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Shake it up

Kelis once claimed that “milkshake brings all the boys to the yard” and while we’re pretty sure she wasn’t talking about the popular beverage, she makes a good point. So where are all the good-quality coffee milkshakes in the nation’s coffee shops? Surely they’re a no-brainer when it comes to summer menu additions?

Marian Plajdicko from Berlin’s Happy Baristas drew our attention to the idea. He had a coffee milkshake on the menu right from the start. As with so many good ideas, it seems so obvious in retrospect – even more so after we decided to make some ourselves and share the results.

We experienced a lightbulb moment when testing these recipes. What’s not to love about a luxurious drink made with good ingredients that isn’t claiming to be anything other than what it is? A coffee shake is a lighthearted alternative to the more puritanical cold-drip coffee and just begging to be enjoyed in the late summer sun.

It seems we’re not the only people to think this way. Milkshakes have been spotted on the menu at Prufrock Coffee, while Danny Bowien from New York’s Mission Chinese Food recently recommended espresso banana shakes on Twitter and Copenhagen’s Coffee Collective now serves coffee soft serve.


Happy Baristas

When Marian Plajdicko and Roland Lodr opened Happy Baristas in Berlin at the end of last year, they knew they wanted something different on the menu. “Basically, we wanted to offer something more interesting than a regular, boring iced latte,” says Marian. “And as you don’t really see milkshakes in speciality coffee shops, we thought why not? It can be made with very good ingredients and everyone has a sweet tooth every now and then.”

In this grown-up version of a nostalgic classic, the addition of coffee grounds really enhances the body, adding texture but with none of the grittiness we were expecting.

  • Double shot of espresso
  • 90ml fresh bio milk (Happy Baristas use milk from Brodowin farm near Berlin)
  • 4 generous scoops of good-quality vanilla ice cream
  • ½tsp espresso coffee grounds



Hugh Duffie from Sandows created this shake for us, using the company’s cold brew as a base. “Cold brew is a great way to use real brewed coffee in your milkshake without diluting it or melting the ice cream,” says Duffie.

When making this shake himself, Duffie blends unhomogenised milk from the Estate Dairy with the best quality vanilla ice cream he can lay his hands on and cane sugar syrup from Tate & Lyle to enhance the body of the drink. The resulting drink is smooth and creamy with subtle coffee notes – a real crowd pleaser.

  • 60ml Sandows Cold Brew Coffee
  • 40ml Estate Dairy milk
  • 10ml Tate & Lyle cane sugar syrup
  • 5 scoops good quality vanilla ice cream

Shake all the ingredients together, pour into a glass and garnish with an extra scoop of ice cream and a chocolate flake.


Mr Black

This boozy take on a classic shake, created for Caffeine by the people behind Australian cold press coffee liqueur Mr Black, has layer upon layer of chocolate and nutty notes and is a drink that keeps on giving long after the final sip.

Alix Nardella, Mr Black’s UK ambassador, wanted an adult shake that retained an element of fun. “When I lived in Australia, summers were hot,” she says. “On our days off, my housemate Kitty and I would make boozy milkshakes by shaking milk, alcohol and Magnums together. This recreates those wonderful summer memories.”

  • 35ml Mr Black Cold Press Coffee Liqueur
  • 25ml El Dorado 5-Year-Old Cask Aged Rum
  • 75ml almond milk

Shake all ingredients without ice. Pour into a glass and garnish with a Peanut Butter Mini Magnum.