From blonde espresso to Instagram-worthy Frappuccinos, Starbucks drops new drinks as much as you drop your brand new phone. And with a lot more swagger. Although cold beverages can be harder to innovate (since there's only so much you can do with cold milk), they make up 50 percent of Starbucks' drink sales, pulling the average American in like moths to a coffee-infused flame. In honor of the approaching warm weather and refreshing beverages, they're adding a menu option meant to enhance iced coffee drinks called cold foam.
Cold foam is a new coffee add-on option available at Starbucks locations nationwide. You can add it to any iced drink for 50 cents, like you would whipped cream or an extra shot of espresso.
What Is Cold Foam?
If your Starbucks order ranges from a Skinny Vanilla Latte to a Pumpkin Spice Latte, you might not speak barista fluently. Cold foam sounds like a cold version of steamed milk, which is confusing at best. You might even imagine it to have the airiness of a cappuccino. However, it's much better than that.
Cold foam is made using a special blender that whips non-fat milk very quickly to create a texture that I can only relate to melted ice cream. It's sweet and creamy, yet there's not a lot of sugar and no cream involved. When poured on a cup of joe, the foam sits at the top as if it's on a shelf.
Starbucks invited me to give the cold foam an early taste test last week and the first drink the first bevvie I tried with the new foam was the Cold Foam Cascara Cold Brew. I'm usually not a fan of cold brew, but cold foam completely elevated the cold brew — it was like I was sipping on a root beer float made with coffee instead of soda.
But Wait, There Are Also New Lids
The cold foam sits at the top of your drink, so you get a taste of it in each sip. However, that means that drinking your iced coffee and cold foam with a straw will not work.
To ensure you get the full creamy experience as it's intended, Starbucks is introducing a new lid especially made for the cold foam. It looks like a hot coffee to-go lid, but is made of clear plastic and has a wider opening to allow the foam and cold brew to flow more easily from the cup to your mouth.
How to Order Cold Foam
Cold foam first debuted at the Seattle Roastery (mixed with cinnamon) as a topping on the Americana con Crema. Now, you can an add it to any Starbucks drink anywhere.
There are two ways to order it: unsweetened, or sweetened with cascara (naturally sweet coffee cherries). Of course, adding it to cold drinks is the preferred way to drink it to keep the foam from completely melting into the brew, but you do you, boo.
The ingenious foam gets its consistency from blending skim milk specifically, meaning, the intended version is not dairy free. You can order the cold foam in non-dairy varieties, but it won't exactly be as thick as it's supposed to be due to the different textures.
In celebration of the cold foam, Starbucks is releasing three new iced coffee beverages with the topping: Cold Foam Cascara Nitro Cold Brew, Cold Foam Cascara Cold Brew, and a Cold Foam Starbucks Blonde Iced Cappuccino. Each foam topping on the last two are also topped with delicious cascara sugar sprinkles (basically sweet gold glitter). So order cold foam today on one of these babies or on your own creation. Maybe even make it a double cold foam cold brew—this stuff is seriously delicious.
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