Beth Flaherty searches for what else London can offer in the world of lattes.
When we think of a latte, most of us conjure up thoughts of coffee; a shot of espresso with hot, steamed milk. Although the Italians are famous for their impeccable taste in coffee, the word ‘latte’ means nothing more than ‘milk’. With this in mind, is it time to replace that shot of espresso? This may be a terrifying question for many, but if you’re willing to take the leap now and again, London seems to have plenty of answers.
1. Matcha Latte
Matcha has been worshipped in Japan for centuries, but now it has well and truly established itself as a trendy ingredient in London’s foodie scene. Known for having 137 times more antioxidants than regular green tea (making one matcha latte the equivalent to ten cups of green tea), its multitude of health benefits have been praised. Although it may be true that matcha can make just about anything its added to taste like grass, getting the balance right in a latte is simple, and tastes great. To make at home, invest in a pot of matcha and use 1/4 tsp with a few drops of warm water added to hot milk. Easy-peasy.
Where?: If you’re out and about, many cafes around London now offer Matcha. Store Street Espresso will never disappoint, and you can even have it iced too.
2. Golden Latte
AKA. the Turmeric Latte. Yes, Turmeric. It’s not as weird as it sounds though, and definitely doesn’t taste as though you’re drinking curry! When added to hot, frothy milk, often with a little cinnamon, the flavour is incredibly sweet and fragrant. Plus, during the wintry season, it makes the perfect accompaniment for that nasty cold.
Where?: The popularity of the Golden Latte is making its way across London, but to avoid the trek, Planet Organic offer one of the best. It includes, black pepper, ginger, vanilla, and even liquorice… but don’t let that put you off. It’s delicious.
3. Pink Latte
From the golden latte to the pink latte. This time, ditch the espresso for beetroot juice. Please, don’t move on to the next one just yet! Beetroot is not just good for pickling and adding to salads, but its sweetness makes it fit equally as well with more comforting and indulgent foods (e.g. the rising popularity of the beetroot cake!). In fact, you could describe the beetroot latte as a red velvet latte, just with an earthier taste. But most importantly, it’s pink. What other reason do you need?
Where?: Palm Vaults near Hackney Central, for lovers of all things pink. But even if you don’t fancy beetroot juice in your latte, the Metro has recently described this cafe one of London’s most instagrammable spots – that’s got to be worth the visit.
4. Maca Latte
You will definitely be forgiven for not knowing what maca powder tastes like, or indeed, what it is. Again, it’s one of those ingredients which dates from way back in history, as it is was used by the Inca tribes for energy before they went into battle. It was also meant to be the secret of fertility, due to its aphrodisiac properties. But today, you might find it in smoothies, granola and now, lattes. It has a wonderfully malty and caramel-like flavour, making it oh-so comforting and perfect for this purpose.
Where?: Farmacy – a Hippocrates-inspired cafe in Notting Hill, which prescribes food as the best medicine.
5. London Fog Tea Latte
Originally on Starbuck’s secret menu, the London Fog Tea Latte has come out of hiding since the global chain partnered with Teavana, the tea company. It’s described as a: “bright, citrusy spark of Italian bergamot blends with subtle hints of lavender, vanilla syrup, and steamed milk”. Basically, it’s a cup of earl grey reinvented as a latte. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who is thinking this can taste no better than a milky cup of tea… and nobody wants that. But, somehow it seems to work.
Where?: This one is available in all Starbucks.
6. Superfood Latte
Whatever you might think of the word ‘superfood’, there’s no denying that this latte is delicious, as well as being packed with an array of exotic ingredients, all of which are meant to be wonderfully beneficial for health. Here is what makes up the Superfood Latte: lucuma, coconut oil, vanilla, maca, white carob and medicinal mushrooms, topped with frothy plant-based milk. A wacky but marvellous concoction; you can’t help but feeling virtuous after drinking it.
Where?: Nama – another of Notting Hill’s health cafes.