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A Coffee How To: Making the Starbucks Undertow ‘Secret Drink

There’s a secret drink in Starbucks called the Undertow. The Undertow is composed of vanilla syrup with a shot of milk poured first on a double shot glass. A shot of espresso is then poured on top of the milk using the back end of a spoon so that the hot espresso stays on top and does not mix with the milk. It’s called the undertow because when you drink it (and you need to drink it immediately), you will feel the surge of piping hot espresso that almost burns your tongue. But then, the sweet cold milk kicks in almost immediately (hence the name of the drink) neutralizing the hot espresso, the sweetness making it go down smoothly.

Now I’m not sure if you can order this in Manila. But you can definitely make it at home. I use Philippine-grown arabica beans and grind enough for one shot. Afterwards, I prepare a spoon, one shot glass and a double shot glass. The double shot glass will contain a teaspoon of vanilla syrup and milk (I use skim milk) filled halfway. I make one shot of espresso on the second shot glass. Immediately after the entire shot is extracted, I pour it onto the double shot glass. I use the back end of a spoon to “catch” the espresso so that it doesn’t mix with the cold milk. Drink immediately after.

More after the jump.

As you can see, I don’t have photos of the finished product as well … I drank it immediately. It’s bad to waste.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

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