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nosperm in baristas

The "Undertow"

Can anyone describe to me the proper way to make an undertow?

During the one year I've been here in Austin, TX, I've only had three requests for them - however, one of those requests happened this morning and it threw the entire morning crew off. When I worked in Houston a few years back they were a common request, but I can't really remember how to do it.

Are there any other cities out there that get requests for these? They might be called different things, but the drink I'm thinking of is (I think) layers of vanilla, cold breve, and then some magic trick of pulling espresso shots over a spoon...?


2 pumps vanilla, about 1-2oz cold breve, & then hold a spoon upside down just below the rim of the cup & pull two shots over it.

(oh man, I miss these...)
you can use the spoon to laywer the breve on top of the vanilla too.

Super yummy - I miss Houston.
or layer.. oi
A few more questions: do you always use a short cup? i'm also unsure about the position of the spoon, what you described is how I remember it, but do you angle it slightly downwards? Finally, is there anyway you can tell from looking at the drink if you did it successfully (like should you just see espresso on top or will the breve and espresso mix a little)?

I remember how they taste...so fun to drink! Thanks for your help.
Yes to the short cup, and yeah, it's angled slightly downwards. You can spin the cup slowly as the shots pour, but it's not necessary as far as I can tell. I think the espresso is normally all you'll see on top, but it's possible they'll mix a little (sorry I can't remember exactly; it's been a few months since I've made one). But as long as you put the syrup in first and pour the shots over the spoon, none of the elements should mix enough to spoil the layered effect. :)
we would sometimes build them in the iced sample cups, you could see your layers then :>

I mean you gotta be perfect sometimes =D

That being said we would use the stirspoon sometimes, tis just kind of what you get used to using.
is the stirspoon you're referring to the GRTL spoon? the long, thin one that's twisted? because i thought there was an action item and few months ago that said we all had to get rid of them and my SM took ours away D:
Which spoon do you use? The stiring spoon? The big spoon? A plastic one?

I've never even heard of this drink.

i want to ask you too

is the stir-spoon you're referring to the GRTL spoon? the long, thin one that's twisted? because i thought there was an action item a few months ago that said we all had to get rid of them and my SM took ours away.. D:

Re: i want to ask you too

That was the spoon I was refering to.
Our SM took ours away as well. It makes drawing stuff on lattes less fun.

Re: i want to ask you too

We still have ours. Bwahaha. I mean... <_<
Worked in IL for three years and was never asked for a single one. I think these are a Texas specialty :)
Nope, we get them in NorCal too!
I think it's a Stockton/Sacramento thing. When I worked in the Bay Area, I never ever got asked for one. Then I came out more towards Stockton and people ask for them all the time.
I worked at a Stockton store for a year and never had anyone ask for them... how weird!
i work in Livermore, and a former SM added CR sauce and calls it a hot/cold
From what I know, the first commenter has the recipe right. I've heard they're also known as a "teardrop" or "John Wayne" in other places, and one ridiculous partner in this district used to call them a "Mr. Happy's Joyride" for no good reason.
haha, we call them breve bombs. actually, only me and the borrowed partner that showed me how to make it call them breve bombs. nobody else even knows what it is. i'm in CA. lol
Up here in DFW, I know my store calls them teardrops.
People have ordered them as Breve Blasters and Undertows in my Garland (Part of DFW sorta) store.
we call them Hot and Colds in FL
Here in Hayward, CA we have one person (a partner from another store) who orders undertows.
Howdy neighbor! Greetings from Fremont. :)
the partners at my store enjoy them with cold soy. I'm in OR.
Denver, Colorado, and I have never ever heard of this drink, by the name "Undertow" or otherwise, but I'm pretty sure I want one.
seriously. for all of my bragging about having the day off tomorrow, i kind of wish i was working so i could try this.
If you do try it, just make sure you chug! It tastes like ice cream at the end if you do it right. Magic.
Your first undertow is sort of a big deal in my store (Houston area)! But I've also heard them called breve blasters. I drink mine with Toffee Nut :) Makes me do a happy dance :)
yeah my houston store was my first store ever and it definitely felt like some sort of initiation when a coworker made me my first one!
it IS a big deal when you do your first undertow lol. I had my first one on my first official closing shift once off training.
oh undertow, how i love thee!!
**where in houston are you??**
I've only ever had one customer order them, but we called them teardrops. Then everyone at that store got hooked. I've never managed to convince my two stores since of their amazingness, although I still drink one most days.

But I do 1pP and 1/2pM in mine.
A few of our partners make them as a quick wake-me-up...they're called John Waynes here. :)
My store calls the hot-and-colds. Never had a customer order it, and it took a barista from another store to tell us about them. But every once and a while, its late (or early), and we're bored, and we make a game out of knocking back shots.
At my north Dallas area store, we call them undertows, barista bombers, and.. some other name I'm currently blanking on. We generally make them as described by the 1st commenter with 2 pumps vanilla, but 1 pump toffee nut 1 pump almond used to be a popular alternative. Om nom nom nom. I wish I could still drink espresso.
Oh yeah. The other name is "wake-me-up".
hahah, thank you!
I'm in houston as well..we call them undertows in my store and make them pretty much the same way..I used to have one almost every shift. Haha, however if a customer orders one I totally act like I have no clue what one is..
We act like we have no idea unless they accurately explain how it's made. Then we have to break down and do it.
In memphis we call them john waynes (don't ask me why)
and you can use them with any syrup and with any type of milk....breve just layers the best and the default syrup is vanilla...
they are one of the few things I miss about working at a coffee shop.
I would often start my shift with them.

I'm in Los Angeles and we call these breve blasters. Some people in my store put a few ice cubes in before the espresso layer to cool the shots down a little before you drink it, but not mess up the layer.

And a couple of the closers I work with like to have a breve blaster (or two) for every hour they're working that night... I don't know how they sleep at night.
Oooh, now I get it. I had an ex-barista customer come in and ask for one. He didn't really explain the layering thing, but the way he walked me through it it just sounded like a ghetto short iced caramel macchiato to me.