Starbucks innovations typically consist of wacky beverages like the Unicorn Frappuccino. This time, however, the coffee chain is innovating in the brewing space. Their new invention, cold-pressed espresso, brings together the best of traditional espresso and cold brew coffee.
Photo courtesy of Starbucks.
Starbucks claims that the novel new brew has a bold flavor with low acidity. To achieve this, the company uses Aqua Tamp technology, a patent-pending process with an ascending filtration system, to create this coffee. Initially, coarse coffee grounds steep in cold water for 45 minutes. Afterward, pressure filters the liquid in an upward direction, creating a "cold espresso," as Starbucks calls it.
Infographic courtesy of Starbucks
As the above infographic shows, cold-pressed espresso does take longer to make than a traditional shot. However, in comparison to current cold brew methods, which can take 20 hours, the new Aqua Tamp technology is pretty fast. Additionally, the cold espresso takes on a whole different flavor profile than its hot counterpart. While hot espressos are best with milk or cream to cut through their acidity, this unique drink pairs better with acidic beverages that complement its sweeter coffee flavor.
Starbucks exemplifies that in their test beverages containing the new espresso. At their Reserve Roastery in Seattle, you can try the cutting edge brew in a Sparkling Cold-Pressed Americano or with ginger ale in their new Cold-Pressed Ginger Fizz. If you're curious to compare taste profiles of hot and cold espresso, you can also order an Americano flight that features both.
Be wary about how much of these you drink, however, as you might expect from a cold brew-espresso hybrid, there's quite a bit of caffeine. Starbucks told Foodbeast that a 16 oz Sparkling Cold-Pressed Americano has 355 mg of caffeine. That's easily enough to put it on par with some of the strongest Starbucks drinks out there, so you'll definitely be wired for a bit after drinking one.
Nonetheless, we're curious to see what this novel coffee tastes like, so hopefully, Starbucks expands it out of Seattle soon.