This may seem like a little thing, but it has become a issue between myself and, well, most of my staff.

The question is...should we put foam on top of an iced latte?

I believe that the foam is a garnish on top of the iced latte. It doesn't add flavor or texture, but it makes something look more like a $4.00 drink then a $2.50

My staff says it slows them down, which it probably does a little. I was wondering if there is a industry standard. Any opinions out there?

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We don't top our iced lattes with foam. I'm not sure if this is standard, but we don't. Not only does it seem unnecessary, but we don't have a readily-available source of 1-2 ounces of garnish foam.

The question I have is, do you froth a small pitcher of milk for this purpose? Seems pretty wasteful and time-consuming to do 3 ounces (which is about as little as I find I'm able to froth with decent texture) just to get a little for the top of a drink. If not, where do you get the foam?

Now, there are some (including me, on occasion) that make an iced cappuccino that includes milk foam. In that case the foam is an essential texture and flavor component of the drink, so worth the work and little waste... however, this doesn't sound like what you are talking about.
Are you steaming milk and then icing it? If so, you should have some foam to work with. I think there is a bx'er or two famous/infamous for the steamed/iced latte, hopefully they have some insight.

If you're making iced lattes by pouring and espresso and cold milk over ice, (as I do at my shop), then having a barista steam a little extra to create foam seems wasteful and time-consuming, and then you're bringing in the whole "hot milk on ice" health concern, however valid or not that is. I'm experimenting with a cold milk frother (i.e. http://www.amazon.com/Bodum-1966-16-Chambord-Milk-Frother/dp/B00008...) for some cold drinks, with pretty awesome results. I won't be using this for iced lattes, though, because, again, it's time-consuming. I don't think my customers expect foam on an iced latte, at any rate. Most of the iced-latte crowd is walk-off anyway, so they're using lids and straws.
i think, you don't need steam milk, to make an ice latte with foam.
Use a speed mixer, it's simple and easy to use. like this:
http://www.hamiltonbeach.com/images/products/HMD200_hero.jpg

pour the milk then the espresso into the container, and you can add some flavourings as well. blend it with ice for 3-5sec then pour into a nice glass (or cup). more sec = more foam :)

anyway, you can blend only milk with it as well! nice cold frothy milk within10-30sec without waste.
First off, let's clear up some mis-information out there.

Yes, steaming/heating your milk and then subsequently pouring it over ice to chill it passes through what is known as the food "danger" zone of 40F - 140F. However, proper use of the technique will avoid potential contamination/bacterial growth because the milk passes through that temperature range in a relative quick amount of time. Of course, those of you who have been ServSafe (or similar) certified should know this already.

The decision of texturing your milk is strictly up to you. There is no "industry standard." I encourage you to develop your own standards rather than relying on a set of arbitrary industry standards. Just as some people will use Big Train as opposed to Monin, the choice of foam or no foam on iced lattes is yours.

Our standard is to foam/froth the milk, both to create the foam texture as well as increase the natural sweetness of the milk via heating. We then pour the milk over ice, leaving the finished drink with a wonderful visual presentation of milky coffee capped with white foam.
Jay, thanks for the comments...do you froth your milk to the same temperature as you would for a normal latte?
Jay Caragay said:

Our standard is to foam/froth the milk, both to create the foam texture as well as increase the natural sweetness of the milk via heating. We then pour the milk over ice, leaving the finished drink with a wonderful visual presentation of milky coffee capped with white foam.
Thanks everyone for the input. Our procedure is to, or I would like it to be, Ice in cup, sweetener or syrups, cold milk, espresso, stir, top with a little foam, not necessarily hot foam. I find that steaming all the milk, then pouring this over ice, creates a lukewarm drink.

Jay... As far as creating my "own standards", I guess I have since we opened 5 years ago. I was just interested in what others are doing and thought this was the perfect forum to find out. Although I own a cafe, I am a trained chef, not barista. I will probably ask more "industry standard" questions in the future.
I have never served iced lattes where the milk was foamed, not do I know of a shop here in Portland that does this (not saying there isn't one or two potentially).

An iced latte in my opinion should be served with great espresso, quality milk and ice. (no foam necessary).

For those who do foam for iced lattes, I am curious where this idea and way of serving came from? I agree with Jay that shops should develop their own standards, but be careful on adjusting the typical foundation drinks on your menu as new customers may not be expecting a difference in basic drinks like iced lattes or mochas.

My 2 cents.

- Matt
the thought of steaming milk to make an iced latte has always horrified me. i don't have a scientific reason to back it up, but taking a cold liquid up to 160-170 F only to ice it immediately seems counterproductive.

my solution: use a martini shaker. espresso, milk, ice, shake - you end up with an inch or two of cold froth on top of the drink. it's especially nice if you use organic milk.
Definately shaken is the way to go...it gives some nice litttle ice flakes in there making it super refreshing and oxidized foamy goodness on top. But I may be biased being a bartender in a previous life. Like all things...there is what most people do and then there is what we all do to set us apart from the rest. Everyone has there own "specialty drink" that they've honed to their own standard. In the end The customer will decide which is best, and it may not be what each of us offer. and that's okay! because another customer may think it's hell on wheels!
Jay, you brought up an interesting point about there being a way to effectively allow the milk to be steamed (and change its chemical/flavor properties by doing so) and then pouring it over ice.

I might be making a bad assumption, but I'm guessing the trick is using enough ice to chill the steamed milk/espresso and still be able to bring the temperature of the beverage down to an acceptable (cold) temperature to the customer's satisfaction.

Forgive my inexperience, but is steaming the milk and then putting the pitcher in the refridgerator for use shortly thereafter an option? Would the milk retain the 'steamed' properties before being used in the iced beverages?


Jay Caragay said:
First off, let's clear up some mis-information out there.

Yes, steaming/heating your milk and then subsequently pouring it over ice to chill it passes through what is known as the food "danger" zone of 40F - 140F. However, proper use of the technique will avoid potential contamination/bacterial growth because the milk passes through that temperature range in a relative quick amount of time. Of course, those of you who have been ServSafe (or similar) certified should know this already.

The decision of texturing your milk is strictly up to you. There is no "industry standard." I encourage you to develop your own standards rather than relying on a set of arbitrary industry standards. Just as some people will use Big Train as opposed to Monin, the choice of foam or no foam on iced lattes is yours.

Our standard is to foam/froth the milk, both to create the foam texture as well as increase the natural sweetness of the milk via heating. We then pour the milk over ice, leaving the finished drink with a wonderful visual presentation of milky coffee capped with white foam.
Thank you ALL!
if you froth milk, then cool it down by pouring it over ice, wouldn't that melt a TON of ice in the process, thus making your milk watery? like you'd have to use a lot of ice to take 160 degree milk down to 34 degrees or whatever.

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