One of the most popular additions to the cold coffee category in recent years is cold foam, a small indulgence that adds richness, flavor, and visual appeal not only to cold coffee, but also to fruit-based beverages.
Cold foam is popular with customers but, just as important, it’s a winning proposition for restaurants of all kinds, because it dramatically elevates the perceived value of the beverage, yet it is quick and easy to make.
If your restaurant derives additional income from customizable menu items, cold foam offers lots of possibilities, even while working with your existing inventory of ingredients.
How to Make Cold Foam
There are different methods for making cold foam, but the simplest and most flexible approach is based on a staple ingredient for many establishments: nonfat or skim milk. By aerating the milk with a blender such as The Quiet One®made by Vitamix® Commercial, paired with the Aerating Container, also by Vitamix Commercial, you can create a dense foam in under a minute.
The Aerating Container is an efficient cold foam producer because of its blade, which is disc-shaped and perforated with holes. It quickly infuses air into the milk, expanding the volume by up to three times. The special container is very easy to use with The Quiet One motor base, which is equipped with two built-in programs that blend cold foam in under 30 seconds. The longer blending program results in a denser product with more stability, while the slightly shorter program turns out a looser, pourable foam.
Among dairy options, skim milk is the most foamable base ingredient, although 2% milk can also be used. The lack of fat, combined with high-protein content in the skim milk, helps to create the most dense and stable foam.
Compared with other methods, the Aerating Container has several advantages. It is fast, but also flexible, quickly producing single or multiple servings. So, for example, you can create a single serving flavored with mocha and another right after it flavored with vanilla, yet you can also create larger batches to support limited-time offers.
A Great Addition to Many Beverages
Cold foam goes well with a wide variety of cold beverages. It’s perfect over ordinary iced coffee, as well as cold brew and nitro coffee, or flavored versions of these.
It also complements other bright, bold, and tart beverages you may be serving. Potential pairings include fruit-infused chilled beverages and iced teas, ranging from herbal blends and fruit teas to chai.
How to Customize Cold Foam
Cold foam is easily customized when it comes to both flavor and thickness, making it easy for your staff to accommodate requests from customers.
Cold foam can be served plain or flavored according to your customers’ preferences. When flavoring, keep the recipes simple, beginning with ingredients already in your inventory, such as flavored and sugar-free syrups or powders.
You can also prepare large batches of dry blends that are ready to go and easily measured out into the container for each serving. Potential ingredients include cocoa, instant espresso, matcha powder, sweeteners like granulated sugar, and spices like cinnamon. Yet another way to flavor cold foam is to garnish it immediately before serving with a sprinkling or drizzle of sugars, cocoa powder, caramel, and the like.
When it comes to customizing foam texture, you can opt for a more pourable cold foam that is easier and faster to serve. A looser foam also has the benefit of cascading down into the beverage sooner. Alternatively, thicker, denser varieties of cold foam, which are spooned on top of beverages, are more stable and will hold up longer.
Try These Cold Foam Recipes
Here are a few simple cold foam recipes that make use of commonly stocked ingredients and can be adapted to your needs:
Basic Cold Foam
Add 3 ounces of cold skim milk (poured to the height of the blade in the Aerating Container). Flavor the milk with 1/2 ½ ounce of vanilla syrup (2 full pumps of syrup from a 1-liter dispenser). Choose The Quiet One’s program 31 for a loose, pourable foam or program 32 for a denser foam.
Espresso Cold Foam
Fill the Aerating Container with 3 ounces of cold skim milk and flavor with 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of instant espresso powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar or 1 pump of simple syrup. Process on program number 32.
Matcha Beverage with Cold Foam
This easy recipe creates a matcha tea beverage that generates its own cold foam layer. Combine 1 cup of chilled skim milk with 1 cup of ice, 1 teaspoon of matcha green tea and 1 pump of simple syrup. Blend ingredients using program 31. Pour into a glass, garnish with additional tea powder, and serve.
All of these options allow for a great deal of customization and flexibility, so don’t be afraid to experiment and see how easy it can be to tap into the cold foam beverage trend.
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