By Leslie Kelly

Cold brew's so hot right now, even coffee giant Starbucks is getting in on the trend, introducing a new drink to kick off the summer season. But guess what? Cold brew is super easy to DIY at home, saving money and time. Here's a tip that will make sipping the highly caffeinated stuff even better.

Photo by Leslie Kelly

Mad respect to Seattle-based Slate Coffee Roasters for inspiring me to try this hack at home. Slate is the envelope-pushing kind of place that takes espresso to new levels of cool. For instance, it serves a deconstructed latte at its elegant neighborhood tasting rooms. That drink comes in three parts: a shot of espresso, a glass of steamed milk, and the third? You betcha, it's a fully foamed latte. The idea is that you can taste the components separately and have a new appreciation for the finished product. Works for me!

Barista turns Bartender

So, when I spotted cold brew on the menu, there was no doubt I was going to try it. To my surprise and delight, the barista poured the dark liquid into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and started that classic motion that typically means a martini is coming right up. Twenty seconds later, he poured the frothy mixture over ice and just like that, the best cold brew I've ever tasted.

Why?

"Shaking it wakes up the flavors of the coffee," the barista explained. Works for me. And the foam gives it a velvety quality.

Try This Cold Brew at Home

I was skeptical about getting the same results at home, but thought I'd give it a shot. Here are a few tips to make your Next Level cold brew extra brilliant:

  • It's essential to start with cold coffee. Yes, that probably goes without saying, but even room temp cold brew means there's the risk the coffee will get diluted.
  • Measure! Because it's easy to go overboard or under-guesstimate, use the glass you'll serve it in as a measuring cup. And have fun with the choice of glasses. Go for a wine glass or an old fashioned. When considering serving size, remember that brew has roughly double the caffeine as a regular cup.
  • No shaker? No problem. Just use a Mason jar with a lid.
  • Serve immediately. The frothy foam looks best as soon as it's poured. Which means if you're going to serve these at a big brunch party, you're probably going to want to enlist another barista/bartender to help shake.
  • Add cream or milk or dairy alternatives after pouring the cold brew over ice and stir gently for best results.
Photo by Leslie Kelly
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