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Why You Should Be Shaking Your Iced Espresso

An iced coffee sits on a table.

Fans of iced lattes might have a new to construct their favorite beverage. Shaken iced espresso has become a major coffee trend, and it turns out, shaking actually does matter.

According to Paul Adams,Cook’s Illustrated‘s science editor, shaking your espresso helps to mellow out the acidity and make the flavor smoother.

Adams explained that shaken espresso—which is inspired by an Italian drink called a shakerato—- features a smoother taste, and the reason is that the process is a mix of quick cooling, dilution, and aeration that causes the flavor shift. When you shake the espresso in a cocktail shaker with ice, it’s rapidly chilled and diluted as the ice melts. Since espresso is so strong, the dilution helps take the edge off without eliminating the flavor (but it’s also the reason you shouldn’t attempt this with regular brewed coffee which isn’t strong enough).

Typically, a shaken espresso contains milk, and Adams points to the ingredient as an important factor in creating that even, smooth taste.

“The protein in milk or cream stabilizes the foam, so it lasts longer in the glass; without that, the shakerato is still great but loses its frothy texture after a minute or two,” said Adams.

If you love an iced latte but want to change up your regular cup of coffee for something different, shaking your espresso might be the way to go.

[Via America’s Test Kitchen]

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