes to going back into a Starbucks and ordering a drink as per usual. But of course, you’re only human, and are probably also interested in trying cold foam. I have a way to handle this: make your own.

Making your own cold foam is actually incredibly simple. To start, you’ll need milk, specifically low-fat or nonfat. While it may seem counterintuitive to make supple microfoam from milk lacking in fat, skim, 1 percent and 2 percent milk work best when makng foam at home. According to Capresso, milk that is lower in fat “provides the largest foam bubbles and is the easiest to froth for beginners… The result is light and airy but the flavor is not as rich as other types of milk.” While Capresso mentions it is possible to make foam with whole milk, it takes much more practice, and would be made significantly easier with professional coffee equipment.

There are a few ways to froth cold milk: in a blender, with a hand-held frother, or with an electric frothing machine that has cold-frothing capabilities (like the Nespresso Aeroccino4.) Using the electric frothing machine is as simple as pouring milk to the correct line indicated on the machine and pressing a button; the other two methods require a bit of finesse.

For the hand-held frother method (which incidentally, also makes stellar whipped cream), fill a tall glass with a few ounces of milk—you may not need that much in your drink, but it will be a little easier to froth if you can submerge the wand in the milk. Froth the milk until thick and foamy, then serve immediately.

For frothing milk in a blender, pour as much milk as you need for your drink into a blender, then let the machine rip for 15-30 seconds, or until the milk is foamy. Pour into your drink and sip away.