How to Make a Copycat Starbucks Cold Foam Cold Brew

Updated: Dec. 14, 2020

Become your own favorite barista by re-creating a Starbucks cold foam cold brew in your own kitchen.

Trendy and refreshing, cold foam cold brew coffee is having a moment—and another, and another. The now quintessential summer drink is as popular as it is easy to re-create at home. You’re about to become your own favorite barista!

What is cold foam, and how do I make it?

Starbucks has taken cold brew one step further (and gained a cult following in the process) by topping it with a sweet cold foam. Make it yourself by working some DIY magic!

To make cold foam, just froth cool milk (skim or light fat) in a blender, with a French press or with a milk frother. We’re fans of this hand-held frother, which is the stuff of your latte dreams, or this one-touch wonder from Nespresso.

What beans make the best coffee?

The trick to an excellent cup of coffee is often no more complicated than the beans you’re choosing. Opt for higher-quality beans, and become familiar with the roasts you prefer. Lighter roasts are more acidic and higher in caffeine, while medium roasts are popular for cold brew. They are mellow without having the burnt taste sometimes associated with darker roasts.

Make sure that whatever you pick, you’re buying the beans whole so you can grind them at home. Buying coffee that’s too finely ground can leave behind sediment in your cup.

Does water matter when brewing coffee?

And sometimes the trick to an excellent cup of coffee is just a matter of water. After all, it’s one of the key ingredients, and is responsible for carrying the flavor of the beans—tap water can carry other particles and sediments that can interfere with the taste and notes that come out. Try using filtered or bottled water for best results.

How to Make Cold Foam Cold Brew


  • 1 cup coarsely ground coffee
  • 1 cup 205°F water (simmering, not boiling), optional but recommended
  • 6-7 cups cold water
  • Cold foam (see instructions above)


Step 1: Combine coffee and hot water

Place the coffee grounds in a clean glass container and pour in the hot water; let stand 10 minutes. You’ll see the coffee swell and bubble up. That’s called “bloom.”

Letting coffee bloom—when the hot water releases carbon dioxide from the grounds—extracts more flavor from the beans. If you want to skip this step and only use cold water, add an extra cup of cold water to the recipe.

Step 2: Add cold water

Once your grounds have bloomed, stir in the cold water. Cover the container and refrigerate for 12-16 hours, or up to 24. The longer the coffee sits, the stronger the flavor will be.

Step 3: Strain

Strain the coffee through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the grounds. Then, do a second strain, this time pouring the coffee through a coffee filter. This will remove any fine particles or grounds, yielding the smoothest possible cup.

Step 4: Sweeten the deal

Serve the coffee over ice, either black or with a splash of milk or cream. Then, top with the cold foam. For a truly irresistible drink, we recommend adding a teaspoon or two of homemade simple syrup. While vanilla is a staple, you can experiment with other flavors, like coconut, almond or caramel.

How do you store cold brew coffee?

Cold brew can last in the fridge for up to two weeks. Make sure the lid is secured tightly so the coffee can retain all of its flavors and not absorb any from other items in you fridge.

You can also pour any remainders into ice cube trays and freeze, using them to chill other coffee drinks (like this creamy and caffeinated frappe mocha) without watering them down.

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