Taylor London admits it's a bit weird to say he's "passionate about milkshakes." But it's the truth.

Growing up, the 30-year-old used to make milkshakes for friends "as a way to repay favors," and he brought an old-fashioned mixer with him to the University of Oregon, where he met his friend and future collaborator, Grahm Doughty.

While a shake is always welcome at your favorite small-town soft-serve joint or fast food burger chain, it's not necessarily the thing to get at one of Portland's high-end scoop shops—some of those more ambitious flavor combinations just don't work, or the texture isn't right, or the employees don't have practice making them.

Birthday Shake.
Birthday Shake.

For their milkshake-based pop-up Late Shake, London and Doughty put a lot of time and thought into technique, ingredients, temperature and milk-to-ice cream ratio, resulting in a product that is solid enough for funky toppings but also thin enough for slurpability.

"I do like a good, thick milkshake that needs a straw and needs a spoon," says London. "When someone gets a shake, it's already melting in some ways. We've just kind of put [the ice cream] in a different form."

Late Shake—which started in summer 2015 along Southeast Division Street and now operates out of Upper Left Roasters in Ladd's Addition—is big on seasonal flavors and local partnerships: Tillamook ice cream, Woodblock Chocolate, Jacobsen salt and honey, blackberries from West Union Gardens in Hillsboro.

Its top seller is usually Woodblock Mocha, though the staff's favorite is Double Gold, a turmeric, ginger and apple shake finished with a crown of Fruity Pebbles.

Late Shake’s Love on Top.
Late Shake’s Love on Top.

And while shakes like the Beyoncé-inspired Love on Top—a chocolate peanut butter shake topped with caramel and a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie—are good for the 'Gram, flavor ultimately trumps social media aesthetics.

"At the end," London says, "we want people to be satisfied, not filled with regret."