The First Thing To Do When Ordering A Starbucks Iced Cappuccino

The great thing about ordering an iced cappuccino at Starbucks is that you'll actually get an iced cappuccino instead of the frozen blended imposters you might find in fast food chains and convenience stores. The not-so-great part? You might find yourself wishing you had gotten an icy espresso drink instead. Where you're expecting a cold version of the frothy and full-bodied drink, you may wind up with a sad, watery latte with a rapidly wilting layer of foam atop the ice. But there is a trick to avoid getting this unappetizing concoction — ask for cold foam from the get-go.

As one former Starbucks barista told Insider, the standard protocol when serving up an iced cappuccino is to add ice and cold milk to the espresso per usual before scooping fresh milk foam to cap it off. This might seem like a perfectly logical way of icing a cappuccino if it wasn't for the fact that the milk foam is hot off the steamer. While it doesn't retain as much heat as the steamed milk itself, the foam still adds an unnecessary amount of warmth that prematurely melts the ice and waters the drink down before you've even had a single sip. And that's not even mentioning the fact that hot foam has a tendency of dissolving into a limp and brittle mess as it cools down. If you'd rather get your iced cappuccino chilled and flavorful all the way through, cold foam is the way to go.

Cold foam isn't just for cold brews

It's important to note that asking for cold foam does cost extra, but you'll probably find that this little add-on is more than worth the trouble. For just 50 cents, you can get a chilled and pillowy top to your iced drink that perfectly translates the mouthfeel of a hot cappuccino without any awkward downsides. With over 12 different cold foam flavors available — including but not limited to just about every Starbucks syrup flavor — you can get quite creative with your iced cappuccino. If you're looking for a unique twist, try replicating the Nutella flavor with a hazelnut cold foam mochaccino (or vice-versa with chocolate cold foam over a hazelnut cappuccino). 

If you're more of a cappuccino purist, of course, a dusting of cinnamon powder on plain cold foam will serve as a much better accent to the coffee-forward drink. And speaking of coffee-forward, you might find that extending this cold foam tip to other foam-laden drinks will also get you much more refreshing results than you're used to: Try asking for an espresso macchiato over ice with cold foam for a cool and rich treat you can enjoy in even the balmiest of temperatures. As always, the sky's the limit with just how much you can custom-tailor a drink at Starbucks, and adding cold foam to your ordering repertoire will open up a whole new summer-ready menu of your favorite drinks.