MONIN explains why it’s time for baristas to champion change with a new category of beverage that’s tasty, visually appealing, and looking to be a menu mainstay.
Move over espresso martinis, Irish Coffee and muggaccinos, there’s a new froth in town. Known as ‘Cold foam’ or ‘milk cap’ internationally, with a push for it to be identified as a ‘frothy’ in Australia, MONIN Advocacy and Innovation Manager, John Davidson, says the flavoured foam on top of a beverage is on the cusp of breaking into the Australian market, it just needs a helping hand from the café market to turn from a potential trend, to an actual one.
“People are always looking for the newest café or the latest new craze. Nothing stands out as a huge trend of 2022. We’ve seen the revival of slushie machines and cocktails on tap, but I think this year, people are looking for something to take them through to summer,” John says.
“The cold foam concept started in Taiwan food and market stores, it’s become huge in China, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and the United States, and it really should be big here in the Australian hospitality market. There’s so much effort being put into this drink internationally and Australian should too.”
Already, John says PS40, a Sydney bar, is doing a reverse Irish coffee with cold coffee cocktail and hot cream floating on top. Iced tea franchises including Chatime are doing their own version, as is Bubble Tea, Kang Tea, Gong Cha shops, and Starbucks.
“Pandan, osmanthus, and hazelnut flavours are big overseas, but I think we can challenge Australian baristas to be even more exploratory,” John says.
The master ingredient to creating the foam cap on any beverage is MONIN’s flavourless Liquid Frappe concentrate product, a vegan alternative to egg whites or chickpeas, which John says is essentially Xanthan gum, a common food stabiliser additive.
“It gives more texture because it holds air for a longer period of time, and gives a drink more composure,” John says.
“Mixing citrus and milk together would typically split, but aggressively whisking some of the MONIN Liquid Frappe concentrate through it helps to bind the ingredients together and make some really cool combinations. For example, a lemon cheesecake-style drink with fresh lemon juice, cream cheese, a bit of salt, and MONIN frappe has been really fun to create, and could be a really great garnish to any interesting beverage or cold brew.”
John encourages baristas to use the frappe concentrate experimentally and come up with flavour combinations that not only add something enticing to a menu, but will likely add a few extra dollars to a café’s daily takings.
“The texture and mouthfeel when you drink a beer with a really nice foam head or a whiskey sour is really enjoyable and pleasurable on the palate, but it also just looks really sheik. Why serve a simple juice in a cup when you can create and use MONIN Mandarin Syrup with fresh mangos or tea or juice, topped off with a macadamia foam?” John asks.
“It also adds something to the toolkit and repertoire of the barista. There’s always some mystique about what chefs are doing in the kitchen, and I think baristas should do the same behind the bar, by using this perfectly textured, whipped cream-like Xanthan gum product from MONIN. If a barista can excel in getting more flavour into the milk, more flavour into the cream, and more aromatics into that drink head, then I think people would spend some hard-earned Australian currency on that.”
The key for any café contemplating creativity with workflow, John says, is in the mise en place with all kitchen preparation done in the morning, and on-hand to assemble beverages throughout the day’s service.
“Preparation is key. If I knew I was going to make 150 to 200 of these drinks a day, I would do my prep and store it in the fridge. The beauty of MONIN products is that it will keep its composure all day. Then it’s just a matter of creating your infused tea, smoothie, juice blend or cold brew coffee, and pouring this cap over the top,” he says.
This type of experimentation is exactly the creativity John is seeking from MONIN Cup Challenge entrants for this year’s competition. Applications are now open. John says beverages that insight creativity and are already leaning towards emerging trends in Asia could be a smart idea for the barista who wins the Australian final and travels to Kuala Lumpur to compete in the international competition.
“This is definitely something to keep in mind, and a great way to elegantly put some really beautiful mouthfeel and texture into your drink, which ties in with the criteria of the espresso-based competition incorporating at least 10 millilitres of any MONIN product, which is all about the five senses,” John says.
“It would demonstrate to the judging panel that you’re on-top of trends, reading educational material like BeanScene, and can confidently hold your own when representing Australian overseas in the international final.”
Participants are required to submit their recipe details to the MONIN Cup website for their chance to be flown to Melbourne to perform live, one night during the week of the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) from 17 to 19 August.
“It’s time to get creative, get inspired, and experiment. Change the norm, be ambitious, and get excited about the potential of beverages, rather than just conforming to the mould,” John says. “Hopefully this time next year ‘the cold foam frothy’ has taken off and holds a permanent position on café menus.”
For more information and to enter the MONIN Cup Challenge, visit stuartalexander.com.au/pages/monin.
This article appears in the June 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.
Cold Foam Recipe
- 200g cream
- 50ml Milk
- 3g salt
- 50ml MONIN Liquid Frappe Concentrate
- 30ml MONIN Coconut Syrup
- 20ml MONIN Pineapple Syrup
- Add cream to mixing bowl and whip to gain texture.
- Slowly fold in milk, salt and MONIN while mixing for a further 2 minutes.
- Store in the fridge.