A Cocktail Shaker Is Key To Better Tasting Coffee

Whether or not you drink cocktails — or even drink at all — at some point, someone may have gifted you a set of cocktail tools, complete with a shiny new cocktail shaker. It might now sit on your bar cart, or in the back of a kitchen cabinet, gathering dust and making a tinny ringing sound every time you brush past it. Should you just give up the ghost and try to sell it to someone online?

Not so fast. If you're a coffee drinker, a cocktail shaker could be the very tool you need to take your morning routine to the next level.

For those who prefer black coffee, this advice might not apply. However, the fancier you like your morning (or afternoon) coffee, the more a cocktail shaker could come in handy. This simple piece of kitchen equipment can chill your drink, integrate your sweetener, and give you the frothiest beverage you could imagine.

Shaken coffee isn't a new concept

If you enjoy elaborate coffee drinks with frothed oat milk, vanilla syrup, or other creative add-ins, this is the coffee-making method for you. Simply add your coffee, sweetener, milk, and ice to a cocktail shaker, then shake for 30 seconds and strain into a coffee cup, with or without ice.

This isn't a new concept. Italians have been making coffee this way for ages, and calling it a caffè shakerato. Traditionally, the drink is served in a coupe or martini glass, essentially making it a virgin espresso martini. In fact, have you ever noticed how gorgeous the foam on an espresso martini is? That's a result of the aeration that occurs when you shake all the ingredients together. You're going achieve the same effect, sans booze — unless, of course, that's what you're aiming for. This method would make an excellent dessert drink, or spiked caffè corretto.

But it's not just about the foam. Everyone knows the struggle of trying to add sugar to a cup of already-iced coffee, only to end up with a bitter drink and a treasure trove of hard sugar granules at the bottom of the cup. Shaking your coffee in a cocktail shaker helps integrate your sugar more effectively. If you have enough foresight, you can also add your sugar while the coffee is still hot, stir to dissolve it, allow it to cool, and then give it a shake.

Things to avoid when shaking your coffee

Chilling your coffee by shaking it with ice is a quick and easy way to make it refreshingly cold, without the risk of watering it down as ice melts in the glass. However, remember to only add coffee that has already cooled to room temperature to your shaker. Since many shakers are made of metal, you risk burning yourself by adding hot coffee if the shaker is not insulated. In extreme cases, the temperature difference could even cause the mixture to explode. Moreover, hot coffee will just melt the ice right away, leading to a lukewarm, watered-down mess.

The easiest way to get around this issue is to brew espresso instead of filter coffee. Espresso cools down much faster than a full cup of hot coffee, and won't become as diluted by the ice and milk you add. It's a flavorful solution for enjoying a cold coffee drink.