September 12, 2017 Coffee & Company

5 things you need to know about Starbucks new Cold-Pressed Espresso

Starbucks today unveiled Cold-Pressed Espresso, a new patent-pending cold extraction process that will serve as the foundation for a new menu of sparkling beverages that will debut at the company’s premium, Starbucks Reserve® Roastery in Seattle beginning today (Sept. 12). Here are five things to know about Starbucks newest cold coffee experience.

What is Cold-Pressed Espresso, you might ask?

Think of espresso, and you’ll likely picture a concentrated shot of steaming hot coffee with a bold taste, made in just a few seconds under extremely high pressure. Now imagine a cold brew coffee, slowly steeped in cool water, using time and gravity to gradually bring out the coffee’s inherently sweet finish.

Starbucks has created a new way to brew that borrows the best from both worlds with its new Cold-Pressed Espresso menu available only at the Roastery. The new patent-pending technology uses cold water and intense pressure to unlock the softer, sweeter coffee experience of slow-steeped cold brew but as a concentrated shot of espresso.

What does it taste like?

“We started with the question, ‘How do we deliver the same great flavor and taste as cold-brewed coffee we slow-steep in stores?’” said Andrew Linnemann, vice president, Global Coffee, Tea and Roastery. “During that process, our R&D team flipped traditional brewing on its head, and found another way to deliver something even more extraordinary.”

The end result is a bold, but delicate, intensely concentrated, yet exceptionally smooth cold coffee-drinking experience. Brewed via Starbucks patent-pending method, its bold flavor and low acidity shine, especially when infused with sparkling sodas and citrus.

It’s made using a patent-pending technology, developed by Starbucks engineers

Designed by Starbucks Research and Development team, the new patent-pending Aqua Tamp Technology™ uses an ascending flow filtration system that is pressurized by cold water. The inverted process allows for a precise release of flavor characteristics resulting in a dense concentration of cold espresso. In doing so, it allows the release of a sweeter coffee flavor and smooth finish, allowing the cold-pressed espresso to retain the intensity of the espresso flavor when paired with a variety of cold liquids. 

“Instead of 20 hours of slow-steeping, our process takes about an hour,” said Kieran Murphy, Technical Manager, Process Engineering, R&D. “What we produce is a highly concentrated extract compared to what a traditional cold brew gives us. The extra strength is unique, and allows us to create beverages with more flexibility to experiment in new cold beverage territories.”

Customer demand for cold coffee is huge

This new breakthrough builds on the company’s ongoing investment in the category of iced beverages. During its 2016 Investor Conference, Starbucks noted that it expects to quadruple the Cold Brew business by 2021 and its overall cold beverage mix to move from over 35 percent in 2013 to nearly 50 percent by 2021. U.S. iced coffee consumption has grown by 75 percent in the past decade and cold brew sales grew 338.9 percent between 2010 and 2015, according to industry experts. 

Where can I try it?

The Cold-Pressed Espresso menu is available for a limited time at the Roastery with three new sparkling espresso offerings, made with Starbucks Reserve® Microblend No. 11.

Sparkling Cold-Pressed Americano

Pure and refreshing, this modern twist on the iced classic includes ice-cold sparkling water, topped with shots of cold-pressed espresso.

Cold-Pressed Americano Exploration Flight

Customers can try three different takes on a classic with a flight of Iced Americano beverages: two made with cold-pressed espresso (one sparkling and one still) alongside a traditional Iced Americano made with hot extracted espresso shots.

Cold-Pressed Ginger Fizz

Ginger ale with a splash of whiskey barrel-aged vanilla syrup, a dash of grapefruit bitters, topped with cold-pressed espresso.


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