What Is Iced Shaken Espresso? ( All You Need To Know!)

shaken espresso glass
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Discover the delightful world of iced shaken espresso—a refreshing cold coffee concoction that combines espresso shots, ice, and a touch of flavored syrup or sweetener. Unlike the traditional shakerato, it’s a foamy, coffee-forward experience that’s as creamy as it is velvety smooth. With Starbucks’ lineup tantalizing range of flavored options, this trendy beverage has skyrocketed in popularity.

So, prepare yourself to be captivated by this coffee-forward sensation!

The History and Origins of Shaken Espresso

Back in 2003, Starbucks introduced hand-shaken iced coffee and teas, adding a new level of flair and flavor to their menu.

What started as a refreshing option for warm weather afternoons has now become a year-round trend, with cold beverage sales increasing by 45% in the past four years. 

With changing demographics, customers are also asking for more non-dairy choices, leading Starbucks to introduce oat milk as its fourth non-dairy milk option alongside soymilk, coconut milk, and almond milk, based on positive feedback from regional roll-outs in the Mid-West and California.

How to Make a Classic Shaken Espresso at Home

Follow the steps to create this beverage:

  1. To prepare your shaken espresso, start by brewing a double shot of espresso.
  2. Next, combine the espresso shots and 2 tablespoons of classic syrup in a cocktail shaker or 2-cup mason jar.
  3. Fill the shaker with ice, securely close the lid, and vigorously shake for approximately 15-30 seconds until the espresso becomes foamy.
  4. Pour the shaken espresso, along with the ice, into a tall glass or savor it directly from the mason jar.
  5. Finally, add your preferred milk to complete the beverage according to your taste.
double shot espresso needed for shaken espresso

Tools and Equipment Required for Making Shaken Espresso

You need hardly two tools for it:

1. Espresso maker

To make a good Iced Shaken Espresso, you’ll require an espresso maker capable of producing quality shots. This can be a traditional espresso machine such as the Breville Barista Express or a pod-based system like the Nespresso machine. If you’re on a budget, you could also consider using an Aeropress or French press as an alternative to making espresso.

2. Cocktail Shaker

For the shaking process, you will require either a cocktail shaker or a 16-ounce mason jar.

Tips for Making the Perfect Shaken Espresso

Achieve consistent perfection with your shaken espresso by following these essential tips:

  • Opt for premium, freshly roasted coffee beans
  • Brew your espresso immediately before shaking it to preserve its vibrant and rich flavor.
  • Unleash your creativity by exploring various syrups and mix-ins, allowing you to craft innovative and delightful flavor fusions.

Iced Shaken Espressos at Starbucks

Four shaken espresso flavor combinations

1. Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso

This delightful creation begins with Starbucks Blonde Espresso shots, expertly shaken with a harmonious blend of brown sugar and cinnamon. To complete the experience, it is topped with a velvety layer of oat milk, resulting in a truly indulgent treat.

brown sugar oat milk shaken espresso

2. Iced Chocolate Almond milk Shaken Espresso

This is crafted with the smooth Starbucks Blonde Espresso, cocoa, and hints of malt, all perfectly shaken together and topped off with creamy almond milk.

3. Iced Toasted Vanilla Oat Milk Shaken Espresso

This satisfying drink is crafted with Starbucks’ Blonde Espresso, tantalizing toasted vanilla syrup, refreshing ice, and creamy oat milk.

4. Iced Shaken Espresso

Introducing a straightforward iced shaken espresso beverage. This recipe combines 2% milk, three shots of espresso, and four pumps of classic syrup.

Differences Between an Iced Shaken Espresso and an Iced Latte

Curious about the distinction between a Starbucks iced shaken espresso and a flavored iced latte? Well, both concoctions feature the dynamic duo of ice and espresso, accompanied by a dash of syrup and milk.

The key difference? The iced shaken espresso showcases the art of shaking, adding a touch of magic to the mix. It’s a delightful dilemma of icy deliciousness that’ll leave you pondering which swirling sensation to savor next!

Related Read: Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Latte Recipe

1. Shaking vs Stirring

The key contrast between an iced shaken espresso and an iced latte lies in their preparation techniques. One is shaken, while the other is stirred. The use of a drink shaker plays a vital role, in influencing both the flavor and texture of the beverage.

When the espresso, syrup, and ice are vigorously shaken, it achieves the desired chill and perfect strength by diluting some of the ice. This process also introduces countless tiny bubbles, resulting in a smooth and foamy top that enhances the overall mouthfeel.

making of shaken espresso

2. Number of Espresso Shots & Caffeine Content

Shaken espressos hold an extra dose of caffeinated power compared to their iced latte counterparts. To be precise, tall, grande, and venti iced shaken espressos boast 2, 3, and 4 shots of espresso respectively, while their equivalent iced lattes possess 1, 2, and 3 shots of espresso accordingly.

With more espresso comes more caffeine, and the shaken espresso triumphs with an additional 75 to 85 milligrams of the energizing substance.

