How to Make Gourmet Espresso Drinks: The Undertow

Making a gourmet coffee has never been so easy.

Making a gourmet coffee has never been so easy.

If you like to make gourmet espresso drinks, then you probably already have a good grasp on lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, caffè macchiatos, and the rest of the standard combinations of espresso and milk. But there’s one drink that many baristas haven’t heard of, the undertow (also referred to as a teardrop).

Cinnamon Syrup

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What is an undertow?

An undertow is a kind of layered espresso drink. It starts with a coffee syrup (vanilla and caramel are common first-choices). Next, you add an ounce or two of milk or cream. Then, you add your espresso shots. Voila. Undertow.

Easy, right? Well, there is a little bit of technique that goes along with making the perfect undertow. After all, technique is everything when it comes to making gourmet espresso drinks! So, follow these instructions, and you’ll be able to make the perfect undertow that looks as good as it tastes!

How do I make an undertow?

A great undertow starts with a strong layering technique, which could take a little practice to get the hang of.

  1. Add 1 pump of your favorite Amoretti coffee syrup to a small mug or glass.
  2. Grab a bar spoon with a broad back. Slowly pour half and half or milk over the broad back of the spoon so that it rests in the mug on top of the Amoretti coffee syrup. (Depending on what kind of milk or creamer you use, the syrup may intermix, which is fine.)
  3. Next, pull your shot(s) of espresso directly onto the back of the spoon with the spoon held just above the creamer. This allows the espresso to gently trickle off the back of the spoon so that it will float on top of the milk/creamer, creating a layered effect.

Drink up! When you drink an undertow (which should be treated more like a shot than a sipper), you’ll notice that the smooth coldness of the milk and coffee syrup carries the hot espresso right into your mouth. In effect, it’s a perfect balance of hot and cold.

Our Favorite Undertow Coffee Syrups

Obviously, you can make this gourmet espresso drink with any kind of coffee syrup. However, we still have our favorites…

Amoretti Cinnamon Syrup puts a nice little sting on the back end of an otherwise smooth undertow, which we really enjoy.

Amoretti Premium Amaretto Syrup offers a tasty finish of sweet, apricot-flavored brandy. This is a great contrast when enjoyed with a darker roast espresso!

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