Trendy & sustainable aquafaba cold foam

Trendy & sustainable aquafaba cold foam

Aquafaba has become all the rage at L.A. cocktail bars this year. Let’s jump on this sustainable trend and impress all of our friends this summer – with a cold brew recipe!

But, before we whip up some magical bean juice…

What the heck is aquafaba?

 When dried chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans) are cooked, the water-soluble proteins and sugars in the beans migrate into the cooking water. The viscous liquid that can be strained out of the pot is aquafaba (a combination of the Latin words for “water” and “bean”). The main components of aquafaba are polysaccharides (such as starch), sucrose (a type of sugar), and various proteins – many of these components are also found in egg whites and therefore function similarly in recipes. Aquafaba also contains a small amount of saponins, a type of molecule that helps it foam.

Aquafaba can technically be made from any bean, but chickpeas reign supreme because the transparent yellow liquid they produce looks similar to egg whites and turns white when whipped. Chickpea liquid also tends to be the most consistent in thickness and produces the most reliable foam. 

How did aquafaba become so trendy? 

We’re only coming up on the 10th anniversary of aquafaba as a formally-recognized food ingredient. The general consensus is that French musician Joël Roessel discovered the foaming properties of chickpea liquid in late 2014 and American software engineer Goose Wohlt dubbed it “aquafaba” in 2015. The concept of using it in cocktails caught on in 2016 and aquafaba became a top cocktail trend by 2017.

Aquafaba is so popular because it’s easy to make and use…all for free because it’s upcycled! Not only does aquafaba save and repurpose cooking water, but the chickpea crop itself is sustainable; it doesn’t require much irrigation and it helps improve soil health by fixing atmospheric nitrogen into the soil. My fellow vegans would also point out that since aquafaba can replace eggs and dairy in recipes, it avoids the environmental damage caused by industrial animal agriculture.  

close up overhead shot of cold foam on top of cold brew, with three coffee beans in the middle. On a gold plate with an orange in the corner.


Cold brew with aquafaba cold foam recipe 

(Makes a thin layer of cold foam for 2 drinks or a thick layer for 1 drink) 


  • 6 tbsp aquafaba* (starting from at least ½ cup of dried chickpeas) 
  • 2 - 3 tbsp dark sugar of choice
    • I suggest a type with a strong flavor – such as coconut, panela, or maple sugar – to mask the slight hint of beaniness in the aquafaba.
  • As much cold brew as you desire (I used Golden Hour)
  • (Optional) milk of choice


  • Measuring spoons
  • Cocktail shaker, whisk, or electric mixer 
  • Medium pot 

*Aquafaba instructions 

  • The easiest method is to save the brine from unsalted canned beans. That's it!


  • I prefer to start with dried beans. Soak and cook dried beans as you normally would, 24 - 48 hours ahead of time:
    • Soak the dried beans in water overnight, or for at least a few hours (this is important in making the beans more digestible and ready to cook).
    • Discard the soaking water and boil the beans in fresh water for 40 minutes, or until you can easily pierce them with a fork. 
    • Strain the beans, reserving the liquid. If the liquid seems too thin, you can concentrate it by simmering it with the lid off for a few minutes. 
    • Let the aquafaba cool and place it in the refrigerator. Aquafaba performs best when cold, but you can still get decent results at room temperature.
    • Save extra aquafaba for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze 1 egg-equivalent portions in an ice cube tray (2 tbsp of aquafaba for 1 egg white). 

    Cold brew with cold foam instructions  

       Cold brew

    • Pour the cold brew into nice glasses so you can admire the drink properly. 
       Cold foam
      • Whisk, shake, or mix the sugar and aquafaba together. 
        • I shook it in a cocktail shaker for about 5 minutes (yes, I have strong arms) but you can also easily use any type of mixer or whisk. 
      • If desired, add milk to the cold brew.
      • Top each drink with cold foam.

      Yum, now that’s cool beans! 

      two cocktail glasses of cold brew with cold foam on top. On a gold plate with two oranges, a pair of pink sunglasses, and colorful dried flowers in the background
      Written by
      Melina Devoney
      Barista & Coffee Journalist