Is Cold Foam Whipped Cream?


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If you enjoy iced coffee, you have probably tried cold foam. Its light and fluffy texture perfectly tops coffee drinks. 

Unlike steamed milk, cold foam doesn’t disappear when it is poured into the iced coffee. For hot coffee beverages steamed or frothed milk is poured in and the frothy part stays at the top of the drink. In iced coffee, regular milk is poured in so there is no frothy goodness sitting on the top. That is until cold foam. 

Cold foam is an aerated nonfat milk whipped foam that is placed on top of iced coffee for a frothy finishing touch. So is cold foam actually whipped cream?

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Although it is similar, cold foam is not whipped cream. Whipped cream contains a lot of calories and sugar while cold foam is a nonfat milk foam.

While they are similar in many ways, cold foam and whipped cream are different. Both cold foam and whipped cream are made by adding air into milk or heavy cream and cream tiny air bubbles. 

This makes a foam-like substance that can top your iced coffee. 

However, cold foam is nonfat and doesn’t have all the sugar and calories that whipped cream does. It’s a cold version of the steamed milk used in hot lattes or cappuccinos. 

Whipped cream is also thicker than cold foam and holds its shape when placed in the drink.

Both cold foam and whipped cream are used to top coffee drinks. They are both fluffy toppings but made in different ways. Cold foam is nonfat milk that is frothed and made without heat or steam like regular steamed or frothed milk. It provides coffee with a creamy top layer and is perfect for iced coffees. 

Whipped cream on the other hand is thicker than cold foam and is made with a heavy cream. It is also light and fluffy but contains more sugar and calories than cold foam. 

So, when comparing the two they are different toppings.

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What Is Starbucks Cold Foam?

Hot coffee beverages are made by pouring steamed or frothed milk into the espresso and flavoring for a creamy foam topping. Iced coffee is made without heating the milk since this coffee beverage is supposed to be cold. Cold foam changes this since it can top iced coffee for a light and fluffy finishing touch. 

Since 2018 Starbucks has been selling its popular cold foam decorating the tops of iced coffee drinks. But, what exactly is Starbucks cold foam?

Starbucks cold foam is nonfat milk that is frothed cold and then blended until it is smooth. This creates a creamy textured foam that stays floating at the top of your iced coffee so you can enjoy the cold foam with every sip.

Starbucks website features an article entitled, Cold foam is the hottest new trend in cold coffee, where they state, “…cold foam is a modern twist designed to be a perfect finish to cold beverages. It is frothed cold instead of hot and blended until smooth, creating layers of creamy texture and flavor without the cream.” 

Starbucks shares their recipe on how to create sweet cream cold foam saying you combine milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract and froth the milk mixture. For this you can use whatever cold frothing method you prefer. 

Pour espresso into a glass of ice and then top with a cold foam for a delicious coffee beverage.

Before cold foam was introduced the only foaming topping for an iced coffee was whipped cream. While whipped cream is a yummy topping for coffee, it has more sugar and calories than cold foam. Its texture is thicker and tends to melt into the drink the more it sits. 

Cold foam stays at the top of the coffee allowing you to enjoy the light and fluffy foam with every sip. Starbucks cold foam is made by using nonfat milk that is frothed to create a creamy foam. 

Cold foam coffee beverages are able to be ordered from Starbucks menu and you can even add it to any iced coffee you wish. 

Is Cold Foam Healthy?

We already discussed that cold foam and whipped cream are two different things. They seem similar because of their textures but when it comes down to it, they are two different types of coffee toppings with one being more unhealthy than the other. 

Whipped cream is thicker and contains more sugar and calories while cold foam is lighter and fluffier and only made with nonfat milk. 

So, does this mean that cold foam is healthy?

Cold foam contains no sugar and a lot less calories than whipped cream, but it still isn’t considered healthy for you. Still, if you are looking for a healthier option to top your coffee with, cold foam is the way to go.

Foamed milk used to only be poured in hot beverages until Starbucks changed the game and started using a cold foam to top iced coffee drinks. Now, you can order iced coffee with cold foam at many coffee places for a more creamy and foamy taste. 

If you were to order coffee from Starbucks but wanted to be a little more “healthy” there are certain items that you can get. One of these drinks is cold foam and it tastes delicious. This coffee topping contains no sugar and less calories since it is made with nonfat milk.

Cold foam is considered to be healthier than whipped cream.

According to The Daily Meal, cold foam is on the list of healthier drinks to order at Starbucks. In their article, The Healthiest and Unhealthiest Starbucks Drinks Gallery, they state, “Unlike blended beverages and lattes, this drink is only topped off with cream and sugar — not loaded with it. As a result, the grande only has 110 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 14 grams of sugar, all without having to resort to low-fat milk or artificial sweeteners. You’re getting the real stuff — cream, sugar, and all. Just less of it.” 

So if you’re trying to stay healthy and still want to enjoy some coffee, opt for a cold brew with cold foam. 

Final Thoughts

Cold foam is not whipped cream. There are differences between the two coffee toppings. Cold foam has a light texture and is made with nonfat milk and no sugar while whipped cream has a thicker consistency containing lots of sugar and calories. 

Cold foam is a healthier option to top your coffee with than whipped cream. Enjoy the delicious taste of cold foam as it is the perfect addition to any iced coffee beverage.  

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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