3. Amount of Syrup & Sugar Content

Despite the apparent similarity in the number of syrup pumps listed on the Starbucks app for both drinks, there’s a clever twist.

The syrup bottles for shaken espresso flavors, such as brown sugar syrup, are equipped with half-dose pumps. Each press of these pumps by the barista dispenses only half the amount of syrup compared to bottles with full-size pumps.

As a result, iced shaken espressos contain half the syrup found in an iced latte. This reduction in syrup not only affects the flavor profile but also reduces the calorie and sugar content by half.

Shaken Espresso Ordering Options

When placing an order for an iced shaken espresso, you have several options to consider.

Amount of Ice

Ice plays a crucial role in the composition of a shaken espresso, and it’s advisable to avoid requesting light ice when ordering this beverage. What’s the rationale? Firstly, a portion of the ice serves to dilute the drink, balancing the additional shot of espresso. Secondly, a certain amount of ice is essential to achieve the desired icy coldness that enhances the overall experience.

iced latte

Milk Options

Starbucks offers a range of milk options, both dairy and non-dairy. However, it’s worth noting that three shaken espresso options on the Starbucks menu are already dairy-free.

The original version of Starbucks Iced Shaken Espresso is made with 2% milk. However, you have the flexibility to choose your preferred milk option, whether it’s skim milk, whole milk, or non-dairy alternatives like almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk.

Drink Sizes

Similar to other iced espresso beverages at Starbucks, the iced shaken espresso is available in three sizes: tall (12 fl oz), grande (16 fl oz), and venti (24 fl oz).

When it comes to sweeteners, each iced shaken espresso is prepared by shaking it with a specific sweetened syrup or powder. For example, the Iced Chocolate Almond milk Shaken Espresso incorporates chocolate malt powder for a delightful flavor. A regular Iced Shaken Espresso, on the other hand, is sweetened with classic syrup.

However, you have the freedom to order it with any syrup flavor you prefer. 

Espresso Roast

At Starbucks, you have the freedom to select from three espresso roast options. Depending on your preference, you can choose any type of espresso for your shaken espresso.

The standard choice for a plain Iced Shaken Espresso is the Signature dark roast espresso. Meanwhile, the Iced Brown Sugar Shaken Espresso, as well as the toasted vanilla and chocolate shaken espressos, feature the Blonde light roast espresso as the standard option. If you prefer decaffeinated espresso, you can substitute it for either the dark or blonde roast.

What is the nutritional information of Shaken Espresso?

In a Grande-sized serving (16 fl oz) of Starbucks Iced Shaken Espresso, you’ll find approximately 100 calories and Caffeine 225 mg.

Final Thoughts

Shaken espresso has gained widespread popularity, largely thanks to Starbucks introducing it in America as a refreshing alternative to traditional lattes and iced coffees. With its unique blend of espresso shots, homemade syrup, and either milk or water, shaken espresso delivers a harmonious combination of bold and smooth flavors.

The shaking process adds aeration and creates a delightful frothy texture, elevating the overall drinking experience. Whether you’re an avid coffee lover or simply seeking a new taste adventure, don’t miss out on trying shaken espresso. Now you’re equipped with the knowledge to recreate this delightful beverage at home or enjoy it at your favorite café.


What is the difference between Iced Espresso vs Shaken Espresso?

A standard Starbucks iced espresso comprises two shots of espresso poured over ice, without any additional milk or syrup. On the other hand, a tall shaken espresso consists of two shots of espresso, and three pumps of syrup, and is served over ice with oat milk (occasionally almond milk) added.

What is the difference between an Iced Latte vs Iced Shaken Espresso?

The primary distinction lies in the composition: a shaken espresso features an additional shot of espresso and lower milk content, whereas a latte is predominantly a milk-based coffee beverage. As a result, the shaken espresso boasts a bolder flavor profile and a higher caffeine content.

What coffee can I order at Starbucks if I don’t want a super sweet drink?

If you prefer a less sweet coffee beverage at Starbucks, you have several options to choose from like Black coffee, Caffè Misto, Flat white, Caffè latte, Cappuccino, etc.

What is in Starbucks’ shaken espresso? 

In the traditional shakerato, you’ll find a combination of ice, one or two shots of espresso, and a touch of sugar or simple syrup, all expertly shaken in a cocktail shaker. The result is a delightful, frothy, and invigorating chilled espresso. However, Starbucks adds a unique twist to its version by incorporating milk or cream as an additional ingredient.

What’s the difference between a shaken espresso and a cold brew?

The Shaken Espresso in Starbucks is enhanced with the addition of milk. This not only imparts an extra touch of frothiness but adds a twist to the overall flavor profile. While Cold brew coffee is created through a long steeping process of ground coffee in cold water that typically lasts for 12 to 24 hours, whereas espresso is quickly brewed by forcing hot water through compacted, finely ground coffee in just 20 to 30 seconds.

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