I saw a post on Instagram yesterday by Starbucks advertising their Pumpkin Spiced Latte and a pumpkin spiced cold foam drink. Autumn must be imminent, despite my wish for the summer to go on longer. The foam drink caught my eye. At Starbucks, you can order some "cold foam" drinks which are essentially coffees with some milk foam on the top. Starbucks offers a wide range of foams and flavours but I prefer to keep my coffee to two main ingredients: high-quality, speciality coffee, and milk when I am in the mood for it.
I decided to make a cold foam iced coffee at home yesterday. The result was delicious. The best part is that it's not difficult to make a cold foam iced coffee, especially if you have already made iced coffee at home with speciality coffee before. Without any further ado, let's get into the recipe.
An Aeropress (you can also use a Kalita Wave or a V60).
A stirring instrument (i.e. a spoon or a stirring stick).
A glass carafe in which you will brew your coffee.
A French press.
Milk, preferably full-fat.
Please note that non-dairy milks may work with this recipe. If you choose a non-dairy milk, I would opt for a "barista" non-dairy milk which tend to create more froth. Feel free to experiment and let me know what works for you!
With all of these pieces of equipment, you will be ready to start brewing!
I am going to divide the brewing of this drink into two parts: making the coffee and assembling the drink.
Because we are making an iced coffee, I recommend using a slightly higher amount of coffee than you would for a regular coffee. I used 16 grams for my 250 gram drink. 250 grams of coffee is more than enough for this beverage because we will be adding ice to serve and milk later in the process. This coffee will serve as the "base" of the drink. I would encourage you to grind your coffee just before making your coffee drink if you have a grinder at home.
Before you do anything, put a glass into your freezer from which you intend to drink. I find a cooler glass makes for a more pleasurable drinking experience. Use a glass that can hold at least 300 mls of liquid.
Here are the steps you should follow to make your coffee base:
Boil a kettle. Weigh out your 15 grams of beans. Grind your coffee beans.
Put two filter papers in your Aeropress filter cap and rinse them.
Measure 100 grams of ice into a glass carafe.
Turn your Aeropress upside down (using the inverted method pictured below) so that the plunger is rested on your countertop and the brewing chamber is at the top.
Put your coffee into the Aeropress. Start your timer and then pour 150 grams of water into your Aeropress.
Swirl the Aeropress. Then put the filter cap on your Aeropress and flip the Aeropress over your glass carafe.
After two minutes have passed, push your Aeropress down.
Take the Aeropress off the glass carafe and swirl your coffee a few times.
After following these steps, you will have your coffee base. The coffee should melt most of the ice but some may remain. We are going to add more ice to the drink in the next step so don't worry if there is not much ice left.
With our coffee base ready, the next thing to do is froth your milk. You want to do this after you have brewed your coffee. To froth your milk, fill your French Press up about 1/6th of the way. We don't need too much milk by volume because the frothing process will cause the volume of milk to grow significantly. Once your French Press is filled 1/6th of the way with milk, start frothing. Push and pull the plunger for 20-30 seconds until you have a creamy foam on top. Upon finishing this step, tap your French press lightly on a counter top. Do not swirl your milk as this may compromise the structure of some of your foam.
After frothing your milk, you are ready to mix your coffee and foam.
First, take your glass out of the freezer and add some ice. Pour your coffee into the glass. Then, use a tablespoon to scoop foam from the top of your French press. Most of the foam will be at the top of the French press. You can keep scooping foam until you start to notice that the consistency of the milk is more like a liquid than a foam. This is why scooping the foam is more effective than trying to pour it immediately from your French press into your coffee. With that said, you should not have much liquid from your milk left. You should mainly have a lovely creamy foam.
After this stage, you should have something like this:
The foam on a cold foam iced coffee is sweet and silky which makes for an enjoyable drink. Because this drink does not involve adding any milk directly to your drink—as opposed to an iced latte where you would pour milk directly into your coffee—you should be left with a clear coffee flavour below. Some of the foam will become incorporated into the coffee. This expected; the foam and coffee are not entirely separate. I quite like it when some of the foam goes into the coffee: this process looks terrific and does not impact the drink.
Fancy mixing up your recipe a bit? You could experiment with making flavoured foams. I'd recommend researching this a bit online first as I do not have any advice on this topic. I hope to make a raspberry foam soon. You could also try using different coffees if you prefer not to add extra ingredients to your coffee beyond coffee and milk. I found a fruity Ethiopian worked well with this recipe but there are so many flavour combinations to explore. Try a chocolately coffee, a floral coffee, and a fruity coffee with the recipe above and see what you think.
If you have any feedback on this recipe, let me know by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you enjoy your coffee!