Great Milkshake: Black Tiger at Jim & Patty's in Portland, OR


[Photographs: Jim Bonomo]

Milkshakes are rarely considered a breakfast food, just as coffee isn't the most practical nighttime indulgence. When committing to both items at once, many factors come into play: caffeine tolerance, sugar cravings, excess stomach capacity...Find yourself all of them and order a Black Tiger Milkshake ($6.95 for a large, $0.50 per extra espresso shot) at Jim & Patty's Coffee. This monster of a milkshake takes care of both breakfast and lunch, while providing a beautiful buzz that seamlessly transforms into a peaceful ice cream coma.


The Black Tiger just may be the most intense thing on Jim & Patty's extensive menu. The process begins with just about a pint of Prince Pückler's Gourmet Ice Cream made with Black Tiger coffee grounds. Black Tiger, for the uninitiated, is a proprietary coffee blend/roast specially prepared for Jim & Patty's (and Coffee People before them) which is notoriously higher in caffeine than your typical espresso blend. It's whirled together with whole milk and as many espresso shots as you desire—you may want to start with two, though three is recommended. Four shots and you're approaching the danger zone.


This shake highlights the texture of the ice cream's coffee grounds; after soaking in freezing cream, they're a bit like cookie crumbs, and they add body to the shake. The shake itself is silky and drinkable with a straw; no thawing or stirring is needed despite an overall robust profile. It had a roasty, near-smoky flavor from the coffee both liquid and ground, and the whole thing was enveloped by the rich sweetness from the top-notch ice cream.

Three shots seems to be the perfect amount of both morning kickstart and contrasting bitterness. The Tiger is a meal in a glass, one which will no doubt become a staple on these hot summer days where a breve just won't cut it.

Jim & Patty's Coffee

4951 NE Fremont St, Portland, Oregon (map) 503-284-2121;