Coffee alchemy – the shakerato

Today, after a quick lunch at Pizza Nostra (Northeast 48th and Fremont – I highly recommend the pepperoni), I pedaled down through the morass of construction on Sandy Boulevard and stopped in at Case Study.

Unsure of what to order and feeling adventurous, I asked Ricky, the barista, for a recommendation. Case Study always has lots of interesting things going on – they bring in a wide variety of different coffees, some of which are very high-end. They like to experiment with different beverages and presentations too. One time they served me an espresso paired with slices of green apple and a small vial of honey. As a barista competition judge, I appreciate the creativity.

For this visit, Ricky recommended a “shakerato.”

“A what?” I asked.

“A shakerato. It’s espresso and a little bit of sugar, shaken with ice in a cocktail shaker. The result is…magical,” he assured me.

Espresso on ice? Not something I would normally order, but why not? It is summer after all (though it has often felt like Junuary) and I’ve had plenty of cold-brew lately.

The shakerato had several characteristics of a quality beverage. First, it was visually interesting. In the clear glass, I could see a thick caramel foam resting heavily on the  espresso beneath. It looked like a sampler of freshly-poured Guinness, though the taste was nothing like the famous Irish stout. The beverage was sweet and fruity, reminding me of white grape juice. The coffee flavor was fairly muted and the foam’s texture was light and silky. Overall, the beverage was very unique.  There is also a latte version of the shakerato that sounds interesting, but that will have to wait for another day.


Shake it...In addition to the shakerato, this summer Case Study is also cold-brewing a Geisha varietal from Colombia that is tasty. Like I said, they are always trying out new beverages, in addition to their traditional coffee lineup. When construction on Sandy ends, which should be soon, you will be able to roll in on the smooth new street and indulge your inner coffee adventurer.